An entire industry has grown up around dog products that claim to be environmentally friendly. Google around, and you’ll find everything from the practical (biodegradable poop bags) to things you could probably live without (chemical-free aromatherapy spritzes and dental wipes).
We’ve sniffed like bloodhounds to uncover a few products every DogTrekker can enjoy without clogging up the landfill. Here are a few of our favorites.
Toys filled with polyester fluff are no-nos for eco-conscious dog lovers. A more Earth-friendly and lasting alternative is to be found in sturdy, recyclable Orbee-Tuff products from PlanetDog, a socially conscious vendor that devotes 25 percent of each purchase to the training, placement and support of service dogs. (The buoyant, bouncy and minty Orbee Ball, $7-$16.50 depending on size, is especially appropriate for Earth Day, given that it’s modeled like a globe.)
Hemp is in, and you don’t have to inhale to get a kick out of a hemp dog collars from EarthDoggy or a hemp dog bed from Bambeco.
When it comes to bath time, you’ll find as many eco-friendly shampoos on the market as there are breeds of dogs. They all have their merits, but one line we can strongly recommend is Buddy Wash. Coconut-based and infused with botanicals and other natural ingredients, it leaves your dog’s coat shiny, soft and smelling… well, take your pick from lavender and mint, rosemary and mint or green tea and bergamot. Luscious stuff.
Since 2000, lucky dogs on their last day in Bay Area shelters have found a safe place to land at Smiley Dog rescue. Among them--our own past cover boy Rowdy.
This all-volunteer group takes them into foster homes, where they receive lots of TLC and socialization with people and dogs. Currently about 200 dogs a year, almost all from East Bay shelters, are adopted through Smiley Dog, through its website and at its mobile adoption events at Pet Food Express in Alameda and Lafayette.
Sasha, a sweet three-year-old retriever mix, is the rare Smiley Dog who didn't come from a shelter; she's a foreclosure victim. Her family lost their home but left her in the garage and kept feeding her while begging a friend who worked with the rescue to take her to safety. Sasha is now doing well in foster care, regaining her cheerfulness, and starting to look forward to a new life.