Dogs can be Zero Waste and it’s easier than you think. There are (3) things you need to consider: 1) the type of bag you use, 2) how to dispose of the waste, and 3) adjusting your feeding to minimize waste.
The best doggy bag is a biodegradable one. They are easy to find at pet stores and Amazon offers a wide range from $8-11. It is recommended that you reuse each bag as many times as possible. I place mine on a shelf somewhere out-of-the-way after each use. The following day, it is dried out and easy to use without any odor, touch, or gross problems.
Of course, messes do happen and eventually you will have to throw the bag out. As long as it’s biodegradable, tossing it only contributes a small amount to a landfill, and eventually nothing at all.
Disposing of the waste in a smart way is the single most important thing you can do. According to the EPA, pet waste is very bad on parks, waterways, and in landfills:
Decaying pet waste consumes oxygen and sometimes releases ammonia. Low oxygen levels and ammonia can damage the health of fish and other aquatic life. Pet waste carries bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can threaten the health of humans and wildlife. Pet waste also contains nutrients that promote weed and algae growth (eutrophication). Cloudy and green, Eutrophic water makes swimming and recreation unappealing or even unhealthy.
In response, the EPA and many cities are beginning to ask dog owners to flush waste. It goes down the toilet just like ours.
Last, what you feed your dog impacts what comes out the other end. I’ve discovered that different types of food make waste picking-up easier. The best results I’ve found, come from food I make myself using Dr. Pitcairn’s recipes. I feed her less and she poops less, it’s great!
I’ve tried out these methods for a while now and have it down. I feed my dog just enough food to keep her healthy, and not fat. It keeps her waste minimal which I flush down the toilet. I pick it up in a biodegradable bag that I reuse a few times. That’s how the Zero Waste dog works.