We adore our dogs, and want the best for them! Eco-friendly dog toys not only help maintain your dog’s good behavior but can be beneficial in strengthening teeth and gums. In this article, we’ll discuss how to choose eco-friendly dog toys while living a greener lifestyle!
Going green with your furry best friends means that we should all consider purchasing eco-friendly dog products that reduce, reuse, and recycle. You can also support all Green manufacturers by purchasing green products only. These are good for the planet and your dog’s health as well.
Dog toys that are made from recyclable materials or that have biodegradable options are environmentally friendly. Dogs need toys to burn off their energy, keep boredom at bay, and help with teething, so they don’t end up chewing your favorite pairs of shoes or furniture.
Eco-friendly dog toy brands to consider
Brands like Cycle Dog and SodaPup offer more than a toy. They offer a greener lifestyle with toys that are good for the environment. Le Sharma Trading and Planet Dog use BPA-free materials with Planet Dog being the founder of the Pet Sustainability Coalition. P.L.A.Y Pet Lifestyle provides safe, eco-friendly dog toys using AZO-free dyes. West Paw features FDA-compliant plastic compounds in all their dog toys, which are also are recyclable.
A recent survey by Packaged Facts on durable dog toys and pet care products in the U.S., adds that 40 percent of pet parents choose dog toys based on whether their dog would enjoy them.
Dog toys comprise one of the largest categories of durable pet care products and take up as much as 28 percent of the overall market. Yet while canine enjoyment ranks up there as a key element of a popular dog toy, manufacturers are notching up the importance of purchasing an eco-friendly dog toy that is non-toxic, chemical-free, and lead-free.
How to fully understand eco-friendly dog toys
When it comes down to making good decisions about pet product purchases like dog toys, we need to take into consideration that dog toys are designed for pet interaction, durability, safety, value, fun, and sustainability.
Today, dog toys have evolved from simple dog toys to designs that are more complicated, and that use a variety of raw materials and different processes. Dog toys need to be gentle on teeth, yet strong enough for strong-chewing dogs, and easy to wash.
Dog toy brands that are eco-friendly include West Paw Design Zogoflex toys. These are super durable and eco-friendly. This brand uses Zogoflex (R) that’s phthalate-free and BPA-free.
Zogoflex (R) is a plastic-like substance that creates no waste. It’s recyclable and can withstand the toughest of puppy chewers during puppy playtime. West Paw Designs also replaces any dog toy that has been destroyed and offers a guarantee.
Years ago, dog toys were made with a one-size-fits-all concept. Today, pet parents are concerned with what goes into their dog’s mouth, and the toxins and chemicals involved. For instance, our social commitment to being earth-friendly and showing social responsibility means that pet parents are interested in being ‘green’, and purchasing dog toys that allow them to make more conscious choices. This also results in more conscious choices when purchasing products from pet companies to ensure the quality of toy parts, and the safety of raw materials used.
Sustainable dog toys include recyclable, up-cycled, fair-trade, chemical-free organic, compostable, and made in the USA. Pet parents are demanding that product development embraces green businesses, and as climate change becomes problematic, dog toy companies are looking at ways supply chains, energy, and waste saving measures are approached.
Planet Dog and Orbee-tuff RecycleTOYS line which carries Recycle Balls and Bones were designed to re-use 100 percent of all excess material that the company says it uses for the injection molding process.
SodaPup also produces toys that are environmentally friendly, and made from a natural compound that is sustainably harvested from the Rubber tree. Good for super chewers, SodaPup dog toys are FDA compliant, non-toxic and safe for all dogs. P.L.A.Y Lifestyle dog toys manufacture eco-friendly dog toys that are of the same standard as children’s toys. This brand is durable, and planet-friendly, using non-toxic AZO-free dyes, and meeting therequirements for EN71 – Part 1, 2, 3 & 9 (EU), ASTM F963 (US) toy safety standards and REACH – SVHC.
Green America certified business
“Green America certifies businesses that are committed to using business as a platform for social change. Since 1982, Green America has evaluated over 8,000 small businesses. Green businesses adopt principles, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for their customers, employees, communities, and the planet. The members of the Green Business Network are changing the way America does business,” via Green America.
Green America Business, certifies businesses are doing the following:
- Actively using their business as a tool for positive social change;
- Operating a “values-driven” enterprise according to principles of social justice AND environmental sustainability;
- Environmentally responsible in the way they source, manufacture, and market their products and run their operations and facilities;
- Socially equitable and committed to extraordinary practices that benefit workers, customers, communities, and the environment; and
- Accountable for their work by continually improving and tracking their progress, and operating with transparency in every facet of their business.
Green America helps green businesses maintain sustainability by working smartly and strategically using their online platform. It also provides the tools to help businesses turn their social and environmental mission into action.
Today, eco-friendly is good for both the planet and the pooch! The Nielsen Company survey demonstrates that pet parents are willing to spend more on dog toys that come from companies that are geared towards being environmentally friendly, and that are committed to positive social and environmental impacts.
We all have a sense of responsibility towards our dogs and to the planet. The Pet Sustainability Coalition believes in reducing our environmental footprint by implementing genuine sustainability more profitably. Pet brands that participate in this program believe in making the world a better place for people, pets, and the planet.
Eco-friendly means you care about the environment and that products are all-natural, without dangerous chemicals. By purchasing an eco-friendly product like a dog toy, you’ll be improving quality of life, and helping the world protect our environment. Examples of eco-friendly dog products include dog toy brands like West Paw.
Plush toys from the brand West Paw Design are filled with IntelliLoft, which is a soft stuffing or filler comprised of recycled plastic bottles. These use eight times less energy than a similar material made from natural resources. These toys are all machine washable, and so are easy-to-clean.
Eco-friendly processing chain
The production of eco-friendly products is important to help protect the environment. How a product is made is just as important today! Manufacturers of green and eco-friendly products are focused on the planet, on energy efficiency, sustainable packaging, and more.
There are plenty of materials used in dog toy sourcing and manufacturing like hemp, recycled plastic bottle, recycled bike tubes, natural rubber from the rubber tree that help to make the processing chain eco-friendly. Today pet parents are worried about climate change, and the outcome of everyday living, and what it does to the earth.
By purchasing eco-friendly dog toys, made from durable natural fabrics, or from hemp, recycled plastic bottle, recycled bike tubes, natural rubber from the rubber tree, or other natural options, we can rest assured that we’re adopting principles and policies to improve the quality of life for everyone.
What are the benefits for people and dogs?
Environmentally friendly dog toys reduce environmental impact and use no harmful processing methods during the manufacturing process. Eco-friendly products like dog toys reduce our carbon footprint by up to 20 metric tons. By making the right lifestyle changes and opting for eco-friendly dog products, we can ensure that no harmful chemicals are released into the soil and water during the manufacturing process.
A while back, purchasing a green product would be more expensive, and that may have deterred consumers from purchasing eco-friendly dog toys. Today, millennials and baby boomers are more inclined towards eco-friendly purchases which help the environment and keep our dogs safe.
Minimizing your dog’s exposure to the many harmful chemicals in dog toys that are not eco-friendly is important in protecting your pet today. With so many toxins around, it’s best to understand a bit more about your dog’s exposure to toxins in dog toys. So what are these toxins?
Phthalates are a group of chemicals that is used during the manufacturing process to soften plastic and vinyl. It’s a chemical that makes products more flexible. This chemical is found everywhere, most especially in children and dog toys.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE)is used often in the textile industry. It’s also known as polyester in the garment industry and is a crystalline plastic that is used as a fiber in the clothing process.
PET or pet resin is used as a moisture barrier in bottling and packaging and is also sometimes made into an engineering plastic when added to glass fiber or carbon nanotubes to increase PET’s strength. While colorless and taking on the form of a semi-crystalline, it forms an effective barrier against water. It also yields a powerful strength to weight ratio and is shatterproof, so it does not shatter if dropped. Today, we see how this is used in recyclable plastic.
Is PET toxic to dogs?
No, PET is not toxic! It’s accepted by health officials as a safe plastic to use. It’s also hygienic when used in food and beverage packaging. The perks of using this is that it’s resistant to bacteria and other microorganisms. It’s cleared by the FDA for human and pet use.
Why are these not good for your dog’s health?
Phthalates affect the endocrine system and are endocrine disruptors. They cause plenty of damage to the kidneys and liver, as well as to the respiratory and reproductive systems in people and animals.
How to avoid them?
By purchasing eco-friendly dog toys that have the Green America Certification, you’ll be embracing social and economic justice, and community and environmental health for the planet. Green America is a not-for-profit membership organization that was formed in 1982. Their mission is for an environmentally sustainable world without the use of the following materials:
- No dyes
- No plastics
- No synthetics
When it comes to suggesting which dog toys are best for your dogs, eco-friendly dog toys are beneficial for everyone. If you purchase wisely, you can ensure that your purchases don’t harm the environment or your furry best friends.
West Paw and Pet Play are B-Corp Certified, which is the most difficult certification a company can get for eco-friendly. Big green brands like REI and Patagonia are also B-Corp certified. Beco Pets is the only toy brand uses rice husk as material, and the first brand to have toys made with plants.
By opting for dog toy products that are eco-friendly, you’ll be taking the environmental impact of those toys into account. You’ll also be supporting eco-friendly brands, and know that your product won’t affect the environment and pets in a negative manner. There are also numerous recycling options offered with all eco-friendly dog toys.
Planet Dog’s non-toxic Orbee Tuff material is popular among pet parents because of its durability and bounce. The fetch toys from this brand and distraction toys all are eco-friendly. Ruff Dawg products like chew toys are also made with FDA-approved inert recyclable thermoplastic polymer and flavored with natural flavors.
Eco-friendly dog toy brands will also use recycled polyester and all-natural cotton that is grown without harmful pesticides. Here are some other benefits of eco-friendly dog toys:
- Use of low-impact dyes
- Eco-friendly plush rope or materials used
- Use of less water for manufacturing
- Results in less contamination
- High-quality products
- Durable and safe products
- Less environmental impact with the use of biodegradable packaging
- No pesticides
- No toxic glues
- No PVC’s
- No plastic-based fillers
- Products are made sustainably
Today, with so many dog toy brands on the market, it’s important to take into consideration the health and safety of your dog first before purchasing a dog toy. It only takes a few seconds to find out more about a pet toy brand.
It’s also safe to say that you can find the latest in eco-friendly and sustainable interactive and regular dog toys via online or in-store shopping. They’re also priced well, and as a fetch, puzzle, training, or chew toy, offer plenty of mental stimulation, and high-value playtime that can be indoors or outside, as well as help to encourage playtime with all family members and their pets. This increases bonding between dogs and their families.
Dog toy products that benefit both pet and planet, which are PVC free, and are made of non-toxic TPE material are a blast to play with together with your furry best friend. Sharing positive experiences with our dogs through interactive play, allows us to store these memories for a lifetime.
That said, it’s best to be green through our interactive play with our furry best friends, and to promote and embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle with our pets so that we can all live a longer and healthier life!
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Meet The Author
Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance journalist and author, and specializes in veterinary content, and eBooks. She’s a long-time feature writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. In addition, Bensimoun has written for numerous pet websites, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/humanitarian relief, veterinary research, and veganism.