As a doting dog mom, it can be easy to be swept up in consumerism– buying toys and treats and everything in between for your beloved pup. But finding high-quality and planet-friendly products doesn’t need to be a challenge. These brands have done the heavy lifting for you by creating functional, earth-friendly swaps you'll reach for daily.
Caroline Buck, Founder at Petaluma
Caroline Buck, Founder at Petlauma
Pet food is an environmental mess, to put it lightly. An estimated 20% of meat consumed each year in the U.S. is gobbled up by pets. Altogether, U.S. dogs eat as much food as 40 million Americans and as much meat as all 80 million humans in California, Texas, and Pennsylvania combined. Traditional pet food - even premium brands - relies on animal protein raised in factory farms and prioritizes lower ingredient costs over all else, including sustainability and humane practices.
But here’s the good news: feeding your dog more plant proteins is a low-effort, high-impact way to live more sustainably. Dogs co-evolved with humans, including adaptations to digest plant-derived carbohydrates that enabled them to thrive on an omnivorous diet much like our own. Replacing animal products with plant-based alternatives in our diet reduces your dog’s diet-related greenhouse emissions by 75%, water use by 50%, and land use by 90%.
Here are some options to clean up your dog’s mealtime and tread more lightly.
I co-founded Petaluma because I was tired of the trade-off between high-quality nutrition and consideration for the environment & animal welfare. After years or research, we are so proud to offer dog parents products that they can feel great about - veterinarian-developed, minimally-processed, and free from factory-farmed animals.
Botanical Bones is a fellow female-founded brand dedicated to making plant-powered functional treats for dogs. I was so excited to try out the Balance + Calm treats with my own high-anxiety rescue dog Oscar. Similar to Petaluma's story, Botanical Bones was started because the founder Rachel was looking for an effective anti-anxiety solution for her pup that didn't skimp on quality ingredients. I love incorporating these treats into my routine with Oscar to keep him calm on walks or during crate time.
Good Clean Fun
The highlight reel we post on Instagram as dog moms usually don’t include bathroom breaks or muddy paws streaked across your kitchen floor. It’s a very unglamorous job most days! These products help you work smarter not harder to keep things nice and tidy. Or at least, attempt to. If your dog is like mine, they seem to only roll around in mud immediately after they have had a bath.
Pamper your pooch
I have two black dogs - and while they are super low-maintenance in terms of grooming, they can be really sneaky in terms of how dirty they are when we get back from a hike or long walk. I was delighted to find Rowan’s line of hair care products and immediately appreciated the light coconut scent; a welcome change of pace from typical dog shampoos loaded with scent to mask odor. It sounds really silly, but I'm always surprised by how well this stuff works! I didn't realize how much my previous dog shampoos were underperforming until I saw the dirt going down the drain with Rowan. It has become my favorite thing to give to new dog parents - and you won't be mad about sharing shower shelf space with the pretty bottle. More to love: Rowan is a female-founded business, gets the green light from veterinarian dermatologists, and only uses human-grade, high-quality ingredients.
Clean up after your dog
In my experience, poop bags are sort of like hair ties - they're simultaneously all over the place and impossible to find when you need them. I'm always fishing out hair ties and dog bags from the washing machine after forgetting them in my jean pockets. But both are essential for those of us with long hair and dogs. Picking up poop is just part of the job description - no one's favorite chore, but a necessary evil in dog ownership. These sustainable Earth Rated bags fit neatly in my leash's bag holder and ensure I'm never without a bag on dog walks. I also have Earth Rated's large bulk box in my car and house just in case. Bonus points: Earth Rated is a Certified B Corporation committed to ethical sourcing and manufacturing processes.
The double-edged sword of being a work-from-home dog parent is (1) that you to spend time with them all day and (2)...that you spend time with them all day. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore the all-day cuddles and built-in walk breaks that come with my canine coworkers, but keeping them occupied and happy during a Zoom call is key to keeping your (and their) sanity. These made-to-last options can help you “unmute” more often.
Work hard, play hard
If you have aggressive chewers, you need to meet West Paw. Their toys are made from a proprietary USA-made plastic blend that is basically indestructible. If your dog does somehow tear it up or grow tired of it, you can mail them back to West Paw to be ground up and recycled into new dog toys, which is pretty unique for a toy manufacturer. West Paw is also among the very few Certified B Corps in the pet industry, another reason to trust their manufacturing processes and sustainable practices.
P.L.A.Y. is a San Francisco-based B Corp that Petaluma has proudly partnered with a handful of times. We love their eco-conscious approach to making toys, beds, and other dog accessories made with integrity and designed to last. My oldest dog Leo just turned 11 and I'm extra conscious of giving him a cushioned place to rest (even though he is showing no signs of slowing down...). Each bed is filled with an eco-friendly plush that is non-toxic and made from 100% post-consumer certified-safe recycled plastic bottles. It's a bonus that these beds look great too!
Getting outdoors with my dogs is high on my list of favorite activities and is a daily priority. Outside of our usual walks throughout the day, my co-founder (and husband) take our dogs on outdoor adventures whenever possible - hitting the trails in the summer, cross-country skiing in the winter, and long walks exploring all the natural beauty of the Bay Area.
Good gear is a must, and choosing options designed to last will ensure both your dog’s safety and limit the need to re-purchase essentials year after year. Leave no trace can be your mantra for both where you hike and *how* you hike.
Step out in style
The Foggy Dog (as the name suggests) is handcrafted in San Francisco. They produce a number of stylish and colorful accessories, but I'm a fan of their leash sets. Made from marine rope, the leash is waterproof and comes with a lifetime guarantee. I love that Foggy Dog has so many options and you can coordinate your leash, waste bag holder, and even a hair tie and bandana. The options are endless, but you can feel good that these products are going to last from puppyhood to grey hairs.
Keep your cool and your control
Ruffwear makes sustainable gear for the outdoorsy dog - and fittingly you can find their products at stores like REI. This harness is made to last and keep your dog safely at your side, whether you're cross-country skiing or just doing a loop around the park. Looking for something more specific? Check out their designs for trail running, winter sports, and more.