Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Sustainable pet care: 5 ways to get started


sustainable dog treats
Written by Nat Smith, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation's largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.

If you're a dog owner and also trying to find ways to reduce packaging and plastic waste, this post is for you! As Nat Smith (from Rover) points out, do-it-yourself treats and toys are not only a great way to cut down on packaging: sustainable pet care can also save your money and improve the quality of your pet’s life. What could be better? Here are five ideas from Nat:


Homemade Crunchy Delight treat

Add a teaspoon of flaxseed to ½ cup doggy-safe peanut butter (unsalted, with no added xylitol). Then, mix in ½ cup shredded carrots. Roll into tablespoon-sized balls, and chill for one hour. In addition to protein and healthy fat from the peanut butter, flaxseed promotes a silky coat and crunching carrots is good for your dog’s teeth.


diy dog treat
Photo by Pete Bellis on Unsplash


2-in-1 DIY Toy and Treat

Core a sweet potato through the center, then slice it so that each piece has a hole in the center. Use a dehydrator to dry out the sweet potato slices, or bake them in the oven at 250° F for 3 hours. Finally, string the pieces onto a rope, and tie it off at each end. Your dog will have a delicious chew toy, and a long-lasting treat!


eco friendly pet care
Photo by Crew on Unsplash

DIY dog toy: Denim Toy

Instead of tossing your worn-out jeans, turn them into a fun, durable chew toy you can use for fetch and tug-of-war.

  • Lay the jeans out flat, and make two marks along each ankle, dividing each leg into 3 even sections. 
  • Cut through both layers of fabric from the ankle to the base of the waistband, so you end up with 3 double-layered strips on each leg. 
  • Braid each set of strips from top to bottom, keeping the layers together. 
  • Loop one braided leg through the belt loops on the waistband. 
  • Wrap the other braided leg around your circular dog toy several times, then knot it to itself to create a handle.



sustainable pet care


Homemade Bully Stick Popsicle

Pour beef broth into a popsicle mold, then place a bully stick in the center of each as a handle. Freeze them overnight. You can use the handle to feed it to your dog, or let them eat it out of a bowl.





Homemade Freeze-Dried Liver

Rinse beef liver, then simmer it for 30-45 minutes in boiling water. After the liver cools, cut it into bite-size pieces and lay them out on a nonstick tray. Put them in the freezer for 5-7 days, or until it does not begin to thaw when taken out. Be sure to store the cubes away from heat and moisture.

Looking for even simpler treats? Check out these Two-Ingredient Homemade Dog Treat recipes on Rover!