Our pets deserve the best, and that means toys that are safe for them as well as the planet. In recent years, a growing number of U.S. companies are producing green pet toys and accessories made from recycled matter and organic materials. Yearly, millions of non-biodegradable pet products end up in landfills, and American companies like West Paw, Planet Dog and Cycle Dog are trying hard to prevent more waste polluting our environment, while minimizing carbon emissions from overseas transport.
These made-in-the-USA products make the best stocking stuffers for your pets this holiday season, help decrease your pet’s carbon paw-print and give them fun, durable, non-toxic toys to play with. Your kitten will enjoy sniffing organic catnip, hiding in a cozy teepee and scratching a jute sphere to its hearts content, while your dog will love gnawing at durable chew toys, sporting eco-collars and leaches and resting his body on a comfy bed made from recycled plastic bottles.
Here are eight eco-friendly pet toys and stocking stuffers to consider for your beloved furry companions this holiday season.
Montana-based West Paw is a leading pet brand producing locally made, earth-friendly products made from recycled plastic and fabric. West Paw produces everything from dog blankets and beds to puzzle toys and furry toys, including festive ones for the holidays. The company is known for durable toys even your most ardent chewers would appreciate.
Choose from extremely tough Zogoflex toys like the Hurley Dog Bone made from latex-free, FDA compliant and non-toxic polythermal plastic. When your pooch is done with the toys, you can get them recycled through West Paw’s Join the Loop® Program. The toys come in small and large for different size breeds and in easy-to-spot colors like orange, bright blue and green.
Honest Pet Products, based in Wisconsin, goes beyond using recycled materials to create fun toys. The company uses natural, safe and durable items like wool and hemp (one of the strongest plant fibers around), and is known for its ultra durable toys, like the Eco Owl Buddy, perfect for both small and large dogs.
Honest Pet Products are made by hardworking people with cognitive and developmental disabilities in Green Bay. The toys are compostable, as they are free of any synthetics and rubber.
If your pooch has been a good boy all year, treat him to a Orbee-Tuff Holiday Nice Funny Bone from Planet Dog. Constructed from Orbee-Tuff® material made from thermoplastic that is free of phthalates and BPA, this sturdy bone is ideal for the small to medium-sized super-chewer in your family this holiday season. You can opt for the Holiday Naughty Funny Bone for a little more fun. These toys are durable, non-toxic, buoyant and safe for your four-legged friends.
Keep your curious cat entertained for hours with the Cat Power Scratching Sphere with Tassel Toy, which she can use to scratch, pounce and stretch her legs on. Sold by California-based Cats Play furniture company (which solely operates online), this sphere is made with durable, non-toxic and sustainable jute wrapping and sits on a wooden base. It ships already assembled, so you don’t have to spend any more time before unwrapping the gift for your beloved cat.
P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle and You) makes dog beds with the pets and the planet in mind. This San Francisco-based company has a range of beds with unique fabric designs and filled with PlanetFill® created from post-consumer, certified-safe recycled plastic bottles. Choose from a variety of lounge, memory foam, outdoor and snuggle beds coming in slew of designs created by artists in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City to brighten up any space and bring your pet comfort.
The company even allows you to purchase just the fabric case, so you can fill it up with your own old blankets or pillows. Recently, P.L.A.Y started selling pet beds housed in lovely recycled wine barrels.
In addition to dog beds, P.L.A.Y sells snuggle beds, scratcher beds and even teepee-style cozy beds for your feline companions. Coming in a number of colorful designs, the Horizon Pet Teepee is ideal for your cat to hide in when she wants some beauty rest in a calm setting. Made with durable woven fabric, this small and comfortable bed can add beauty to any corner of your home.
Cycle Dog, located in Portland, Ore., has been making handcrafted eco-products since 2009 in an attempt to raise awareness about the millions of bike tubes that end up in landfills each year. Lanette Fidrych, founder, began collecting tubes from bike shops around Portland and started sewing them into collars. Since its inception, the company has reclaimed hundreds of thousands of inner tube rubber that would have otherwise been discarded.
The iconic Cycle Dog Collars, backed by rubber, come in various colors, patterns and unique art. The rubber backing prevents the collars from gathering bacteria, staving off odor. They are also waterproof and come with a latch-lock metal buckle and a separate ID tag loop that doubles as a bottle opener. Cycle Dog also sells beds, toys, bowls and accessories from its showroom in Portland as well as online.
Wagging Green uses bamboo webbing instead of standard nylon in creating its colorful leashes, collars and harnesses. These pet essentials are anti-bacterial, biodegradable and odor resistant. The leash is soft, yet strong enough with a double layer of durable bamboo webbing and comes with a comfortable handle and a swivel hook. It’s good for any-size breed and is washable and fast drying.