Reason #8 to Adopt a Shelter Dog: Recycling is Good for the Planet

Remember when recycling wasn’t a thing? I don’t. Sure, I’m not that old. But I’m also not that young either. Point is, I can barely remember what it was like to NOT recycle. One day we’ll be saying the same thing about adopting shelter dogs.

Then hopefully one day, we won’t have any more dogs living in shelters. Because they’ll all have loving homes. For now though, there are more shelter dogs than you can shake a stick at. But they’d much prefer it if you toss them some hot dogs. Bonus points if wrapped in a shreddable puzzle.

If you aren’t already familiar with the endlessly entertaining world of canine enrichment, do yourself a favor. Adopt a shelter dog. Join the Canine Enrichment Facebook Page. And catch up on all the hilarious dogging you’ve been missing out own. #projectnomorefomo

You see, when you adopt a dog, you are doing something good for the environment. Adoption is often affectionately referred to as recycling. As a lover of shelter dogs, I’m okay with this analogy. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Most dogs in shelters were somebody’s wonderful companion. Now, they are are ready to be yours.

Did you know that your adopted dog is actually into recycling? You see, dogs benefit from activities that allow them to express behaviors that are natural to them. Even if we think of them as our fur children, they are each at their core a dog. And dogs like to do doggo things. Like chew, shred, and gut.

If your initial reaction was to gasp or say “not my dog!”, hear me out. All dogs are born with some elements of the predatory sequence engrained in their behavior. Like stalk, chase, or destroy. That’s why my dog Hope, who is very much a house dog, will start every morning by chasing the squirrels in our woods.

Probably the only thing more exhilarating to Hope than a good chase, is a good shredding. This girl is a master of destruction. After we discovered her love of gutting stuffed toys, we started to offer her some of our leftover boxes. Eventually, our cardboard creations became more and more complex. Like glorious offerings to an insatiable god. Without fail, my dog has demolished every. single. offering.

I love having a dog who helps us recycle because it is a win-win scenario. In true millennial style, the hubs and I order everything to be shipped to our doorstep. I’m talking EVERY LITTLE THING. This amounts to an embarrassing number of boxes we trash on the daily.

Before filling our recycling bin with these barely-used boxes, we set them aside for the dog. Every day, we use a few to create a new busy box for her. Each is usually stuffed with a food puzzle, Kong, chew or stuffed toy. Without fail, Hope tears into every new puzzle like a doggo on a mission. And she doesn’t stop until the box has been fully put in its place (i.e. torn to itty bitty pieces).

By reusing our shipping boxes, my dog gets some much needed mental and physical stimulation at a fraction of the cost of fancy toys. My boxes get broken down into pieces that fit in the recycling bin (one less thing I have to do). And I feel a little better about the epic wastefulness of my shopping habits. #dogmomwins

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