23 environmentally sustainable toys, treats, and essentials for cats and dogs

siamese cat poking head out of round red and blue cat fort
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  • From their food to their waste, pets have a huge environmental paw print.
  • Upcycled, recycled, and natural materials are showing up in a variety of sustainable pet products.
  • We've curated 23 toys, treats, and essentials for a more sustainable pet.

Our choices have an impact. What we eat, where we shop and how we get around can either contribute to the environment's sustainability or to its degradation. 

The choices we make for our pets matter, too. From their waste to their toys, cats and dogs have a huge environmental paw print. Just feeding them adds 64 million tons of carbon dioxide to the climate each year — about the same as 13.6 million cars. But more than ever before, pet companies are looking for new ways to support environmental sustainability by using upcycled, recycled and natural materials in their products. 

From cat litters made from food waste to toys made from plastic bottles to kibble and snacks made from insect protein, we rounded up sustainable choices for cats and dogs.

Here are 23 sustainable pet products for a more environmentally friendly paw print:

Savory dog snacks made with upcycled ingredients

gold and gray terrier dog sniffing bag of dog treats

Shameless Pets Upcycled Dog Treats, available at Chewy, $5.99

Shameless Pets is working to make the US food system more sustainable by including a portion of the more than 62.5 million tons of fruits, veggies, and dairy thrown out annually in their tasty treats. Sold in flavors like Bananas for Bacon and Lobster Roll(over), its baked biscuits, jerky bites, and dental sticks are formulated with up to 40% upcycled ingredients.

A bright cat collar made from soft natural fibers

hemp cat collars in red, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink and white

The Good Dog Company Hemp Cat Collar, available at Amazon, $17.99

Upgrade your kitty's collar with a sustainable version made from hemp and organic cotton muslin. This soft essential with natural antimicrobial properties is handcrafted with heavy-duty stitching, a steel ID ring, and a breakaway buckle. The collar comes in eight bold colors, including marigold and plum. 

A tough puzzle toy both dog and planet can appreciate

lab with paw on blue ball on the floor

Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Snoop, available at Amazon, Chewy and Target, from $14.40

Planet Dog has created their interactive Snoop puzzle toy with the Earth in mind. The squishy concave ball is made from chemical-free eco-friendly materials tough enough to stand up to heavy chewing. Pop out the crevice to add treats or kibble then reposition it in place for a long-lasting reward your dog will love to work for.

A paper alternative to wasteful plastic poop bags

Pooch Paper
Christine Caplan/Business Insider

Pooch Paper, available at Chewy, $12.99

Get a new perspective on scooping poop with Pooch Paper. Made from recycled paper, these completely compostable and biodegradable alternatives to plastic bags are surprisingly strong and convenient. At 12-by-12 inches per sheet, they're just large enough to pick up most average piles without getting any on your hands. Read our full review here.

A dreamy bolster bed filled with recycled stuffing

West Paw Heyday Bed
West Paw

West Paw Heyday Bed, available at Amazon and West Paw, $89

Give your dog the gift of sustainable snoozing with this pillowy soft bed from Montana-based West Paw. Each is filled with IntelliLoft, a proprietary eco-fiber made from nontoxic, third-party-certified recycled plastics that diverts 28 to 78 plastic bottles from landfill per bed. The machine-washable, double-stuffed bolster design is covered in a soft knit fabric and comes in four sizes and three colors.

A plush hot dog for sustainable squeaking

P.L.A.Y. Hot Dog Dog Toy

P.L.A.Y. Hot Dog Dog Toy, available at Chewy, $9.41

Hot Dog! Frankfurters are on the menu at P.L.A.Y! Handmade from 100% recycled plastic bottles and AZO-free dyes, the wiener separates from its squeaky bun for two toys in one. Both are double-layered with double-stitched edges for durability.

A tough tug toy that works hard for the environment

Beco Hoop on a Rope

Beco Natural Rubber Hoop on a Rope, available at Petco, $12.99

Let the games begin with Beco's tug toy made from natural rice husk ash and recycled cotton rope. The company, winner of the Ethical Award from the Ethical Company Organisation, sustainably sources their materials locally whenever possible and works to maintain a minimal carbon footprint. 

A recycled ripple rug for cat high jinks a plenty

SnugglyCat Ripple Rug

Snuggly Cat Ripple Rug, available at Chewy and Amazon, $44

With multiple folds and peek-a-boo holes, this play mat made from recycled materials encourages everything from pouncing to scratching to snoozing. Toss a couple toys and some catnip in the mix and you've got yourself a feline fun zone that will last for hours. When they're done, the rug folds away for easy storage.

A colorful leash to keep oceans clean

United By Blue Woven Leash
United By Blue

Woven Dog Leash, available at United by Blue, $28 

United by Blue is on a mission to rid oceans and waterways of garbage. Not only is their woven, webbed lead made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, but for every leash sold, they pledge to remove a pound of waste from US shorelines. Sold in six bright colors and patterns, this 60-inch long leash fitted with aluminum hardware is great for everyday walks and beach adventures, alike.

A cat kibble with a minimal carbon paw print

Catit Nuna Cat Food

Catit Nuna Kibble, available at Catit, from $34.99

Catit's new protein-packed kibble gets its punch from insect larvae grown on human-grade food waste and sustainably sourced herring. Developed by nutritionists, this dry food is full of the good stuff a cat needs with none of the toxic greenhouse gases and waste byproducts associated with other protein sources.

A recycled raincoat for wet weather

Hurtta Monsoon Dog Raincoat

Hurtta Monsoon Eco Raincoat, available at Amazon, from $75

Heavy downpours are no match for Hurtta's Monsoon ECO raincoat. With a wide collar and lots of belly coverage, this 100% recycled jacket doesn't just give used polyester a new lease on life, it's so good at keeping your dog dry that it may even convince them that walking in the rain can be fun. Even if it doesn't, wrapped in the bright orange coat accented with reflective material, your dog will, at the very least, be impossible not to see coming.

A natural clumping cat litter made from upcycled food waste

Littermaid Walnut Litter

Litter Maid Premium Walnut Litter, available at Amazon and Walmart, $6.12 

Decrease your cat's ecological paw print with a natural litter made completely from the inedible shells of walnuts. The low dust clumping formula contains hard-working enzymes to neutralize odors and keep your home smelling fresh.

An environmentally conscious dog collar

Wigglywoos Cork Dog Collar

Wigglywoos Signature Cork Dog Collar, available at Etsy, from $32.95

Set sail for the high seas with an ocean-inspired sustainable cork and hemp collar from Wigglywoos. Its materials are durable and naturally resistant to insects, mold, and mildew. The handmade collar is finished with a nickel-plated buckle and ID tag ring and comes in four sizes, two widths, and five colors. 

Savory snackies made with humane, sustainable insect protein

Jiminy's Cricket Peas & Sweet Potato Recipe Chicken-Free Dog Treats

Jiminy's Sustainable Dog Treats, available at Chewy and Amazon, from $8.95

Because traditional animal protein sources are the world's second largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, Jiminy's makes its from a low-impact alternative: crickets. Sold in a variety of flavors, including pumpkin and carrot and pea and sweet potato, Jiminy's soft training treats are a delicious way to reward your dog.

A squeaky giraffe plushie made of used plastic bottles

Beco Pet Giraffe Dog Toy

Beco Pet Giraffe Dog Toy, available at Amazon, $19.99

Make fast friends with George the Giraffe, Beco's bright, cuddly toy made from recycled plastic bottles. Soft and durable with a squeaker inside, this adorable plushie is double cross-stitched for extra protection against powerful chewers. 

An ethically made cozy cat cave

siamese cat poking head out of round red and blue cat fort
Cat Cave

Cat Cave, available at Cat Cave Co, from $59.99

Cat Cave Co's beautiful ombre orbs are the ultimate in cozy kitty cuddle spots. Each cave is crafted from ethically sourced New Zealand wool by skilled Nepalese craftswomen paid 200% the average local wage for their work. Cat Cave Co also supports pet rescue organizations with profits from each purchase. The bed comes in multiple color combinations and a handful of whimsical shapes.

A fetching frisbee made from recycled materials

West Paw Zogoflex Zisc

West Paw Zogoflex Zisc, available at Chewy and West Paw, $13.95

This bright frisbee by West Paw is made for fetching fun. Its soft but durable design is crafted from a recyclable plastic blend that floats as well as it flies. If your dog ever loses interest, return the flyer to its maker. They'll turn it into a brand new toy. 

A floor scratcher made from recycled paper

Pet Fusion Scratcher

Petfusion Flip Pad Scratcher, available at Amazon, $25.89

Condition their claws with a cardboard scratcher made from recycled materials. This version is lifted for better leverage when ripping, tearing, and shredding and can be recycled if it becomes too worn. The scratcher arrives with its own supply of catnip to ramp up the fun.

A snuffle mat for food foraging

PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Dog Feeding Mat

Paw 5 Wooly Snuffle Mat, available at Chewy, $33.57

Tap into your dog's genetic drive to root out tasty tidbits with this sustainably made snuffle mat. Sprinkle the rug with breakfast, dinner, or just a handful of treats. They'll sink between its long fibers and create an exciting foraging challenge for dogs of any age or size.

A biodegradable spray to freshen your best friend's stinky coat

Earthbath Deodorizing Mediterranean Magic Rosemary Spritz

Earthbath Deodorizing Mediterranean Magic Spritz, available at Chewy, $11.99

When your dog starts to smell a bit ripe but bath time is still a ways away, a little deodorizing spritz can keep odors from becoming overwhelming. This spray contains 100% biodegradable ingredients including rosemary, meadowfoam seed, aloe vera, and vitamin E. Parent company Earthbath strives for sustainability by keeping their carbon footprint as small as possible and donating a portion of profits and products to animal and environment-related causes. 

A pair of piggies fashioned from recycled and natural materials

Petlinks Hypernip Silly Piggies Cat Toy

Petlinks Hyper Nip Silly Piggies Cat Toy, available at Amazon, $4.34

Reduce, reuse, and recycle the fun with this pair of pigs stuffed with recycled plastic, catnip, and silver vine. Each toy is made from sustainable jute and other natural materials.

A rubber ball for eco-friendly fetch

chuckit remmy ball

Chuckit! Recycled Remmy Ball, available at Amazon and Petmate, from $5.19

This bouncy ball by Chuckit! won't just put a smile on your dog's face, it's smiling too. Why? Because not only is the Recycled Remmy Ball made from durable natural and recycled rubber, it's a perfect fit for Chuckit!'s classic launcher.

An ingenious green doodad to free you from the tyranny of pet hair

Fur Zoff Pet Hair Removal Tool

Fur-Zoff Hair Remover, available at Chewy and Amazon, $10.99

Keep pet hair at bay with this simple tool made from 90% foamed recycled glass. Sweep it over furniture, clothing, and carpets to uproot fur and dander almost instantaneously. Unlike sticky tape pet hair removers, the Fur-Zoff will never need replacing — the company guarantees it.

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