It is the 1st time I share about this and I have never seen anything written about it…
I have worked with animals and love them and I am a behaviourist.
I am shocked at all that people throw away because it has been damaged by their dog! Sofa and other furniture, even doors…
Plastic toys and other plastic items…
Not to mention all that you find in pet shops, that is made from plastic, and that pets would not need if in their right environment (as humans should too...). Why don't people bring home some sticks from the outside and give real bones? There are even plastic bones!
Haven't you seen any video with laughing people at their dog full of feather or nowadays foam?
Actually they laugh after screaming, and they try to get back their feeling of love after it has been challenged! After digesting the event, they just say it is part of the cost, but the real cost is supported by the earth!
Pets destroy until they have to resolve to boredom, and it means they do not live the right life. Puppies destroy just because they play too. They might be the right piece of nature that people need in their lifes, and it is fair, but it signals how much we have gone backwards, while saying that we go forward and cannot go backward! Technology is not life, and about life and happiness, it becomes a hard job to go forward... Mammals are all so social that they cannot live alone without some suffering. We also need to move and need to be motivated. Dogs have a free bowl of food they can swallow quickly and without having to do anything for it. Life has planned all of us to celebrate our efforts with a result. It is already life changing for a dog to be trained properly with a clicker and having to find strategies to get food. Is permaculture about mimicking nature? Then this is how carnivores eat: they have pleasure establishing strategies to get food. As they do not always succeed, there is aleatory reward, and occasional failure and errors increase the power of success and the motivation.
Back to waste: think about it and warn about it people who "want a dog".
Xisca - pics! Dry subtropical Mediterranean - My project However loud I tell it, this is never a truth, only my experience...
My dog is 7 years old, to date she has destroyed one charger (it got chewed by accident as a puppy she was trying to eat a bone) She's had one feed bowl one water bowl one adult collar and has two leads. she has NO bought toys. she's a 45lb collie/lab cross the other halfs dog is 8 has never destroyed anything has one feed bowl one collar and two leads she does have a small plastic frog toy she's had it since he got her at 12 weeks. They have a never ending pile of socks (knotted are dog socks unknotted may not be touched) a tug toy made with braded bailer twine, and unlimited sticks. as "disposables" they have tennis balls, we go through about one every year either to losing it in a tree or it finally falling apart. plastic poo bags when on walks in public areas are of course waste as are the large plastic sacks we get their feed in (itself waste that would be going to incineration).
Dogs do not have to destroy but people who work 8 hours and a 2 hour commute think they should have a dog, you try being shut indoors for 10 hours straight with nothing to do.
My great Pyrenees ate our couch when he was 9 months old. I have no idea why he did it. We have the acreage. He could have asked to go outside and chased a bunny. He was a puppy. Puppies are strange chewing monsters.
Generalisations are sloppy things. I generally try not to make them.
There's nothing inherent to dogs that makes them wasteful. You can see similar waste in any niche shop. Teenie or tweenie glamour products? Mostly plastic. How long-wearing do you think frivolous cheap fashion bits are? We'd better stop encouraging those tendencies in children. Better yet, maybe they waste too much and should be done away with.
How about children's toys? Kitchen gadgets? Home and garden products?
My Flemish Giant wastes nothing. Every basket and box she tears apart either gets recycled, what remains at any rate, or gets composted in her litter. Yes, you can find silly little products for rodents and lagomorphs, but plastic is generally not a good idea for nibblers, so everything tends to be kiln-dried, vegetable-dyed wood products, or cured timothy hay, and woven straw products.
People waste too much. When we welcome pets into our lives, we take full responsibility for their needs and actions.
As to urban versus rural, how many urban backyard barrel or slash pile fires have you seen chock-full of pallet wrap or other plastics? Because I have seen exactly that in rural settings, with the perpetrators either oblivious to the harm, or somewhere between ambivalent and hostile as to my nosiness.
Also, do you think coal-rolling is urban or rural in origin?
Pets humanise people. People are the problem.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
No offense intended but I think this is literally true of everything at least in America. The cost of products especially cheap products which externalize cost to the environment is extremely low here and we have a culture of consumption. This waste extends into the pet industry and people's attitude but I don't think there is anything unique about pets or dogs in terms of waste.
Your arguments are about plastic toys, and a few people self-righteously comment on their lack of toys - this is wrong-headed. First of all, a non-working "pet" like a dog eats a tremendous amount of meat or other products in most cases which are coming from industrialized farming - this is by far the worst contribution of a pet in the form of global warming. They "contribute" nothing if they are not "working" and so their food alone could be seen like this.
Anyhow, I don't think people should buy useless stuff, on the other hand buying your pet toys is often a great way to keep them intellectually engaged.
Our dogs eat the bones from bone broth, broken rice cooked with some of the bone broth, our own pumpkins, green beans, corn, carrot and potatoes, and dried borlotti from last year. I can it all up, feed it to the dogs and cat (she prefers to to her own food), then we have a dedicated worm bin for pet poop. I do add offal when available from the local butcher. For toys, Benny is constantly playing with a cut off from the french drain, and Frankie plays with whatever Benny wants to play with. Cos she is, in every sense of the word,, a bitch.
To lead a tranquil life, mind your own business and work with your hands.
Dogs shouldn't be chewing and destroying things. If they do it's the owners fault not the dogs.
I have 2 labs. They don't destroy things. One I raised from a puppy and he did go through a chewing/teething phase but I watched him, took things away when he started chewing them, kept things out of his reach, and taught him not to chew. We made it through the puppy phase with only a couch cushion lost. He did get some chew toys and things he was allowed to chew on and play with. Mostly wood, bone, and rope but a few plastic items too I will admit. Actually he still has the kong and tough rubber treat toys that I bought him as a puppy 10 yrs ago. The other dog we got as an adult and he also does not chew on our things. He loves to chew wood and sticks so he gets lots of those when we're outside. But he knows the stick in the kindling basket are not his so he'll leave those alone. He will occasionally steal a wood spoon, especially if was used to stir some sort of meat and left out with the grease on it. But when he gets a hold of one its as much my fault as his for leaving a dirty spoon out. They get maybe two or three purchased toys in a year, mostly fabric and rope throw toys. And tennis balls maybe half a dozen or so in a year as they do eventually wear out and break or once in awhile get lost. That's not really all that much in terms of impact on the environment. Owning a pet is not going to make a person wasteful and there is nothing about a pet that requires a ton of consumerism, plastic throw away items, or replacing household goods. The people who buy all those gadgets, toys, outfits and such would most likely be buying the same type or things for themselves and their families even if they didn't have pets. The problem is the people and the culture of consumerism, not the pets.
I have friends with kids who destroy more and go through more toys, clothes, etc. in a month than my dogs have in their entire lives. Heck, last time I went out of town the girl I hired to dog sit destroyed more in my house than my dogs (she broke an expensive wine glass and spilled food and didn't clean it up so it stained the rug).