Zero Waste Puppy Dog - Or As Close As You Can Get!

at home puppy save money May 09, 2023


The Doggie Stork is coming - hurrah! If you’re anything like I was, it was a long time coming, with much research and excitement!

As I explained during my presentation at the Australian Waste Conference: with any young soul or new member of the household, comes more more waste.

 Whilst I couldn't eliminate it entirely, here are my top tips to wrangle a Puppy's assault on your bin, save some money, your possessions and hopefully your sanity!

I would advise you’re best off getting these strategies in place before your fur bundle of joy arrives…… and go easy on yourself – this can be a testing, chaotic and tiring phase of life, so just do your best.

So, where can we begin?

I would say there are two main causes of waste: teething and toilet training.

Let’s start with the former, where I observed most of our potential troubles will stem from:


 The Puppy Mouth …. A 24/7 Garbage Factory - if you're not prepared

 A puppy's mission is to explore and experience the world with its mouth - much like a baby. Sniffing, gnawing and slobbering on almost anything that seems interesting as it goes about its busy day. Ewwww.

Coupled with this, their sharp little baby ('milk') teeth need a hand jiggling out to make way for the adult ones - so much chewing ensues, and you may as well have a furry land shark cruising around destroying your precious possessions.



 To top it off, I personally didn't get just any Dog - I got a Staffy, the 'jaws of Dog life' he come with!




 The Staffy Jaw, one of the strongest and most ‘enthusiastic’ of the Canine Gobs.


And I knew if I wasn’t careful, a sorry line up of deconstructed possessions would ensue.

So, I needed a serious plan, and I found that:


Prevention is the Best Cure 


There were a few things that helped prevent the little chompers running all day and night:

1. Exercise and stimulation: keeping baby walked, on the tired side outside the home meant he was more likely to snooze


2. Training: aside having an obedient pet (trust me, good dog = life’s not a slog) this also tires Pup out and means they’re more likely to nap and stay out of trouble

3. Crate training: I’ve found having a crate trained puppy helped immensely, it kept him away from electrical cords and chewing adventures whilst I was in back to back Zoom calls


As a side note, it also means these days I can easily travel with him, leave him alone when I go out, and he has a safe space to rest – Dogs descended from Wolves – and Wolves lived in caves!


Out of Sight, Out of Mind

In a similar vein, restricting access to all things yummy helped a lot. Luckily, I have doors on both the carpeted bedrooms, and they remained shut.  

Sectioning off my little apartment also worked wonders, and I can guarantee you baby gates will become your new best friend.  

And using temporary 3M hooks to get handbags, jackets and clothing high up and out of reach also worked wonders. And of course there's the classic Puppy favourite: the shoe.

So many people exclaimed to me - "oh, you're going to lose so many shoes" before Mr Nugget arrived, and I had one reaction:



As. If. I thought.

I really like my shoes!

Before I even picked the rascal up from South Grafton Maccas (true story), I found a shoe cupboard, assembled it, and put my everyday shoes in it, and secured all my other shoes in tubs under my bed. Any drawers of course will do - even finding something second hand on Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace will do the trick as it may be a temporary arrangement. 


So, what about gnaw time?


Now we’ve decided it won’t be your favourite jacket, my favourite items were - and you’ll notice most of these are ‘almost zero waste’:

1. Frozen carrots
2. Raw Bones (in moderation)
3. Frozen peanut butter and Greek yoghurt in Kongs
4. Unpackaged bully twists, antlers and hooves


Birthday Boy with his Antler (and reusable party hat!)


All of these are great alternatives to your best handbag, no?

I would steer clear of cheap toys and rope which are easily destroyed – aside the waste of money and the landfill they create, it’s not safe for your puppy to be ingesting pieces of these, and no one wants an unnecessary (and expensive!) trip to the Vet.

I’d also advise asking an expert – your Vet, Pet Shop staff or other owners of the same breed – they are a wealth of information – why?

Because different Doggo types were originally bred for different reasons, and their bodies and minds act differently accordingly. So what works for one type may not work for another. They’re easy to find by joining a Facebook group.

I found all my indestructible toys via the advice of other Bully owners!




So that's probably quite enough to go on with - of course find what works for you and enjoy this precious, special time!




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