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Green Dog Collars

Green Dog Collars

Don’t call me petty, but I’m going to suggest greening your dog collar. “Must we green everything? What’s the big deal with a dog collar?” you may ask. To which I reply: 44.8 million American households have dogs, according to the 2007-2008 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.

Many of those households have many dogs, and the estimated number of dogs as pets hovers somewhere around 71 million. Which translates into 71 million nylon or leather dog collars, at any given time. Leather has it’s own set of problems, but it’s the nylon (the more predominate material used) that has me saying, “green that collar!”

Nylon fiber is a synthetic polymer (plastic)–a petroleum product. I, personally, try to avoid supporting petroleum when and where I can. And while nylon’s strength may have been important for World War II paratroopers and swell for ladies in the 1940s accustomed to fragile silk hosiery, that same strength spells misery for our landfills. And with all of those nylon dog collars, well it just seems a not so petty pet issue to me.

So here’s some alternatives I’ve found:

Really cute Decorative Hemp Collars from my favorite eco-dog Web site,

Not just for floors anymore: Cork and Bamboo Adjustable Dog Collar.

Cool corduroy collars made from Organic Cotton and Hemp from The Good Dog Company.

Love love love this handcrafted 100 Percent Cotton Plaid Collar from Etsy seller Annie’s Sweatshop.

If you’re feeling crafty, try your hand at making a new dog collar from an old one with his pattern from the Craft Magazine blog.

Read more: Everyday Pet Care, Pets, , , , , , ,

By Melissa Breyer, Care2 Healthy and Green Living

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


+ add your own
10:58AM PST on Feb 12, 2013

Thanks for these good suggestions.

2:30PM PDT on May 26, 2010

Bow wow!

1:54PM PDT on Sep 9, 2008

I checked out
and LOVE them!!!

Thank you!!!

6:07PM PDT on Aug 6, 2008

The idea is a good alternative, of course, but I have NEVER thrown a dog collar in the trash! There are just too many opportunities to recycle them. My dogs wear their collars for as long as I have them, unless the collar is simply too worn out to be of use (hasn't happened yet!). I have a collection of collars and tags as a sweet remembrance of each of the dogs that have lived with me over the years. If I ever end up with an extra collar or leash that I'm not going to use, I donate them to the local Humane Society or shelter...they can ALWAYS use them!

1:16PM PDT on Aug 6, 2008

OK - you have a point, but its not like we are all going in the landfill at onces like plastic bottles. My dog has worn his nylon collar for as long as we have owned him.

8:58PM PDT on Aug 4, 2008

All the collars you suggest are biodegradable—fine, but if you ever walk your dog on a leash, you want it to be a material that doesn't degrade easily and is secure: he must not be able to get away from you simply because the collar or leash broke.

I have had hemp wallets that have disintegrated as I used them. I am a dogwalker, and I do not trust hemp as a strong, secure material; I'd like to be proven wrong, of course, but until then I will use nylon leashes and harnesses and use them to death.

(By the way, I prefer to use a harness on my dog; I hope someone starts designing a good, secure, stylish harness, but right now it ain't out there. And I never, never, never choose to use leather.)

4:43PM PDT on Aug 4, 2008

I've always been of the opinion that NOT recycling anything that CAN be recycled is a waste. We use and re-use everything around our house - partly because we are poor and partly because we want to. Thanks!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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