Sparky might be your best friend — but he’s not exactly eco-friendly, as noted in this article by Care2.

The truth is, owning a medium-size dog can potentially be just as bad as owning a gas-guzzling car. Things like non-biodegradable poop scoop bags and pet waste, kitty litter, pet food packaging, medications, and more lead to a high carbon pawprint for your furry friend.

Does this mean you can’t be a pet owner and eco-conscious at the same time? Of course not! There are several ways to lower your pet’s environmental impact:

Do you have any other tips for lowering your pet’s carbon pawprint?

Editor’s note: Originally published on January 27, 2014, this article was updated in March 2019.