There are now more than 12 million dogs living in homes across the UK, and now more than ever, pet owners are becoming increasingly conscious of their pets’ carbon footprint. Worldwide, dogs help contribute to almost half a billion pounds of waste every single day – but every animal-lover can do their bit by helping reduce waste and make more sustainable choices.
One subscription box helping to do just that is Bearkind, thoughtfully curated by the lovely Louise, and her pooch, Bear. After being fed up of being unable to find environmentally conscious products that treat lightly on our planet, Louise launched the one-stop shop she’d been looking for, helping other owners become more responsible when shopping for their dogs.
She said: “By making sure you are choosing pet supplies and supporting pet brands that put your dog’s health first you are ensuring that your dogs do not breathe in harmful fumes, chew on toxic plastic toys, or eat from chemically-lined packaging!”
We ordered one of their one-off boxes for £34.99, and the entire contents was worth £37.88, making it a fun way to try out new products at a lower cost, all with the element of surprise that comes with a subscription. You can subscribe and save for £32.99, ore prepay for three months in advance for £99.97.
Here’s what we received in our October Bearkind box.
This gorgeous pink plush octopus is completely recycled, with 100% recycled filling and outer, made from post-consumer recycled plastics such as pop bottles. At first I thought he was a squid, which would have been a phenomenal choice considering the popularity of Netflix’s Squid Game at the moment, but the tentacled little fellow is indeed an octopus. Usually, he would cost £6.49, and is very soft with a squeaker in his head.
Frankly, I knew he would end up with two tentacles and his squeaker halfway across the room within minutes if I’d given him to Phoebe and Frank, so instead, I’m going to be putting this cuddly little chap into a giveaway for a less destructive dog to make friends with.
We received two packets of Green and Wild veggie treats with farm grown ingredients like potato, sweet potato, dandelion, pumpkin, apple and banana. The veggie bakes are great for a healthy digestive system, with rose hip to support healthy joints and coconut for skin and coat health, as well as helping combat yeast infections and flea allergies.
The herbal bakes are naturally calming, alongside being packed full of vitamins, minerals and herbs good for bone and joint conditions, urinary tract health, liver and kidney health with natural anti-oxidants. They’re also vegan, grain and gluten free, usually costing £4.95 a packet. The bites are a great size and super crunchy, so Phoebe and Frank take great pleasure in demolishing these.
Keep Calm Hemp Wellness Treats are 100% natural, hypoallergenic, gluten free, and plant-based, accredited by the vegan society, with all ingredients sourced in the UK and produced in Devon.
The calming treats are a great addition to the box for October, in preparation for Trick or Treater’s on Halloween, and fireworks the following week.
Usually £4.50 a tub, these little round treats are made with split yellow pea, hemp (6%), apple, rapeseed oil, carrot, camomile, chicory root extract and added minerals, offering 19% protein. Camomile is known to aid stress and anxiety, making it ideal as a bedtime treat. Meanwhile, organic hemp is a complete source of protein and rich in omegas 3, 6 and 9 – vital for optimal skin health.
Soopa’s vegan treats are all grain free and hypoallergenic, and made from human grade ingredients. The small, flower shaped treats are great for training, and come in a handy pocket-sized pouch perfect for taking on walks.
Barbara launched Soopa after working as a dog groomer and realising how many of our pets were suffering from illnesses related to commercial pet food.
She said: “It was during my time working in my previous dog grooming business I was shocked to see so many dogs suffering from commercial pet food related illness such as; obesity, diabetes, chronic itching and skin allergies. I wanted to offer dog owners a super healthy treat they could give to their dog guilt free that was low calorie, nutritious and also delicious. I knew dogs loved fresh fruit and vegetables so I got to work and after lots of time spent in kitchen and much trials and testing the Soopa chew was born.”
The carrot and pumpkin flavoured bites are very seasonal, with pumpkin seeds known for promoting healthy skin and coat, soothing digestion and offer some natural protection to your dog against intestinal parasites and worms.
Another fabulous product to include in October’s box ahead of seasonal stresses is the Pet Remedy spray. We’ve previously used their wipes with our old Staffy, Lyla, with whom we noticed a major difference with when it came to bonfire night.
The special pet remedy blend of essentials oils works to help calm the nerves of anxious or stressed pets, and can even be used on cats, rabbits and birds.
It’s water based, so safe to apply to their coat, and clinically proven to start helping anxious dogs immediately. This is usually £6.50, and it’s always worth having a bottle of this in the cupboard. It smells amazing, featuring valerian essential oil, blended with vetiver, sweet basil, and sage. Think of it as a pillow spray for your pooch.
These poo bag holders are great for owners who either have two dogs and not enough hands for walking, picking up and carrying poo – or who simply don’t like swinging a waste bag from their finger whilst they locate a bin.
Made from cherry wood, with a copper insert, aluminium carabiner and coated in organic linseed oil, this poo bag holder usually costs £7.50, and you won’t even notice it hanging from your leash. It’s quite big, too, meaning you’ll be able to fit more than one poo bag on there for multiple dogs.
Louise added: “The brands we work with are either 100% plastic-free or are actively working towards it. We’re making it our mission to support the brands in moving away from harmful plastic packaging and instead opting for plant-based alternative packaging, which is kinder to the planet and our wildlife!
“If you shop with us be rest assured that the products we sell and include in our boxes are high quality, safe for your dog and come from companies who care about the wellbeing of dogs and the planet. And all of the products we sell or choose to include in our boxes are tested and approved by Bear.”
But the sustainability doesn’t end there – the cardboard boxes are made from 80% recycled materials, and are 100% compostable and recyclable! Inside the box, the packaging shred is 100% recycled, recyclable, biodegradable and reusable. It’s well worth keeping hold of boxes and packaging like this in the run up to Christmas too – I always reuse postal boxes for awkwardly shaped gifts to make wrapping easier!