7 Tips for Eco-Friendly Pet Owners
If you’re trying to bring your green lifestyle to your family, don’t forget about your pet! With so many pets living in homes across America, making green choices for your furry friend can make a big environmental impact.
- Adopt from a shelter
There are many loving animals looking for homes. Each year, approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide and 2.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized. Adopt your pet rather than buying from a breeder– you’ll save a life and help reduce the strain on animal shelters.
- Keep your dog on a leash and your cat indoors
Letting your pets roam free without keeping an eye on them can threaten native wildlife. It might seem like your cat spends the majority of the day lazing around in the sun, but cats actually kill up to 3.7 billion birds per year. To reduce these numbers, you can supervise your pets while still allowing them freedom. Plus, wouldn’t it be nice if your cat didn’t bring these “presents” into your bedroom?
- Feed your pets natural and organic food
Instead of buying the generic brands of pet food that are often made of reconstituted animal byproducts, look for natural and organic pet foods. There are many eco-friendly brands that use meats raised in sustainable ways without added hormones and with minimal processing. Make sure to recycle the packaging when you are finished.
- Clean up waste
Even if you pick up after your dog, which is half the battle, using a plastic bag means that your dog’s waste will sit in the landfill without biodegrading. This really adds up over your pet’s lifetime, so use biodegradable poop bags for your dogs and compost the waste instead. It’s an easy and effective way to reduce the waste (although this compost is not recommended for plants and crops that you intend to eat). For cats, avoid clumping clay litter. Instead, use eco-friendly cat litters that are made from recycled or biodegradable materials.
- Have fun buying green accessories
There are many options for eco-friendly toys, beds, collars, and leashes. Your cat or dog can play with toys made from recycled materials and can wear a collar made from sustainable fibers such as hemp. If you’re crafty, use your creative side to make toys from extra yarn or fabric around your house. When washing your pet, make sure to check that the shampoo is natural and earth-friendly.
- Make your own treats
Making your own treats is fun and easy– many recipes only call for a few ingredients. This way, you know that your ingredients are from a sustainable source and you also reduce all the waste of buying treats from a store. You can also easily grow organic catnip or cat grass at home.
- Eco-friendly daycare facilities
If you’re going on vacation or can’t look after your pet for the day, you can always send your cat or dog to an animal daycare. Just make sure that it will give your pet the same treatment that you give it at home! There are many pet camps and training centers that are dedicated to providing the best care for your pet in the most sustainable way possible.
When trying to reduce your carbon footprint, think outside the box. If you’re trying to become more green, why not include your pet in the process? By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to easily reduce your pet’s carbon paw print.