Go Green I Presented by Dreamstyle Remodeling
Pets are an essential part of our family. The millions of furry friends living across the country also make an environmental impact on the planet. Follow these easy tips to become an eco-friendly, sustainable pet owner!
Our furry friends give us unconditional love, and the soft pitter-patter of paws warms hearts around the world. The eco-friendly choices we make for ourselves should extend to our pets – after all, they are part of the family! According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, in 2017-2018, over 76 million dogs and 58 million cats lived in homes nationwide. These adorable pets also contribute to the carbon footprint – just like their human family members. If you’re already striving to live sustainably in your own life, here are some easy ways to go green with your pets.
Serve Sustainable Pet Food and Treats
Your beloved pet’s health should be a top priority when considering what food to serve. If you’re switching to a sustainable brand, you might want to consult your veterinarian. An International Review Journal study, “Nutritional Sustainability of Pet Foods,” says that sustainable food must “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”
For eco-conscious feeding, you should consider the ingredients, as well as production, processing, packaging, labeling, and distribution methods. Look for food and treats that use sustainably sourced organic ingredients, non-GMO produce, free-range/grass-fed meat, and poultry. When possible, buy pet food locally to reduce the carbon footprint of transporting it from the company to your home. Or, make your pet food and treats at home using online recipes.
Use Eco-Friendly Bowls and Toys
Millions of tons of plastic waste crowds landfills, pollutes oceans, and kills sea creatures. The push to cut plastic from our lives must also apply to our pets. Serve pet food, treats, and water in metal or bamboo bowls. Instead of plastic toys, buy ones made from recyclable materials or stuffed toys made from natural or repurposed fabrics like Harry Barker. Making your toys also reduces the carbon footprint generated with shopping, buying, and bringing them home. Cats and dogs love to play in empty cardboard boxes, and dogs love to chew on old socks – you can even make a chew toy by braiding old t-shirts together!
Follow Earth-Friendly Pet Waste Practices
Pet waste can be toxic if it leaks into the water supply. Therefore, be prepared to pick up and dispose of your dog’s waste if he goes to the bathroom during a walk outside. Note: Many poop bags that claim to be biodegradable are not. There are bags on the market that are made from recyclable materials or plant-based bags like BioBags. When disposing of these bags, don’t throw them in your garbage can, as the waste then goes to the landfill. Likewise, don’t toss it in municipal waste bins or add it to your home compost pile. Instead, you can opt to bury the waste in your yard at least 5 inches underground, away from the house, any water sources, or vegetable gardens. You can also use a dog-waste only composting bin or take it to a composting facility that accepts pet waste.
For cats, use sustainable litter like World’s Best Natural Cat Litter made from recycled and biodegradable materials. The lavender scent smells nice, and the clumps are septic and sewer system safe – so you can scoop and flush.
Adopt or Rescue a Pet
According to the Humane Society, hundreds of thousands of dogs in our country live in puppy mills. Sadly, about 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters, and 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized each year. Adopting a rescue pet gives them a loving home and family – and ultimately saves lives.
Spay or Neuter Your Pet
To help cut down on the huge homeless pet population, spay or neuter your pet. The more animals that are born will also use environmental resources. Getting your animal fixed will help them live longer, with less risk of uterine or breast cancer and other diseases.
Keep your pets green by incorporating these pet sustainability measures into your routine today!
Go Green is presented by Dreamstyle Remodeling