Owning a pet is a terrific experience, but it’s also a big responsibility. Whether you have a cat, dog, reptile, or small rodent, there are many ways you can care for your pet while keeping the environment in mind. Little things that you can do as a pet owner can help to contribute to a cleaner, greener world. Read on for a list of seven helpful tips to go green if you have pets so that you can be a positive ambassador for our environment.
1. Be a Responsible Pooper Scooper
Dog owners know that picking up after their pooch is a part of good pet ownership. When you scoop the poop, make sure you choose biodegradable, compostable waste bags. These bags are durable enough to handle messes, but they’re also an excellent option that won’t harm the environment like traditional plastic will. You can use the bags (and poop) to make compost for your garden or simply toss them in the trash. Either way, you’ll feel great knowing that more plastic bags won’t pile up in your local landfill.
2. Choose Sustainable Food and Products
When purchasing products for your beloved pet, always look for eco-friendly options made of sustainable materials. Try to keep the number of pet toys to a minimum since it’s likely that your cat or dog will get tired of them pretty quickly anyway. Read food labels carefully and always opt for the safest and most sustainable option possible. Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s likely better for your pet, too. If you’re not sure where to start, do some research in advance or talk to your vet or local pet store employees to find out more about the products you buy.
3. Try a DIY Pet Bed
There’s no doubt that you want your pet to be comfy, and providing them with a bed is a wonderful way to do so. Not only are store-bought pet beds expensive, but they’re also wasteful and not exactly the best option for the environment. If you’re looking for some unique DIY ideas for your furry friend, consider making a bed yourself from items you already have at home. An old bedsheet, unused clothing, or extra pillows are all excellent options. Simply stuff the material with soft cushioning or a pillow, then sew it shut to create a comfy, cozy pet bed your favorite pal will love. This is a fun project that will not only save you money but will also be better for the environment too.
4. Read Flea and Tick Treatment Labels Carefully
Certain treatments used to kill those nasty fleas and ticks contain toxic chemicals. These ingredients aren’t just bad for the environment, but they can also be bad for your pet and your family as well. Consider switching to a natural solution that kills these pests without the use of dangerous chemicals. A good rule of thumb is if you don’t recognize the ingredient on the label, it’s probably not the best choice for your pet. All-natural, eco-friendly pest control alternatives are out there, and they often cost a lot less as well. White or apple cider vinegar kills fleas on contact, and it’s much safer for the environment and your furry pal.
5. Moving with Your Pet? Do so Responsibly
Moving is stressful enough without having pets in tow. If you’re gearing up for a long-distance move with your pet, make sure you choose the most eco-friendly option when it comes to transportation. Ideally, you should be able to move along with your pet rather than send them off separately. However, if you must use a pet transport company or pet relocation service, look for one that follows the best environmental practices. When moving with your pet, try to find the fastest, shortest route to get to your destination. This isn’t just better for the environment – it also takes a bit of the stress off your pet and your family.
6. Follow the Three R’s
Good environmental stewards are already familiar with the three R’s: Reduce, reuse, recycle. You can follow this practice with your pets, too. Start by reducing the number of toys and accessories you purchase to prevent waste and lower the demand for disposable products. Try to reuse the items you already have at home, such as turning an old t-shirt into a tug-of-war rope for your dog. Wash and disinfect old toys to make them new again instead of tossing them in the trash. Finally, it’s essential to try and recycle as much as possible. Whether pet waste or food containers, recycling pet items is a great way to go green.
7. Use the Right Bowls
Many plastic bowls contain a material called BPA, which is a synthetic material used to make plastics and epoxy resins. BPAs can be harmful to your pet and the soil and waterways. Most plastic is prone to cracking and leeching into your pet’s food and water. Instead, opt for bowls made of safe, nonporous materials like glass or stainless steel. These bowls are easy to clean and won’t leach toxins into your furry friend’s favorite food. Look for bowls that are food-safe, durable, and that can be used for years to come.
Keep these simple tips in mind if you’re a pet owner so that you can go green at home. With the right mindset and products, you can enjoy the many joys of pet ownership without causing harm to the environment.