Green Solutions Tips – Be An Eco-Friendly Pet Owner

Going green is finally becoming a mainstream notion. As people learn how environmentally destructive our modern lifestyle is, they also discover that more ecologically friendly choices save money and improve health. Whether or not you’ve thought about it, your pets leaves their own carbon pawprint. There are a variety of ways to lessen your dog or cat’s impact on the environment, and many of them reduce pet-related costs and help protect your furry friend’s health.

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1. Avoid clay-based kitty litter. The clay is obtained from environmentally destructive strip mining procedures. Its dust is also carcinogenic. Use scoopable litter and remove the clumps daily; don’t lazily and wastefully dump out all the litter.

2. Clean up after your dog. When left behind, dog feces spread disease and parasites and make the area generally unpleasant. Flush it instead of sending it to the landfill. Collect it in biodegradable bags (some of which are conveniently designed to be flushed).

3. Purchase natural, organic, or otherwise eco-friendly pet supplies. Look for toys, bedding, and other products made from organic, recycled, biodegradable materials. Many commercial products are heavily treated with chemicals that are absorbed by your pet. The Environmental Working Group recently reported that most cats and dogs are tainted with an average of 48 industrial chemicals linked to a variety of health problems.

4. Use natural shampoos and other grooming products. These keep potentially dangerous chemicals off your pet and they are not harmful to the environment should they run off onto the ground or into water bodies.

5. Buy organic pet food, preferably locally made. Organic pet foods are monitored by the USDA and guaranteed to be free of added hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, and artificial or genetically engineered ingredients. They are generally less processed and more nutrient-rich, and typically come from food sources handled in a sustainable fashion.

6. Swap toys and supplies with friends or family members that also have pets. When your cat or dog tires of certain items or you want to replace something that’s still in decent shape, trade these pieces for “new” ones, rather than dispose of them. This is a great way to reduce waste associated with pet ownership.

Eco Friendly Pet Supplies, King George of the Jungle

Green pet supplies, King George of the Jungle—faith goble (Flickr.com)

7. Dispose properly of chemical pet care products. Sometimes you may be unable to use all-natural products, such as when dealing with fleas or other parasites. Never let infestations go untreated. If you have potentially hazardous product left over, don’t toss it into the garbage can or dump it down the drain; it can contaminate soil and water. Contact your local solid waste agency for instruction on appropriate disposal methods.

8. Keep your cat inside and your dog on a leash. Doing so is safer for your pet, and animals affect the environment in ways we don’t realize. For example, outdoor cats kill countless birds every year. As an eco friendly pet owner, you want to share the planet.

9. Invest in an electronic ID chip implant. This greatly increases the chances of recovering a lost pet. It can also spare you the emotionally and environmentally taxing process of trying to find a missing pet that has not been chipped. Just think about all the paper you’d waste hanging flyers and all the driving you’d do while searching for your pet.

10. Don’t contribute to overpopulation, which is responsible for strays, overflowing shelters, and staggering numbers of euthanized animals. Have your pet spayed or neutered (which is good for their health and prolongs their lives). Adopt pets from shelters rather than purchase them from breeders, and be certain you and the rest of the household are fully committed to responsible pet ownership. Remember, a pet requires considerable time and you must be able to afford food, supplies, medications, and regular veterinary visits. This commitment is long-term, for a dozen or more years; don’t adopt a pet unless you’re sure the interest will last after your puppy or kitten starts growing up.

These eco-friendly pet ownership tips were provided by VetDepot.com, an online retailer of pet meds and supplies.

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