You can be an eco-friendly pet owner with these 7 simple steps. It’s time to “go green” with your pets!
How Do You Become a Sustainable Pet Owner?
If you’re a pet parent, I’m sure you care about the quality of your pet’s food, toys, and the cleaning products you use. But maybe you don’t really know what ingredients and materials are used in those products. Maybe you’d like to be more “green,” but don’t know how. Well, we’re here to help! This list has 7 simple steps you can take to become a sustainable pet owner—for you, your pet, and the planet.
1. Adopt a Pet
Remember the fun of seeing those adorable pet shops in malls back in the 80’s and 90’s? Sadly, we now know they didn’t always use the best practices when taking care of puppies and kittens. And when purchasing from a breeder, it can be tricky to know for sure how well they take care of the animals. Even if they are a legitimate breeder, there are about 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats who enter humane societies every year—and only about half get adopted.
So why not give one of these millions of wonderful pets a brand new, loving home? You can easily search your local humane societies and rescue shelters for a certain breed, gender, and age of pet on websites like PetFinder.com. Why pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to breed a new puppy or kitten, when there’s already one waiting for you?
And don’t forget to keep track of your precious furball with a Fi Smart Dog Collar. Once that pup is a part of your family, you’ll want to make sure you never lose them.
2. Purchase Sustainable, Organic Pet Foods
Purchasing quality, human-grade dog food will help keep your pup healthier and feeling better. In addition to that, there are actually vegetarian and vegan pet food companies. Keep in mind, there are still some debates about what is best for dogs. So please make sure to consult with your veterinarian, and do your own research. But these companies offer quality dog food with sustainable protein options, since the meat in typical dog kibble makes up 25%-30% of meat consumption in the US.
3. Use Non-Toxic Pet Shampoos & Cleaning Supplies
When you’re giving your pup a bath, or cleaning up that “accident” stain in the carpet, you may not realize how many toxic chemicals you might be adding to your home, or putting on your dog’s fur and skin. Companies like Mrs. Meyer’s, Seventh Generation, and BlueLand offer safer options that are free from harmful toxins. And you can find organic dog shampoo on Chewy.com like the brand 4-Legger. Using products like these helps you keep a clean home and dog, while feeling safe about doing it.
4. Eco-Friendly Ways to Clean Up Pet Waste
Believe it or not, there are eco-friendly, great smelling cat litters you can use. Cedarific makes all natural, biodegradable kitty litter from cedar wood chips. And if you’re looking for biodegradable dog poop bags, you can find tons of companies on Amazon who sell these at very affordable prices. Many will even give you a free pet waste bag dispenser with your purchase. There’s really no reason to use any other type of bag.
5. Use Less Water for Bathing & Swimming
Is it bath time? Re-think filling up the tub with water. Instead, try using the shower head, or a pitcher of water to rinse off your furbaby. Some pets might not like this. But if they’ll let you, it will save a ton of water.
And if your dog is the swimming type, take them down to a natural body of water like a pond, lake, or river. They’ll have loads of fun, and you won’t be wasting gallons of water to fill up a kiddy pool. Keep in mind—you should probably give your pooch a quick rinse, and maybe use some baby wipes on those sensitive areas afterward. This will help avoid any potential infections from bacteria in those natural waters.
6. Sustainable Pet Products & Toys
We all love giving our pets new toys, and seeing the joy and excitement it brings them! But what happens when that plastic toy gets chewed to death? It ends up in the trash, and eventually in a landfill. Companies like WestPaw are conscious about the materials they use to help “keep waste out of landfills, chemicals out of soil and water, and toxins out of [their] products.” Harry and Barker is another eco-friendly pet toy and supply company who makes their sustainable pet products out of recycled materials.
And if you want a cheap, sustainable pet toy option—go to your local thrift stores! There are lots of old stuffed animals that get donated to thrift shops, and can be repurchased on the cheap! This is a great way to reuse and renew old toys for your dogs. Just give it a quick toss in the washing machine, and it’s ready to go!
7. Spay or Neuter Your Pets
Anyone remember Bob Barker—the old host of the Price is Right? Starting back in 1979, Bob Barker would end each show saying, “Remember folks, always spay or neuter your pets.” This has become a bit of a joke… but it’s actually very important. One of the main reasons that millions of cats and dogs end up in humane societies and shelters each year is because of the rampant number of unplanned puppies and kittens. But no worries! The ASPCA has an online service that helps you “find low-cost spay/neuter services near you.”
Live More Sustainably with Your Pet
Now that you know these 7 simple steps to becoming a more sustainable and eco-friendly pet owner, it’s time to make a change! Just pick one thing at a time to focus on. And little by little, you and your pets can go green together. You can help our planet remain a beautiful, pet-friendly place to live.