The world is becoming a much greener place these days! And as we make more eco-friendly choices in our lives, we can absolutely extend these to involve our pet’s daily care. There are various ways in which we can reduce how the environment negatively affects our pet, and additionally how our pet can affect the environment.
5 Areas To Help Your Pet Go Green
• Organic Diets – Owners are increasingly feeding their pets, as well as themselves, with organic food, especially after the recalls of contaminated pet food recalls of recent years. FDA-approved organic pet foods are available that meet rigid standards to be certified in this way. In addition to being nutritionally balanced, these give peace of mind that your pet’s food is free of artificial ingredients, chemicals and genetically-modified compounds.
• Home-Made Diets – Some owners even take the extra step and feed their pet a home-made diet. While this can also help you rest assured that you know exactly what your pet is eating, it is important to ensure that you provide a completely balanced diet in order to prevent nutritional deficiencies. It is therefore always wise to seek veterinary assistance before implementing this – ideally from a veterinarian who specializes in nutrition.
Some owners avoid using harsh chemicals on their pets wherever possible. Flea prevention is a good example of an area where more natural methods are being increasingly used. Remember that much of the flea’s life cycle is spent away from your pet, so in addition to treating him, his home environment must be treated too.
• Environmental Control
• Wash bedding
• Vacuum regularly
• Natural products sometimes used to help combat fleas: Borate crystals sprinkled on the carpet or Cedar wood chips sprinkled around his bed.
Treating Your Pet
• Some home-made spray remedies that have been used
• Apple-cider vinegar
• Lemon steeped in water
• Essential oils are also favored by some owners:
Cedar wood extract
It is, however, prudent to remember that “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “completely safe” – even some natural products can be potentially toxic if used to excess. So follow product administration guidelines carefully, and avoid using excessively.
• Bedding – Try a pet bed made from organic cotton
• Toys – Many are now being made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers
• Leash and collar – Opt for a combination made from hemp!
• Poop-scooping after our dogs is a simple way to help the environment. Going one step further and poop-scooping with biodegradable bags is even better – the waste material and the bag can decompose, therefore reducing problems associated with landfill waste accumulation.
• For cats, there are many varieties of organic or biodegradable litter available now, and these are much more earth-friendly than the regular clay-based form of litter.
There are some very easy ways for you to further reduce the effect of our pets on the environment – by making conscious choices that help to control the pet population.
• Adopt your new pet from an animal shelter
• Spay or neuter your new pet
Organic, natural and green practices related to pet care are being practiced more and more these days. While we attempt to reduce the size of our carbon footprint on the planet, it’s also essential to remember that our four-legged friends leave their pawprints too! Thankfully there are numerous ways that we can help with this, and even seemingly small changes can make big differences over time to both our pets and the environment.
About the Author
Dr. Susan Wright, DVM is the author of numerous dog care articles and is the lead expert at Dog Fence DIY the dog containment system experts. Susan has over ten years of experience in veterinary practise and is a member of the Dog Writers Association of America.
*Image courtesy of Mey Lau*