It's cool (and easy) to be green, but there are some specific things that pet parents can do to be more eco-friendly with their fur babies. Consider these simple tips and add your own in the comment section below.
- Poo Power! Whether you have cats, dogs, or bunnies - pet waste generates a lot of waste so consider making a little change here that could have a big impact. If you have a dog, use biodegradable poop bags instead of plastic grocery bags. There are 365 days in a year so this can make a huge impact. Leaving waste behind is NOT green as it spreads disease and attracts rats. If you have yard space, you can also look into septic and compost systems for pet waste. For cats and other pets that use litter, use options that contain fewer chemicals and mined materials. Some options are even flushable – which leads to fewer garbage bags.
- Green Grooming Look at the ingredients in your pet shampoos and grooming products and choose environmentally-friendly options. This includes using washable towels instead of disposable wipes. Natural ingredients are also likely to be better for your pets’ skin and decrease allergic reactions.
- Go Big! Buying litter, food, and treats in larger quantity bags is usually a great cost-saver, but it also means less packaging waste. Think about the bags you'll stop from ending up in a landfill over the course of a year. Get a refillable container with a good seal to keep food from going stale.
- Save the Birds! This tip is mostly for cats, but can also refer to dogs left out in yards unattended. Keep your pets indoors - unless you're walking them safely on a leash. Need a reason to convince a pet parent not so keen on this responsibility: leash laws are in effect in most cities, loose pets are at such high risk for being hurt in traffic (which can also lead to human injury), and it also keeps beautiful birds and other furry woodland creatures safe. If you don't care too much about birds, then think about the mites, lice, and diseases that wildlife can carry.
- Ingredients Matter! Whether you’re talking food for Fido or treats for Tabby – read labels and make better decisions for your pets and the environment. Look for products that contain more whole foods and less chemical preservatives and by-products. Go certified organic if you can, to ensure pesticides are staying out of the environment and your loving forever friend. Local options are also better for the environment because less fossil fuels are burned in transportation. Consider the large amount of pet food and treat recalls that have also occurred recently - buying high-quality food and treats can help pets live longer healthier lives.
Watch my latest Chicago Tails on Watch312.com to see a summary of these 5 tips and post your own ideas for being green with pets in the comment section below.