by Nancy E. Hassel, ThisFurryLife.com
Celebrating Earth Day this Saturday, April 22, and going green is something you can make a choice to do all year long with your pets. The natural pet product category in the pet industry has grown tremendously in the last decade and now many pet product manufacturers are offering: earth friendly; sustainable; biodegradable; products that are locally sourced; and some are even using packaging that breakdowns naturally or are made from recyclable materials. So there is really no reason you can’t make your pet a planet embassador too. Pet parents can make the choice to go green with their pets simply by choosing products that are often healthier for their pets and better for the environment.
- Look for pet foods and treats with the official organic seal that are made in the USA, with locally sourced ingredients. If it says, manufactured in the USA – some of the ingredients may not be from the USA. Not sure? Contact the company and ask them. Using locally sourced, organic and high quality ingredients help keep our farms sustainable!
- Recycle any of your pet food packaging properly. Dog and cat food cans and tins, plastic, and food bags can all be put in your proper recycling bins.
- Many people don’t often think to take their dog for a walk to do their errands. Now, not everyone can do this – depending where you live, but if you live in a walkable distance, (a mile or 2) from your local down town, take your dog with you for a walk. Have to go to the bank? Oddly enough most banks are pet friendly and more than likely will welcome your four-legged, well-behaved and leashed friend with you inside! This is going to help you and your dog get exercise, cut down on your car emissions and spending on gas.
- While on that walk, be sure to have poop bags with you. There are many poop bag companies out there but you want to be sure to bring bags with you that are biodegradable. Personally I like EarthRated’s poop bags – the dispenser has an easy clip to attached to your dogs leash handle.
- Walking your dog in the park? For a hike? Seek out plant-based flea and tick spray or preventative specifically for dogs and cats. There are many great green, all natural products that help deter mosquitos, ticks and fleas. They don’t harm the environment and they work – I have tried a few different brands over the years and they all worked great.
- There are a lot of great eco-friendly bath shampoos out there, again read the label and know what your buying. I like a few different brands, but one that makes my dogs coat super soft and shiney is Eco Dog Care Simply Clean Shampoo.
- If your bring your dog or cat to get professionally groomed ask them about what products that they use: are they earth friendly, natural and safe for your pet’s coat.
- Many companies are now starting to make pet toys from organic materials that are free from harsh dyes and chemicals (that they could ingest while chewing or playing with toys).
- Organic catnip. That’s right, while your cat is bouncing off the walls enjoying their catnip – you can feel even better about it knowing it’s organic.
Easy Green Pet Tips for everyday:
- Carpool with your dogs to the park – given the dogs get along (save on gas, emissions).
- Wash old blankets, towels, comforters and donate to your local animal shelter.
- Adopt a pet from your local animal shelter – a way to help a pet who has been recycled.
- Orphan poop – ok I know this is gross, but people don’t always pick up after their pet at the dog park or on a walk. Organize and orphan poop pick up day at your local dog park.
- Seek out holistic veterinary care for your pet.
- Use reusable dog water bottles when bringing fresh water with your for you dog.
- Donate or recycle pet magazines that you are no longer reading.
- While out walking your dog if you see garbage, pick it up and dispose of properly, pick up one piece of garbage everyday.
Think about your choices and how they will help your local environment and your pet be eco-conscious all year long.