How can I make my pet care more eco friendly?
For many of us, our understanding of our impact on the world has become increasingly evident.
What we eat, the way we live, and even the way that we get around - many of us are doing our utmost to do our part in protecting the earth.
One aspect that will help in minimizing the impact you have on the environment (and one that you may not have considered) is how to care for your pets in an eco-friendly way.
Read on to find out how you can care for your pet in a way our planet will love!
Do your research
From exotic pets to barking fluffballs, every pet requires its own unique kind of care. We’ll discuss various (general) ways to make your pet care more eco-friendly, but before we start, it’s important to mention that every animal has a unique set of needs that must be met.
Carefully research how best to meet their exact needs in a way suited to them, their species, and their breed.
Without doing your research, you may not achieve full efficacy for your efforts.
Nontoxic hygiene products
Every animal needs a good ol’ scrub every now and then. If it’s not your pet that needs the scrub, then it’s their habitat.
One easy way to start caring for your pet in an eco-friendly way is to change brands of hygiene products to non-toxic alternatives.
The shampoo you are using to wash Fido, for example, may contain Sodium Laureth Sulfate - an ingredient that will harm neither you nor your pup but could very well be life-threatening to the animals it comes into contact with after being washed down the drain.
Reptile owners should look at switching from bleach or soap to vinegar as a cleaning solution.
Another alternative to cleaning products is to use completely organic means of cleaning. Did you know, for example, that planted fish tanks produce less algae than non-organic tanks? Of course, if you’re using natural alternatives, you’ll need to kit yourself out with the appropriate peripherals to support your ecosystem.
If, for example, you make the switch to a planted tank, in order to keep your tank healthy, make sure you have the best led lights for the planted tank size you own.
Moving to LED will save you up to four times the electricity that is used in standard tanks, so the move to a natural alternative is beneficial in more ways than one!
With the leaps and bounds we’ve seen in pet care, even remedies are becoming eco-friendly.
Flea and tick treatments, for example, come in non-toxic alternatives that deliver the same (if not superior) results.
If your pet requires treatments of any kind, head online to find the best natural alternative available!
Eco-friendly pet items
One of the best things we’ve seen emerge from the pandemic is the large number of small businesses that have begun to sprout up.
If you are looking for responsibly sourced products to introduce to your pet’s life, check out the endless range of small businesses offering bespoke pet care products.
Most of these products are handmade using materials that have little to no effect on the planet.
Minimize your use of plastic in the toys and products that you purchase too.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to the brands that you plan to purchase from and ask whether their products are responsibly sourced or produced if you’re unsure.
Make your own food
This is something that not only lessens the impact you and your pet have on the environment but also boosts your pet’s health in a big way.
There are a ton of recipes available for pets of all kinds. Check out this example of delicious homemade dog food.
If you do opt for homemade food alternatives, be sure to source ingredients from local farmer’s markets instead of big grocery chains.
Often, sellers at smaller markets (or even owner-managed stores) source their produce locally, where it has been grown or raised ethically and sustainably.
What to do with the doo-doo…
After your pet has enjoyed a wonderful home-cooked meal, nature takes its course which leaves you with one question - what should be done with their waste?
First off, disposing of the waste in the bin is a viable option, however, for environmentally conscious owners, using plastic bags to do so should be a big no-no.
There are a ton of great brands that offer biodegradable poop bags for disposal if that is the route you want to take.
Alternatively, you could bury the poop, though, if you have more than two dogs or cats (like I do), this could be a real pain.
If you’re not up for the challenge of digging up your garden every week when you’re picking up your pet’s waste, you could always consider using it as fertilizer.
Keep in mind that excrement from any animal can be harmful to humans, so you must use the by-product to fertilize areas where you are not growing produce for consumption.
Areas like your lawn or flower bed are best suited to this kind of material.
You should also compost the feces before applying it to your yard (but avoid composting with your standard compost).
Adopt, don’t shop!
This may seem more about the morality of your pet ownership than the sustainability, but as we see great numbers of animals euthanized as a result of overbreeding and pet store-supported purchasing, it becomes clear that both morality and sustainability play a part in where you get your new pet from.
Adoption not only reduces the burden of overcrowding on shelters but also forces the pet trade to reconsider its practices.
Unethical pet trade, such as that of the snake trade in Florida, has resulted in the introduction of invasive species to environments, where local species are being eradicated as a result.
As I write this, I have my three adopted dogs and my adopted cat lay near my feet - all of whom have become irreplaceable members of our family.
If you are concerned about any of the stigmas that surround pet adoption, reach out to your local shelter and ask to do a walk-through (COVID regulations allowing).
Consider spending a day helping out around the shelter and witness firsthand just how wonderful shelter animals truly are!
If you have any extra tips for how others can make their pet care more eco-friendly, let us know in the comments! I’d love to hear about the ways that you’ve reduced your pet’s footprint.
If you would like to find out more, reach out to me! I’m always happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Finally, if you’ve found this helpful, share this with your friends so that they too can begin making their pet care more environmentally friendly!