The choices we make for ourselves and our pets can have a huge an impact on the environment. But thanks to an abundance of eco-friendly pet products and tips, taking steps to reduce their carbon pawprints is well within reach. Here are some easy ways to get started...
Scoop that poop
Contrary to popular belief, your dog’s poop does not make the best compost. Studies show leaving your pup’s waste behind after they do the deed can be harmful to the environment. Rain can carry dog-waste pathogens into peoples’ water supply. For a green cleanup, opt for biodegradable waste bags instead of plastic.
Change your cat litter
Some cat litter brands use toxic ingredients or silica dust that can be harmful to both you and kitty. Switch out the old with greener options such as one made from newspapers or woodchips.
Buy sustainable pet food and supplies
Research the companies you are buying from to understand their sustainability efforts and carbon footprint. Some easy swaps are buying compostable pee pads, or goods that are packaged with recycled materials. When buying carriers, coats, leashes and collars, try to buy high quality stuff that can be used for a longer period of time --- less stuff going into landfills is better for everyone! You may also want to consider treats or food made with alternative proteins such as crickets and even plant based options.
Limit plastic toys, or choose toys made of recyclable materials
Choose toys made from recyclable materials or natural fibers, especially if your pet likes to destroy their toys beyond recognition. Plastic pet toys usually end up in landfills where they’ll never decompose. Luckily there are a wealth of eco-friendly options with certified recyclable materials materials and fabrics like hemp. Check out Soda Pup Toys if you are seeking new options. You can even make your own by googling tutorials on sustainable toys.
Use non-toxic pet grooming and home cleaning products
Lucky for us, it’s easier than ever to find products made with ingredients that are safe for animals and the environment. They may cost slightly more, but may prevent vet bills in case of accidental ingestion.
Take more walks and hikes
It’s no secret that dogs love a long stroll. Not only is it good exercise for both of you, taking a walk to the coffee shop is a great way to decrease the carbon emissions from your car.
Spay and neuter
There are around 70 million stray animals living in the U.S. without regular food or shelter. Spaying and neutering your animals is the most effective way to prevent overpopulation which is harmful for the environment.
Don’t buy exotic pets
Don’t be tiger king. With very few exceptions, exotic animals sold as pets are likely endangered or on protected lists. On top of that, they were probably obtained illegally through ethically questionable organizations. If that’s not bad enough, the animals can wreak ecological havoc if they escape or are released into the wild. This has happened with boa constrictors in Florida.