By Jane Marsh
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
A dog is a man’s best friend. While your pet can be your companion and support system, it can also impact the environment. This is why it is important to be aware of how you can take care of them in a more eco-friendly way.
Health Benefits of Having a Pet
Having a cuddly friend is just one of the perks of owning a pet. Pets can also provide you with health benefits. Since you take your pets out for walks, it promotes physical exercise. This can help to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels.
It can also increase your mental health. Owning a pet can increase your chances of socialization and decrease your feeling of loneliness.
How to Take Care of Your Pets and the Planet
With so many advantages to having an animal, you want to give it proper care. You may not realize that some of the products you buy for them may be less environmentally friendly. Here are some of the ways you can enjoy your furry friend while helping the environment.
1. Keep Your Cat Inside
It may be tempting to let your cat roam free outside, but consider keeping them snuggled up on your lap instead. Outdoor cats can impact biological diversity. They are estimated to kill around 1.4-3.7 billion birds annually. Also, cross-breeding between domestic and wild cats can decrease the genetic uniqueness of the feral cat. To help keep our wildlife diverse, consider supporting your kitten indoors.
2. Pick Up Your Pets Waste With Biodegradable Bags
Most homeowners use plastic bags to clean up after their pets. However, these end up in landfills and take a long time to decompose. They don’t ever fully break down and can end up polluting the environment. Consider using biodegradable bags instead of plastic ones. Pooch Paper is an eco-friendly option that is manufactured using renewable energy and is biodegradable.
3. Buy Sustainable Toys
Toys are an excellent way to help keep your pet happy and entertained. Be sure to look for ones with recycled, reused or organic materials. If you’re into arts and crafts, think about making your pet trinkets.
Here are some eco-friendly toys to consider purchasing:
- Zogoflex Hurley Dog Toy
- Eco Terra Natural Canvas/Cotton Toy, Bear
- EB Chaser Dog Toy Ball
- Eco-Friendly Dog Bone Toy
- Old Shoe Dog Toy
Also, if you want to get rid of old toys, think about donating them to a local pet shelter. You will make a dog very happy and keep them from ending up in a landfill.
4. Make Your Treats
The treats you buy for your pet come in boxes that end up in the trash. Plus, the gas used to transport these items can cause pollution. By preparing them at home, you can limit the amount of waste added to the environment.
If you’re not a baker, consider going to a local store that sells pre-made dog snacks. Also, be sure to check that the products have organic ingredients.
Consider these naturally made treats to show your dog some love:
- American Journey Lamb Recipe Oven Baked Crunchy Biscuit Dog Treats
- DreamBone Churro-Style Mini
- Ava’s Pet Palace Salmon Snacks
- Grandma Lucy’s Organic Pumpkin Oven Baked Dog Treats
- Pup-Peroni Dog Snacks
5. Spray or Neuter Your Pet
This can help to reduce overpopulation and protect hunted species. Some stray animals can also transmit rabies. Consider neutering your four-legged friend to decrease unwanted litters. It also provides other benefits to your pet, such as medical and behavioral.
6. Walk Your Dog
When you’re out walking your dog and need something from the store, consider tying up your dog and walking over to the shop. One of the perks of having a pet is it gives you a reason to exercise and stay healthy. Walking also saves you gas money and protects the environment from fuel emissions.
7. Reuse Your Old Bedding
You want to keep your animal nice and cozy. Consider reusing old sheets and blankets for your pet’s resting spot. This can reduce the amount of new material added to the environment. It also saves you money and reduces the chance of sheets ending up in the trash. When looking for eco-friendly bedding at home, look for materials with organic cotton, organic hemp, Tencel, or eucalyptus.
8. Buy Sustainable Pet Food
Many pet products are produced with chemicals and fossil fuels. During the production, greenhouse gases are pumped into the air. This is why it is important to do your research and find pet food made with organic materials and recyclable packaging. Here are some organic food brands to consider:
- Castor and Pollux Natural Petworks Organix: They offer many dry and canned foods for cats and dogs.
- Yarrah: They are a certified organic brand that carries vegetarian options as well.
- Evergreen Organics: Evergreen Organics uses healthy raw ingredients for a gourmet-style meal.
- Organic Paw: This brand is also certified and comes in three meals.
9. Make Your Own Dog House
You want your dog to have a place to relax that can be secluded from some regions of your house. Instead of purchasing a dog crate, consider making one at home. Use materials, such as recycled wood or reclaimed pallets to build it. This helps to protect the earth from waste and adds a personal touch. If your looking to expand your dog family, consider getting one with a friendly personality, such as a french bulldog.
10. Use Environmentally-Friendly Grooming Supplies
When purchasing shampoos and conditioners to clean your pets, look for ones with organic materials and that come in recycled materials. Also, keep in mind eco-friendly grooming methods to keep your furry friend looking nice and fresh. Here are strategies to consider:
- Bathless spritzes or sprays: These water-less sprays are an alternative option to traditional bathing options and conserves water.
- All-natural color enhancers: These products use botanical formulas to clean and brighten your animal’s fur.
- Natural Wipes: They can help remove brown stains on your pets caused by poor diet or health.
- Dog perfume: Consider looking into natural-scented sprays for your dog to keep them smelling good.
Keeping Your Pet and the Earth Happy
Pets can increase your overall happiness and keep you active. However, the way you take care of them can affect the environment. Consider these tips to maintain a healthy planet while caring for your furry friends.
Recommended articles by Jane Marsh:
- 10 Physical and Mental Benefits of Houseplants
- How Switching to a Pescatarian Diet Benefits the Planet
- Should You Have Renewable Energy Installed in Your Home?
- 10 Ways to Increase Your Home’s Sustainability This Winter
- The Best Sustainable Resolutions for 2021
- How You Can Cut Carbon From Your Diet
- 10 Ways to Reduce Your Waste this Holiday Season
About the author:
Jane is the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she shares practical tips on how to live a greener life.