Eco-Friendly Pet Ownership

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Loving your pet makes you feel good. Watching someone else love their pet makes you feel good. Pets = goodness. 

It’s a no-brainer that pets are the best, but how you take care of them can always be a little better. Consider making your approach more eco-friendly. 

Interested in giving your furry best friend a little ‘green’ treatment? Here’s how.

The toys you buy

Plastic is simply not an eco-friendly material, yet it’s a primary component in so many pet toys. However, you can avoid plastic toys by looking for brands that use recycled materials or those from sustainable products. Perfect choices include toys made from rope, cotton, or other similar materials.

There’s also no reason you can’t swing into your closest second-hand shop and see if they have a pet section. So many pet owners buy toys or even pet beds that their pets never use. Then, rather than returning them, they donate them or resell them as used. 

You can also take everyday items around your own house and reuse them as a pet toy. That old sock that has been sitting without its mate in your drawer for months? Stuff it with some catnip, tie it up, and you’ve got the perfect toy for one very excited kitty.

When playtime is over, you can keep the mojo from using greener toys going. Consider donating your own pet’s gently used items to the local animal shelter.

The food you serve

How pet food is manufactured isn’t always done in the greenest way possible. The rush to get food mass produced and out to consumers outweighs more eco-friendly choices a lot of the time, but you do have a choice in what pet food you buy.

Feeding organic and natural foods to your pet not only prevents them from consuming unnecessary hormones or other harmful ingredients, it most likely means more care was put into how the food was manufactured.

You can also buy food in packaging you know can be recycled. Metal cans and cardboard boxes are best, but you can easily check the outside of any package to see if it’s recyclable as well.

When all else fails, and you really want to ensure your pet is eating healthy food made in a sustainable way, make it yourself. Make sure you research ingredients that are best for your pet and then add them to your next grocery list. You’ll know exactly where the food is coming from and can make sure each ingredient is additive-free.

The pet products you use

All products that have anything to do with your pet need to be safe for them. Biodegradable, plant-based products are the way to go whether you’re buying a dog shampoo or using a spray to clean up that accident in the corner. Other products can contain parabens, harsh soaps, phosphates, dyes, toxins, and fragrances that can harm your pet. There’s no way of knowing how your pet will react to any of these, so might as well avoid them all.

You can also make sure that all the pet products you do buy come in recyclable packaging. 

The way you deal with waste

Loving your pet means taking care of their waste. It’s not pretty, but ignoring it is no good, and neither is disposing of it in plastic that can take years and years and years to break down.

For dog owners, always pick up your pet waste. Leaving it out not only sets someone up to step in it, but rain can wash it into waterways and make people sick. When picking your waste bag, make sure it’s biodegradable so you can throw it out without worry. If you’re into composting, you can also set up a separate pet waste compost bin. Leave it for at least 18 months though, and only use it to fertilize non-edible plants.

For cat owners and that darn litter box, stop flushing your litter. Even if it claims to be flushable, most water treatment plants can’t screen out waste. What you flush can contaminate the water too. Instead, look for litter made from more organic materials like corn or wheat or litter that uses biodegradable materials, like newspaper or wood. Then, when you scoop, put the waste into a biodegradable bag and you’re good to go.

Become an eco-friendly pet owner

With so many product options and easy fixes to your pet-owning routine, there’s no reason you can’t take things in a greener direction when it comes to your furry friend. Just like you recycle and think environmentally when it comes to your own products and behaviors, how you care for your pet can also be done in a more eco-friendly way.
You can even take this new attitude as far as changing the gas you put in your car when it’s time to take your pet to the vet (or to that awesome dog park.) Fueling up at Twice Daily can help reduce your car’s carbon emissions. Through the Twice Daily Thrive program, by using the same high-quality gas you’re used to, carbon emissions are automatically offset by up to 30 percent. Now, even when your pet accompanies you in the car, you’re creating a greener experience for everyone.