Pets and The Environment

 

This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Kari Oakley

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Having a Pet While Being Environmentally Responsible

Most pet owners are animal lovers with an intrinsic love for the natural world and all of its inhabitants. As a pet owner, you have to consider how the ways that you choose to take care of your pet affects the environment. Here are seven things that you can do to care for your pet in a way that reflects how much you care about the environment.

1. Feed Your Pet Sustainably Sourced Foods

Many big name pet food manufacturers try to make their products with the least cost possible. Feed your pet foods that are made by companies who follow ecologically responsible policies in obtaining the ingredients for their food and manufacturing it. Ideally, an environmentally friendly food manufacturer should obtain its ingredients in a way that doesn’t have a significant impact on the environment, produce its products in a way that creates the least amount of waste and pollution, and transport them with green shipping and distribution methods.

2. Use Green Energy in Your Home

A pet relies on your home’s energy just as any other member of your household would. Several activities involved in pet care utilize power. For example, you’ll use your home’s power to control the temperature for your pet when you’re not there, keeping lights on for your pet, or heating water for your pet’s bath time. In fact, buying solar panels will equip your home with a renewable energy source that will enable everyone in your home to live more sustainably, including your pet.

3. Get Your Pet a Bed Made of Repurposed Materials

You can get your bed a high-quality and comfortable pet bed that’s made from repurposed materials. There are beds made with foam that is made from recycled plastics or filling made with a down alternative. Likewise, you can also get your pet sustainably sourced blankets to cover furniture that your pet likes to lounge on.

4. Buy or Make Eco-Friendly Toys

Pet toys don’t have to be fancy or made of elaborate materials to delight your pet. Look for eco-friendly toys that are made from recycled materials. You can also convert unwanted items in your home that you were going to throw away into pet toys. For example, your dog might enjoy some tug-of-war with just a couple of old socks.

5. Use Non-Toxic Pest Prevention

Some of your pet’s flea and tick control regimen ingredients may have toxic ingredients. Their production can be harmful to the environment, and a collar or topical treatment that contains them could be dangerous for your pet. Try to avoid products that contain neonicotinoids such as dinotefuran, which has been associated with serious medical complications in some pets. Ask your veterinarian about your pet’s current regiment and what would be an effective but environmentally friendly and safe treatment to fit your pet’s individual needs.

6. Use Natural Cat Litter

If you’re a cat owner, you should put careful thought into the litter that you get. A lot of litters are made from chemical compounds and have artificial fragrances. In addition to being bad for the environment, these smelly substances are very unpleasant to a cat’s extraordinary sense of smell. Scented chemically-based cat litters can make your cat smell and make your entire home smell. Instead, look for a litter made of all-natural pine pellets that has no added fragrance and is biodegradable.

7. Use Compost able or Recycled Waste Bags for Dog Walks

All responsible pet owners bag their dogs’ waste, and environmentally responsible pet owners use eco-friendly bags. You can choose a bag that is made of biodegradable materials. Alternatively, you can get bags that are made from one hundred percent recycled plastic materials.
Taking steps to save the planet is more important than ever before. Put some thought into what you can do in your everyday pet care routine that can help promote sustainability.

Kari Oakley gained a love for fitness and animals as a young girl in Wisconsin. She spent each summer on some type of adventure, either a day at the lake with her family or just hiking with her friends. She took her love for fitness with her through college to get her degree in Kinesiology (Exercise Science). She has been working as a personal trainer/life coach in the Chicago area for the past 3 years. She has recently decided to share her passions with lower income schools in Chicago to help children develop a knowledge and love for fitness. When Kari started working with the kids in Chicago, she decided she wanted to share her knowledge and passion with as many people as possible. She has been freelance writing alongside ever since.