There is never a bad time to go green, and there are even opportunities to minimize your carbon footprint where your pets are concerned too. You probably have a well-established pet care routine, but it’s worth making a few simple changes in the norm to reduce any negative impact on the environment and make the planet healthier for you and your adorable animal. Here are five ways you can go green with your pet care routine:
1. Choose Biodegradable
It’s convenient to grab a plastic grocery bag when you take your dog out for a walk, but those bags do quite a number on the environment. Opt to use biodegradable bags to collect your dog’s waste – a far better choice for the environment since this type of bag decomposes in a matter of months. There are also eco-friendly kitty litters available, mostly made of plant sources like wheat and corn or recycled newspaper, which save the environment from the clumping clay in traditional litter and limit your cat’s exposure to those chemicals.
2. Go Organic
Organic foods are available for pets as well as humans, so the next time you’re at the store to stock up on pet food, look for the natural or organic versions. Organic pet foods are preserved with natural substances, undergo minimal processing, offer more nutrients to your pet, and are free of additives, artificial colors, hormones, antibiotics, and genetically engineered ingredients.
3. Buy in Bulk
Buying pet food and other pet supplies in bulk not only cuts down on extra trips to the store, reducing gas emissions (every little bit counts!) it also reduces packaging waste. And when you can recycle your pet’s food packaging, do it, whether dog food cans, cardboard boxes, or recyclable bags.
While it is certainly a fun treat to head to the pet store and find your pet a new toy, before you buy consider what really keeps your animal’s attention at home. Your cat might not be able to resist your knitting bag, or your dog may be quite attached to some well-worn tennis balls. What can you repurpose in your home that will be a safe and fun toy for your pet? If you do want to buy new, look for pet toys constructed of recycled materials like organic cotton and hemp that are free of dyes and chemicals.
Whenever possible, choose reusable pet supplies. Machine-washable puppy pads can save you money and keep landfills free of dozens of disposable pads. Where does your pet like to sleep? Use your old comforters and blankets as pet bedding – they’re easily washable and sometimes far more cozy than products marketed as traditional pet beds.
From conserving water when bathing your pet to choosing leashes made of a sustainable material, there are so many ways you can reduce your pet’s carbon paw print. Make the same healthy choices for your pet that you would make for yourself. Learn more about how to green your pet care routine when you visit one of our veterinarians at the Northpointe Veterinary Hospital, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.