According to New Zealand sustainable living experts Robert and Brenda Vale, a medium-sized pet dog causes more environmental damage than an SUV.
Like us, our pets are consumers too. With countless variety of pet food, accessories and toys in the market, it can sometimes be a little difficult to differentiate the ones that are eco-friendly to those that cause serious environmental damage. Even the ways we care for our pets affects Mother Earth too. Here are 7 tips to help you be an eco-friendly pet parent:
1) Recycle pet supplies
Old and usable pet bowls, toys, brushes or even beds and carrying crates that your pets have out-grown make great donations to animal shelters. Swapping toys with fellow pet owners, friends and neighbors is a fun and green way to getting new items for your pets too!
2) Choose Adoption
Cruel breeding mills that produce most of the puppies and kittens in the market today tends to overbreed and house breeding animals in filthy conditions thus putting a strain on our environment. In addition, millions of animals are put down in shelters around the world each year because there are not enough homes for all them. Choose to adopt a pet from your local shelter instead of buying one from the breeder. Adoption is the most humane of getting a pet (bet you already knew this, don’t you?) and nothing beats the feeling of giving an animal a second chance at life.
3) Going Veggie
It takes far more resources to raise animals for their meat than to grow plants. With correct planning like for any diets, pets on a plant-based diet can be healthier. There are many healthy and nutritionally-balanced pet food in the market such as Natural Balance, v-dog and Ami Cat, and here’s a quick guide to healthy plant-based homecook dog food. If you’re not comfortable with feeding your pet a completely meat-free diet, letting them go Veggie Thursday could make a difference in reducing their carbon paw-print too.
4) Buy eco-friendly, chemical-free pet toys and accessories
Chemically-treated toys and pet accessories not only harms the environment but are not the safest products you would want for your beloved pet. When choosing pet products, look for those that are made with eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton or hemp. Not only are these materials green but are generally hypoallergenic and safer for our pets.
5) Spay & Neuter your pets
Choosing to spay or neuter our pets will prevent unwanted litter and is the most humane way of reducing pet overpopulation and ease shelter overcrowding. Not forgetting, it’s beneficial to your pet’s health as well!
6) Choose cruelty-free products
Cruelty-free products refers to products that don’t/no longer conduct cruel testings of ingredients and finished products on animals in any phases of the product development. Animal testing harms the environment, for instance, in order to conduct animal testing, animals are constantly bred and millions of them are eventually disposed as pathogenic or hazardous waste. With the existence of many alternative, reliable non-animal tests, testing products on animals is no longer necessary. Support brands that are cruelty-free the next time you shop for a pet shampoo or anti-itch pet spray.
7) Green grooming
Use grooming products that are made with natural ingredients instead of harsh chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate or parabens, they are safer for both the planet and our pets. Check with your groomer the shampoo and pet products they are using and encourage them to switch to eco-friendly ones if they are currently not doing so.
Reducing our pet’s carbon pawprint isn’t so difficult, isn’t it? Start improving your pet’s health while doing your part for the environment by going green now!