5 Steps to Having a Greener Pet
As much as we love them, keeping a pet can be hard on the environment. Pets, like people, tend to come with a lot of stuff, much of which ends up in landfills. Not only that, but how you feed, bathe or clean up after your pet can have a significant environmental impact. Fortunately for environmentally-conscious pet lovers, there are things you and your furry friend can do together to reduce his carbon pawprint.
1. Shower With Your Dog
This might seem a little strange at first, but think about it: You both need to get clean, and bringing Fido into the shower with you will save all the water you'd use giving him a separate bath. Keep in mind that for your dog's comfort and safety the water should be kept lukewarm, and a non-slip mat can help keep both of you on your feet in a slippery tub. If you're balking at the idea of taking a cool shower, just think of the energy you'll save giving your hot water heater a break. Make your shower time even better for the environment by switching to an eco-friendly, natural pet shampoo—just be sure to keep it, along with other bath products, out of Fido's reach. And remember, your shampoo and soap might not be tear-free, so keep him clear of your own rinse water.
2. Host a Pet Accessory Swap Party
Follow the example of parents who get together to swap clothing and toys for their kids. Invite other pet owners over and have them bring their gently used pet toys, dog sweaters, collars and leashes, beds and other items they're ready to replace or upgrade. Each of your pets can get something "new" that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill.
3. Compost Pet Waste
Pet waste contains harmful pathogens that, even if properly scooped and tossed in the trash, can leak into the environment. By composting your dog's waste instead, you'll not only kill the pathogens, but also help keep landfills from filling up with those plastic baggies full of poo. The key to composting dog waste safely is to use a hot composting method that combines the waste with either a nitrogen-rich material such as grass clippings, or a carbon-rich material such as sawdust, in an enclosed space and letting it "cook" over a period of six to eight weeks. While it's not advisable to compost cat waste, if you use kitty litter made from biodegradable materials such as wheat, pine or recycled newspaper, the used litter can go in the compost bin instead of the trash. Just be sure to scoop out all of Fluffy's deposits first.
4. Swap the TV for "Cat TV"
Turn off (and unplug!) the television, as well as your computer and any other device with a screen, and spend an hour or so with your cat at a sunny window just watching birds and other wildlife.
5. Feed High-quality, Natural Food
We only have one planet. It deserves the best care we can give it, and so does your pet. Reward your best buddy by feeding him a grain-free, natural food with added vitamins and minerals, and high-quality ingredients, like Nature's Recipe® Grain Free Easy to Digest Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe.
Ready to enjoy the great outdoors with your dog? Find new adventures to share with your dog or cat on our Pet Places Map!
Photo Credit 1: "dog-733391_1280" by Caitlin H via Flickr. License info.
Photo Credit 2: "Moses Recycles" via Flickr. License info.
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