By Emy Kleinkauf
Are you concerned with lessening your environmental footprint? What about the footprint of your pet? In recent years a variety of environmentally friendly or “eco-friendly” pet care strategies and products have emerged. Here are some tips to help you “go green.”
Look for products made from eco-friendly materials. While you may want to spoil your pets with new store bought items, many pet care goods are available at Goodwill and other thrift stores. Turn your old towels and blankets into pet bedding. Get creative! Try turning yarn and fabric scraps, wood scraps, toilet paper rolls, and other household items into pet toys. If you do end up shopping for pet collars, leashes, beds, carriers, etc., look for those made with organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and recycled materials. Choose items without dyes, scents, and chemical finishes. Choose ceramic food bowls over plastic ones.
Use Biodegradable Bags and Other Green Waste Solutions
When scooping cat litter or taking your dog for a walk, clean up with biodegradable bags like BioBag, EcoSafe, or even paper bags. Use biodegradable or reusable housebreaking pads. For the cat box, use litter made from natural renewable sources, like Swheat Scoop, Yesterday’s News, Corn Cob, and Feline Pine. Avoid the traditional clumping clay cat litters. Not only is clay strip-mined, but it can be
harmful to you and your pets if inhaled or ingested. To dispose of dog waste, consider setting up an underground Doggie Dooley in your backyard. The Doggie Dooley Pet Waste Disposable System acts like a miniature septic tank by using natural bacteria and enzyme cultures to break down waste (www.doggiedooley.com). While technically pet waste can be composted, the composting process will not remove harmful pathogens like e. coli. If you want to compost or bury pet waste in your backyard do it far away from your vegetable garden.
Eliminate Harmful Chemicals
When cleaning up after your pet, use biodegradable cleaning supplies like 7th Generation. Or make your own homemade cleaners out of hot water, vinegar, and baking soda. Neutralize especially tenacious odors and stains with an enzymatic cleaner like Bac-Out. At bath time, wash your pet in natural organic shampoos or even an allnatural dish soap. Products that are gentle on the environment should also be gentle on your pet. Ask your vet about natural solutions to treating fleas and ticks. Instead of medicines made with pesticides, you might try milder remedies like Cedar oil or herbal flea powders and tonics. Reduce fleas in your backyard by introducing beneficial nematodes.
Spread the Word
Ask your veterinarian, trainer, groomer, kennel, or pet sitter what they’re doing to minimize the environmental footprint. Save paper by doing your business electronically. Ask that businesses email you rather than sending paper mail. When possible, use a fuel-efficient car to transport your pet. If you use a pet sitter who visits your home, or a pet taxi service, request that they do the same.
By following these simple tips and using biodegradable, natural products you can greatly reduce your pet’s toll on the environment. Ultimately what is good for the environment benefits all of us—people and animals alike.
Pueblo Pet Sitting Services: 520-465-5147