How to be an eco-friendly pet owner

Being a dog-mom is one of my favorite things, and I wouldn’t give it up for the world. When I got my pup, however, many of my environmentally-conscious friends and families made sure to let me know that having a pet isn’t a very eco-friendly choice.  

 Why you ask? Well, to start, pets consume a lot of resources and they produce massive amounts of noxious waste. UCLA published a study on the amount of meat consumed and carbon dioxide produced by cats and dogs, and it’s all pretty astonishing.  

 So, I decided it was important to figure out how to be more eco-friendly with my dog-related purchases and activities. Here are a few tips that I try to follow: 

Give your pet better food:  

  • Try to find someone at your local pet store you trust. They will know about pet food made locally or close by, elsewhere in the state. They will also likely point you away from processed foods by big-name brands and towards food made from fish and meat scraps with low grain. Not only does grain require excessive amounts of water to grow, but it contributes to obesity and allergy problem in pets. 

  • Feed your pet whole vegetables and fruits and make your own treats. This is good for them and cuts down on processed treats you’ll find in stores. (My dog goes crazy for kale, arugula, spinach, red peppers, apples, oranges, and bananas. He’s a weird one, I know!) 

  • Dispose of waste more conscientiously:  

  • Unless you’re able to bury your pet’s waste or toss it in a pet-waste-only compost bin, you’re usually tossing it in the trash. So, ensuring the plastic bags you use are not made from petroleum-based products and is biodegradable is helpful. Try these or these

  • Have a cat? Use organic and/or recycled litter.  

  • Choose toys wisely: Give your pet old items of your own to play with instead of buying new toys. This might include old tennis balls or stuffed animals, ratty t-shirts knotted for a new tug toy, or paper towel rolls. 

  • Use all-natural grooming products: Earthbath makes good natural shampoos or you could try making your own

 What eco-friendly decisions are you making for your pet?