As pet owners, we may not think far outside the box about being ecologically friendly when it comes to our cats and dogs. We do the obvious – recycle, whenever possible, but there’s more we can all do.
The packaging industry has not yet found a way to produce a recyclable pet food bag that can preserve the product inside adequately and safely. However, while the bags may be non-recyclable, there are many ways to up-cycle and re-use them. Read more in our blog Up-Cyling Pet Food Bags for the Household.
Up-cycling aside, there are many other eco-friendly contributions that pet owners can make towards saving our environment. Here’s our list of top eco-friendly tips for pet parents.
Top Eco-friendly Tips for Pet Owners
Do your research
Are the food and treats that you give your pet produced by companies that are dedicated to sustainability? A little research on the internet can go a long way to helping you find producers who are doing their best, whether it be with thoughtful packaging or careful sourcing of ingredients, to ensure that we all continue to live in a viable world.
Use eco-friendly options to pick up poop
While many dog owners are very conscientious about cleaning up after their pooches, it isn’t unusual to see people using regular plastic bags to pick up, which take decades to break down in landfills. Check out your local pet supply store for good quality biodegradable pick-up bags if you are putting your pet faeces in the garbage. Better yet, there are flushable poop bags on the market now that allow you to flush bag and contents down the toilet. If you usually pick up in your yard with bags, consider investing in a long-handled ‘pooper scooper‘ that will allow you to collect pet droppings and put them in a biodegradable or washable and reusable container without the use of any plastic at all.
Avoid plastic food and water dishes
Rather than using plastic food and water dishes, use ceramic or stainless steel. These are much easier to clean as well as being more environmentally friendly. Avoid using single-serve plastic water bottles. When we were travelling with our dogs we packed water in large, clean plastic juice containers.
For longer trips we froze water in one or two of the jugs and used them as ice-blocks in our cooler, thus making them do double-duty. These sturdy bottles can be used repeatedly as long as they are thoroughly rinsed and allowed to air dry between uses.
Donate gently-used pet items
If you have gently-used pet gear – toys, leashes, collars, beds, bowls, towels, blankets – that you are no longer using, donate the items to your local humane society or rescue group. While your household may no longer have use for these items, they will be much appreciated by the organizations who do so much to ensure a good life for the pets in their care.
Use eco-friendly grooming products
If you bathe your pet at home, take a close look at the ingredients in your pet’s shampoo and coat conditioner. Are the products you use environmentally-friendly? If you take your dog to a groomer, ask them to consider using environmentally-friendly grooming products if they don’t already.
Play with eco-friendly toys
Toys are a big component of most dogs’ lives, and you can be eco-friendly on that front, too. Try recycling old clothes like t-shirts into tug toys. Or, if you want to purchase new toys, seek out companies who recycle old materials into new toys and beds.
Use re-usable bags when shopping at your pet supply store
While many of us take re-usable fabric bags when we go grocery shopping, it’s not often something we think to do when we go to the pet store. It makes sense to take your own bag(s) if you expect to be picking up a number of smaller items such as canned food, toys or treats. Keeping a couple of re-usable bags on the front seat of your vehicle is usually enough of a reminder to actually take them in to the store with you.
In the end, all of us are responsible for protecting the environment to the best of our abilities. By spending just a little time thinking outside the box you can help protect the environment and the well-being not only of your pets, but of human-kind as a whole.
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