You care about the environment and you love your pet, but unfortunately, those two passions are sometimes at odds. You may not realize it, but your pet’s carbon footprint also impacts the earth. What you feed your pet, their toys and accessories, and how you pick up after them all have a surprisingly significant impact on the environment, including the local wildlife.
However, there are a few eco-friendly things you can do to help make your pet a more earth-friendly citizen of the planet.
Consider What Your Pet Eats
A recent study by researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia found that the 163 million cats and dogs in the United States alone consume 25 percent of the nation’s meat. Shockingly, this contributes more greenhouse gas emissions than 13.5 million autos. Imagine the worldwide impact that carnivorous pets have on the environment.
Fortunately, you can begin feeding your dog or cat one of the new earth-conscious pet foods made from ground crickets and worms. You may have to seek this out, but there are companies in the U.S. and Europe making these nutritionally sound pet foods that are also good for the environment. Remember, wild carnivores will eat insects in their natural environment.
Buy Green Toys and Pet Supplies
The impact of plastic on the environment is disastrous. It not only ends up polluting our oceans, but micro-plastics also find their way into the bodies of humans and animals alike. Avoid buying plastic toys and accessories for your pet. There are plenty of options made from sustainable materials.
Likewise, buying used items for your pet is good for the environment, as it cuts down on manufacturing needs and product packaging. For example, a used blanket will be fine for your pet, and recycled dog collars can be surprisingly affordable and fashionable. The children’s section at your local thrift store is also a treasure trove of balls and stuffed toys for your dog to fetch and tear up. Just be careful to remove any buttons or other things your dog might swallow.
Pick Up After Your Dog
While it’s not something anyone wants to do, it’s important to clean up after your dog. No one likes stepping in poop, and cleaning up after your dog is just the socially conscious thing to do. Furthermore, rain can wash your pet’s feces into our waterways, polluting our source of life. Likewise, feces contain both phosphorus and nitrogen, which can contribute to outbreaks of toxic algae.
Rather than using plastic bags, use biodegradable waste bags to pick up after your dog. Otherwise, you will simply be contributing to the plastic problem in our landfills.
These are just three suggestions on how you can make your pet’s life more earth-friendly. Please take the time to consider other ways to not only care for your pet, but also to care for the earth.