With Earth Day upon us, you might be thinking of ways to green your life. As you look for ways to make your home more eco-friendly, don't forget about your furry friend.
There are plenty of simple things you can do that can improve your pet's environment and quality of life. Here are just a few examples:
Get rid of junk food.
If your pet is part of your family, why would you feed it anything that's harmful to its health? Throw your pet a bone and opt for all natural foods. Most pet foods you buy at the grocery store are made from animal by-product—the leftover waste from the beef, pork or poultry industries. Unless a product holds an FDA certification for food-grade meat, it's not acceptable for human consumption—and probably shouldn't be fed to your pets either.
Instead, opt for natural or organic product lines with sustainably raised meat. These often come without added drugs or hormones, making them a healthy and green option for Fluffy. You can also buy food and treats in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging waste caused by your pet.
Switch to natural pet cleaning products.
When it comes to hygiene, it's best to use products that are as eco-friendly as possible. Choose all-natural shampoos and conditioners, as this may reduce the amount of unsafe chemicals washed down the drain.
It's also important that you use green cleaning products in your home, especially if you have an indoor pet. Finding soaps for your carpet, furniture, and laundry tha have been certified green will reduce the environmental impact of cleaning up after your four-legged friend.
Look for recycled products.
Just as there are a number of recycled product options for humans, there are plenty of green toys, collars and leashes for your pet. Buying recycled products can help keep your pet's carbon paw print in check. Of course, if you don't want to purchase more products, you can always reuse what you already have. Old socks, string or sticks make excellent toys and won't cost you a thing.
Scoop up poop.
Although it's certainly no one's favorite part of being a pet owner, picking up your animal's waste is very important. If you leave poop in your yard, it might get washed into sewers or nearby waterways and can harm aquatic life. Not only does waste release harmful pathogens, the decomposition process uses oxygen vital to the livelihood of fish.
If you are completely against throwing the waste away, there are several alternative methods of disposal that can reduce the environmental impact. Dog--but not cat--waste can be flushed down the toilet. Pet waste can also be buried in your yard. Check your land's water table; if it's too high, you need to use an underground waste digester.