How Green Is Your Pet?
You’ve probably heard of a wide variety of ways to be more environmentally friendly in your own doings. Perhaps you’ve incorporated many of those changes, such as driving less, purchasing items secondhand and selecting products with minimal packaging. Have you ever thought about how your pet can live more sustainably? According to CNN, your dog uses more resources than a new Toyota car that drives 10,000 miles per year. There are many ways in which you can “green” your pet’s lifestyle too.
Eco Friendly Pet Foods
If your pet is like most, he’s likely always looking around for his next meal. Dogs and cats, which are the most common household pets, are carnivores by nature. As such, in order to feed them a proper diet, a large amount of animal proteins are used in the production of their food. This meaty diet has a considerable impact on the environment, explains the Mother Nature Network. You could make your dog’s food yourself using plenty of vegetables, organ meats and other less desirable cuts for human consumption. Another option is to select pet foods that use rabbit or chicken as the primary sources of protein, as these are less environmentally destructive than beef. If you have yet to select a pet, consider a pet that’s vegetarian, such as a hamster or rabbit. They eat less, you can grow their own food or purchase it from a local co-op or farmer.
Ways to Boost Your Pet’s Health and Save the Environment
According to the FDA, there have been many pet food recalls as well as recalls for other pet products. Not only can some commercially prepared ointments, medications, treats and foods be dangerous for your pet, but even the ones that aren’t overtly dangerous could be lacking in dietary sufficiency. To keep your pet healthy with homemade food, you can also add some omega-3 fatty acids to his diet, suggests this Homes Alive article.
Homemade pet food not only makes your pet’s diet sustainable, but it also serves as an economical alternative to commercial pet food. You won’t have to spend extra money buying sacks of your dog’s food, since you can make your very own pet food mix using food that you serve to your family. Your pet will also have a more beautiful and healthier appearance if it’s given natural food. Commercial pet foods are filled with inedible substances that can affect your pet’s health in many negative ways. Like how you observe your own health, you should also ensure that your pet’s health is optimized by the food it eats.
How does this help with sustainability? For one, instead of wasting the excess foods you have at home, you can feed it to your pet. This will result to less garbage. Also, if commercial pet food products reduce in demand, companies will have to reduce supply, which means that the large warehouses and factories that manufacture pet food will also reduce their energy consumption, not to mention the pollution they emit from production.
Coping with Pet Pollution in Your Home
If Fido is a little foul-smelling, using aerosol spray only masks the odor and leaves harmful chemicals in the air that you breathe. This article on Greener Choices suggests using baking soda to absorb odors instead of chemical-laden air fresheners. Cleaning or replacing your air conditioner or furnace filter and frequent sweeping, mopping or vacuuming with a top-notch filtration system also helps to remove pet odors, dander and dust.
You can also use aromatherapy and organic essential oils to keep your home smelling fresh even with pets inside. Using materials that don’t allow fur adhesion (like carpet or wallpaper) can make cleaning faster, more efficient, and easier. Tiles and stone are the best household construction materials that allow easy cleaning.
If you have kids who have asthma and you want to prevent any allergic reactions, use an air filtration system in the area where the pet stays most of the time. This will prevent the fur from lingering in the air and infecting your respiratory systems. You can also bathe your pet in a separate area, such as its own bathroom, so that you can isolate all of its waste and fallen fur. This will prevent other household members from coming in contact with your pet’s hairs.
Sustainable Ways to Deal with Pet Waste
The waste left by pets adds a significant amount to their carbon paw prints. When walking the dog, most people bring along a plastic bag to take care of the mess and then throw the plastic bag into the garbage can. This article on Green Living Tips suggests using biodegradable corn starch bags to collect your pet’s waste. You could also add the waste to a worm farm or the compost heap and then mulch the flowers but not the garden.