Environmentally Friendly Pet Ownership and Ways To Keep Clean and Feed Your Pets Without Harming the Environment

Background
Choose Your Pets Wisely
Preparing Your House and Yard
Feeding Your Pets
Entertaining Your Pets
Cleaning Up After Your Pets
Cleaning Products
Solid and Liquid Waste

Background

House remodeling, renovations, lifestyle changes and efficient vehicles are all areas we can change to use less energy and make a positive contribution to the environment. Considering the environmental effect of our pets can also lead to green improvements with the added benefit of enhanced health.

Choose Your Pets Wisely

For those blessed with room for large animals consider if you actually need large pets like horses and ponies. Such animals can be heavy consumers of resources and not be used very often. You may be better off hiring a horse to ride when required.

For domestic animals consider adopting a pet from a shelter or pound rather than buying from a pet store. Far more domestic animals are born each year than are required by people as a family pet. If considering a bird as a pet, investigate planting trees and installing nesting boxes to encourage birds to your yard rather than keeping a caged animal.

Preparing Your House and Yard

Protect your pets by ensuring that the plants in your yard are not going to harm them. Many common plants like lillies, foxglove, castor beans, oleander, wisteria and even tomatoes, have parts that can poison your pets.

Garden chemicals can also harm your pets and often tend to have unwanted secondary effects, e.g. insecticides killing beneficial bugs as well as the nuisance insects.

When mowing, raise the mower and allow the grass to grow longer. This will hide any problem areas and encourage longer roots to grow. The longer roots will take up more water and nutrients from the soil from the lawn. Allowing grass clippings to fall back on the lawn will let them decompose and fertilize the lawn.

Feeding Your Pets

Choosing environmentally friendly pet food is the same as choosing environmentally friendly food for yourself. Consider things like:

  • where does the food come from? Does your pet really need food imported from the other side of the world?
  • high quality dried pet foods can result in less waste from your pet and therefore less mess to clean up and dispose of
  • packaging should be minimal and recyclable

Entertaining Your Pets

A large range of pet toys are now available that are made from natural or recycled materials. From pet beds made from recycled plastic bottles to toys made from organically grown cotton and coloured with vegetable dyes, a whole range of products are available. These biodegradable, environmentally friendly pet care and entertainment items also tend to be chemical and pesticide free with the additional benefit of reducing pet allergies. Collars and leads made from hemp are an environmentally friendly alternative to oil based nylon collars.

Cleaning Up After Your Pets

Pets naturally produce mess and get dirty. Cleaning them and cleaning up after them can be done in an environmentally friendly manner.

Cleaning Products

There are numerous household cleaning products on the market made using ingredients that are sources from plants and are both biodegradable and safe for use with pets. Grooming products that are detergent, alcohol and pesticide free are gentle on both pets and the environment.

Solid and Liquid Waste

Cat litter is traditionally clay based containing both silica dust and artificial clumping agents. A better alternative is to use eco-friendly cat litters made from plant based materials like recycled paper, wood chips, wheat or corn. Other waste disposal methods include using a self-flushing, self-washing cat box. Used litter and dog waste can be disposed of by burying in the garden where it becomes an effective fertilizer. Dog and cat manure can be strong and burial sites should be changed regularly. If you must dispose of pet manure in the garbage, use biodegradable plastic bags to package the waste.

Source: AZoCleantech

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