5 Ways to Green Your Pet

At last count there were 3.5 million dogs and 4.5 million cats in the country. We love our dogs and cats, but like humans, they need to green up their act.    

Here’s how to reduce the carbon pawprint of your four-legged friends.

Scoop up the Poop

The biggest impact our animals make is with their daily business.

Dogs: We need to stop preserving all that doggie do in plastics bags headed for the landfill. Greener options include:

  • corn based biodegradeable bags-although the bags won’t decompose if buried 15 feet or deeper
  • scooper boxes made from recycled cardboard and newspaper
  • poop and scoop shovels
  • the Doogie Doley septic system turns your dog’s poop into compost than can be used on your ornamental flowers. Vancouver’s City Farmer  also shows you how to make your own compost.

Cats: Kitty litter is bad for your cat and the environment-especially the clumping litter. The main culprit is sodium bentonite, a natural clay ingredient that expands into a hard mass when it comes into contact with moisture. It’s convenient but can also poison your cat through chronic ingestion while grooming. The dust from the clay can also cause lung problems. Choose a healthier kitty litter made from recycled newspapers, corn, pine needles or wheat.

Bell the Cat, Leash the Dog
Kitty may be a cute ball of fluff to you, but outside your cat is a killer. While cats are not responsible for the declining populations of our birds, they are still catching far too many birds, especially as their population grows. Your pooch is no angel either when it comes to wildlife. Always put a leash on your dog when walk ing through any forests or wildlife areas.

No Offspring
There are already too many homeless and abandoned animals in North America. Do your bit by spaying and neutering your pet. It will help them lead healthier lives by eliminating the possibility of uterine, ovarian and testicular cancer.

Go Green When You Clean
Lathering up your dog (or cat) with shampoos laced with chemicals pollutes our waterways and also isn’t good for your pet’s health. There are plenty of naturally based products to handle ticks and fleas so you don’t have to bring out those toxic chemicals that cause nerve damage in all mammals. Also use green cleaning products to clean up those unexpected messes.

Green the Bling and Toys

You already have enough plastic in the house. Invest in a pet bed made with organic cotton or recycled PET bottles. There are plenty of choices for green, sustainable and even fair trade toys and clothing for pets. You’ll be supporting a growing local industry as well. If you’re the crafty type, trying making your own toys out of recycled yarn and fabric.

Build your beautiful home and garden with help from Reader’s Digest. Sign up for our weekly newsletters

Popular Videos