We are all compelled to do our best and reduce our carbon footprint, but what about the not so often discussed carbon pawprint? If you own a pet, there are certainly a few steps you can take to ensure they too are not causing additional harm to the ecosystem. If this subject is completely new to you, here are some useful tips on how to go green with your pet.
Start off with the issue of overpopulation
Overpopulation is a big factor that contributes to the climate change on our planet. Therefore, the same factor can be applied to your furry little companion. On average, the life of pets has never been so comfortable or protected, which can naturally lead to extreme proliferation of specific species, generally speaking. In order to avoid this, most pet owners will either go out of their way to protect their pets from unwanted sexual contact with other pets or turn to neutering. Sterilization is a very popular solution, and it is not a particularly dangerous type of operation for pets these days.
Think – reusable
When you buy or rescue a pet, you’ll also have to prepare the living space for it. This entails items like sleeping bags or baskets, food and water bowls, dog houses, etc. If you have the option, try to purchase reusable supplies, like machine washable pads. Imagine how much money you can save by rewashing the same pad and don’t even try to imagine how tall the mountain of these disposable pads can get in the landfill. Furthermore, if you can buy items made from recycled materials, go for it. Every little detail counts.
Avoid the chemicals
In order to protect their pets from fleas and other parasites, many owners use powders teeming with chemicals which can be very damaging to the immediate environment. If you want your dog to be able to play around the yard or a meadow without poisoning the greenery or, even worse, a body of water, you can use other methods of protection – like chewable Comfortis. Since it is made with meat flavor, your doggy can chew it and prance about immediately. It’s the best case scenario for both parties, really – it’s a clean and simple method.
Look for biodegradable stuff
As far as all of disposable items go, try to look for biodegradable ones – things like wipes, cat litter, etc. They’ve even made a degradable pet bowl, and this is not a joke. Other than that, you can find brands of biodegradable poop bags on the market now, which is a big improvement. The problem with plastic bags is already practically unmanageable. However, considering how quickly these biodegradable poop bags can stack up in the landfill, their compostable nature and speed become redundant. Therefore, many pet owners opt for re-purposed poop bags.
If you can, adopt a homeless pet
Stray pets are a liability for the environment – they are free to mate without control and they can become feral which, depending on their size, can turn them into a serious hazard on four legs. Therefore, if you have the chance, adopt a homeless pet. This doesn’t add to the pet population and you will create a home for an innocent stray that deserves all the love you can give it. It is not only a green option; it is also a humane act.
Cuddling with your pet on daily basis can surely bring a new layer of quality to your life. Pets are known to improve health and speed up the recovery from illness and injury. They are great companions on your life’s journey. However, we live in the time of climate change, when the ecosystem requires that extra bit of care, even when it comes to how you handle your pets. Thankfully, with these tips, your fuzzy companion will end up being just as environmentally responsible as you are.
Just like us humans, our pets also leave a huge carbon footprint on the environment, but unlike us, there is not much they can do about it themselves. As pet owners, it is our duty to pay attention to our pet’s lifestyle and help make greener decisions for them.
If you want to help minimise the effect your pet is having on the environment, you don’t have to make any huge sacrifices, you can start by making some of these small changes to your daily routine, such as using your animal’s waste as compost, or making the switch to biodegradable bags.
So to find out more about how you can begin minimising your pet’s carbon pawprint, look no further than this useful infographic from Helpucover below.
The joys of owning a pet can be marred by the annoyance of dealing with fleas. Fleas not only cause irritation when they bite but also can be carriers of serious disease, so it is necessary to deal with any infestations as soon as they occur and take measures to prevent further outbreaks.
Instead of resorting to chemical pesticides and flea treatments, which are very effective but can be toxic and irritate your pet's skin, try these natural solutions to control flea problems.
It's incredibly easy to make these herbal sprays so there's no need to buy them from the supermarket. Take half a cup of rosemary, dried or fresh, and steep in a quart of boiling water for twenty minutes. Remove the rosemary and cool the liquid, then place it into a spray bottle. Spray the liquid liberally all over the animal, focusing on the ears and the tail base. Let your pet air dry – don't use a towel as this will remove the rosemary.
You can also cut a lemon into quarters and steep it in boiling water, using this liquid instead of the rosemary liquid.
Essential oils are vastly preferable to flea collars, which only protect the neck area. You can massage a drop or two into the neck area and at the tail base, which are prime locations for fleas seeking a nesting area, and drop on the middle of the body will help larger animals. Just like humans, however, some animals can be sensitive to certain essential oils so it's important that you look out for any signs of irritation. Cats are also highly allergic to some citrus oils.
Good flea-repelling essential oils include cedar, tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus and pennyroyal. For cats, use neem oil.
A good diet is the cornerstone of an animal's health, giving your pet the strength to withstand flea attacks. You can also use an animal's diet as a way to protect it against fleas. The first ingredient is apple cider vinegar, which raises the acidity of your pet's blood and makes it unattractive to fleas. Adding a spoonful to the water bowl each time you refill it is a great way to introduce apple cider vinegar to the diet. However, if your animal doesn't like the taste you can still use the vinegar – mix it with equal parts water and use as a spray.
The other element that can help to protect your pet is garlic, which is secreted from the skin and the smell of which wards off fleas. Garlic also contains sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage a dog's red blood cells and cause anaemia, so use it sparingly and monitor the animal for any signs of illness. Brewer's yeast is an alternative that is also secreted through the skin.
The best protection is to use a combination of all of these methods and to wash your dog regularly in mild soapy water, combing through for any fleas or eggs.
Kate Lee is a freelance writer who regularly writes for Affordable Pest Control Virginia as well as other pest control and pet health websites.
Not so long ago we fed our pet cats and dogs on household scraps and they were perfectly happy. These days there’s a bewildering choice of pet foods on the market, but organic and ethically-produced pet treats are still thin on the ground. The pet food market has a lot of catching up to do, so it’s good to know you can buy 100% organic, ethically-produced dog treats… if you know where to look!
Thankfully The Organic Pet Food Company has taken up the challenge with a delicious collection of organic dog treats guaranteed to make your pooch smile, made by hand with plenty of love and care from organic ingredients, especially designed to provide premium quality treats as part of a healthy, balanced doggy diet.
The experts know best, and The Organic Pet Food Company has consulted carefully with vets and animal nutritionists to make sure their organic dog treats meet all the nutritional requirements, working to strict pet food guidelines and taking into account the latest international research. The ingredients they use are rich in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, and are fortified even further with essential, naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium and iron for proven health benefits. They’re properly certified as organic by The Organic Food Federation and made right here in Britain, so they’re also environmentally responsible from a fuel perspective, with fewer dog food transport miles!
The range includes tasty Cinnamon and Honey Mini Dog Treats made from organic wholemeal flour, organic rye flour, organic honey, organic margarine and organic cinnamon, shaped into mini-bones with no added salt or sugar. Why cinnamon? It’s proven to help invigorate and support dogs’ respiratory and digestive systems. Why honey? It’s perfect for organic cleansing and detox.
Banana and peanut butter organic dog biscuits are an excellent source of energy as well as being totally delicious, high in vital potassium and manganese, both important for keeping your dog’s bones strong and healthy. The excitingly crunchy sun-dried tomato, spinach and herb version makes a nutritious energy-rich treat with absolutely no preservatives, artificial flavours or colours. And the crunchy carrot and apple biscuits are gluten-free, low-fat, high in antioxidants with plenty of vitamin A to help maintain good eyesight. Apples are a great source of dietary fibre and help to eliminate toxins as well as containing magnesium, calcium and potassium. And the seaweed the biscuits contain is a source of beneficial calcium and potassium too. If you want to introduce your beloved dog to ethical living, there’s no better way!