Being a pet owner is a wonderful thing. You get a friend that loves you unconditionally, someone to play with and cuddle, and someone to care for. However, we often forget just how much waste pets produce and how many products they require. And if you’re trying to be a greener and more responsible human, it will take you some time before you learn how to be a more eco-friendly pet owner. Here are a few things to remember when trying to keep your pets happy, your house clean and the planet green:
Recycle your pet’s food pouches
While most responsible people recycle every day, we still often make mistakes when it comes to things that can be and can’t be recycled. Do you chuck the pet food pouches straight into the bin? Well, you can shop around and opt for eco-friendly brands that package their food in recyclable bags and pouches. The number of public drop-off locations for pet food pouches is also increasing every day. When buying pet food and treats, don’t hesitate to buy in bulk, which reduces the amount of packaging altogether. If you’re buying in bulk and want to separate the food and the treats into smaller pack, opt for reusable plastic containers instead of plastic bags.
You know your dog or cat will poop, but it’s amazing just how often that happens, resulting in a bunch of dirty litter and used plastic bags. Plastic doggy poop bags have become a real problem in certain countries because they end up in landfills by tons every year. On the other hand, you’re obliged to pick up after your pet and safely dispose of the waste. Dog poop is full of bacteria, viruses and even parasites that can contaminate humans if left on lawns or dumped in the water. Even when your pet goes potty in nature, make sure to pick up the waste to protect the wildlife. What you can do to be a responsible pet owner and a green activist is switch to biodegradable dog poo baggies and cat litter.
Invest in quality products
We simply can’t resist buying various new things for our pets, but when spending money, be mindful of the quality. The best thing you can do for your pet and the environment is to buy high-quality products. For instance, invest in a quality dog bed that will last for many years to come instead of getting destroyed in months. Products that go through careful manufacturing and use durable materials will look better, provide better comfort for your pup or kitty and stop the landfills from overflowing with trash.
Make DIY pet toys
Here’s a great way to reuse and repurpose things instead of buying new: make your own pet toys. Your furry buddy doesn’t need much in order to be entertained and happy, and you can save a lot of resources by switching to DIY toys. For instance, your cat will definitely love a new cardboard box to play with and curl up for a nap after. Toilet roll tubes can be made into great enrichment toys and puzzle feeders for both cats and dogs. A paper bag can be a fun rabbit toy perfect for foraging practice, while a regular plastic bottle can be turned into a feeder for your hamster or bird.
Donate unloved toys
Let’s be honest, our pets are spoilt when it comes to toys and accessories, most of which stay fun for a day, after which they end up at the bottom of the toy box. Each pet finds different things enriching and entertaining, and you’ll for sure have some missed purchases. Instead of creating clutter or throwing toys in the trash, give them to other pups and cats to try out. You probably have a relative or friend with a pet or you can donate toys to your local shelter.
Regular walks and outdoor time are crucial for the health of your pet, but this can also impact the wildlife around you. For instance, outdoor cats can have a serious effect on bird and rodent populations due to their predatory behavior. What you can do to be more sensitive to wildlife is reduce the number of opportunities for your pets to predate on wild animals by limiting their outdoor time in dusk and dawn. You can also provide your cat with a safety collar with a bell to help warn the local wildlife. When taking your dogs for hikes and long walks in the park, make sure they are on leads in areas rich in wildlife. It can be very dangerous for both your dog and the wild animal if they take off chasing after something they see in the distance while on one of your outdoor adventures. Being a responsible and eco-friendly pet owner is not hard, it just requires a few changes to your and your pet’s behavior. As a result, we’ll all have a healthier planet and happier pets.