Become an Eco-Friendly Pet Owner in 2019

You may be creating your own New Year’s Resolutions but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t include your household pet.

With over 150 million pets present in United States homes, it’s important to ensure that their environmental impact is anything but positive (1). In your quest to live a greener life in 2019,  you need to make sure to include your household companion as any difference they will make, starts with you.

Adopt, don’t shop

As of last year, the state of California officially banned the selling of animals from breeders in all pet stores. Essentially, pet stores in California can only sell pets that come from shelters or rescue organizations (2).

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While you may not reside in the state of California, you should choose to adopt. By doing so, you will help ease the overcrowding that is rampant in many animal shelters. You will also be providing more resources for the remaining inhabitants.

If you’re looking to get a pet that you are unlikely to find in your local animal shelter or store, you may want to reconsider. While an exotic animal residing in your home does sound intriguing, you are tampering with the ecosystem and possibly breaking the law if you see it through. Any exotic animal sold as a pet may be on the endangered species list. In the case that it is, their procurement is grossly illegal. You can find out more about endangered species here. 

Organic pet food

Humans aren’t the only ones who need to be more conscious about their food waste as studies have found that dog and cat food can contribute to high levels of greenhouse emissions (3).

The production of beef and pork puts a heavy strain on resources and a lot of pet foods are animal-based. This is why it is important to be more eco-friendly when buying pet food.  When selecting, ensure that your pet food of choice has been sustainably produced. It should be high in vegetables and will likely not feature human-grade meat. Instead, the meat will come from animal bone. In fact, a lot of companies are actually choosing to include insects and bugs in their pet foods as opposed to human-grade meat.

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Moreover, if these foods are canned, you need to make sure that you recycle the cans. If you’re trying to steer away from commercialized pet food, you can create your own at home. Homemade pet food (if done the right way) will not contain any toxic antibiotics or pesticides.  You can create your own pet food using raw meat and vegetables. Click here for homemade recipes.

Green toys

When buying your four-legged companion a new toy, be sure that it’s anything but plastic.

With the growing environmental crisis that is plastics, it’s important to ensure every area of your life is clear of the material. These plastic products can also your pet’s health. A study from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed that our furry pals actually carry carcinogens in their bodies. These carcinogens have been linked back to plastic-based products and they can cause both hormonal and cancerous complications.

Thankfully, there are companies that produce toys, as well as beds and other supplies, from sustainable material.

Greener grooming

Fleas and ticks are highly unavoidable. Unfortunately, the products aimed at eradicating them can be quite harmful to the environment, your pet and your home.

Studies have shown that a lot of these products leave harmful chemical residue on both the pets and around the home.

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In an effort to avoid ticks and fleas, try regularly washing both your pets and their beds. If they still happen to get ticks and fleas, opt for more environmentally sustainable products. Try to stay clear of any products that list s-methoprene, pyriproxyfen, imidacloprid, tetrachlorvinphos, dinotefuran, propoxur and amitraz as ingredients.

Pet waste

Cleaning up pet waste is a responsibility every pet owner takes on. However, they’re also responsible for doing so in a manner that won’t harm the planet.

Always collect any fresh dog waste as leaving it out for too long can create a toxic outbreak. Also, in the case of a downpour, the rain can carry that waste into waterways thus contaminating the water.

While cats have their own method of waste-collection, some kitty litters contain sodium bentonite. The sourcing of this ingredients can be quite environmentally harmful (and toxic if swallowed by your kitty). Greener kitty litters are made from wheat or wood.

cat | Longevity LIVE

Instead of throwing the waste in the trash, where it might end up in a landfill, choose to turn use it in a compost heap instead.

Bottom line

A healthy pet makes a happy home so an eco-friendly one is sure to make a happier planet. How you choose your pet, feed it and care for it can have a huge impact on the environment. In caring for both your pet and your planet, you’ll be helping to ensure the longevity of both.