Being an Environmentally Friendly Pet Owner

Written on April 22, 2019 by Staff Veterinarian

It’s easy to overlook our pets when thinking about ways to be environmentally conscious. You know what a carbon footprint is and you actively recycle waste, but what about your pet’s carbon “paw” prints? Here are some tips for keeping your pets green:

earth day pics-01Keep Cats Indoors

Your lazy, cuddly housecat can quickly turn into a predator for wildlife while out on their morning stroll. Recent studies show that domestic cats kill billions of songbirds and small mammals every year. Research has proven that bell collars and trimming claws do not prevent cats from killing birds or other small animals. To keep cats safe and birds in the sky, keep your kitty inside!


earth day pics-02Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Stray overpopulation is a major concern across many communities across the globe. Stray animals can severely disrupt the ecosystem and spread harmful diseases to wildlife and humans. Spaying or neutering your own pet is an easy way to help prevent this. Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about any surprise babies.


earth day pics-03Think Before You Throw Away

Many used pet care items or pet food can be donated to local animal shelters instead of thrown away. Even household items such as blankets, towels, and cleaning products are almost always welcome.


earth day pics-04Earth-Friendly Pet Care Products

Purchasing eco-friendly pet products is a simple and impactful way to go green. Consider buying toys, beds, leashes, collars, bowls and blankets made out of recycled, organic or natural materials. Even organic dog shampoo can make a difference. For cats that can make toys out of anything, use things you already have around the house like from old craft supplies, boxes, paper towel rolls, and shoe laces.


earth day pics-05Clean a Little Cleaner

Try using organic or homemade cleansers instead of name-brand cleansers with chemicals. There are many eco-friendly options for odor eliminators, cleansers, and outdoor pesticides. You can also cut down on paper towel usage by opting for a reusable dish rag instead.


earth day pics-06Taking Care of Business

When disposing of dog waste or kitty litter and waste, use biodegradable bags, not plastic. Plastic bags remain in landfills long after the waste contained in them would have decomposed.

Consider using one of the many biodegradable litter choices, too. These litters are wheat, corn, or paper-based and will degrade much quicker than standard clay-based litters. Conventional clay and silica-based kitty litters come from strip-mining, a very non-eco-friendly practice.


earth day pics-08Sustainable Pet Foods

Choose a pet food company with a commitment to the planet. This doesn’t necessarily mean just buying organic pet food. It can also mean trying pet food brands that value recycling or take an eco-friendly approach to manufacturing. Some companies have free recycling programs for pet food bag waste and some use recyclable/BPA-free packaging. Others source their ingredients from as close to the company’s headquarters as possible to reduce transportation pollution. ­


earth day pics-07Make Your Own Treats

Why spend money and produce more packaging waste with store-bought treats when you could make your own! There are plenty of easy dog and cat treat recipes out there to whip up in your kitchen. They will be fresher, cheaper, and you’ll know exactly what you’re feeding your pet.

Check out our Ethos Pet Kitchen series for easy, healthy pet treat recipes even you can eat! 


earth day pics-09Adopt, Don’t Shop

When considering getting a new pet, think about going to a rescue organization (every AKC breed has one), the humane society or a shelter & get a pet that is already on the planet & needs a loving home. It may take a little longer & it may even require more time spent in the car driving around to find the perfect dog or cat, but it can be worth it. It’s all part of learning to “recycle” whether it’s paper, plastic or giving a pet another chance at a better life.


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