Washing, feeding and keeping pets has a surprisingly significant footprint considering the number of pets there are on the globe. If looking at dogs and cats as example, the massive quantity of meat products needed to feed them translate into higher amounts of cattle and higher greenhouse emissions from livestock. Keeping pets clean also has a significant negative impact on the environment when improper cleaning products are used. How can pets be kept in a more environmentally friendly manner?
Safer pet products
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) keeps a searchable database of safe products. These are products that are made from compounds that do not contaminate groundwater or have any other negative effects when released into the environment. You can refine the search for products that are fragrance-free and safe for outdoor use.
Go for products that are made from natural and organic materials. Beddings, toys, collars, and leashes should be free of artificial compounds such as BPA, phthalates and vinyl.
Better feeding choices
Pet feed is largely processed and packed. Unlike human food that is closely monitored for safety, there are fewer restrictions in pet feed processing. This means the use of unfriendly preservatives and other chemicals is widespread. A study by the Ecology Center showed that pet food contained high amounts of BPA and PVC levels as much as 95% positive tests in cat food and 81% positive tests for BPA in dog food. Use organic foods, or feed your pet healthy leftovers from the kitchen. Make pet feeding more economical by buying in bulk and feeding your pet healthy portions.
Better waste management
The EPA classifies canine waste in the same class of pollutants such as insecticides. This is because dog poop contaminates groundwater when released into storm-water drains. This waste contains harmful bacteria such as E.Coli.
Pet waste should be composted in a container. To ensure complete breakdown of the waste, consider using an enzyme accelerator which also eliminates odors in your garden.
Environmental friendly toys
DIY pet toys are better than the common plastic type toys that are commonly available. It is easy to make DIY toys with old clothes, sticks and old containers.
Spaying and neutering
Large pet populations require increasing resources in feeding and other pet care products. Spaying and neutering keep pet populations stable. It also prevents the number of uncared for pet offspring that become feral or die from abuse, accidents, and malnutrition.
Walk your pet and keep on a leash
Dogs and pets have become a threat to other small wildlife because of their sheer large numbers. They prey on birds, rodents, lizards, and snakes, reducing wildlife variety. Keep pets away from disrupting surrounding wildlife. Walking your dog while on a leash is a safety precaution and good for your health.