The choice to live a greener, more eco-friendly lifestyle is one that many families are embracing today as a way to take better care of both themselves and the environment. But one member of the family is often overlooked: the family pet. If you haven’t yet considered some ways to green up your pet care regimen, here are a few ideas from to help get you started.
Say Hello to a Greener Kitty Litter Box
Cat litter boxes are a given when your family has a feline member, but some kitty litter products are not good for the environment or your cat.litters actually contain silica dust, a substance with known carcinogenic properties, making it unhealthy for both you and your cat. In addition, if your cat or the family dog ingests clumping or other super-absorbent cat litters, it can cause serious problems including dehydration, health issues, or even death.
A greener, healthier litter box option is to use a natural product that decomposes easily and completely, such as:
- Shredded, recycled newsprint
- Shredded corn cobs
- Walnut or peanut shell meal
- Dried, processed orange peel
- Pine, hardwood or cedar sawdust, shavings or wood chips
Greening Up Fido’s Walk
It isn’t the best part of pet parenting, but cleaning up after your dog is a necessary task. To green up the process, avoid using standard plastic baggies to collect your dog’s excrement. Instead, opt for biodegradable collection bags that will degrade quickly and completely.
Making Greener, Healthier Feeding Choices
Although the commercial pet food industry rarely mentions it, the fact is that grains,, “meal” and highly processed fillers – like corn and rice – are not foods that your dog or cat would eat in nature. Ridding your pet’s diet of these ingredients is not only greener, but healthier for your pet. When shopping for a replacement for standard pet foods, choose products that are certified organic or “natural,” which contains only real animal, plant or mined sources according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) – the regulating body for pet food manufactures.
Even More Green Pet Ideas
Pet bedding can also be made greener by choosing to avoid the synthetic products on the market today that are derived from petroleum products. Instead, choose organic materials, such as cotton, bamboo or hemp
Bathing your pet can also be a greener process by. In many cases, fleas and ticks can be controlled easily by brushing regularly with a good quality flea comb. When it comes to shampooing dogs, opt instead to rinse Fido frequently with a mixture of 7 cups water to 1 cup of plain vinegar. This will leave your dog smelling clean and fresh, while helping to repel insects and your four-legged companion happy and pest free all summer long.