5 Tips to Be an Eco-Friendly Pet Owner

5 Ways to Be a Greener Pet Owner

I love pets – coming home after a long day to a big, happy dog or purring kitty is one of the greatest feelings in the world. As we pet our fluffy friends, though, we should also be asking ourselves how we can be eco-friendly and green pet owners. Here are five tips to do just that!

Tip 1: Healthy Food
Whether the feast is fancy or the chow is pure, it’s important to make sure your pets are getting food that’s environmentally responsible. Going cheap on food means lower quality ingredients (which isn’t good for the pet) that aren’t going to be responsibly sourced (bad for the environment). Try to find eco-friendly options when you’re filing up your pet’s dish – they’ll be happy and the planet will be healthier.

Tip 2: Spay and Neuter
Sorry pup, I know this isn’t a fun one, but we have to talk about it. Fixing your pets is very important because it helps prevent future strays that put a strain on native wildlife and public safety. What’s more, fixing your pets prevents more unwanted births that will end up in shelters. It’s not a happy thought, but that’s why it’s so important to take care of it right away.

Tip 3: Poopy Poop Bags
While using grocery bags or plain plastic bags is very convenient when picking up after your pooch, those bags aren’t good for the eco-system. That sort of plastic can last for hundreds and hundreds of years in landfills, so try switching to a biodegradable bag that will decompose a lot faster. If you’re picking up poopies at home, you could also look into composting your pet’s waste.

Tip 4: Kitty Calamity
When she is happily purring, it’s hard to think of your kitty as anything but a little cutie. Unfortunately, cats are some of the best hunters in the animal world and kill between 1.4 – 3.7 billion birds a year. That can have a devastating affect on local wildlife (there’s even a case where one cat wiped out a whole species of birds), so it’s up to you to keep an eye on these kitties.

Try keeping your cat indoors or invest in one of these slightly silly, brightly colored collar. While these may look ridiculous, the bright colors of the collars serve as advanced warning to birds, giving them plenty of time to flee.

Tip 5: Adoption
Unfortunately, there are a lot of unwanted pets in shelters, so when it’s time to bring a new pet into your life, consider adoption. Not only will this save an animal from being euthanized, but will also help fight “Puppy Mills” by reducing the demand for animals.

One thing to remember, though, is that shelter animals may need a more practiced hand to raise as some have been in abusive relationships. Adopting a pet can be a challenge, but it can change both your life and save the life of your new friend.

Thanks to Tessa Stuart of Audubon, Chelsea Harvey of Business Insider, Helena Horton of the MirrorJasmin Malik Chua of TreeHugger, and Chuck Raasch of USA TODAY for the great information.

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