Your pets can have a carbon paw print just like you. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.
As a pet owner, it may be hard to think that your beloved fluffy wuffy could have a negative impact on the environment. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to make sure your love for your adorable animal doesn’t clash with your love for the planet.
Here are a few tips on how to be an eco-friendly pet owner.
Buy earth-friendly pet products
Like many owners, you may be particular about the care products you are using for your pet. But there are plenty of options out there that will get the job while reducing your impact on the environment. Look for products like dog shampoo that use naturally-sourced ingredients, or cat litter made from biodegradable or recyclable materials.
Don’t overfeed your animal
It’s no secret that cats and dogs prefer a meat-based diet. But while it’s optimal for your animal’s health and tastes, protein-based food takes more energy and resources to produce. To limit your impact on the environment, and keep your pup healthy, make sure you don’t overfeed your pet.
Spay or neuter your pet
When strays multiply, they can cause serious disruptions to the surrounding ecosystem. The ASPCA estimates that there are over 70 million stray cats in the United States. Spay or neuter your pets to help prevent further overpopulation.
Compost pet waste
Your animal’s waste can be hazardous to the environment, particularly as a contaminant to surface and ground water. However, it is possible to compost your pet’s waste, as outlined by the USDA. There are guides available online that teach pet owners how to correctly compost their pet’s waste. Just note that compost that uses dog waste is not advised for crops meant for human consumption.
Adopt a new pet
Adopting a new animal is a great way to relieve overburdened animal shelters, prevent rampant breeding and manage the aforementioned overpopulation of strays in the country. Rather than purchase a new dog or cat, become a proud kitten or puppy parent by adopting one of the 6 to 8 million cats and dogs that enter shelters each year, as estimated by the Humane Society.