Eco Friendly Pet: The Sustainable Pet Owners Guide
Recently a friend messaged me asking about how to have an eco friendly pet. I thought that this was a brilliant idea for the pet owners out there who want to reduce their pet’s waste. Plus I am deeply in love with animals and living sustainably so this is the perfect post!
While I was doing research on this subject I realized that a lot of the information out there is deceiving and some of it even entirely wrong. So I wrote this post so that owners could easily achieve an eco friendly pet.
This post contains affiliate links, by clicking on these links and buying something I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
One of the easiest switches to having an eco friendly pet is by having sustainable pet products. Sustainable pet products are becoming a much bigger market. Yet, you may wonder wether or not your product really is as “green” as the packaging says. Green washing is a very real problem in the entire product industry, including pet supplies. Here are some things to look for to prove that your product is actually sustainable.
Look for materials such as organic cotton and hemp. Hemp is great for pet products because it’s not only sustainabe but it’s also natural, compostable, and very durable. Because hemp is also very durable, you should especially use it for items you want to last such as a dog bed.
Recycled or Up-cycled Materials
Another great alternative is finding recycled materials. You can easily find many pet products made from recycled plastic bottles. This is great because it provides a market for used plastics that would otherwise end up in landfills. Up-cycled materials produce much less energy than recycled materials and they give life to old and used products.
Secondhand itemsa re always better than new. Secondhand items not require all of the materials and energy needed from new products. This also gives a longer life to used products that could otherwise have been thrown into the landfill.
Finding good food for your pet may be a challenge. There are so many things to consider with pet food that it can be discouraging.
Organic or Human-Grade
Would you eat the kibble you buy for your pet? If the answer is no then why should your pet be eating it?
Finding pet food made from actual ingredients should be a must for your furry friend. The chemical coated burnt down kibble bites should not be in your pets diet.
Try to find real ingredients (not just a label that says that but ingredients you can actually read). If you can afford it, organic ingredients are the best option to ensure you are not giving your pets added chemicals.
One great option I found was Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog this can be found in a 40lb bag at a very reasonable price and has great healthy ingredients!
Once you’ve found suitable ingredients for your pet finding those in a container that can get properly reused or recycled should be next on your list to reduce waste. Tin cans are one of the best options for eco friendly pet food containers because they are easily recycled. And although there is not a recycling market for pet food bags (at least not in most areas) you could lookup some crafts to be able to reuse them (I’m thinking of some awesome reusable bags…).
And lastly if finding an affordable and healthy pet food isn’t possible try buying the ingredients and making your own pet food. it would be wise to consult a bet so that you are sure to have all of the nutrients your pet needs.
Disposing of Pet Waste
This was the most controversial topic of eco-friendly pet care that I found.
In my research i noticed that many people suggested to throw away pet waste in biodegradable bags. Although the good intention is there unfortunately this is in no way actually helpful to the environment. Once in the landfill there is not enough oxygen for biodegradable bags to actually decompose so they just sit there for years and years. Bio-bags can decompose perfectly in the right environment but landfills can not provide this environment making them no better than any other plastic bag.
Another option I saw was composting pet waste, and although this is possible it is very tricky as pet waste carries harmful bacteria so it can never come in contact with food and can also take a long time compost properly to make it safe for non-food plants. If you choose to compost pet waste keep it separate from your food plants and use it only for flowers and your lawn. Also make sure you do a lot of research to determine if you are able to compost your pet’s waste and to ensure you are doing so properly.
So then what is the best way to dispose of pet waste? Well besides properly composting you can throw away your pet’s waste in items you already have that don’t have much use. Do you have old plastic grocery bags? What about cereal bags or other bags that cannot be recycled? You can use newspaper or junkmail to wrap up pet waste and throw it away. These are all items you already have which reduces the need for you to buy new and are items that likely won’t get properly recycled anyway.
Another possible option is to flush your dog’s waste down the toilet. Please make sure it is acceptable with your city’s waste management by contacting them first. This does not work for all areas and does not work with cat waste ever because cats carry a toxin in their waste that waste management doesn’t always treat and can contaminate the water.
If you have an indoor cat then you already know that cat litter can be tricky it smells, or its not the right size, or your cat doesn’t like it, the list goes on and on. The most common kitty litters out there are made from clays that are sourced unsustainably and when stirred up produce silica which is horribly bad for your cats respiratory system and for yours. Therefore, finding the proper cat litter is not only good for the environment but also good for your health.
Look for all natural kitty litters made from sustainable materials like:
- wood/pelletized saw dust (like this one: okocat natural wood cat litter)
- paper (try: Hartz Multi-Cat Recycled Clumping Paper Cat Litter)
- wheat (try: sWheat Scoop Premium All Natural Cat Litter)
- corn (try out: Rufus & Coco Clumping Corn Cat Litter)
and other materials. Only you and your cat will know what works best for you so do your research and look up reviews.
Being a sustainable pet owner is not easy but with just a little bit of effort you can have a healthy and eco friendly pet in your home.
This list was mostly geared towards cats and dogs, would you like to see more eco friendly pet posts with other animals? If so which ones? Do you have any eco friendly pet tips? Share your answers and ideas with me in the comments!