Sustainability is a lifestyle that many of us participate in these days. Whether you take out your recycling every week or own reusable bottles and containers, it’s important to make an effort to stop waste in any way you can, even when it comes to taking care of pets.
There are many ways people and their pets can help save the planet. You may even be able to help in ways you don’t expect. Here are 4 of the best tips to becoming an eco-friendly pet owner.
1) Adopt Don’t Shop
Pets, especially cats and dogs, have overpopulation problems all over the world. When you buy them from stores or breeders, it increases the demand for new puppies and kittens. Why have more when there are millions of suitable furry friends in shelters across the world?
This tip counts for first time pet owners as well. If you are deciding whether or not to adopt an animal for the first time, you can save a life and its carbon footprint when you adopt from a shelter.
If you’re attracted to owning a pet for companionship and support, you may even be able to avoid housing fees or deposits when you adopt. The website www.esaregistration.org can help you register your animal as an Emotional Support Animal. This means the law protects your ability to bring your ESA with you.
2) Neuter and Spay
The number of stray animals in the United States alone is easily in the tens of millions. When stray cats have kittens, those kittens become feral cats. The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) states that in general, overpopulation of feral cats can cause decline or extinction in many species, especially birds or small to medium-size mammals.
So, what can you do about this problem? Spaying and neutering your animals are the most effective and easiest ways to prevent overpopulation. Even if your pets stay indoors, it’s important to spay and neuter them in case they get lost.
3) Buy Sustainable Food
Pet food, like people food, can come in a lot of unnecessary packaging! When you focus on buying brands that offer sustainable and eco-friendly food, you can easily recycle the bags and reduce trash in landfills or the oceans.
In addition, many of these brands offer higher quality food. Much of it is organic and offers all the necessary nutrients your pet needs in their everyday diet. These options are also great to look at if your pet has allergies to certain types of meat or other ingredients found in the average brands.
4) Clean Up Responsibly
Cleaning up your dog’s poop on a walk is important. Not only does it keep the sidewalk clean; it keeps people safe. How? Dog waste carries nitrogen, phosphorous, and many harmful pathogens. Rain can carry it into streams and sewer systems, which can make many people ill.
You shouldn’t flush any animal poop down the toilet. Most cities don’t have the proper filtration system to filter out the chemicals contained in animal waste. It’s always best to throw it in the trash, unless you have a dog-poop compost program in your area.
There’s Always a Way to Make a Difference
All pet owners have a responsibility to do what’s best for their animals. These tips will help guide you both towards an eco-friendly lifestyle and a better future.
Always check the ingredients in the product you buy! Food, toys, and pet accessories are all available in recyclable materials. Doing a little research to find the right product is worth it in the long run.