Apr 162012

Earth day is this Sunday, so what better time to talk about going green with you pup.  The most recent issue of Healthy Pet from Chicago VCAs had a great page devoted to going green with your pet, dogs and cats included.  We only have one planet, so everyone (including Fifi and Fido) should help to keep it looking beautiful.  No matter how big or small your pets are, they impact the environment too.

Photo from PetSide.com

Here are 10 Ways to Go Green from Healthy Pet:
1. Adopt from a Shelter – Why buy a pet when you can adopt one of the millions of cats and dogs that enter shelters each year?
2.  Spay or Neuter Your Pet – By spaying or neutering you’re preventing more homeless pets from being added to the population.
3.  Repurpose What You Own – Old blankets and pillows can become a new dog bed.  The lonely sock that lost its mate can become a catnip toy.
4.  Turn Poop Green – Most of our pet’s poop ends up preserved in plastic bags in a landfill – use biodegradable bags and scoop poop often.
5.  Protect Plants & Wildlife – Keep your dog on a leash when you’re outside and keep your cat indoors.  Dogs may chase and catch wild animals or damage delicate habitats through good-natured romping and relieving themselves.
6.  Shop Sustainable Goods – When shopping for toys and accessories look for products made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers like hemp or bamboo.  Take time to read labels.
7.  Use Natural Products – Clean up after your pet with products that are gentle on the planet and your pet’s senses.  Read the labels!
8.  Make Your Own Treats – Natural and healthy treats for dogs include carrots, popcorn (hold the butter and salt), and select raw veggies.  Always consult your veterinarian first.
9.  Offset Their Paw Print – Purchase renewable energy credits to offset your pet’s carbon emissions.
10.  Go Digital – Ask your vet about microchipping (mandatory in Chicago).  Also, ask to receive statements, bills, etc. from the vet via email instead of printing paper copies.

Two other “green” pet thoughts we might add? 

Make sure to shop local, your local pet shops like Krisers and Soggy Paws in the South Loop usually by items from local or close to local vendors and often focus on natural, healthy, and eco themed accessories and treats – think natural by-product free food from Fromm’s based in Wisconsin.

Also, consider donating slightly used toys, blankets, towels, and more to your local shelters.  The Anti-Cruelty Society and Paws Chicago both happily accept donations of goods to keep shelter pets happy.  If your dog doesn’t play with a toy anymore, why not recycle/reduce/reuse it by passing it on to a pet in need.

Happy Earth Month!

What are some ways you go green with your pet?

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