For years, I have been considered “abnormal” for my beliefs in all-natural products, buying locally, repurposing, and not using chemicals. Now that more people are adopting the same beliefs, I get a lot of questions. Alternative methods and products for pets/animals is one of the hot topics this year.
I am not an expert, but here are some tips to help make your pets more eco-friendly.
1. Educate yourself. Ask your vet, local heath food store, herbalist, and the internet.
2. Check the ingredients when buying pet food and treats. Look for organic and/or natural products. I also try to buy products made in the USA. Lastly, be sure you recycle the packaging.
3. Purchase products for your pets that are made from sustainable, organic, and/or recycled materials. For example, you can find collars and leashes that are made from hemp or toys with cotton filling.
4. Use grooming products that are made with natural ingredients instead of manufactured chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. Towel dry your pet after baths instead of using the blow dryer. This can help from drying out your animal's skin.
5. Use biodegradable poop bags. Plastic bags take forever to decompose in landfills, and many of those bags end up in our waterways and oceans. Want to go the extra mile? Consider composting your pet’s poop in a pet waste composter. There are now commercial businesses that will do this for you.
Use cat litter that is eco-friendly. There are a variety of biodegradablelitters on the market today, including those made from recycled newspaper, clumping sawdust, corn, wheat, beet pulp, pine wood pellets and other plant resources. These products cut down the dust, which is good for the eye heath of your cat.
6. Purchase stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead of plastic for your pets dishes. These materials last longer and don’t have to be replaced as often, eliminating waste.
7. Clean up with vinegar and/or baking soda. Not only does it clean, but it also deodorizes. Use it to get up the hairballs in the carpet, drool on the couch, poo accidents, or throw up (because let's face it, even the best trained pet has an accident once in a while). It also removes the mold and bacteria.
8. Spend time with your pet. Walking them, playing games, and training are fun ways to keep them mentally and physically heathy.
For me, caring for my pets is no different than caring for myself and my family. I feel good when they feel good, and I am glad to know that I am contributing to a better environment for the future.
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