8 ways to be a greener pet parent

Written by Pamela Hardman  | Published on: 4/22/2020

Given the state of the environment, chances are you’re probably taking some steps to reduce your carbon footprint – recycling regularly, using reusable bags when you go grocery shopping or buying clothes second-hand, but did you know you can also be greener when it comes to your pet? You can keep your pet’s carbon paw print in mind too!

1.    Purchase sustainable pet food.  It’s a good idea to read the labels of the food you’re buying anyway, so you’re aware of the nutrition in your pet’s food. An easy way to reduce your impact on the environment is to buy a pet food that’s made in Canada or close to wherever you live.

2.    Limit your plastic toy purchases. Most of us are familiar with the negative effect plastic has on our environment. There are so many plastic dog and cat toys on the market, try opting for toys made of natural or more sustainable materials. Or, get crafty and try DIYing something out of upcycled materials.  

3.    Upcycle. If your dog needs some new toys, it’s not always necessary to buy something new. Try tying up a tennis ball in an old sock or use an old t-shirt to make a rope toy. Search Pinterest for ideas for how you can repurpose items like old t-shirts or jeans into dog or cat toys.

4.    Use natural grooming products. Check the labels before you purchase your dog’s shampoo and conditioner. Look for eco-friendly, biodegradable products that are free from chemicals, artificial colours, preservatives and toxic ingredients.  

5.    Use reusable containers and buy in bulk. While you may not be able to get your dog or cat’s food in bulk, you can likely get treats in bulk or get the ingredients to make homemade treats in bulk, like whole wheat flour. Many bulk food stores allow you to bring your own containers, avoiding the need for disposable bags.

6.    Donate to a local shelter. If you’re looking to declutter, skip the garbage bin. If your dog or cat has toys he or she isn’t particularly interested in, many shelters will take gently used items. Same goes for beds, blankets, and even towels.

7.    Walk more. Drive less. Not only is walking great for your dog’s health (and yours too!), it’s better for the environment than driving. If the weather isn’t the best, dress for it! Plus, if you take your dog to the park and he gets all muddy, you won’t have to worry about a mess in the car on the way home.

8.    Spay or neuter your pet. While spaying or neutering your animal is a personal choice, unless you’re a breeder, spaying and neutering is part of responsible pet ownership. Spaying and neutering can help control overpopulation and help reduce the consumption of food, energy and resources that would otherwise be spent on homeless animals in a shelter.  


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