The best thing about being a pet parent is never being lonely, and the worst thing is the huge carbon paw print they create. Yes, you read it right. Much like your carbon footprint, your pets also have a carbon pawprint.
As pet parents, you would want to be able to provide the best to your furry kids. And now that includes leaving behind a thriving, clean world for them to live in. Here are some simple ways you can adopt to be an eco-friendly pet owner.
Focus on the diet
There are two aspects in which you can make your pet’s diet eco-friendly: the food you feed your pet and the type of food.
We often provide our pets with packaged food because it's easy to manage and has appropriate nutrition. What you may not know is that too much packaged food can be unhealthy for both your pet and the environment. These foods often come in plastic packaging, which is harmful to the environment. Packaged food often contains harmful chemicals to prevent it from turning rancid. These chemicals can cause auto-immune diseases, allergies, and kidney problems in your pet.
What’s the alternative? Feed them fresh homemade food instead. For dogs, switching to a plant-based diet is possible as long as the food is balanced. Cats, however, receive their primary nutrients from meat, and it’s tough to raise them on a vegetarian diet. What you can do, instead, is lessen the quantity of red meat and fish in their meals.
Think of adopting
The State of Pet Homelessness Index found that India has 9.1 million stray cats and 62 million stray dogs. Pet shelters in India are overflowing and house almost 8.8 million homeless animals. Instead of buying a pet from a pet shop or a breeder, adopting one is not only eco-friendly but also solves the problem of overpopulation.
Look at it this way. By adopting abandoned pets, not only do you save them from an uncertain and lonely future but also get yourself an eager-to-love companion.
Change how you manage waste
Did you know that the most commonly used clay cat litter is the most harmful to the environment? Clay is non-biodegradable and takes thousands of years to break down. Even the process through which clay is derived, strip mining, destroys the environment. But that’s not it. This type of cat litter can also cause harm to your cat’s lungs and overall health.
Paper litter, coconut litter, sawdust, etc., are some of the eco-friendly, biodegradable, and cat-safe options you can instead choose. For dogs, using a newspaper or a biodegradable bag to pick up their waste is the best.
Buy green toys
The best green toys are the ones you reuse or recycle. Repurpose your old toys and household items to entertain your pet. An old cardboard box can become a cozy place for your cat to sleep in, for example.
Avoid buying plastic toys. The detrimental effects of plastic on the environment are well known. Companies today are becoming increasingly eco-conscious and making toys made of sustainable and recycled materials.
Another way of getting environment-friendly toys is to support your local businesses. A little research into local businesses will easily help you find your favorite toys at less cost and, sometimes, even at a better quality. By shopping locally, you get to save time, money, and the negative environmental impact of shipping the product from where it is manufactured to your place.
Use sustainable grooming products
Who doesn’t want their pet to be squeaky clean and smell good? But hygiene doesn’t have to come at the cost of the environment. Many popular dog's grooming products and cat's grooming products are loaded with chemicals that harm the environment and your pet’s health.
Use eco-friendly products and choose bamboo brushes to maintain their coat and oral health. Remember to do your research when you come across products labeled ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ to ensure their genuineness.
Being a good pet parent is not only about giving your fur companions the best but also about leaving a secure future for them. Take these small steps to express your love for your pets in the best way possible.