The border collie dog eats dog food from a bowl
Pet owners like to treat their fur babies like real babies, but the similarity is not just how cute they are and how much we love them. Considering food, toys, clothing and waste disposal, both tend to consume large amounts of natural resources. “When it comes to pets, the whole industry does tend to produce a considerable amount of waste that may be harmful to the environment,” said Mark Freeman, clinical assistant professor of DVM’s Department of small animal clinical sciences. Virginia Maryland veterinary college.
With growing concerns about climate change and sustainability, more and more parents of both species have begun to find ways to reduce this environmental impact. At Rover In a survey of 1000 pet parents, nearly three-quarters said they were interested in learning how to live more sustainably with their pets. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this without sacrificing the comfort or health of your furry friends.
How to reduce the environmental paw marks of pets
1. Feed your pet properly.
There is no doubt that the biggest impact of keeping pets on the environment is their food. That’s because traditional pet feed is based on meat. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles found that the annual consumption of dog and cat food in the United States has the same impact on the environment as driving 13.6 million cars a year. According to the pet obesity prevention association, 59% of cats and 56% of dogs in the United States are classified as overweight or obese. Making sure you feed your quadruped friends the right amount will help protect their health and the health of our planet.
2. Batch purchase.
Most pet food is sold in plastic or plastic lined bags to ensure freshness. Buying the largest possible size and transferring it to a sealed container can minimize the “product to waste ratio,” Freeman said. More and more manufacturers are paying attention to the call for sustainable choices and providing recyclable packaging, sometimes in store kiosks or recycled through terracycle.
3. Change your snacks.
Like pet food, many snacks are often meat based and packaged in plastic, but you can increasingly find plant-based options. For example, dental chewables can help your dog’s dental health, which is the number one health problem for aging dogs. More and more companies are taking sustainability into account when producing pet products.
4. Bake some snacks.
Of course, if you have time and hobbies, making your own dog snacks is always a choice to completely eliminate packaging and unhealthy additives. The American Kennel Club offers a recipe for making snacks that your dog will like.
5. Give play to creativity.
Most people tend to over buy toys for their pets, which is not the most sustainable choice. Choose toys made of natural or sustainable materials. Seaflex is a new series of West paw, non-toxic and made of zero waste materials, including removed plastic, so it will not eventually enter our ocean. When your pet is bored with them, some toys can also be recycled or passed to other puppies through neighborhood places or dog parks or shelters. According to AKC, you can always make your own toys from recycled materials such as old T-shirts.
6. No waste.
When you use plastic bags, traditionally cleaning after your pet is not so good for the environment. According to AKC, biodegradable bags are a better choice, although experts say the best way to deal with pet waste is the same as we do with our own waste: flush into the toilet (without bags) so that the sewage treatment plant can deal with it.
If you are really ambitious, you can follow this process to compost pet waste. Remember that it does take longer than other types of compost and should not be used to grow anything you intend to eat.
Bernal said that in general, one of the best ways to reduce the impact of pet excreta on the environment is to use high-quality pet food, which will lead to more effective excreta (i.e. smaller stool). After all, even these small changes can increase the health of our pets and the earth.