How to be an eco-friendly pet owner
As we become more aware of our environmental impact and work towards minimising our carbon footprint, we should also look into how we can be eco-friendly pet owners and reduce our fur-friends’ carbon pawprint.
Think about all those plastic toys, the chemicals in pet grooming products, and the amount of processed food that’s marketed to us – they all take a toll on our environment.
As responsible pet owners, here are some easy ways to practise sustainable pet care.
Sustainable pet products
So, you and your pet are ready to make a positive mark on the environment – where to begin? Think about some of the items around your home that your pet uses the most, and then look for alternatives that are more eco-friendly:
- Toys: Choose sustainable pet toys made from natural, recyclable or upcycled materials like hemp, recycled rubber or organic cotton. Avoid plastic toys and those that are wrapped in excessive packaging.
- Grooming products: There are plenty of organic, biodegradable, plant-based grooming products available these days. Look for shampoos with minimal chemicals and environmentally friendly packaging. Less toxic chemicals are not only better for the environment, but also for your pooch’s skin and general health.
- Beds: Invest in pet beds made from sustainable materials like bamboo, recycled fabrics or natural fibres. Having a washable bed that will last for years will help reduce waste.
Biodegradable pet waste bags and products
When cleaning up after your dog, use bags that are biodegradable, as they are made from special materials that break down easily in the environment, unlike regular plastic bags. If you have a cat, think about using cat litter made from plant-based materials instead of clay. These eco-friendly litters can make a huge impact on reducing environmental degradation.
Eco-friendly pet food
Where possible, opt for local brands, and especially those that are committed to environmentally conscious business practises. Select sustainable pet foods made from organic ingredients that are grown responsibly. Try to pick brands that don’t overprocess the pet food with a long list of chemical-based ingredients. Also, look out for sustainable food packaging that is recyclable or made from recycled materials.
Energy-efficient pet heating and cooling
You can help save energy – and money – by incorporating some smart ways to keep your pet feeling pampered. For example, smart thermostats can keep the temperature comfortable for your pet without using too much energy. You can also invest in heating or cooling pet mats to reduce energy consumption. And if you’re installing a pet door, choose one with a flap that stops heat from escaping or entering your home.
Consider local wildlife
It’s important to practise responsible pet ownership in relation to native animals, such as possums, lizards, and many birds, as well as threatened species like bandicoots and quolls who may be at risk from pets in urban areas. Risks associated with your local environment may differ, so be sure to do your research to ensure the welfare of all animals, including your pets, who may get injured after an encounter with more aggressive species of wildlife.
Keep an eye on your dog when outdoors and use a leash, particularly when around bushland or nature reserves. Even if your dog is being friendly, they may accidentally disturb native wildlife, which can impact the harmony of the ecosystem of that area.
Cats are natural hunters and particularly active on that front during the night as well as at dusk and dawn. Majority of nature conservation advocates and pet welfare organisations recommend keeping cats indoor, not only for the safety of native fauna, but also for your cat’s wellbeing. Installing a cat patio (‘catio’) and using a harness for supervised outdoor time can be a good way to keep your pet happy while being environmentally alert.
Eco-friendly pet ownership
Eco-friendly pet ownership means making conscious choices about every part of your pet’s care. You can start being more sustainable by choosing eco-conscious products and reducing waste wherever possible. Every small change counts, and you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that you are not only caring for your precious pets but also making a positive contribution to our planet.
12 Feb 2024