Archive for the ‘home cooked pet food’ Tag
Happy Earth Day everyone! Since today is all about keeping our world clean and reducing our carbon footprint, I thought it would be fun to get our furry friends in on the action. Here are some tips on reducing your pets carbon “paw” print, and fun activities you can do with them on Earth Day!
Attend a Pet Friendly Earth Day Event. There are plenty of events to get involved in this Earth Day, so why not bring your pet along? Events such as a beach clean up or a park clean up are great ways to volunteer to beautify the community and may also be great pet friendly events. Check out a list of events in your community to find out which will find furry friends acceptable volunteers for their events.
Organize a Neighborhood or Dog Park Clean Up. Take the initiative and organize your own event. A neighborhood or dog park clean up is a great event to organize as a pet owner because every pet deserves a safe and clean place to play in. Talk to your neighbors, your family and your friends in order to build a volunteer group to undertake the project. Look here for tips on how to organize your own neighborhood/park clean up.
Take a Walk. Going somewhere within walking distance? Skip the car, grab your pet and embark on the journey together. Not only will walking prevent the pollution caused by cars, but it is also a great source of exercise and a way to get outside and enjoy our beautiful Earth. Don’t forget to keep your pet on a leash, though. Pets on a leash are less likely to go after—and possibly harm—native wildlife such as birds and they are less likely to run away from their companions.
Snuggle! Don’t touch that thermostat! Instead of turning up the heat, employ snuggle power. Snuggling with your cute cats and dogs will not only keep everyone warm in potentially chilly spring weather, but it is always great to show your pets how much they are loved with a spontaneous snuggle session!
Pick up after your pooch! Unscooped poop pollutes water and spreads disease if it is not picked up and then processed properly. Scoop up your doggie doo in biodegradable poop bags so your buddy’s No. 2 isn’t immortalized in a plastic bag, while deep-sixed in a landfill somewhere for hundreds of years. Cat owners should avoid clumping clay litter because clay is strip-mined, which is bad for the planet.
Or, better yet, compost their poop. According to a recent article, American dogs and cats create 10 million tons of waste a year, and no one knows where it’s going. Most of our pets’ poop either winds up in a landfill purgatory, where it’s embalmed practically forever in plastic bags, or sits on the ground until the next rainstorm washes it into the sewer where it can drift on down to rivers and beaches. You can compost the poop–just don’t use it with your vegetable garden, because the compost doesn’t heat up enough to kill pathogens such as E. coli., which could contaminate your homegrown produce and land up in your (very unhappy) belly.If you have room in your backyard, you can bury an old garbage bin (note: far away from your vegetable garden) to use as a pet-waste composter. Or check out the Doggie Dooley. The makers of the Doggy Dooley also sell an enzymatic “Super Digester Concentrate” for your backyard pet septic system.
Prevent Pet Overpopulation. Spaying or neutering your pets keeps overpopulation in check by keeping unwanted litters and abandoned pets out of shelters, as well as providing your pets with a more enjoyable, longer life. Roughly 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in the United States, and we don’t need any more homeless animals than we already have. As a bonus, spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by eliminating the possibility of uterine, ovarian, and testicular cancer, and decreasing the incidence of prostate disease.
Get a “recycled” pet. Adopting pets saves lives! Giving a great home to a homeless pet is an incredibly rewarding way to save the planet. Why buy when you can adopt one of the 70,000 puppies and kittens born every day in the United States? If you aren’t on the market for a new furry friend, donating to a local shelter helps too. Donations don’t have to be limited to monetary ones… Shelters are always in need of gently used collars, leashes, towels, newspapers, bedding , and toys.
Buy pet products made from recycled materials. It’s easier than ever to buy “Green” products these days, including ones for your pet. There are many companies out there that make pet products such as dog beds and pet carriers that are made out of recycled plastic bottles!
Rein in your pets. Protect native wildlifeAlways keep your dog on a leash when outside, and confine your mangy feline indoors. Topped only perhaps by habitat destruction, cats are the biggest, baddest bird killers of all time. Even wind turbines have got nothing on them. While you may poo-poo high cat-related bird-mortality rates as collateral damage in the great Circle of Life, domestic cats do have an unfair advantage. Unlike wild predators, house cats are always well fed, well rested, and in great fighting shape. They’re also present in more concentrated (and rapidly increasing) numbers.
However, if your kitty is itching for some outdoor time, why not take them for a walk? Many companies now sell cat specific harnesses, which are designed for a kitty cats contortionist abilities. Please note, that this does ate time for the kitty to get used to- it’s best to start them off wearing a harness inside, then once they’re used to it go out on the porch, then the yard, etc. Cats are creatures of habit, and you have to go slow with them!
Another tip for the outdoorsy kitty? Bring the outdoors in by making a cat friendly garden near a window- plant a few pots of catnip and cat grass, and put and eco friendly bed in the middle of it.
Use natural pet-care and cleaning products.You don’t use toxic-chemical-laced shampoos and beauty products, so lather up your pets with natural pet-care products as well. And if your cat horks up a hairball, or Fifi doesn’t make it all the way to the bathroom, clean up the mess with cleaning products that are as gentle on the planet as they are on your critters’ delicate senses.
Pets, not fads.Sure, everyone’s ovaries ping when they see a five-year-old moppet cradle a tiny chick or a bunny during Easter, but nature dictates that baby bunnies grow up into rabbits, and little chicks into full-size chickens. Unless everyone involved understands that a pet is a long-term commitment that involves demands on both their time and money, you’re better off giving the kid a stuffed animal. Impulse buying isn’t a good idea either, as the large numbers of fad dogs that pass through shelters (often to their death) can attest.
Tag your pet. It might be a stretch to call inserting an electronic ID chip into your pet an eco-friendly move, but losing your buddy causes extreme emotional distress that turns you into nobody’s friend. Then there’s the paper waste from printing out Missing posters, the fuel cost of driving around your neighborhood trying to find them, the phone bill as you bawl your eyes out to everyone you know … well, you get the idea. Ask your vet for more info. For hanging tags, check out these recyclable (and recycled) aluminum ID tags and these WaggTaggs made from recycled silver.
Be a pet chef. If you want to know exactly what is going into your furball’s food dish, or your pet suffers from allergies, you can always make your own puppy (or kitty) chow. Going this route means you can buy your meat (organic and humanely raised, of course) and vegetable in bulk, make the food, and freeze in pre made portions. Just please make sure that if you do decide to go this route that you meet with a veterinary nutritionist to be sure that you are making food for your pet that is nutritionally balanced.
Get crafty. Your cat will love you forever if you grow your own organic catnip or cat grass. Scrap yarn and fabric you might otherwise toss can also easily be transformed into pet toys with some basic crafty know-how. And they wouldn’t have had to be trucked thousands of miles just to get drooled on.
Get ticks off. While you don’t want to douse your pet in toxins, it is also important to keep the bugs in check. Pets can carry ticks, and ticks can carry Lyme Disease, a serious and poorly understood disease that attacks the nervous system. If you live in an area where Lyme Disease is a risk (such as my state, New Jersey, which is number 2 for Lyme Disease in the nation), be very cautious and seek sound advice on keeping ticks off you and your furry friends.
Offset your pet. Maybe Scruffy will only drink water from an electric-powered water fountain, or perhaps you have a self-cleaning litter box from before you went green–we all have corpses buried in our backyards. Why not purchase green tags, otherwise known as renewable energy credits, to offset your pets’ carbon emissions. Heck, buy ‘em for the whole family so no one feels left out. Or better yet, check if your state sells green power so you and your furry compatriots can go carbon neutral.