Pet ownership is a controversial topic among people who care about protecting the environment and reducing their carbon footprint. Having a pet means hundreds or even thousands of kilograms of carbon are used yearly to feed and keep them healthy. But does this mean you can’t continue to enjoy the company of your furry friend? Here are some environmentally friendly choices you can make to care for your pet and the planet.
Leave No Trace
When walking your pet in the great outdoors, there are plenty of opportunities for pollution and disruption of the natural environment. Dogs use their urine to leave scent markers that can harm plant life and wildlife. Dog fouling should always be collected and appropriately discarded, as well as all other potential litter. Don’t let your dog trample or destroy the greenery, either. If in doubt when walking, remember that it is always better if you leave no trace.
Spay or Neuter
If you don’t spay or neuter your pet, there is a chance that they will have offspring, which will need many years’ worth of resources to care for properly. There are very few good reasons not to have your pet spayed or neutered. Most vets, such as saltwateranimalhospital.com, offer these spaying and neutering services. In the case of male cats, neutering could increase their lifespan by two years. Surely this is preferable to having a cat who passes away younger and whose offspring require years and years of resources?
Dogs and cats are particularly dangerous to the natural environment if their numbers and actions lead to large-scale deaths within wildlife populations. Cats with outdoor access often hunt birds and small rodents, which can unbalance the ecosystem of the area. Dogs left unattended can disrupt and harm wildlife such as rabbits, fish, and birds. The way to avoid this is to pay attention to where your pets are and what they do.
Pets often require at least some equipment or toys to ensure that they live comfortable and fulfilling life. Beds, litter boxes, crates, food bowls, and more can quickly dent your bank account. To save money and protect the planet, look for secondhand items instead of new ones wherever possible. If someone no longer needs their old dog crate, why waste the money and resources by buying a new one when you can reuse one that would otherwise end up in landfill.
Choose Biodegradable Options
The technology and manufacturing capabilities for biodegradable products are growing all the time. When shopping for your pet, make choices that reflect your desire to protect the planet. There are biodegradable poop bags and cat litter that can help to reduce your carbon impact. Check the ingredients in your pet’s food and be discerning about the materials in their toys. If you can’t buy something secondhand, ensure it can be reused, recycled, or biodegraded.
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash.