Help Your Pet Live a Greener Life

With approximately 170 million pet dogs and cats in the United States it is important to consider how we can reduce their carbon paw print. Here are three things you can do to help your pet live a greener life.

For many people, pets are an important and enriching part of our daily lives. With people becoming increasingly more aware of the need to protect our environment it is important to consider how our pets can live a greener life. Here are three things you can do to help your pet be more eco-friendly.

Do Your Part to Reduce Overpopulation

In their book "Time to Eat the Dog?: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living", authors Robert and Brenda Vale conclude that one pet dog has a larger impact on the environment than driving an SUV 10,000 miles. So one of the biggest things we can do to make our pets greener is reduce overpopulation.

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that four million cats and dogs are put to sleep each year because there are not enough homes for them. That is a staggering number and reducing it would go a long way in making companion animals greener. So adopt a pet and make sure all your pets are spayed and neutered. You'll be doing both your pet and the planet a big favor.

Think About Food

Most of us don't give much thought to the food we feed our pets. But maybe we should. Nutrition is important not just for our pet's health but also their carbon paw print.

The greenest way to feed a pet would be a home prepared fresh diet from local sustainable sources. But that is an expensive and time consuming undertaking. Many of us just don't have the time or money to do it.

The most practical alternative is a super premium organic and sustainable pet food, like Karma dry dog food. Not only is super premium food like Karma better for your pet's health but it's also better for the planet. Super premium organic foods are made from fresh whole ingredients that are more sustainable and better for the environment than the ingredients used in cheaper foods. Even though super premium brands are more expensive than the bargain brand at the grocery store you will feed less of it because it is more calorie dense. And, because it is a better quality food it is more digestible so your pet will produce less waste.

Properly Dispose of Waste

Cleaning up after dogs and cats is an important part of reducing their carbon paw print. You should always pick up your dogs waste or else it will run off and end up in local waterways. At home you can use an in ground septic system specifically designed for dealing with pet waste, like the Doggie Dooley. If you would rather pick it up and throw it away that is okay, too, but you must be sure you use biodegradable pet waste bags. Otherwise your pets waste will sit in that landfill in a plastic bag for eons.

For cat waste, green pet owners should never use clumping cat litter since it is made from strip-mined clay. Instead a better option would be products like Yesterday's News, made of recycled newspapers, Shweat Scoop, made of natural wheat, and Feline Pine, made from renewable pine trees. And don't forget to use biodegradable bags when you clean the litter box.