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Having a home that is both sustainable and pet friendly can easily be done. Dogs have a carbon footprint, just like the rest of us, but it’s up to their owners to help lower the amount of waste they create. This doesn’t mean your pet can’t also have a loving and fun home filled with plenty of enrichment and comfortable amenities. The key is being aware of which aspects of your pets life can be more sustainable and which changes are easily made in your home. By using less water, using non-toxic cleaning products, utilizing the outdoors, making responsible food choices, and purchasing pet items with the environment in mind, your home can be both sustainable and pet friendly.
Use Less Water for Grooming
In order to prioritize water conservation, showers are better than baths. The same is true for grooming your furry family members. Instead of filling up your tub, or filling up a pool in your backyard, use a hose or your shower head. You can even utilize a groomer or a DIY dog grooming business so that you can avoid at-home grooming altogether. A professional groomer may be more efficient with water when it comes to bathing your dog. And while clogged bathtub drains from dog hair can be unclogged using boiling water or a plunger, taking your grooming elsewhere can eliminate that problem altogether and keep you from having to resort to more wasted water, effort, and possibly chemicals if it’s badly clogged.
Using your gardening hose for grooming can double as a way to keep your pup cool in the summer, but make sure to use a spraying hose handle. Not only does it offer more pressure to clean the soap out of your pups fur, it also uses less water.
Prioritize Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
Non-toxic cleaning products are not only better for your pet, they are also better for the environment. Cleaning products are one of the top household safety concerns for your pet. When searching for cleaning products for your home, or even hygiene products for your pet, make sure you’re prioritizing brands that use sustainable manufacturing practices. Look for natural ingredients that are non-toxic and biodegradable. Many plant-based cleaners are great and use citrus instead of artificial fragrances. Enzyme cleaners are great pet stain removers and are safe for pets. Make sure you’re doing your research on the cleaning products you use in order to ensure they really are safe and not just using the “green” label to sell products.
Opt for Natural Water to Play in
As summer approaches, it’s great to plan water adventures to keep your pup cool in the summer heat. Instead of using your water at home, opt for natural water for them to play in. Lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, or the ocean are all great options. This will allow your pet to stay cool, get some exercise, and won’t waste any water at home. Just be sure you’re taking part in some summer safety practices by providing them with floatation devices if you’re not sure about their swimming skills. You should also consider giving them a quick rinse once they are home so that their skin isn’t irritated by the salt from the ocean or vegetation from a pond, etc.
Make Responsible Food Choices
It’s clear that one of the best things you can do in order to be a sustainable pet owner is to do your research and learn about the pet products you’re purchasing. Making responsible food choices for your pet will involve a lot of research. This doesn’t mean your pet can’t have tasty food that they will enjoy, it just means you should make responsible pet food choices that are better for your pet and the environment. One aspect of finding sustainable pet food is to look at the pet food company’s manufacturing practices and packaging. Another is to find a food company that uses as much of the animal protein in question as possible (beef, chicken, etc), such as including the bone meal and organ meats — aspects often discarded by human meat eaters. Foods high in vegetables are also helpful and nutrient rich for your pup.
Purchase Pet Items Responsibly
Pets deserve a home full of enriching and comfortable items that belong to them. Providing them with a relaxing and safe space helps them during a move, when they are feeling stressed, and gives them a space that is theirs. In order to have a sustainable and pet-friendly home, you don’t have to eliminate these niceties, you just have to buy less and buy responsibly. Though we’d all love to buy our pets every toy under the sun, make sure you’re only buying what they need as to avoid being wasteful, or prioritize buying items second-hand. When purchasing items for your dog, focus on brands that prioritize sustainability by choosing less plastic packaging, organic products, or those made from recycled materials.
Any home can easily be both sustainable and animal-friendly by making a few changes in the decisions you make for your pet. Your pets are typically happy with whatever they are given, and making changes toward sustainability will not affect that in the least. The key is to use less, and be mindful about what you do use. Your pet can’t choose to take a shower instead of a bath, or to use environmentally friendly shampoo, so you have to make those decisions for them. By making more responsible choices for your pet’s needs, you can have a home that is more sustainable and safer for your furry family members.