When people decide to lead a sustainable lifestyle, their pets are not always considered as part of the equation. It’s just assumed that just because greening up your home is good for humans, it must be good for pets, too. But there are several steps you should take to make sure your pets enjoy the benefits of going green. In fact, your pet practices are a major contributory factor in the environment. After all, there are over a billion dogs and cats in the world.
Importance of sustainable home practices
Going green basically means auditing our practices and habits and how they impact our environment. What makes them sustainable is that we don’t contribute to the destruction of the resources around us in the process. And by reducing waste and energy use, you also save on costs, which is easy on the pocket. Watch your monthly electricity and water bills plummet due to your sustainable lifestyle. You can also get tax rebates and incentives from your local government via policies promoting sustainable living. At the very least, you improve the air quality in your home and that’s always good for the health of your loved ones and pets.
How to go about sustainable living for your family and pets
- Invest in a sustainable dog bed. Your dog spends 80% of its time in a day lying down, either sleeping or just resting. In fact, the adult dog sleeps between 12 and 14 hours per day. So, you want a material that provides comfort to your dog, is non-allergenic, and is easy to clean. When your dog gets older, you should also look into an orthopedic bed for maximum support and comfort for your pup.
- Use non-toxic shampoo. Shampoos for humans are not designed for your pets because they have high-acidic contents that are harmful to the skin of your dog. Their fragrance is also generally too strong for their sensitive nose. Non-toxic shampoo, on the other hand, means the product is free of parabens, toxins, and dyes.
- Compost. Buy a compost bin and when you go out for a walk so your dog can relieve itself, scoop up the waste and put it in the box. There are numerous DIY videos online that will teach you how to build your own compost.
- Pet-friendly products. As a rule of thumb, products manufactured from natural raw materials are always a good thing. When choosing chewable toys, plushies, grooming products, and even leashes, study the ingredients. You want the materials free of BPA, phthalates, vinyl, and toxic plastics. Throwing these in the landfill is also toxic to the environment.
- Take your dog for a walk. When you are doing your daily errands, leave the car in the garage and walk instead - but don’t forget to take your dog with you! Not only is this good exercise for your pets, but you also reduce your carbon emissions, as well. Of course, just like humans, dogs need their daily exercise for their mental and physical health.
Going green is a commitment. At the outset, it requires some financial investment on your part as you go about transforming your home, and don’t overlook your furry companions when you do decide to pursue sustainable living. What you do impacts them, perhaps more so because they don’t have an input on your decision.
About the Author:
Elise Morgan is a contributing author to The Dog Blog by Doggy Do Good. You can follow Elise on Twitter - @elisemthewriter