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Green Earth = Green Pet

on April 23, 2009
Posted in News

This week, the world celebrates Earth Day on 22 April. It was started by Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970, to encourage people to be more aware of the Earth and the environment in which we all live.

There are many ways to ‘go green’, such as eating organic foods, carpooling etc. But did you know that there are things that you can do to make your pet ‘greener’ too?

Use Natural Health Care Products

Instead of feeding your pet medication that is filled with chemicals that you can’t even pronounce, consider the use of herbs instead. Before veterinarians, wild animals were able to heal themselves by ingesting certain plants. PetWellbeing has a large array of herbal products specifically designed for the health of cats and dogs.

Use Natural Pet Cleaning Products

Replace your chemical laden cleaning products with more natural ones that are both earth and pet friendly. Use lemon juice and vinegar as a disinfectant and burn some cinnamon sticks on your stove to scent your house with. Remember too that if you wash your floor with a strong, chemical cleaning product, every time your cat or dog walks across the kitchen floor, they are inadvertently picking up chemical residue on their paws. Whenever they lick their paws, they are ingesting small amounts of that same chemical!

Feed Healthier Food

You eat organic food so why shouldn’t your pet? Almost every commercial pet food today consists of reconstituted animal by-products. These are the low-grade wastes that the beef and poultry industries have left over after packaging beef and chicken for human consumption. Most of the animals that are used to make most commercial cat and dog food are classified as “4-D”, which stands for “Dead, Dying, Diseased, or Disabled” when they arrive at the slaughterhouse.

The only way to know for sure whether the contents of commercial pet food are truly safe is if, somewhere on the packaging, it states that it is FDA certified, food grade meat.

A general rule of thumb should be never to feed your pet anything that you wouldn’t eat yourself! Remember that good nutrition is the perfect deterrent to a life of disease and poor health.

Pet foods that are natural and organic are made with meats that are raised in sustainable, humane ways and that have not been pumped with drugs or hormones. They are also minimally processed and then preserved using natural substances, like vitamins C and E. These foods have to pass USDA guidelines that dictate how the ingredients should be produced and processed. This generally means that there should be no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, artificial ingredients or genetically engineered ingredients in the pet food.

Another option is for you to make your own pet food. This is a great way to know exactly what your pet is eating!

Your Pets Poop

Did you know that cats and dogs that live in the USA create 10 million tons of waste a year? The really scare thing is that no one really knows where it is going, according to Will Brinton, a scientist in Mount Vernon, Maine, a leading authority on waste reduction and composting.

In truth, most of your pet’s poop will end up in a landfill somewhere or either left on the ground to be washed away into the sewer system during the next rainfall. From here it seeps into the rivers that end up in the ocean.

The best thing to do with your pet’s poop is to compost it. But do not use this compost on your vegetable garden as the compost will not heat up enough to kill pathogens like E. coli. A great way to compost your pet’s poop is to bury an old rubbish bin and use that as a pet poop composter.

When out walking your dog, it is better for the environment if you use biodegradable poop bags. This way your dog’s poop will not spend eternity in a plastic bag in a landfill somewhere.

Avoid clumping clay litter if you have cats. This type of cat litter is strip-mined, which is very unhealthy for Earth, and the clay sediment is also infused with carcinogenic silica dust that coats a cat’s little lungs. Sodium bentonite, which acts as the clumping agent, is often ingested unknowingly by your cat whenever she grooms herself. This can actually poison your cat because it acts like expanding cement inside your cat’s body. Not surprisingly, sodium bentonite is also used as a grouting, sealing, and plugging material due its ability to increase in size by 15 to18 times their dry size.

It is far better to use eco-friendly cat litters to avoid these problems.

Sustainable Toys

You can give your pets earth friendly toys that are made out of recycled materials and sustainable fibers. You can buy your pet a hemp collar or even a pet bed that is made out of organic cotton or recycled PET bottles.

Another option is to grow your own pet grass or catnip. Use leftover pieces of string, paper and cardboard boxes to make toys for your cat or dog to play with.

Spay or Neuter Your Pet

To help prolong the health and life of your beloved pet, you should seriously consider having them spayed or neutered. It is estimated that nearly 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in America. Help control pet overpopulation by having your pet spayed or neutered.

Adopt a Pet

The best recycling comes from adopting a pet from an animal shelter! There are millions of homeless pets needing to be adopted in animal shelters throughout the country. Adopt a pet before you buy one from some breeder. Give a cat or dog a new lease on life by bringing them home with you!

Photo Credit: dsb nola

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Read also: Senior Citizens Can Meet Health Requirements Simply By Walking Dogs

Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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