As fur parents, it is our responsibility to care for our pets in the best way possible. And as eco-conscious consumers, it is also our responsibility to care for the planet in the best way we can.
Bridging the gap between the two can seem like a complex task, especially when you factor in your pets' individual needs. But contrary to what you may think, making pet care an eco-friendly activity can be easy, healthy, and fun for both you and your pet.
There are numerous ways you can start cutting out harmful products from your pet care routine, and while we do encourage you to switch to eco-friendly products as much as possible, we also suggest taking all the time you need to make the switch.
We know it can be quite an undertaking, and making sure you take slow but sure steps towards your sustainability goals is truly the key.
Here are our top tips for making your pets live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Start With Food
Food is one of the most critical parts of your pet’s daily routine. Without a proper, balanced diet, your pet will suffer health consequences that will only lead to more expenses in the future.
For us, fur parents, living an eco-friendly lifestyle may involve reducing our reliance on meat products and switching to more plant-based options. For pets, it isn’t as simple as cutting out meat from their diet—doing so may be an irresponsible choice, especially for pets that require meat in their daily food intake.
However, there are some pet food options that feature a more plant-based approach yet still contain meat products for a healthy, balanced diet. We recommend looking for these types of pet food in your local stores or online.
Of course, with anything that has to do with your pet’s health, it is crucial to consult your vet first before making any major changes to their diet. This will help ensure they stay healthy, happy, and strong—which is really the ultimate goal of pet care.
Reconsider Plastic Toys
Most pet toys available today are (sadly) made of plastic—plastic toys are easily accessible and cheap, so we understand why they are as popular as they are. Unfortunately, they are not the most eco-friendly nor the most durable option, especially if your pet is quite a biter and goes through toys like mad.
If you can find pet toys that are plastic-free and made under sustainable conditions, then those are the very best option. However, we know this isn’t easily accessible to everyone. The next best option would be to choose brands that use post-consumer recycled plastic or other forms of nonvirgin plastic.
If the toy company has a recycling initiative or has a closed-loop system, then that’s even better! Companies that actively participate in sustainability initiatives are almost always the best brands to purchase your toys from.
If you do have plastic pet toys in your home that are still serving their purpose, please keep them and when it’s time to throw them away, do so responsibly. And when you do want to replace them, then that’s the time to opt for more sustainable options.
Choose Sustainable Gear
Pet gear can be an integral part of a pet’s life. Their leash, collar, bed, and other accessories are all part of living a happy and safe pet life.
Buying pet gear made from sustainable materials can be an excellent way for you to lessen your pet’s environmental impact. When we say sustainable, we aren’t just talking about eco-friendly materials; we’re also talking about gear that is durable and lasts.
And once your pet’s gear gives out or they grow out of it, you can repurpose or donate—helping close the product loop.
For more tips on sustainability and living low waste, head on over to Puratium, where they tackle more about caring for our planet in what little ways we can.
Eco-friendly Waste Care is a Must
Dealing with your pet’s poop can be quite an ordeal. When you’re at home, you might need kitty litter, and when you’re outside taking your dog out on a walk, you may need some poop bags to scoop up any of the waste they leave behind.
Unfortunately, some pet companies use harmful chemicals on their waste care items, making litter time quite harmful to the environment.
When choosing a waste care product, we suggest purchasing from brands that use eco-friendly materials such as compostable and biodegradable kitty litter or compostable poop bags. There are even flushable poop bags you can use for proper disposal.
Your pet is an extension of your family. And just like us, they use up products that come in various forms of packaging.
Throughout the life of your pet, you will likely run through thousands of products with packaging that may be recycled or repurposed into something new. While the best course of action would be to switch to the most eco-friendly packaging options, we also acknowledge there are instances where this isn’t possible.
And in those scenarios, it is crucial to get creative and think of different ways your discarded pet products can be transformed into something new. Those food containers and shampoo bottles are going to end up somewhere—it’s the least we can do to ensure they don’t end up polluting our environment and water systems.
Go for Eco-friendly Brands
Last, but definitely not least, always choose sustainable brands when purchasing any pet products. Although it might seem like a no-brainer, many brands out there simply greenwash their customers into thinking their products are eco-friendly—even though they’re not.
As a fur parent and a sustainability enthusiast, it is vital to dig deeper into the ethos of the brands you choose to buy from.
Eco-friendly companies with values that align with yours are always the best option when it comes to buying products for your pets—may it be toys, food, and everything else in between.
To take it a step further, we would also recommend going for brands with strong philanthropic roots. Choosing brands that give back to the community helps you and your pet’s consumption generate a better impact on the planet and people.
Having pets can be a fulfilling yet often demanding task. As living beings, they need love, care, and attention, and all of their needs can quickly add up to a lot of consumed products, toys bought, and waste disposed of.
But your pet’s companionship and the love they give back are priceless, unlike any other in the world. Whether you own a cat, dog, or bunny, our pets are lovely extensions of our life, and we are fortunate to share our lives with them.
Despite it all, it is definitely more than possible to continue living an eco-friendly lifestyle even with pets. While it does take a little more work, we guarantee the results are more than worth it.