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Greening Your Pets, Make Your Pets a Little Greener

By Kirsten E. Silven - 15 Dec 2010 9:52:5 GMT
Greening Your Pets, Make Your Pets a Little Greener

There is no excuse today for not trying to make a few simple lifestyle changes to benefit the planet and your own personal health. You can begin composting, remember to recycle your used items, buy locally produced organic foods, and try to walk more than you use the car. But don't forget that greening your pets is also quite possible and not too difficult to achieve.

This can be done right from the start simply by choosing to adopt an animal from a local shelter or rescue. In the current economic climate, many of the shelters are becoming over crowded. There are many animals that are abandoned simply because the owners cannot afford to feed or care for them properly, and these poor animals are often put to sleep when no home can be found.

In addition, choosing an animal from a resuce instead of a pet store can also reduce demand for cruel puppy farms. Today's rescue groups and shelters help find homes for all sorts of animals including dogs, cats, bunnies, birds and even farm animals.

Once you have chosen your brand new family member, it is important to have the pet neutered or spayed.  The abundance of homeless animals is a huge problem worldwide, so it is important for all animal lovers to do their part to avoid contributing to the problem.

Animals should live in a clean that is as chemically free as possible, just like humans.  When cleaning their bedding and housing, source eco-friendly cleansers made with natural ingredients.  At bath time, look for natural oil and mineral products.

Bedding should be made from organic cottons for larger animals, while smaller pets that live in hutches or cages can use shredded recycled paper and/or sustainable sawdust.

It is essential that you have a collar attached to dogs and cats with information of who to contact if they were to get lost. You can buy natural fiber collars and leads made from hemp, which is a good strong material that is also kind to the planet. The tags can be made from recycled metals.

Toys should be made from non-toxic plastics to ensure that no toxins are absorbed into your pet's bloodstream through biting and chewing, as this can lead to a wide variety of diseases and health problems. Avoid PVC products and read the label carefully to ensure the toy is poison free.

The unpleasant side of owning animals is, of course, their toilet habits.  Cats should be given litter that comes from a renewable source, such as compressed newspaper pellets or cornhusks, as these are also typically safer for their health. Clumping litter contains clay and silica particles, which are extremely carcinogenic to cats and humans alike.

A dog's mess can be collected in bio-degradable bags or broken down naturally in dog waste containers which are dug into the ground.  Rabbit droppings can be added safely to most compost, along with the straw and sawdust, which breaks down naturally.

Finally, it is a good idea to look closely at the food you feed to your animals. Cat and dog food that is found on most grocery store shelves can contain meat that has come from dead or diseased animals.  The animals may also have been subjected to antibiotics and chemicals in their lifetime. Instead, buy organic pet food to ensure your animal is protected from diseases caused by a buildup of various toxins and preservatives. Your pet will thank you for it by remaining happy and healthy for years to come.