Pets: 11 tricks to reduce your ecological footprint

Pets: 11 tricks to reduce your ecological footprint

Have confinement and solitude linked to the COVID-19 pandemic given you the urge to adopt a four legged companion?  I understand: a ball of fur can bring so much joy to a home!  Nonetheless, cats and dogs can have a great impact on the environment. Their ecological footprint, often forgotten or underestimated, can prove to be huge! Its almost
scary... But, since I myself, have cats in my house, I cannot suggest that you dismiss adopting one.  It would be... incoherent.  So, here are some tips to protect our planet while keeping a furry friend at home.

Ecological tips for dog and cat owners

1. Avoid disposable pee pads. Instead, teach your animal to go outside for its elimination needs.  For many reasons, this is impossible for you? You can purchase machine washable 'pipi pads'.

2. Use plant based litter (wood shavings, corn residue, nut shells, recycled newspaper...).  Full of chemical additives, some of which are carcinogenic, 
clumping litter does not decompose once in the dump.  Imagine the heaps piling up in the landfills. 😬

3. Eliminate oders naturally. Instead of using chemical deodorants in aerosols, opt for essential oils (in diffusers) or soja candles.

4. Always pick up their waste. To do this, use biodegradable bags, sold in pet stores.  This way, you dog's or cat's wast will not pollute waterways. And no one will step in it...

5. Make toys yourself. Avoid colorful knickknacks and especially, desctuctable ones, form 'dollar stores'. One ball of bunched up paper and a bit of string, and your cat will amuse itsef for hours!  For a dog, insert a tennis ball into an old sock, add a few stitches, and you're done!

6. Buy accessories made from eco-friendly materials. You can, for example, buy a collar or leash made from hemp. This type of fiber is particularly resistant.  It won't break easily, and is excellent to ensure the safety of your furry friend.

7. Choose the right food for your pet. Opt for biological or vegetarian food, if possible, without any additives.  Check the source of the ingredients. Are they local? By the way, you can also bake your own treats for your companions.

8. Use non-toxic grooming products - shampoos and conditioners. Select natural and biodegradable care products for your ball of fur. Remember that your animal will lick itself and it can ingest particles that may be harmful for its health.

9. Compost dead hair.  It is possible, because fur is part of organic waste.  In the spring, leave the hair in a park or on land where there are many small animals.  Birds will be able to use the fur to build their nest.

10. Have your cat or dog spayed or neutered. This way, you will avoid having your animal reproduce itself repetitively. (There is already an overpopulation of pets...) Undesired babies usually end up in a pound, where they risk being euthanized...

11. Adopt a pet from a shelter.  You will save a life! Plus, you will not encourage the animal market or the notorious puppy mills.  The shelters welcome thousands of beautiful animals that are just waiting for your hugs and kisses.

Finally, don't deprive yourself of adopting and animal if you feel you have all the love to give it that it may need.  But remember, it is a long term contract, something to be carefully considered.

Happy thinking!

Mélanie