There are many ways for you to go green. Maybe you’ve replaced your lightbulbs with LCDs or CFLs and maybe you use power strips to unplug all of your electronics before going out. These are awesome green choices you’re making to make the planet just a little better. But why stop there? Have you ever thought about the environmental impact your pet is having? Being pet-friendly, we’re all about including pets in darn near every aspect of living well and going green is no exception! Here’s our list of ways to make your pet a green pet.

Adopt From A Shelter

Here’s a good one to start with: adopt your pet from a shelter. This is the greenest way to find a new friend. Not only are you rescuing an animal and giving them a good life, but you’re also giving the next rescue that space and supplies.

There are 70,000 kittens and puppies born in the United States every day. The majority are natural births and not intentionally inbred or overbred like you could get with a pet from breeders. Adopting from a place like the humane society promotes natural births and frees up proper care and proper resource distribution among the remaining or new additions to the shelters. 

Spay or Neuter

Remember that 70,000 kittens and puppies born every day statistic? Another great and healthy way to keep your pet green is to have them spayed or neutered. If you have no intention of raising your pet’s litter, getting them fixed is the best way to prevent impregnation and help reduce those 70,000 animals born every day.

Spaying or neutering your pet will lead to more space and supplies for the shelters, lead to fewer animals being euthanized, and fewer animals stuck roaming the streets. It’s also healthy for your pet to be fixed. Fixing will reduce the risk of genital infections and diseases and even reduce the risk of cancer. Not only is it greener to spay or neuter, but it’s also healthy!

Scoop That Poop

First of all, a responsible pet owner ALWAYS cleans up after their pet…. A GREEN and responsible pet owner will clean up after their pet a little smarter. Instead of using old plastic bags that will end up filled with droppings and stuck taking up space in a landfill, use biodegradable poop bags. Even better, try to compost it. Leaving pet waste is the worst option because it can get into water sources for people and animals, spreading bacteria.

When it comes to cats, try to find natural non-clay litter to use. Conventional clay litter is made from bentonite clay and silica (a carcinogen). The clay is extracted through heavy mining that can damage the environment and using litter without silica will reduce cancer risk in your cat. It’s greener and healthier to use natural cat litter.

Accessorize Conservatively

Animals need a few basic things to live happy, fulfilling lives. Things like food, water, exercise, and love are the main things. Notice “wardrobe” and “a billion toys” were not on that list. While it’s fun and cute to spoil your pet sometimes, they don’t need a closet full of collars, outfits, or even a chest full of toys. Reducing the number of toys and accessories you buy for your pet is one of the most eco friendly things you can do as a pet owner.

Not only are these things ultimately unnecessary for your pet to be happy, but it also takes a lot of resources to produce all of these… things… that your pet would be fine without. You can easily and considerably reduce your pet’s carbon footprint by easing up on the stuff. If you’ve ever watched a dog chase its tail for an hour or watched a cat try to pounce on a laser pointer, you probably can see why those accessories and toys don’t mean that much to your pet.

Accessorize Smart (Reusable)

Now, we’re not against pet toys and accessories, we’re against the mass-produced and environmentally harmful effects of them. If you want to continue to spoil your pet you certainly can do so. There is a myriad of environmentally conscious companies and pet products out there. Collars, outfits, toys, and leashes made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers like hemp will last longer, leave less of an impact to produce, and will reduce your pets carbon pawprint at the same time.

On top of that, using natural pet care products are better for your pet and the environment as well. Natural, non-toxic shampoos and non-BPA plastic feeding and drinking bowls are also a great addition to the green supplies you can buy. 

These are just the first things that come to mind when thinking about going green with your pet. There are many, many more ways to continually reduce you and your pet’s carbon pawprint. It’s not as difficult as many people believe, you just have to look a little harder for the companies and producers that are striving to keep our furry friends as green as they can be.

The other major take away from this should be that these recommendations for going green are also incredibly healthy for your pet. Even if you don’t do it for the environment, do it for your pet. Being healthy and going green just seem to go hand in paw.