Making Fido Eco-Friendly
Posted by Valerie McTavish on Jul 17, 2012 | Green Living
Your planet-positive attitude doesn’t have to go to the dogs when it comes to your pooch. Follow these simple green tips to make man’s best friend the planet’s best friend too.
Start with playtime or more importantly, playthings. Does your dog reduce its chew toys to a mound of plastic rubble? As frustrating as that may be for your pocketbook, think about what those bits of plastic are doing to the planet and your dog’s health. Some chew toys contain chemical residues, formaldehyde, heavy metals and those made with plastic may contain BPA. One look at that pile of shredded toy and you know some of it has ended up in your dog’s stomach. Opt instead for toys made with non-toxic, recyclable materials (like West Paw Designs, Zogoflex), hemp, organic cotton or wool. If you want to go totally natural while playing to your dog’s canine instincts, look at animal-based chew toys like naturally shed deer antlers.
Your dog’s diet can make a big impact on the environment and their health. We often don’t think about where their food is coming from and exactly what’s in it. Many people support the raw diet for their dogs because it most closely resembles their natural diet. Proponents of the raw diet love that there’s no waste (the whole animal is eaten) and there are no additives, preservatives or fillers.
If raw isn’t in the cards for your canine, look for organic and all natural ingredient. While you’re at it, why not go local – check out your community doggie bakery for locally made meals and treats. Your dog’s food has a carbon footprint too so read the label and find out how far that food traveled to Fido’s bowl.
And because what goes in, must come out, there’s no avoiding the poop-scoop. You can make the effort more eco-friendly by using bio-degradable bags. For example, Bio-Bags are made with non-GMO corn, soy-based dyes and are 100 percent compostable, breaking down within 45 days. If you’re committed to the environment, you can even invest in a dedicated doggie-do composter – just be sure to keep it away from your vegetable garden and only use the compost on flower beds or shrubs.
Accidents happen and when they do, the smell can have you reaching for the strongest chemical antidote. Go green with a mixture of white grain vinegar, water and baking soda. If it’s on carpet or a rug, removed the mess, scrub this mixture into the carpet and blot it until it comes up clear. For bigger messes or strong smelling urine, blot the area with an old towel first, then use warm water and castile soap followed by the vinegar paste. Leave the paste on the carpet and vacuum it up when dry to really get rid of any lingering odour.
Raising planet-friendly pets is as easy as making a few simple adjustments. And, the bonus is that both the environment and your best friend will be healthier.