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Reduce Your Animal Companion’s ‘Carbon Pawprint’

dog_2D00_with_2D00_water_2D00_bowl.jpgSo you’ve switched to compact fluorescent light bulbs, lowered the thermostat afew degrees, and started biking or carpooling to work. Well done, young “green” grasshopper! But what about the other members of your family—namely, your animal companions? You can also reduce their “carbon pawprints” by taking the following steps:

  • Keep your kitty indoors. Cats who are allowed to roam outdoors terrorize, maim, and kill countless native birds and other wildlife who already struggle to survive challenges such as habitat loss and don’t stand a chance against cats. By keeping them indoors, you’ll also protect them from a slew of dangers, including being hit by vehicles, being poisoned, getting lost, being abused by cruel people, and other dreadful fates.
  • Serve them vegan meals. Going vegan is the single most effective thing that we can do to fight climate change and cruelty to animals, so why not get your animal companions in on the act? Check out our how-to page in order to learn how you can feed dogs and cats a healthy and nutritious vegan diet.
  • Use recycled and biodegradable kitty litter. Clumping, clay-based litters use strip-mined clay and contain silica, a carcinogen that can be inhaled, as well as sodium bentonite, which can clog cats’ intestines when they groom themselves. Luckily, there are plenty of environmentally friendly, nontoxic litters available, made out of everything from old newspapers to pine, corn, and wheat. Try a few to see which your kitty prefers. 
  • Use biodegradable bags for poop. That way, it can decompose in the landfill instead of sitting there for eons in a plastic bag. There are also washable, reusable poop bags and training pads. Even better, check into dog poop composting!
  • Clean up your act with “green” animal shampoos and household cleansers. Choose gentle shampoos made from natural, sustainable ingredients. Make sure that your companion animal’s suds are cruelty-free. Same goes for the potions you use to clean up doggie and kitty messes around the house. Check out our database to search for cruelty-free supplies for your companion!
  • Don’t “litter”—spay or neuter. “Littering”—i.e., allowing your animal companion to bring another litter of puppies or kittens into a world that is already tragically short on good homes—is truly a dirty thing to do. Spaying or neutering your animal companion is the single most effective thing that you can do to help end animal overpopulation, so what are you waiting for?
  • Adopt animals from shelters instead of buying them from breeders or pet stores. It’s the ultimate in “recycling”—you’ll be giving a loving, adorable, healthy, and perfectly fabulous homeless dog or kitty a second chance at life!
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  • Laura says:

    I use crushed corn cob bedding for all of our pets. I use it for our rescued ratties and piggies as bedding. I also salvage old bedspreads and sew them for dog beds for my dogs and the local shelters using the corn cob as bedding. When I change out the bedding I use the shredded corn cob as mulch in flower and plant beds that have really good drainage. It seems to break down quicker than normal store purchased mulch but I also like the fact that there are no chemicals in it. It works great and it holds up better than aspen in the dog beds – my daughter swiped a couple to use as bean bags at her house. Plus as it is a by-product of the food industry I feel okay about using it (hopefully I am not wrong about that). I make tons of beds to donate as it is very inexpensive at the local feed stores. Here it is about $6.00 for 50 pounds.

  • Michele says:

    I have a bunny, who of course is already vegan. And even though I use aspen shavings and do not need kitty litter, my city is now using a “Green Bin” program where I can put all of my bunny’s shavings and waste into the new bin, and avoid adding to the landfill. I already use Method products for household cleaning, and I got my bun from someone who no longer wanted her (I know, it’s shocking!). So it looks like my animal companion and I are doing everything we can to be green! 🙂

    There are so many unwanted rabbits out there – usually ones that were purchased as Easter presents – so if you want to rescue a pet and have a green household, having a bunny is one of the best ways to do it.

    My only recommendation is to make sure you have a vet who is really experienced with rabbits. They are considered to be “exotic” pets, and their health problems, which can be very extensive, are often much different from those of dogs and cats.

  • Rad_Rosa89 says:

    This is exactly what I plan to do with my puppy, she alread loves to eat tofu and soy burgers! I just don’t have the money.. my frist pay check will go to gettting her fixed.