As you’ve probably noticed, dogs and cats can’t read labels—or if they can, they’re hiding it really well. As a result, our companion animals need us to choose the best food, bedding, grooming tools, and cleaning products for their benefit as well as the benefit of the planet. Selecting organic, eco-friendly, all-natural and vegan animal-care products is just one more way of doing our best to maintain a cruelty-free and environmentally conscious lifestyle, while keeping our furry friends healthy and happy.
Many natural-foods stores have dedicated aisles for organic and all-natural animal supplies, but online retailers can offer more in terms of variety and quality. Sites like Simply Fido, Only Natural Pet Store, Natural Woof, My Eco Pets, and The Green Hound sell eco-friendly beds, treats, toys, collars, grooming aids, and waste-disposal bags, so there’s something sustainable for every pup or kitty.
The days of doghouses made of chintzy plastic are long gone with the array of eco-friendly shelters on the market. New Age Pet’s ecoConcepts insulated dog bunk house is made from recycled post-consumer wood fibers and PVC, and is weather-resistant and moisture-proof to keep your pooch warm and cozy. Want to go to the next level with your sustainable pet home? Install a Doggie Dooley, an in-ground disposal system that uses natural bacteria and enzymes to reintegrate dog waste into a ground-absorbed liquid. For cats, check out the Cat Genie, which uses washable, biodegradable granules in place of strip-mined, pollutive traditional litter to provide a sustainable and hygienic alternative. Finally, fluff up a green bed for Fido or Fluffy to lay their head upon. PoochPlanet beds are filled with ecoRest fiber, made from recycled plastic bottles, and come in four different varieties depending on your pup’s favorite sleeping position. PoochPlanet even makes therapeutic beds with extra cushioning, constructed from soy foam and reclaimed memory foam, that make counting sheep a dream. Their kitty counterparts, SmartyKat beds, are made with the same sustainable materials but with the added perk of organic catnip.
Walk In the Park
Many dogs literally jump for joy at the invitation to go for a walk, but their owners are less thrilled at the prospect of cleaning up with plastic bags that will end up in a landfill. Harry Barker’s No. 2 Bags, complete with a recycled-plastic dispenser, are fully biodegradable, so they’ll compost in your heap or bin instead of stinking up your trashcan. Leashes and collars have also gone green, with an array of options made from hemp, bamboo, and other sustainable materials. Try Earthdoggy’s recycled-plastic Eton leash—it comes with a handy clip to attach your house keys and bag dispenser. Don’t forget to bring a toy to throw for your pup in the park—toss your mutt’s favorite ball with Planet Dog’s Wood Chuck, a thrower made from sustainable bamboo and reused cork scraps.
Made evident by data from organizations like Environmental Working Group, meat production’s carbon emissions far surpass those of plant-based foods, and our companion animals’ dietary habits have an impact too. Fortunately, there are lots of veg formulas on the market that will keep your dog or cat healthy and full of energy without the harmful animal by-products found in many conventional foods. Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula kibble, made from brown rice, potatoes, peas, and oatmeal, has the same essential nutrients as its meaty counterparts, but is free of animal products. Dr. Harvey’s Veg-To-Bowl is a nutritious, vitamin-rich mix of 100-percent human-grade vegetables that any protein, such as tempeh, lentils, or beans, can be added to for a complete meal. Or, treat your canine to Nature’s Recipe Healthy Skin & Coat Vegetarian Recipe, a fortified vegan dry food that contains no meat, corn, wheat, or dairy, accommodating even the most sensitive of stomachs. Many veterinarians agree that dogs can thrive on a vegetarian or vegan diet, but meat-free diets for cats continue to be controversial due to their complex requirements for specific nutrients. There are a number of cat-food companies that claim to meet these needs, so if you’re interested in trying a veg regimen for your kitty, check out sites like VeganCats and Evolution Diet. They have an array of plant-based formulas that are worth investigating, but always start a new food plan with the advice of your veterinarian.
Nearly every aspect of animal care can be covered using environmentally conscious materials and practices. Make your dog or cat proud by being conscientious and cruelty-free, for his or her sake and for the well-being of our planet and all of its creatures.
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