Making Pet Ownership Environmentally Friendly Getting Fido Doesn't Mean Trashing Your Green Ideals

At some point in their lives, most people want to have their own pet. Pets are a fun way to have companionship in your daily life if you live alone, and they also make great additions to families. They’re lovable and entertaining, so you’ll get a furry best friend who will adore you forever.

green pet care. Credit: Elliot MargoliesBefore you actually bring your pet home, there’s a lot to think about first. Not only do you have to consider the little things like what kind of collar they’ll have or what their routine will be, you also should think about how your pet is going to increase the size of your carbon footprint.

For those who want to live a green lifestyle, pets can do more damage to the environment than you might think. Read on for some tips so you can make pet ownership environmentally friendly, no matter what lifestyle you live. Your pet and you can live the green lifestyle that makes you happy while they’re kept happy and healthy too.

Plan Things Out Ahead of Time

Some people walk into pet ownership without spending time thinking about it. If you walk into a pet store and see a cute, fluffy bunny, you’re going to be tempted to give it the home it needs! There’s nothing wrong with that, but any pet should be brought home to a place that’s prepared.

You should read about what every pet owner should know before deciding what pet you want and when you’ll get them. That will help narrow down what their routine will be and what supplies you’ll have to get. After you have a more defined idea of what life with a pet will look like, you can make an eco-friendly list of what you need.

With a quick trip to the pet store or a search online, you can find anything you need for your pet, but will what you find be eco-friendly? Anything you see that’s right for budget or suggested by a vet has an eco-friendly alternative, which is where time comes in handy. You can find all those alternatives and be better prepared to get them before your pet ever comes home.

Try to Keep Cats Inside

Cats are in homes around the world, but everyone knows that cats also like to go outside. They’re natural predators, so they’ll enjoy chasing wildlife around and occasionally bringing home a dead gift for their owner.

While it may seem like a good idea to let your cat spend the majority of their time outside, a 2013 study showed that domestic cats kill 1.3 to 4 billion birds every year. That makes a major dent on the bird population, harming the food chain and the environment. You can keep your cat inside and give them toys to keep them entertained, or put a bell on their collar when they go outside so birds know when they’re coming.

Get Biodegradable Waste Bags

Having certain pets means that you’re going to be cleaning up a lot of waste, especially if you decide to be a dog owner. It’s true that this waste can act as a fertilizer if left out in the grass, but most complexes and neighborhoods have rules about always picking up what your dog leaves behind.

Picking up waste with plastic bags solves the problem of not leaving it lying around, but it also introduces yet another plastic bag to your local landfill. Instead, get biodegradable waste bags! They’ll naturally break down so there isn’t more plastic pollution, and when they break down, they won’t harm the earth with the material they’re made from either.

Pet ownership is not to be taken lightly, since you’re about to have your pet’s life and wellbeing in the palms of your hands. If you like to live a green lifestyle, you don’t have to worry about compromising that with whatever your pet needs or what their lifestyle will have to have.

Research what you’ll need to stock up on for your pet so you can look up greener alternatives. Because going green is so popular, you shouldn’t have any problem finding an eco-friendly solution to any harmful pet products. You’ll feel better about not increasing the size of your carbon footprint while keeping your furry best friend happy.


Emily Folk is the editor of Conservation Folks. She writes on topics of sustainability, conservation and green technology.