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Pets, to most of us they are crucial members of the family. However, it can be particularly challenging to take care of our furry animal friends in sustainable ways. Difficult doesn’t mean impossible, though. In fact, many pet product providers and owners are beginning to understand that people want more sustainable ways to keep animals in their lives. A topic you can get some advice on in the posts below.
Before you even begin to consider how you can take care of your pets more sustainably, let’s talk about how they actually come into our lives. Yep, the topic here is adoption and why that is more sustainable than buying an animal from a breeder.
This video makes me smile…
Well, first of all, there can be a lot of issues with breeding pedigree animals, and how they are kept. However, concerning sustainability, it just makes no sense to create more animals intentionally in a country where there are already so many in shelters and being fostered. After all, it only increases the food and resource requirement placed on the planet!
Spay and Neuter
For more sustainable pet ownership, spaying and neutering your animals goes hand in hand with adoption. In fact, by having them fixed, you will be doing your part in making sure there are no more unnecessary lives brought into the world that the planet has to support.
Sustainable Pet Products
One of the most significant ways you can keep pets more sustainably is to be more selective with the products you buy for them. The good news is that there are plenty of pet ownership areas where you can make more sustainable choices
One of the most important of these is bedding. Obviously, anyone that cares for their animals will want me to be as healthy and comfortable as possible. That does mean supplying them with a warm and dry place to lay their head and body at night (Fish excluded!)
Of course, the type of bedding you will use depends on the animals you have. However, for dogs and cats, you can choose baskets woven from sustainable rushes instead of plastic. You can also line them with old blankets that have been thoroughly washed, rather than throwing them away.
You can also choose to buy sustainable bedding for small creatures such as mice, hamsters, and rats. Often made from recycled materials, or you may want to recycle paper yourself for this purpose. Although to keep your pet safe, you will need to follow the careful guidance here before doing so.
You can even get sustainable bedding materials for birds, from sites like the humorously named Little Peckers online. Something that means you won’t have to spend hours picking up each variety at the pets store and reading the back before finding the right one.
Sustainable Pet Food
Food is another critical issue when it comes to sustainability and keeping pets. In fact, many people begin to question the ethics of keeping and feeding a pet when there aren’t enough resources to ensure many humans don’t starve. Of course, it is a personal ethical issue. However, no matter what your view on it, there are some things you can do to make sure the food you are feeding your pet comes from sustainable sources.
The first of these is to buy sustainable pet food. This may take a little extra research into which brands come from sustainable sources, and a little trial and error to see which ones your dog, cat, horse, or hamster prefers. However, knowing that you and your pet and minimising your negative impact on the planet is well worth it.
Alternatively, you may want to have a go at making your own pet food. Many people do this already, so sources more suitable ingredients are not such a big leap to them. Of course, it is essential to carefully educate yourself on what your pet can safely eat. After all, there are many foodstuffs that particular types of animals cannot safely digest. For example, dogs can’t have chocolate, cats shouldn’t have pork, and horses need to stay away from cucumbers.
Happily, once you know what their nutritional needs are, you can make all sorts of pet food from teats and biscuits to daily meals. Some people even choose to feed their omnivores pets vegan diets, mainly because of the tremendous strain that meat farming places in the environment. However, no matter how sustainable you wish to be, it is always wise to speak to your vet before making such a significant change to your pet’s diet, especially if they are used to eating meat on a daily basis.
About Gina Caro
Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life. Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog.