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How to embrace an eco-friendly life with your pet

Did you know that pets can have a sizable impact on sustainability and the environment? Just as humans generate a lot of waste, pets have a large ecological “paw print” of their own. Maintaining an eco-friendly household with your furry friend is cost-effective, trendy and good for the planet. Many pet supplies, such as leashes, collars, kennels and toys, can be reused and recycled to avoid waste. Here are several tips on how to be a sustainable pet owner.

Buy Natural Cat Litter

Many cat litter varieties on the market are made with a substance called sodium bentonite. This substance is obtained via strip mining, which is a highly destructive way to access minerals in the earth. Strip mining can also displace wildlife due to habitat loss.

Thankfully, eco-friendly cat products are readily available for green pet parents, including natural litters made from wood shavings, corn and even fibrous material from renewable wheat. Biodegradable litter boxes made of eco-friendly paper are also a great option.

Use Eco-Friendly Dog Products

You can avoid putting chemicals onto your precious pet and into the ecosystem by choosing natural grooming products. Pay attention to your pet’s shampoo ingredients, and make it your mission to buy nontoxic products that are free from dyes and parabens. You can also make homemade bathing products using castile soap, and control ticks and fleas by washing your pet’s bedding regularly with soap and water.

Choose Eco-Friendly Companies for Pet Food

Dogs and cats are responsible for about 25% to 30% of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the United States, in terms of the use of land, fossil fuels, pesticides and water. For this reason, many pet food companies are beginning to churn out food products that contain ground crickets and worms instead of meat or fish.

Sustainable pet food is not only good for your pet nutritionally, but it’s also beneficial for the environment. Edible bugs have a high nutritional content of fats and proteins, and they’re a food source that can be reared on organic waste.

Switch to Biodegradable Waste Bags

Did you know that plastic bags can take 10 to 1,000 years to decompose? Make it a point to buy biodegradable bags for cleaning waste off the ground instead of plastic ones. You’ll be doing your part to save the environment. Be sure to always pick up after your dog, as rain can carry contaminants in dog waste into waterways.

Buy Green Toys and Supplies

Instead of buying pet accessories that contain harmful plastic, consider opting for eco-friendly pet supplies made with natural fibers or recyclable materials. Sustainable dog toys are often made with organic cotton, hemp, recycled rubber and azo-free dyes.

Don’t want to buy new? Try shopping for beds, toys, kennels, collars and other supplies at thrift shops. Instead of throwing out items that your pet no longer uses, you can donate gently used toys to local animal shelters or to other pet parents.

Sustainable pet care can help keep your furry friend and the planet healthy. By choosing sustainable products and taking these tips into consideration, you and your pet can maintain a happy, healthy relationship while reducing your carbon footprints.

Editor’s Note: Give your pooch a place to escape the elements. Click here to read our step-by-step guide on how to build a doghouse.

Figo is committed to helping pets and their families enjoy their lives together by fusing innovative technology—the first-of-its-kind Figo Pet Cloud—and the industry’s most comprehensive pet insurance plans.

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