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Help Your Pets Go Green

Posted April 22, 2013 in A Vet's Life

Dr. Ruth MacPete gives some great Earth Day tips! For more from Dr. MacPete, find her on Facebook or at www.drruthpetvet.com!

You drive a hybrid and bring your own bags to the grocery store. You care about greenhouse gases and your carbon footprint. What about your pet’s carbon pawprint? Is your pet living a green, eco-friendly life? April 22nd is Earth Day. What can you do this Earth Day to make sure that your pets are living green too?

Waste Management
Anyone who has ever had a pet knows that they create lots of waste. It is estimated that 10 million tons of waste from pets fill landfills yearly. What can be done?  Instead of using plastic bags to pick up and dispose of your pet’s waste, try using recycled biodegradable pet poop bags. If you have a cat, switch from a clay-based litter to a biodegradable litter to cut down on the estimated 2 million tons of clay litter that end up in landfills yearly.


Give A Hoot, Don’t Pollute
Always pick-up after your pet and follow the backpacker’s motto of leaving only footprints behind. Besides being inconsiderate, leaving your pet’s waste behind can pollute water sources when runoff washes into streams and lakes.

Buy Green
Purchase pet beds, furniture and toys made from recycled or sustainable materials such as hemp. Environmentally friendly hemp can be used to make almost everything, like leashes, collars, beds and toys.

Buy Extra Food
Buying your regular pet food in greater volume not only saves money, it also conserves fuel and lowers emissions by saving you extra trips to the store. 

Pet Overpopulation
Make sure your pet isn’t adding to the pet over-population problem by having your pets spayed or neutered.

Adopt a Shelter Pet
Don’t forget about your local animal shelter if you are thinking about getting a pet. There are lots of “recycled pets” that need a good home. While adopting one of these deserving pets may not lower emissions or save fuel, it can save a life.

By adopting these simple tips, you and your pet can live green and make the planet a better place. For more information about some of my favorite green pet products and where to find them be sure to read my next blog.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource

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Ruth has more than 15 years of experience in the veterinary industry as a companion animal veterinarian in private practice. Along with being a writer and media personality, she is also a founding member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.

Opinions expressed are those of the writer:

The opinions and views expressed in this post are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the beliefs, policies or positions of all veterinarians, Pet Health Network, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. or its affiliates and partner companies.