Blog from our Chief Barking Officer: You've thought about all the ways you can go green for yourself and your community, but what about your pets? How much of a carbon footprint, or should I say paw print, does you dog have and what are the ways you can reduce this?
One of the first things found when researching this is that apparently the average dog creates twice the carbon footprint of the building and fueling a Toyota Land Cruiser. Similarly, a cat is roughly equivalent to a Volkswagen Golf*.
Here are some steps you can take to make your pets more planet-friendly:
1) Dog Food
For every 2.2 pounds of chicken to be cultivated, 1.7 miles of land is required. On average a dog consumes about 360 pounds of meat each year.* Food that is natural and organic use meats that are minimally processed, without the added drugs or hormones. If you're up for it, you can also make your homemade pet food with meats or vegetables that are leftover from preparing your meals.
2) Poop Scoop
Pets account for about 4% of municipal waste, roughly the same as dirty diapers.* There are a couple of different options to deal with your pet waste. When purchasing those bags, go for the biodegradable option instead. There's also the option of composting yourself instead of tossing it in the trash. If composted correctly, it can improve the soil in your garden. This compost shouldn't be used for food crops, but it can create natural fertilizer for our flowers and plants.
Next time you go to bath your pet, check the label. A lot of shampoos and other products have toxic chemicals that eventually can cause water pollution when they go down the drain. Switching to eco-friendly products that are free from toxic ingredients will not only benefit your pet's skin, but won't lead to as many allergic reactions.
4) Spay or Neuter
A large number of dogs and cats are born every day, while a majority of them end up in shelters, or abandoned. By spaying or neutering, it reduces overpopulation in both shelters and the wild. This would then conserve the amount of energy and resources used on food in shelters. There are also positive impacts of doing this. It can help your pets live longer, healthier lives by drastically decreasing the risk of cancer.
This is a familiar for the long winter months in Canada. Everyone purchases de-icing salts, but have you thought about the effects of the snow melts away? The pollutants in these products eventually end up in waterways where they can kill plants and aquatic life. They can also be harmful to your pet by burning their paws after they walk on them. Look for "pet-safe" products which can help fertilize plants they come in contact with.
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