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Tips to Being A Sustainable Pet Owner

Pets are part of the family and should be treated as such. But pets (and all the pet-related activities and purchases we make) do have an environmental impact. Are you doing enough to keep them safe and healthy in your home? Are you doing your best to minimize your pet’s carbon footprint as you should with your own? Make sure that you and your pet’s lifestyles are safe for both of you and the environment. Here’s a list of tips for being the best and most eco-friendly pet owner you can be.

Train them

If you have an opportunity to train your pet, take it. This will help you and your pet to communicate with and understand each other more. An expert of  dog and puppy training, for example, will teach you how to discipline your pet effectively. You’ll learn how best to communicate with your pet, and the best way to discourage bad behaviors and reward them for their actions. You can also train cats, especially when it comes to their bathroom habits. Using corn=based poop bags also means less plastic going to landfills, so make sure you use stuff that’s compostable and biodegradable to clean up after your pup.

Visit the vet

Getting your pets vaccinated will ensure a better quality of life for them. Not only will they live longer and be more protected from diseases, but the vaccines will also help to regulate their moods. Get your pet spayed or neutered if you haven’t already. While this also helps regulate their moods and prolong their lifespan, it’s also better for the environment. It helps to keep the population of stray animals at a minimum. Stray animals can harm the local environment and welfare. Because they aren’t vaccinated, they can carry diseases such as rabies, which can spread to local wildlife populations.

Feed them right

Some pet foods are made with animal proteins that humans also eat, such as beef. The reason why eating a lot of meat is bad for the environment is because livestock farming leaves a big carbon footprint. The land that’s needed to house and care for livestock leads to deforestation and livestock farming is responsible for much of our greenhouse gas emissions. Giving your pet food with human-grade meats also isn’t necessarily better for them. What’s important is that their food contains the proper balance of nutrients for your pets, which is still possible to have without the use of human-grade meats. Make sure to feed your pet with USDA-certified organic pet food.

Related: 8 Sustainable Pet Supplies to Make Our Furry Friends More Eco-Friendly

Make sure they get enough time outdoors

See to it that your pet gets enough time outdoors. They’re curious creatures, so be sure to go on adventures with them. Expose them to new sights, sounds, and smells. Going outside will also allow them to meet other pets and interact with the outside world.

If you have a lawn or garden, play with them there too. A sign of a happy pet home is when there are holes in the yard from dogs digging. Make sure your garden is safe for your pet by removing any plants toxic to them. Stick to natural, homemade pesticides to avoid accidental poisoning. If you don’t have a lawn for your pet to play in, you can still lay out a pet-safe bed of artificial grass.

Make your indoors pet-friendly

Remember that your home is your pet’s home too, so it’s important to make it a haven for them – for both your sakes. Start with keeping harmful chemicals and objects out of their reach. With winter fast approaching, you may be restocking on antifreeze. Remember to keep it away from pets and small children and be careful to clean up any spills. Antifreeze has a sweet taste and smell that can be attractive to some pets, but even small doses can cause serious kidney failure. Cover up or keep wires and cords away from pets to prevent them from chewing on these, which may cause electrocution.

The best way to keep your pet from wandering into unsafe corners of your home is to designate a space for them. Invest in some sustainable pet furniture and toys for them to keep them occupied while indoors.

Take care of yourself

Just as we care for them, our pets care about us too. Studies show that our pets can sense sadness and depression. Talk to them and spend time with them every day. Going on walks together is a form of exercise (both physical and mental) that will benefit you both. In giving your pets the attention that they need, you’ll be doing yourself favors too. Positive interactions with your pet boost your emotional well-being by lowering levels of anxiety and depression.

Being a good pet owner means paying attention to and anticipating your pet’s needs. To live a good life with your pet, you have to ensure that both your lifestyles not only mutually-supportive but also eco-friendly.

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