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Being a Green Pet Owner

Top Ten Tips to Go Green with Your Pets

For most people a pet is a part of the family, and you want to give your pooch the very best of everything. Being a green pet owner isn't about depriving your dog of his favorite chewy toy, it's about making smart decisions that will impact your pet and the environment's health. Here are the top ten tips to go green with your pet, we won't even make you roll over or beg please.

 1.  Adopt a Pet

Most purebred puppies are brought into the world with one thought in mind, profit. Some hobby breeders are true advocates for their breeds, but the bulk of puppies are farmed, especially those found in pet stores. When you buy a pet store puppy you may think you are rescuing the little chap, but really you are supporting an industry that horribly abuses dogs. Your local shelter or rescue organizations have dozens of dogs just waiting to be loved by you.

2.  Spay or Neuter Your Pet

Obviously we wouldn't have shelters if we didn't have too many pets. Stop the pet overpopulation problem and be a green pet owner by spaying or neutering your pet. The procedure is very low-risk and your pet will lose urges which can be very frustrating if denied.

3.  Keep Pets Contained

Keeping your pet contained is healthier both for him and for the environment. In the case of dogs, who like to chase things like cars, a fence or a leash helps ensure their safety and survival. Domestic cats are also a huge predator of native birds, and can decimate local populations pretty quickly. In fact, 39 million wild birds were killed last in by pet cats, in Wisconsin alone. You may not think of your pet as a natural predator, but he or she is more than capable of killing small animals.

4.  Pick up the Poo

Part of being a green pet owner involves the joyous task of properly disposing of our animal's waste. Cat's should be provided with litter that is not made of clay, which is strip mined harmfully from the earth. Clay litter also includes chemicals which are harmful to your pets. As for what to do with the poo, consider...

5.  Compost Pet Waste

They may not be cows, but your pets provide waste which can be composted. Most of this waste unfortunately ends up in plastic bags in landfills, where it remains as an immortal monument to your pet's existence. By being a green pet owner and composting you reduce the amount of everlasting poo in our landfills. Just be sure not to use the compost in your vegetable garden, because germs like E. Coli could be passed on to your food.

6.  Buy Quality, Organic Food

Most of the ingredients in cheap pet foods come from dying or diseased cows, and is not fit for human consumption. Why would you feed your best friend like that? Instead, look for foods that come from organic sources and focus on wellness. Good food does not include soy, wheat, corn, or animal by-products.

 7.  Buy Eco-Friendly Pet Products

You can be a green pet owner by buying eco-friendly toys for your pet as well. Try toys made with tough and sustainable hemp, or a bed made out of organic cotton. Avoid cheap plastics from China, which are made with very nasty chemicals.

8.  Use Natural Cleaning Products

Your pet doesn't want to bathe in a chemical cocktail, and as a green pet owner you shouldn't make him! Search your local pet store for plant based shampoos and sprays, and try tea tree oil for those pesky fleas and ticks. If Fido has an accident on the floor use vinegar and baking soda with water to clean it up, the stain will come right out and there won't be any nasty chemical residue.

9.  Be Careful With Chemicals

For the green pet owner, chemicals inside or outside of the home are a big no-no. This especially applies to pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and ice melting agents. Your dog can get these chemicals on his paws, which burns and he will proceed to lick his paws, poisoning himself in the process. Use organic means to fertilize your lawn and control pests, and look for non-toxic ice melting agents at the store.

10.  Pets are a Long Term Commitment

The most important thing to remember when you bring a pet into your life is that you are totally responsible for this creature's well-being. He trusts you to feed him, keep him warm, and keep him safe. A truly green pet owner knows that, and would never treat a pet like a fad or accessory.

Submitted by SuperGreenMe on Oct 1, 2008