If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint and live a more eco-friendly life, you might not realize the way you care for your pet could be halting your progress. With a little bit of awareness and effort, you can be an environmentally-friendly pet owner with a truly happy pet. Even small changes can make a big difference when it comes to protecting the Earth.

Walk when Possible

If you live close to the dog park or the veterinarian, you might want to consider clipping on your pup’s leash and walking instead of driving for your next visit. Even idling for a few minutes in a compact car can waste 0.16 gallons of gas (and much more in larger vehicles). If you hit every single red light during a ten minute drive, these figures can start to add up. Walking when you can is a great way to get extra exercise for you and your pet. It also avoids wasting gas or causing more fuel emissions with your vehicle. 

Look to the Poo

The way you dispose of dog and cat waste can either help or hurt your environmental efforts. Most of us use plastic poop bags when walking our dogs. While these bags can keep parasites from entering the water supply, they are not the most eco-friendly option. Try to switch to poop bags made from recycled materials. You can even use the waste for composting to help your garden grow (just make sure not to use it on any plants that you plan to eat).

For cat waste, avoid flushing it down the toilet, as sewage treatments are can remove parasites from human waste, but not feline. You can also switch to eco-friendly cat litter brands.

Research on Eco-Friendly Pet Food OptionsWithout knowing it, buying a simple bag of pet food can have serious implications on the environment. Mass-produced foods that contain meat often require a lot of resources, which can instantly increase your carbon footprint. Certain foods come packaged in materials that you can’t recycle. Others ship from far away and use a lot of gas and other transportation materials. To look for eco-friendly food options, consider:

  • Buying in bulk to minimize packaging needs
  • Shopping for locally-made, organic food
  • Choosing more eco-friendly meat options like chicken 
  • Looking for recyclable packaging (or buying loose food and putting it in a reusable container)
  • Composting your pet food

Make Your Own Treats

Homemade treats are delicious, nutritious, budget-savvy and earth friendly. You do not need to buy packaging or waste any packaging to store them. You can tailor-make them with your pet’s favorite ingredients. When you make your own treats, you can also avoid fillers like palm oil that are unhealthy for pets and hard on the environment.

At Union Lake Veterinary Hospital, we want to help you live the most well-rounded life possible with your pets, including one that is eco-friendly. From high quality veterinary care to helpful pet ownership resources, we are your partner in pet care. Call (248) 363–1508 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.