10 ways to be an eco-friendly and sustainable pet owner

Every choice we make as pet parents can help contribute to a greener planet, whether it’s the food we buy them, the way we dispose of their poop or the snuggly beds we pick out. Read on for 10 great ways to be an awesome eco-friendly pet owner.

1 - Make eco-friendly pet food choices
Shop around for pet foods with sustainable sourcing, organic ingredients and minimal or recyclable packaging. Consider making homemade pet treats using organic, locally sourced ingredients. Always check with your vet before switching up their diets of course.

2 - Choose sustainable pet bedding
Opt for bedding made from natural, renewable and biodegradable materials such as bamboo, hemp, or organic cotton to keep your pet warm and cozy without doing damage to the environment.

3 - R is for rescue
If you’re thinking of getting a new pet, instead of buying pets from breeders, consider adopting from an animal shelters or rescue group. Sadly, millions of animals are euthanized each year because there is no room for them in shelters. The ‘adopt, don’t shop’ approach helps reduce the demand for commercial breeding and provides animals in need with a loving home.

Lady with rescue doghedgehog94 via Shutterstock

4 - Use natural, non-toxic cleaners
When cleaning your home, use eco-friendly cleaning products to keep your home and your pet’s living areas clean to help reduce chemicals that can potentially harm your pet and the environment. Cheap, eco-friendly alternatives such as baking soda and vinegar are far more pet – and human! - friendly chemicals to use in your home

5 - Dispose of waste responsibly
Make sure you dispose of pet waste properly using biodegradable bags, and avoid flushing cat litter, as it can be harmful to ocean life. Recycled paper, pine pellets or wheat litter are all good options for cat litter trays. If you have a pup that uses pee pads, try washable options or buy pads that are paper based.

6 - Get outdoors
Pets love to be out in the fresh air, so make sure you spend plenty of time outdoors with your furry friends, engaging in eco-conscious activities like hiking or playing fetch with biodegradable toys rather than plastic ones. Tie a feather onto a stick with some string for a low-cost, fun toy for your cats.

Pet dog running in open fieldOlya_m via Shutterstock

7 - Support eco-friendly pet companies
Choose to support pet companies and brands that prioritize sustainability, environmental responsibility and ethical practices. Buy products made from eco-friendly materials, such as biodegradable waste bags, natural pet shampoos and toys made from sustainable materials like hemp or recycled fabrics.

8 - Reduce single-use plastics
Minimize the use of single-use plastic items and help reduce pollution by avoiding disposable pet water bottles or food containers. Instead, use reusable bowls and bottles made from stainless steel, ceramics or other durable materials.

9 - Adopt eco-friendly grooming habits
Keeping your pooch clean shouldn’t cost the earth! Use grooming products that are gentle on your pet's fur and skin and are made from natural, non-toxic ingredients. Minimize water usage during baths and use eco-friendly pet shampoos.

Schnauzer dog groomingsattahipbeach via Shutterstock

10 - Get your pets spayed and neutered
It might seem obvious to neuter your animals, but it’s one of the kindest things you can do both for them and the environment. This will make sure there aren’t any more kittens or puppies ending up homeless or in shelters.