I have not really written on this subject much because I don’t have pets anymore. I had dogs for most of my life and loved it but after I had children and my dogs got older and eventually died I owned up to the fact that I was not a great pet owner anymore. Whereas I used to refer to my dogs as my babies, I eventually became too concerned with dog hair everywhere, chewing of the kids stuff, and the general work involved in caring for a pet. Couple that with the fact that when we lived in Arizona they were always getting bitten by rattlesnakes and leaving a grisly blood trail all over and breaking my heart in the process, well I decided no more pets. I used to feel guilt that I wasn’t a “pet person” anymore but I don’t believe in doing things half assed. If I am going to do it, I want to do it WELL. Perhaps when my kids are a bit older I can give a pet the love and attention they deserve, but not now.
Still I have fond memories… pups being birthed in the middle of the night in my bed, LOL. Giving the runt CPR and quickly deciding I had to keep her. Taking the dogs to the lake to splash around. The dogs waking me up in the middle of the night to alert me that a horse had gotten out of the barn and was ambling around in the unfenced yard! I miss them still…
BUT if I were to get another pet I realize that I would be a MUCH different owner in terms of what I would feed them and what I would give them to play with. I wasn’t concerned back then with eco friendly pet toys and supplies and I wasn’t aware of the toxins that can poison their lifestyle. Nowadays people are catching on to the fact that some plastic may be unsafe for pet toys and that plastics have heavy environmental impact. Pet owners see that rawhide and other various popular pet toys are not so safe. Take this quote from Bloggy Doggies:
Rawhide chews aren’t regulated so contamination is always a possibility, especially with imported products. You may find the product heavily dosed with antibiotics, hormones, insecticides, lead, even insecticides.
Sheesh! No pet owner wants to think about how they may be exposing their friend daily to toxic products. But what are our options?Well, we have more and more each year. The eco friendly, safe and green pet products industry is starting to boom as more and more people decide to break with the old products we have always used. In general we want to see if we can buy safer plastic that don’t have as many of the chemical nasties. We should buy toys that are tough and will hold up to strong use without being shredded and then ingested. We should look for toys that can be recycled or that will naturally biodegrade. We might also look into making our own pet food and treats to avoid processed, nutritionally devoid feeding products. Can we do ALL of that this, all the time? Well, with any new consumer habit that shouldn’t even be the goal. Increasing our awareness about this issue and moving in a new direction is a great start. I would LOVE to hear about greener, safer pet products from readers in the comments section!
Safer, Recyclable Plastic Pet Toys & Supplies
West Paw Design (seen above) has many eco toys for dogs that use their Zogoflex material. It is plastic but it is also fully recyclable and built to last for as long as it is serving as a dog toy. If their toys get damaged they will take them back even. These toys do not contain, nor do any of its components contain any known sources of lead, cadmium, mercury, latex, natural rubber, phthalates, hormones, Bisphenol A, or asbestos.
These Planet Dog Recycle Bones claim that their bones are made from plastic that wold have gone to a landfill.
These kitty licious organic cat nip flowers uses material that is 85% recycled plastic bottles and the catnip is certified organic. I would prefer the kickin chicken cat nip toy if I were a kitty though.
The same post consumer recycled materials are used to make eco friendly pet beds too. They are really gorgeous but I probably wouldn’t buy these myself , for the same reason I won’t buy pillows filled with recycled plastic. I don’t want our heads and bodies in such close contact with plastic.
There are even biodegradable doggy doo bags on the market.You just can’t tell me that pets can’t do their part in keeping the earth a lovely, green place!
Natural materials for pet toys and supplies might include cotton, hemp, wood, or natural rubber. I did not find very many in my research that were completely made of these materials. Most were a bit of this and that and likely that is due to synthetic fibers lasting longer. The dog bones pillows above for instance are made from hemp but have recycled poly-cotton inner stuffing. I would just encourage people to make the best choices they can.
Eco Friendly Cat Condos
Most cat condos that I see in pet stores are covered with carpet or faux fur, which is likely plastic based. But some companies are making cat condos with sustainable wood and leaving them uncovered. Many have scratch pads made from natural rope. They may not be as glamorous looking as what you can find at PetSmart but when was the last time your cat experienced peer pressure? This lovely tiered, and green cat condo would suffice.
Uh.. what was that I was just saying about non glamorous eco options??? Can I live in this cat condo duplex with yall? Wow!
Also check out this eco friendly cat scratching post made from sisal rope. Eco kitties have options!
Natural and Safe Pet Remedies
Pets have health issues to face, just as people do and just like homeopathic, natural remedy minded mamas like natural cures, pets should not be bombarded with chemical products either. There are companies offering natural products for ailing pets. Natural Pet Wonders for instance, claim to have totally natural products for fleas and ticks, worms and parasites, arthritis, cancer, nervous system issues, and more. I can’t claim to know much about them or this subject matter but it is worth looking into if your pet is under the weather.
When bath time arrives you can also find several organic shampoos for dogs. You could probably use a shampoo bar for humans but you would likely end up with some really furry soap, LOL.
Natural Pet Food and Treats
There are products you can buy that are natural and organic for feeding your pet. Organix makes some great products like their organic puppy food and their organic dog treats. BUT these can be very pricey. Another option is to make your own and then you will know exactly what is in it. There are many recipes you can find in a quick Internet search and plenty of green folks are already doing it.
Lisa at Condo Blues makes Allergy Free Apple and Banana Dog Treats.
Beth at Fake Plastic Fish makes homemade cat food.
It can be done with minimal impact and it is healthier for our pets. When was the last time you “accidentally” fed your pet some melamine ya know?
It may take a bit more planning but you know that your pet is eating healthy and living “green”.
Wednesday, April 14th, 2010