There are about 394 million pets in the US. While dogs are the most popular, they rank number two after freshwater fish. Cats stand at the third position. You will also find reptiles and horses on the list.
While some people keep animals for company, some enjoy the health benefits they offer. However, pets offer many more advantages too.
For example, if you have a horse, you can make him take part in a horse race and make a good amount of money if your pet wins. You may even make a profit if the horse betting numbers are in your favor.
However, pets can have a very negative impact on the planet if you’re not careful enough. Let’s have a look at some tips on how to reduce the impact of maintenance of your fur companions:
1. Only opt For Smart Products
We like to spoil our pets by buying them gifts and beauty items including shampoos. Make sure to choose sustainable purchases.
Stay away from products that contain a lot of chemicals or that cannot be recycled. Shampoos, for example, may contain parabens, fragrances, dyes, sodium laureth sulfate, and stearalkonium chloride.
These ingredients can harm your pet and destroy the environment as well. A better option is to make your own organic products. Similarly, stay away from harmful toys, especially plastic toys as they can pollute the environment and are also a choking hazard.
Organic cotton and hemp products can be a good choice. Other than this, only use environmentally friendly products to clean the mess created by your pet. Cleaners that contain a lot of chemicals may be as harmful as insecticides or pesticides. Hence, stay away from them.
2. Know Where and How to Dispose of Waste
The opinion on pet waste seems to be divided. Some believe it’s good for the planet and some believe it’s bad. While waste can be used as compost, it is still important to dispose of the waste properly. Untreated crap can be a cause of serious illnesses and even pollute the environment.
A report published by the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that about 90 percent of fecal coliform found in stormwater comes from dogs. You must pick it up in a timely manner and treat it in a manner that doesn’t affect the environment. Also, consider using biodegradable bags for the job.
3. Choose Healthy Food For Your Pet
Commercial food offers ease but it may not be healthy for your pet as it’s not always nutritious and may also contain chemicals/preservatives. Some of the most commonly found harmful ingredients in pet food include:
- Butylated Hydroxyanisole: can cause tumors in animals.
- Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate: can lead to nausea and diarrhea.
- Propylene Glycol: can have a very bad effect on red blood cells and is, in fact, banned in many countries.
- Ethoxyquin: can lead to serious health issues. Is, in fact, banned in Europe and Australia.
- Butylated hydroxytoluene: a known carcinogen with several harmful effects on animals.
Talk to your vet to find suitable food for your pet. Not all commercial foods are bad, so do have a look at the ingredient list and stay away from products that contain the abovementioned ingredients.
4. Invest in Safe and Sustainable Medicine
Only buy safe and sustainable pet medicine to protect not only your pet but the environment as well.
Research conducted by The Natural Resources Defense Council found that the pesticides found in pet medications can be bad for humans and lead to cancers and neurological issues.
Other than this, medicines made to ward off fleas and ticks can poison your pet and lead to neurological issues, gastrointestinal problems, skin irritation, and organ failure in the animal.
Consider using alternatives. Diatomaceous earth, for example, can be a good substitute, according to the NRDC.
It’s good to keep pets safe, happy and healthy, but make sure to keep these tips in mind so that we can assure a sustainable future for all the species.