9 Ways to Lower Your Paw Print

Posted on September 17, 2016

Did you know that 56% of Canadians have at least one cat or dog? Just like their human owners, they could have a big ecological paw-print! But never fear, we have 9 ways to green your pet care:

1. Adopt a Shelter Rescue: All those unloved pets need a home. Why support breeding more when you can love the ones that are already here? And you, being a responsible pet owner, can make sure your pet is spayed/neutered to ensure we don't have a bunch of homeless animals fending for themselves.

2. Natural Food: Nutrition is incredibly important to the health and wellbeing of our 4 legged friends. Most commercial brands are usually made with low grade animal by-products and many preservatives that can affect your pet's ability to resist disease and live a long healthy life.  Try looking for organic and/or natural pet foods or, if you have the time, make your own.

3. Cleaning Up: Pet accidents can be bad, but you can still clean them naturally. Vinegar kills germs! Check out our green cleaning online guide for tips on green cleaning or sign up for our upcoming Green Cleaning workshop on October 6th.

4. Killing Fleas: You don’t need to buy toxic chemicals to prevent or rid your cat or dog of fleas. Purchase a natural pet cleaner and leave it on for 5-10 minutes.

5. Kitty Litter: Choose kitty litter that is unscented, because it’s more likely to be chemical free (mix in some baking soda to control odors instead). Also, look for litter that’s biodegradable, such as renewable plant materials or recycled paper pellets.

6. Get Crafty with the Toys: If you're a cat owner, you know how much your feline friend(s) love anything with string so consider re-using bits and pieces of string or yarn that you would normally throw away and make your own toy with a thin fallen tree limb. Grow your own catgrass. You can make your own cat "house" or make chew toys for your dogs. There's lots of upcycled crafts that help eliminate the need to buy more "stuff" and use what you or a friend or family might be throwing away.

7. Poop Disposal: For now in Calgary, you’ll have to put dog poop and kitty litter in the trash, but soon you’ll be able to put it into the new green bins!  It’s not a good idea to compost pet waste in a backyard composter since they don't get hot enough to burn off pathogens, but The City composting facility will be a high enough temperature to kill any bad bacteria.

8. Go Pesticide Free: Using pesticides and synthetic fertlizers can have significant effects on Mr. Whiskers and Ms. PawPaw as you know how much they like to lick, sniff and get into things they are not supposed to.  There are many ways to manage your yard and garden in a greener way (which helps our water system, too) and can keep your furry friends from ingesting poisons and other harmful chemicals.

9. Respect Wildlife: While we're all for allowing your pets to get out into the great outdoors (after all, we enjoy it and why shouldn't they?) you do need to be conscious of wildlife and natural habitat. Outdoor cats can kill a lot of birds in the city and off-leash dogs can't always help themselves when it comes to chasing wildlife. There are even certain restrictions for allowing your cat outside. Recognize the risk when taking your pets camping or taking them to natural areas that wild animals call home.

How do you lower your paw print? Post or tweet your best suggestions - we'd love to hear them...