While people are going green in their own lives and reducing their environmental impact, many are also looking at their pets and wondering about the ecological paw print they can leave.

This month’s issue of Cat Fancy brings the issue to light for cat owners. “Many of us look for ways to live a more natural, eco-friendly lifestyle, so I think it’s an important topic to consider for our cats, as well,” said Cat Fancy Editor Susan Logan.

Pets Playground, the Australian Pet Owners network, estimates that the average dog creates 1.92 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Pet parents can help improve their beloved pet’s health and make their home greener by taking simple steps, including:

Keep pets indoor – Pets are domesticated animals and can wreak havoc on our delicate ecosystem. Keep dogs on leads and cats in the house to protect native wildlife. Alternatively, keep outdoor cats enclosed. Use natural household cleaners. Look for natural biodegradable cleaners that say “safe for pets” or consider making your own. Baking soda, vinegar and water are safe options that can help reduce your cat’s exposure to harmful chemicals. Also opt for natural shampoos and other pet care products. Recycle everyday items into pet toys. Consider recycling items you already own, such as old socks, hair ties or clothing, to make into cat or dog toys. Eco items – some companies offer pet products that are made from environmentally conscious materials such as hemp leads and collars or even recycled cardboard furniture. Organic food - Organic pet food is now available, so you know that your best friend is getting all the nutrition she needs without the harmful chemicals and pesticides that go into traditional pet food processing. (Let’s not forget the pet food recall in the US due to melamine) Better yet, take the time and make your pet a fresh organic feast from fresh ingredients. Pick up after your pet – Walkies can leave a biological hazard, mind your neighbours and pick up after your dog. There are eco friendly alternatives available including compostable bags or Skooperbox, a 100 % recycled cardboard pooper scooper designed to hang off the lead while you’re walking. Eco Friendly cat litter – traditional clumping cat litter is made from clay that is non-biodegradable and ends up in landfill. It’s bad for the environment, not to mention potentially carcinogenic to your feline due to fine dust particles. There are some eco friendly brands that are based on wheat, such as SWheat Scoop in North America, or WonderWheat the first wheat litter made in Australia.

Give Fido the best treatment he deserves. For more information on how to build your green home and live more sustainably, visit the Green Pages, Australia’s number one resource for going green.

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