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It’s important to consider our pets when we are trying to live with the earth in mind. They are a huge part of many of our lives.
There are so many products for pets available and most are made out of plastics and other synthetic materials.
I love my pets, they are like my children and I love spoiling them, but in all honesty, pets don’t need as many things as we may think they do. As humans, we make such a fuss over our pets, but they can live happy lives with the essentials. Food, water, something to chew, a safe place to sleep, and your love.
I have dogs and parrots so this post talks mostly about them, but the same principles apply to most other pets.
If your pets are like mine, toys do not last long… This leads to waste and wasted money. Some toys can be re-sewn, but most are a loss.
Leather is durable for big chewers and is safe for common pets such as dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, and so on.
Believe it or not, carrots make awesome chew toys! We grow our own and buy them in bulk at Costco. They are one of our dog’s favorite chews. They’re also great for parrots and other small animals. Not to mention they’ll provide your pets with vital nutrients like vitamins A and B6.
If your pet isn’t a big chewer, cotton and wool are great materials for plush toys, blankets, and bedding.
We use large cotton canvas tarps as a bed for our dogs. As I said, my dogs are big chewers so standard dog beds don’t stand a chance! The canvas tarps now have a few holes in them, but they have lasted longer than any other blankets or beds we’ve tried. Plus, they wash up really nicely in the washer!
Recycle your old tee shirts by making toys for your pets!
My sewing skills are not great so my plush toys end up looking like some kind of deformed monster, but my dogs love them anyway 🙂
You could also tie the shirt material together to make rope toys.
Bring some sticks from outside in for your dog to chew. It will get messy, but sticks are free and fun!
Go for walks
Getting outdoors is so beneficial for your pets. My dogs spend a lot of time outdoors in a fenced-in portion of our yard, but they love it when we take them on a walk. We love taking them to public lands where they can be off-leash. This helps them get all that energy out and it’s good training for them since we hunt with them.
Dog parks and walks around the neighborhood are other great places to take your dog to get some energy out.
Our parrots enjoy the outdoors as well. We have a large travel cage that allows them to be outside without the worry that they will fly away. Although Hilo (our conure) hates it, we have a flight suit for him, which allows him to be outside of the cage but tethered so he can’t fly away.
Choose eco-friendly products
Pet grooming products are full of chemicals just like human products.
We use Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap as a shampoo for our dogs. It works really well. It will work for cats as well just don’t use the lavender, peppermint, or tea tree soaps because they are toxic to cats.
To freshen our dog’s coats between baths I take a cotton washcloth and wet it with olive oil and lavender essential oils or water with lavender castile soap. Both work great. The olive oil and lavender essential oil wipes are great for easing anxiety in dogs as well as a natural tick repellent!
Apple cider vinegar mixed with equal parts of water makes a great tick and flea repellent as well. It’s safe to use on dogs and cats. Just make sure to dilute and spray on their fur.
Never apply anything to parrots. They rarely get ticks or fleas and if they do, they’ll eat them. As far as baths go, parrots love a dish of water or the bathroom sink with a running faucet. No soap for them.
Most pet foods these days are full of corn and fillers which are very unhealthy for your pets. Most pet treats contain terrible ingredients as well.
The dog food industry isn’t much different from the large meat facilities that process the meat we eat. They are just in it for the money.
Read the labels before buying pet foods. Foods containing corn, artificial colors, corn syrup, soy, nitrates, and Propylene Glycol (antifreeze) are common. These ingredients are harmful to our pets.
If you have small dogs keep on the lookout for Rosemary Extract in natural foods as it could cause them to have seizures.
We give our dogs Nature’s Domain from Costco. It’s made with natural ingredients and is grain-free. The grain-free part isn’t a necessity, it just happened to be great food. We also give our dogs plenty of fruits, veggies, meats (raw and cooked), rice, and oatmeal on occasion. Murphy loves broccoli, romaine lettuce, and bell peppers!
Some have switched their dogs to a raw food diet to avoid supporting the dog food industry. Although I’ve heard that it’s very healthy for your pet, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for certain how it is. Do more research before trying.
Treats for pets go by the same principles. They often contain ingredients that are toxic for our pets. So always check the label.
Our parrots eat Roudybush pellets along with Fruits, veggies, rice, and meat such as fish and chicken. – Parrots don’t eat seeds. If you have parrots or even a Parakeet (Budgie) it’s important to keep in mind that seed doesn’t offer any nutrition to them. They need whole, real food. They are omnivores which means they eat a wide variety of things, including on occasion, meat.
I haven’t talked about it yet, but I run a website that is all about parrots. It’s full of everything you’d ever need to know about them.
Living Eco-Friendly with pets doesn’t have to be complicated. Honestly, a lot of the stuff we use for ourselves can be used for our pets. We as humans make more of a fuss over their comforts when most pets just want to live simply with our love and attention.
I am not a veterinarian. The material on this post is not intended to be, and should not be relied on as, a substitute for professional advice.
Photo credit for the photos of our pets goes to my husband at rvstokes.com