Dr. Ruth MacPete talks about where to find the best green pet products. MacPete, find her on Facebook or at www.drruthpetvet.com!
In my last blog I discussed ways to make your pet live greener, including buy ing eco-friendly pet products. But how do you which products are green and where can you find them? To make it easier to buy from environmentally friendly companies I have listed some of my favorites:
P.L.A.Y (Pet Lifestyle and You) makes a number of stylish eco-friendly beds for dogs and cats. Their beds have removable washable covers for easy cleaning and their filling is made from certified-safe, 100% post-consumer recycled products. To minimize waste and promote recycling and reusing, they also sell replacement duvet covers so you don’t have to buy a new bed when the old bed gets too smelly. My dog Oski loves his P.L.A.Y bed. To read about their company and browse their products, go to www.petplay.com.
Harry Barker is known for making a variety of high-quality dog and cat products. They also have a strong commitment to making eco-friendly products. They sell biodegradable shampoos, biodegradable poop bags with recycled dispensers, beds and toys made from hemp and recycled filling, fashionable collars and leashes made from 100% polyethylene terephthalate), and all natural pet treats. To browse their extensive collection of products, go to www.harrybarker.com.
Earth Dog is no newcomer to the field. They have been making eco-friendly pet products for 15 years. Earth Dog makes collars, leashes, harnesses, beds, and chew toys from environmentally friendly hemp and their products are all handmade in the U.S.A. Hemp is 100% biodegradable, grown pesticide and herbicide free, and is stronger than cotton fibers. I love their decorative collars and leashes. To see these products go to www.earthdog.com.
From the Field has a selection of dog and cat toys made from organic hemp but they are best known for their organic catnip. They sell catnip in various forms: catnip buds, leaf and flower mixtures, pellets, mulched buds, and essential oil. As you can imagine my cats think this company is fabulous! To find out more about their toys and catnip selection, go to www.fromthefieldpet.com.
Planet Dog makes a line of eco-friendly dog products. They have a dog ball tosser made from recycled cork and sustainable bamboo, chew toys and balls made from recycled material, and leashes and collars made from sustainable hemp. To see some of their products go to www.planetdog.com.
Earth Friendly Products has an extensive line of environmentally responsible cleaning products. Launched in 1989, they were also the first to completely eliminate 1,4-dioxane from their line of products and their entire product line is toxin-free. Earth Friendly Products has a selection of pet cleaning products, including a detergent, stain and odor remover, a pet training aid, shampoo, pet wipes, and litter treatment. To find out more about these eco-friendly pet products go to www.ecos.com.
Hopefully this list will make it easier for eco-conscious pet parents to buy pet products that are good for the environment and good for your pet. You and your pet can make every day Earth Day by thinking green and buying environmentally responsible products.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
As an environmentally conscious person (sometimes a little too conscious), I spend a good amount of time trying to lower my carbon footprint. When I adopted my dog, I was a bit disappointed in most of the supplies given to me by the rescue organization.
There were toys made from synthetic materials, dog food and treats full of meat byproduct and filler, shampoos full of chemicals, and a dog bed made from who knows what. Even more disappointing, the cheap materials broke down pretty quickly and needed replacement often.
So rather than waste more of my money and the environment’s resources, I started hunting down eco-friendly alternatives for my dog. Turns out there are a ton of green dog supplies out there – everything from organic dog food to recycled leashes.
Many pet owners will attest that having a cat or dog to cuddle can brighten your day. What they may not know is that it may also improve your health. A 2010 study from the University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine found that positive interactions with animals can raise levels of the hormone oxytocin, which helps encourage healing and new cell growth.
Since pets can be exposed to harmful toxins in their food, litter, and flea medicine, bringing green-living values to pet ownership may help extend the life of your beloved animal companion. Meanwhile, your pet-related purchases will also support the green economy.
If you don't have a pet yet, adopting from a shelter is the greenest option. If you do have one, make sure to spay or neuter it-- it helps to reduce the number of animals that end up homeless or living in shelters.
Here are Green America’s top five high-impact ways to green your dog or cat:
Just like a human, omnivorous cats and dogs eat food with a significant greenhouse gas footprint: namely, food with beef or lamb in it. The Environmental Working Group’s “Meat Eater’s Guide” notes that beef produces 13 times more greenhouse gases over its life cycle than vegetable proteins, and the carbon footprint of lamb is 50 percent higher.
Poultry produces four to five times as many greenhouse gases as vegetable proteins, so choose poultry-based foods for your omnivorous pet that contain no animal by-products or artificial preservatives, like the chicken and vegetable options in the Life’s Abundance and Natural Life lines of cat and dog foods.
Even better: Some companies make organic vegetarian and chicken-based pet food, which helps ensure that no synthetic pesticides have been sprayed on the food. The Honest Kitchen makes organic pet foods, and Onesta Organics sells organic raw food treats for cats and dogs. Bixbi’s Organic Superfood line of food for active and older dogs is made with turkey and free-radical-fighting “superfoods” to promote digestive, joint, or immune-system health.
Many veterinarians say that cats should not be fed a vegetarian diet they need more protein and other nutrients found in meat than humans. However, dogs can go vegetarian, though it’s best to make the switch under the supervision of a vet to ensure proper nutrition.
V-Dog LLC offers vegan dog food. In addition to its omnivorous foods, Natural Life has a Vegetarian Formula for adult dogs. If you have the time and inclination, you can also make your own organic and vegetarian dog food. Find recipes at organicauthority.com.
After diet, pet waste is where your dog or cat has the most impact on the planet. No truly responsible pet owner takes a dog out for a walk without a plastic bag for pet waste tucked in a pocket. There are a lot of pet-waste bags out there that trumpet the fact that they’re “biodegradable” or “compostable” on their packaging, but since most bags of poo are destined for the landfill, the biodegradable label doesn’t mean all that much. When buried in a landfill and cut off from oxygen, even a biodegradable or compostable bag won’t degrade aerobically and turn into compost instead, it’ll degrade very slowly and odoriferously, with the help of anaerobic bacteria.
A better option is to repurpose the plastic bags that were used to package your clothing, food, or junk mail. Perhaps the best option, however, is to forego the bags altogether and actually compost your pet’s waste.
You don’t want to add dog or cat waste to the compost pile destined for your garden, because it can contain pathogens that aren’t safe on your food. However, you can set up a separate compost system for it that will reduce the volume of your pet’s waste by at least 50 percent, kill off most of the pathogens, and add nutrients to the soil, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
Canada’s Office of Urban Agriculture has step-by-step instructions for a separate pet waste composting system. It involves drilling holes in a small, lidded garbage can, burying it with the lid sticking out, and dropping pet waste inside, as well as a packet of nontoxic enzymatic septic starter (available at your local hardware store) and a liter of water every month. The site says you should only need to empty the can every two to three years.
You can safely compost an herbivorous pet’s waste in your garden compost (i.e. rabbit, hamster, guinea pig, etc.).
Conventional cat litter—clumping and non-clumping—is made from bentonite clay, which is extracted from the Earth through environmentally damaging strip mining. In addition, clay litter contains crystalline silica, a known carcinogen according to the World Health Organization.
Clay litter is also near the end of its decomposition cycle, so if you try to compost waste with clay litter mixed in, the litter will just sit there.
The solution: natural, non-clay litters. To avoid silica dust, try World’s Best Cat Litter, which is made from 100 percent US-grown corn, or Swheat Scoop, which is made from wheat. Both corn and wheat are naturally clumping and odor-controlling.
If you’d rather not buy cat litter made from a food crop, try Feline Pine, which is made from reclaimed pine shavings and guar bean gum, or Yesterday’s News, made from recycled newspaper.
While it’s best to buy litter from a smaller green company, Arm & Hammer’s Essentials line of clumping litters may be easier to find in a pinch: the company claims it’s made from corn fibers, baking soda, and plant extracts.
Fleas are itchy nuisances, but flea collars and conventional flea shampoos usually contain pyrethrins and organophosphates, which are suspected neurotoxicants and carcinogens.
To keep fleas at bay, tend your pet with a flea comb weekly. And use nontoxic shampoos like the organic, ayurvedic products from Dr. Desai Soap. Dr. Desai also sells a nontoxic neem oil flea and tick repellent for pets.
If you’re experiencing a full-out flea infestation in your home, head to your local home improvement store for a bag of food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE). It’s made of the skeletons of deceased diatoms, a type of algae. Don’t be troubled that food-grade DE contains amorphous silica—it’s crystalline silica (found in pool-grade DE) that has been linked to lung toxicity and cancer.
Annie Bond, author of Home Enlightenment (Rodale Books 2008), recommends doing the following:
Enter code SAVEONHILSSWM upon checkout to receive $5 off select Hill's Science Diet brand dog or cat food with Treats membership. Must be signed into your Treats account prior to purchase. Discount taken off highest priced qualifying Hill's Science Diet branded item in cart. Offer may not be combinable with other promotional offers or discounts. While supplies last. Quantities may be limited. Deliveries may be delayed. Terms and conditions of this offer are subject to change at the sole discretion of PetSmart. Offer valid on petsmart.com through March 29th, 2021 @ 7:30 a.m. EST.
Sign up for Autoship and have products conveniently delivered to you at the frequency you choose! Enroll today and enjoy a 30% or 5% savings on select items on your initial autoship order and 5% on all recurring orders. Treats membership is required to receive discount. Must be signed into your Treats account prior to purchase. Maximum savings is $20.00. Savings will automatically reflect in cart on qualifying item upon enrollment in Autoship. Treats members receive free shipping on orders over $49.00, prior to taxes & after discounts are applied. Offer not valid on select merchandise, gift cards, gift certificates, previous purchases or charitable donations and specifically excludes Royal Canin vet-authorized dog and cat food products. Offer may not be combinable with other promotional offers or discounts. While supplies last. Quantities may be limited. Deliveries may be delayed. Terms and conditions of this offer are subject to change at the sole discretion of PetSmart. Click here for more details. Offer valid on petsmart.com through March 31, 2021 @ 7:30 a.m. EST.
Treats members enjoy Free Standard Shipping on orders over $49. Must be signed into your Treats account prior to purchase. Transaction total is prior to taxes & after discounts are applied. Savings will automatically reflect in shopping cart with the purchase of qualifying merchandise. Maximum value $75. Due to size and/or weight, certain items bear an additional shipping surcharge or special handling fee. Valid only on orders shipped within the contiguous 48 U.S. states, military APO/FPO addresses and select areas throughout Canada. Offer not valid on all or select products in the following categories: live pets, canned, fresh or frozen foods, select cat litters. Offer may not be combinable with other promotional offers or discounts. Terms and conditions of this offer are subject to change at the sole discretion of PetSmart. Delivery may be delayed due to acts beyond our reasonable control, which may include, but are not limited to, weather, strikes, power outages, shutdowns, local, provincial or federal governmental actions, and other similar acts. Offer valid on PetSmart.com.
Free Same-Day delivery is available in most areas. Order by 9am to receive delivery between 12pm-3pm, order by 1pm to receive delivery between 3pm – 6pm, and order by 3pm to receive delivery between 6pm - 8pm. Orders placed after 3pm will be fulfilled the next day. Select products not eligible for same-day delivery. While supplies last. Quantities may be limited. Delivery may be delayed due to acts beyond our reasonable control, which may include, but are not limited to, weather, strikes, power outages, shutdowns, local, provincial or federal governmental actions, and other similar acts. Offer valid on PetSmart.com through March 31st, @ 7:30 am EST.
Puerto Rico customers: Online sales, specials or promotions are not subject to substitution and rainchecks do not apply. For online sales, there is a limited availability, and products are available while supplies last and not guaranteed for minimum days.
Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person, we can all agree that having pets just makes life better. At Green Roads, we treat our pets like family and that means making our pet CBD products with the same dedication to quality we bring to our human line. We offer our CBD drops for pets in a range of strengths suitable for cats and dogs of all shapes and sizes. We offer pet CBD products made with no soy, corn, or dairy to make sure they’re easy for your pet to digest.
Green Roads is here to answer all of your questions, and offer you a way to support well-being for your pet’s body and mind.