Have you ever wondered how to be a more Earth friendly pet owner? If you’re like most of us, we spend a lot of time trying to reduce our environmental footprint. Well, here are 12 easy ways to become a green pet owner by reducing your pets’ environmental pawprint!

1. Spay or neuter

Pet overpopulation is a serious problem. Spaying and neutering keeps the pet population down, which is not only good for keeping animals out of shelters, but lessens the environmental impact of those animals.

2. Use ethical foods and supplements

The ingredients in your pet food shouldn’t make you want to roll over and play dead. Look for organic dog food such as Open Farm Pet Food and Nordic Naturals.

3. Use biodegradable waste bags

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends flushing pet waste when possible. You can do that with a flushable bag or use a metal pooper scooper then flush it down the toilet. At the very least use biodegradable waste bags like Earth Rated Dog Bags or Bio Bags.

4. Buy earth-friendly cat litters

Popular clay cat litters can be harmful to the environment and your cat. The clay comes from strip mining and isn’t biodegradable. Try using an environmentally friendly cat litter such as sWheat Scoop Original Formula Cat Litter or World’s Best Clumping Formula Cat Litter.

5. Compost pet waste

Did you know you can compost pet waste rather than throwing it in the garbage? Composting eliminates the time, money and energy required to transport it to the landfill which, not only saves energy, but saves landfill space. Proper composting will produce a safe soil additive, but don’t use dog waste compost on food you plan to eat. Learn more at the USDA.

6. Use natural cleaning products, ice melts and weed killers

You know how babies put everything in their mouths? Pets are no different Just picture your dog walking barefoot everywhere and licking its paws. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the cleaning products, ice melts and weed killers you use. Some products are toxic if ingested while others can cause irritation to paws and skin after exposure. And as with all these products, the more toxic is it, the more harm it can do to not only your pet, but your family and the environment. If any label states “keep away from skin contact” or a warning similar, stay away! The less toxic products are, the better for everyone, two legged or four.

7. Buy in bulk

Buying in bulk means less trips to the store (so less gas) and less packaging. At Bend Pet Express we even have bulk biscuits/treat bins so you can bring in your own reusable container and fill up with as many treats as you want. This method is cheaper than packaged treats and creates less waste. It’s a win-win.

8. Pick up poop

Did you know that un-scooped pet waste can spread disease, parasites and pollute groundwater, rivers and streams? So be sure to scoop your dog’s poop to keep your water and environment healthy.

9. Recycle

As you know, you can always recycle your pet food cans and plastic containers when possible. You can even look for pet supplies sold in recyclable bags. Companies like Wellness and Open Farms have teamed up with TerraCycle, a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle waste. Our stores stores are a TerraCycle drop spos. So if you’re local you can bring those pet food bags to use, along with other participating companies products, and we’ll ship them back to TerraCycle to eliminate this waste in our landfills.

10. Walk your dog to the dog park

Not only will this help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, traffic congestions and our demand for oil, but burning calories is always a win not only for you but also for your dog. Plus, you can use the app ResQWalk to raise money and resources for your favorite animal welfare organization.

11. Consider using eco friendly pet toys or make them yourself

Assuming you have the time, it’s fun and easy to make dog toys from things around your house. Just be sure to always watch your pets when they’re playing, so they don’t choke. Does your pup like crinkling sounds? Then simply wrap a water bottle in a t-shirt. And you know your will be happy with an empty bag or box!

If you want to buy toys there are tons of environmentally friendly options like these that use recycled materials like these toys made by Planet Dog and West Paw.

12. Donate old items

Keeping items out of landfills is definitely a green move. Contact your local animal shelters and other non-profits and see what items they will take. And helping these facilities save money by not having to purchase items might make the difference for a life.

Going green doesn’t have to be hard. Just change a few habits and start using a few new products to show your love for our planet!

Visit our store in person or online and start going green today!

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