Left to their own devices, cats and dogs would live in harmony with nature, taking no more than what they need. No land fills or mining of reseources. No plastic toys or chemical flea baths. But when we adopt them into our homes and our lives, we set them up with a lifestyle similar to our own. In observance of Earth Day, here are a few gentle suggestions for greener dogs and cats:
- Use a cat litter made from renewable sources, like wheat, corn or wood by-products, instead of clay. Clay litter clumps well, but the strip-mining required to obtain it is environmentally damaging. Renewable litters, while more expensive, usually last longer than clay and have better odor control. And when you are finished with it, you can put it in your compost pile (after scooping out the solids, of course!).
Buy things that last for your pet. Most dog toys fall apart quickly and end up in landfills, but the Westpaw Hurley fetch toy, made of Zogoflex, is incredibly durable, Montana-made and even has a one-time replacement guarantee if chewed. A Bowser bed is so well constructed of upholstery-grade fabric that it will outlast ten cheaply made beds, and you’ll enjoy its beauty for many years.
- Use nontoxic flea control.Flea collars, shampoos, sprays and liquid flea drops contain many chemicals that find their way into lakes and rivers where they kill fish and wildlife. They have also been linked to serious health effects in animals. In our experience, nontoxic methods are actually more effective at flea control and better for our planet.
Prevention is always the best cure. Start your dog or cat on BodyGuard nutritional supplement a couple months before flea season starts to repel fleas from the inside. The healthy natural ingredients strengthen skin, coat and immune function and impart a scent that tells fleas to take a hike.
If your dog or cat has fleas now, remove them with a flea comb, drowning any fleas you find in a glass of soapy water. Because flea eggs fall into carpeting and bedding to hatch, be sure to vacuum frequently and wash pet bed covers. Then use a safe, nontoxic desiccant to eliminate any flea larvae in your indoor environment. FleaGo, from boric acid crystals, or Diatomaceous Earth can be sprinkled on floors, rugs and underneath seat cushions, working the dust into fibers and cracks. Protection will last for a year. For more details, pick up our handout “The 3-Step Plan to Natural Flea Control” or find it in our online information library.
- Deer and elk antlers are a completely natural chew for your dog.Your dog has a strong desire to chew, so try antlers that will last for weeks or months. This option minimizes environmental impact in many ways: They’re from a renewable source, naturally shed, and they contain no added chemicals, steroids, or hormones
Dogs love them, and you’ll love them because they’re full of health benefits, they’re odorless, and they don’t splinter. All The Best Pet Care carries a large variety of sizes, so stop in and have a Pet Care Specialist help you find the right one for your dog.