How to be a greener pet owner

We all love our pets, and the way we treat and care for them plays a big role in our everyday lives. At the same time, we’re always looking for ways to live more sustainably and reduce our impact on the environment – so have you ever thought about how you can combine these two things?There are more ways to be a greener pet owner than you might think, from the products and food you buy for them to playing and cleaning up after them. Here’s a few handy tips to provide some inspiration on how you and your furry (or scaly) friends can help to make the world a greener place together.Dogs and cats

Natural or organic pet food

If you’re environmentally conscious, chances are you already look out for organic and sustainably-produced items in your weekly shopping trip. The range of eco-friendly foods has now extended into the animal kingdom, and companies like Applaws have cooked up tasty recipes for your dog or cat that are good for the environment, too. All the fish in its range is sustainably caught in seawater using dolphin-friendly methods, and the company prides itself on using only the ingredients listed – nothing artificial added.

Eco-friendly cat litterEver wondered how your cat can help you out in the garden? Organic cat litter from World’s Best might have the answer. Made from whole-kernel corn, this biodegradable cat litter is free from artificial deodorisers and can be added to your compost bin instead of being thrown away.Biodegradable poop bags

Cleaning up after your dog is one of the most direct ways we can help to improve the environment as pet owners, and no responsible dog walker should set out without a few baggies in their pocket. Take the next step by switching to degradable poop bags made from recycled materials.

Natural shampoos

Your dog might hate bath time, but one way you can make it a bit more pleasant is using natural, additive-free shampoos with no colouring, preservatives or toxins.

Rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs

Hay bedding

Hay makes ideal bedding for small pets – it’s cheap, safe and easily available, and perfect for burrowers. What’s more, it’s completely chemical-free and biodegradable, so you can recycle it into your compost heap after use.

Grow your own rabbit food

Rabbits eat all manner of fresh greens such as lettuce, parsley and kale, and a fun way to get more involved with your pet’s life while developing your gardening skills is to put a few of these easily-grown plants in your vegetable patch.

Planet-friendly toysMost small pets love to chew on their playthings, and you can get more out of items you’d usually throw away – toilet roll holders, cereal boxes and so on – by handing them down to your pet. For something that will last a bit longer, why not have a look at willow chew sticks and play balls?Reptiles

Sustainable wood chippings

Avoid using tropical woods in your reptile’s home – they’re often not produced sustainably. Good and affordable alternatives include beech chips or substrates made from natural calcium carbonate.

Low-wattage heating

As your heating equipment will be left on most of the time, it’s a good idea to find an efficient, low-wattage product to avoid wasting power. The Pro Rep heat mat can be bought in a variety of wattages – just make sure the heat output is appropriate for your pet.

Well-insulated vivariums

Just like the rest of your home, it pays to keep the heat in your reptile’s vivarium. Wood is a more efficient insulator than glass, so consider using a wood-panelled living space to control the temperature and knock a bit off your energy bills.

greener pet owner

As you can see, being a greener pet owner doesn’t require any huge changes – it’s all about buying smarter and doing more with what you have. Whether you’re recycling bedding and litter into compost, choosing eco-friendly foods or making your pet’s playthings out of everyday items, you and your pet can help to make the world a better place to live – and maybe save a bit of cash too!


Sunshine in my life
Chinese New Year 2012


  1. What a GREAT article! Thanks for sharing the helpful tips on how pet owners can think GREEN :-).

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