Having pets in the home can be one of the most wonderful experiences that life can offer. It can be a great way to liven up the home, and many people even say that it is not really a home if there are not any pets in it. But whether you are keen on having cats, dogs, or whatever else, you might also want to know how you can do it while minimizing the effect on the planet. If you aren’t careful about how you do it, you might find that keeping pets can be hugely damaging in terms of your footprint on the planet, so it’s a good idea to think about this and find a way around it.
In this post, we are going to take you through an eco-friendly approach to keeping pets in the home. As long as you have thought about all of the following things, you should find that you are much more likely to keep your eco-footprint at an acceptable level, even while surrounding yourself with the pets that you have always wanted to have, and enjoying the feeling of love that they can provide a home and a family.
Offset Their Emissions
Ultimately, you can do what you like as long as you are offsetting the emissions in some way or another. It is true that there are emissions that come from keeping pets. You have the food, for example, which will have required animals to be kept and slaughtered, and all of that takes energy to do. You need to make sure that you are offsetting these emissions in whatever way you can, but first, you’ll have to work out how much you actually need to offset, and in a way, this can be the hardest part.
The simple solution there is to go online and use a calculator that can do it for you. You just have to put in how many pets you have, what you feed them, and a few other details, and it will show you exactly how much carbon you need to offset. You can then offset it in many ways, including changing your diet to a vegan one for a while, not going on any flights, and so on. The more that you offset, the more of a clear conscience you can have about keeping pets in your home, so it’s something to definitely think about.
Use Eco-Friendly Waste Bags
If you have a dog, one of the main issues that you are going to come across is how to dispose of their fecal waste when you take them for a walk. Most people end up using plastic bags, but as we all know these can take many years to decompose, and they are not very good for the environment at all. You should therefore consider using a more eco-friendly option, as this is going to be much preferred in so many ways. That might mean a compostable bag, for instance, so that it will simply decompose as the waste itself does.
In a similar vein, if you keep cats, you’ll want to choose a litter that is eco-friendly in some way too. This is a simple case of changing brands, and if you look at the packaging you will see that some are proudly made to be environmentally sound, while others are not. Choose the ones that are, and you will already be doing more than most cat owners to keep the planet in a good condition, and to avoid destroying it further. Some litters just never break down and thus are to be avoided.
Stop Your Cat From Being A Predator
In many respects, it is always going to be a challenge to fully be able to stop your cat from going out and killing things. But you can definitely see that cats are something of a menace, and they do tend to have a way of killing all of the wildlife in an area. As a responsible cat owner, you might want to try and find a workaround, so that your cat is being minimized in how many things they are killing. Of course, cats are notoriously hard to control, which is why this is something of a challenge. However, you do have some options available to you.
First of all, you might simply consider keeping your cat indoors. Indoor cats do not have a chance to kill anything in quite the same way, and this is a simple solution. But if your cat must be outdoors, you can keep them in your garden as best as you can, or you can also avoid training them to hunt through the use of toys when they are young. This can be very effective. You can also punish them when they bring mice and other creatures into the home, to discourage them from doing so again in the future. You might need pest control services if your cat brings in lots of mice anyway!
Whatever you can do to stop your cat from killing too much can help the local wildlife to flourish, so don’t overlook this for how simple it seems. It is one of the most important things you can do as a cat owner, and it’s going to make a big difference to the planet, especially if all cat owners think about doing the same thing as best as they can.
When you are out walking your dog, consider staying as local as you can. Traveling too far by car is of course going to rack up your emissions, so you might want to simply avoid using the car at all, and keep it as local as you can. Staying local means that you will be able to see more of your local area too, and you might discover that there are many more nice walks than you might have immediately assumed. This is a doubly good reason to keep your walks as local as you possibly can. Your dog won’t know the difference anyway.
Choose Food Wisely
Probably the number one concern with keeping pets, however, is their food. A lot of cat and dog food in particular is not produced in the most eco-friendly way. You need to do all you can to try and improve this, and the main thing that you can do as an individual is to be careful with which companies you choose to support. Go for those that are making a real point of trying to be eco-friendly, and you should find that you are going to be able to make a big difference this way. You can also make sure you are not overfeeding them, and feed them other food as well that can be good for them – cats can eat, and frequently enjoy, rice and boiled vegetables, for instance. All of this makes a difference ultimately.
Have Fewer Pets
Finally, one simple top-down way to improve your footprint is to have fewer pets in the first place. This doesn’t mean that you need to do away with having any, but if you can reduce how many you do keep in the home then it is all going to add up and make a significant difference, so it really is worth thinking about. You’ll find that you can still have the joy of keeping a pet, but that you are also trying to maintain your eco-friendly ways as best as you can. Like with many things in life, it is a compromise.