Your Pets Can Be Green Too!

Animals lead a relatively simple existence compared to humans, requiring just a few basic essentials in order to be happy and healthy, and yet we tend to overcomplicate things by cluttering the lives of our furry family friends with countless accessories and goodies. But did you know that we are exposing our pets to a host of manufacturing chemicals and harmful elements?

When pursuing a greener lifestyle for your pet, the very best course of action is to simply just go back to the basics. The majority of your pet’s needs can be fulfilled in an eco-friendly manner without compromising their health or quality of life.

Adopt from a shelter

Some pet breeders have only one goal–to raise large quantities of purebred animals for profit. They’ve also been pilloried for misdeeds such as overbreeding, inbreeding, poor veterinary oversight, lousy food and living conditions, overcrowding, and culling of unwanted animals. Why buy when you can adopt one of the 70,000 puppies and kittens born every day in the United States? Love knows no pedigree.

Spay or neuter your pet

Did we mention 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in the United States? That’s 15 puppies and 45 kittens for every hairless biped that slides out of a birth canal. And “multiplying like bunnies” isn’t just any old trope. We don’t need any more homeless animals than we already have. As a bonus, spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by eliminating the possibility of uterine, ovarian, and testicular cancer, and decreasing the incidence of prostate disease.

Go organic

Conventional pet foods come with ingredients you may not have bargained for, including pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, and — last year’s addition — melamine, a contaminant that killed 1,950 dogs and 2,200 cats and sparked one of the biggest pet food recalls in history.

Natural and/or organic alternatives produced by Wysong, Timber Wolf Organics, Instinct, Kumpi, Evo, Nature’s Logic, Honest Kitchen and Halo or raw diets manufactured by Bravo, Northwest Naturals and Raw Advantage are far more beneficial to carnivorous pets since they effectively address their dietary needs compared to mass-produced (albeit dirt cheap) offerings.


Squeaky vinyl toys: So cute and noisy, yet oh so dangerous when you realize that your pet is absorbing the chemicals straight through their saliva. In fact, they’ll probably be equally as enthusiastic about playing catch with several recycled, hole-ridden socks tied up in a tight knot, a feather gleaned from the corner of your yard or oh yeah, a real, genuine stick!


If Bisphenol A-impregnated plastic is bad for us, it’s probably not a good idea to allow our beloved pet family members to consume their meals and water out of it, either, no matter how appealing the design. Rigid plastic generally contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals that trigger an elaborate array of ailments in humans (including reproductive issues, various cancers, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s) and with soaring rates of pet health illnesses that mimic what humans generally suffer, why tempt fate? This is a quick fix that’s as easy as swapping out their old plastic dishware for glazed enamel or stainless steel versions.

Cleaning supplies

If you’re still convinced that the bracing scent of chemicals wafting through your personal environment is indicative of germ-free cleanliness, then it’s high time that you revise your approach and get in touch with your natural side. Pets, like human babies, are incredibly sensitive to synthetic chemicals and more often than not smell, touch and lick everything within their reach. Purging your home of all chemicals and instead opting to use 100% natural alternatives isn’t just great for the planet, it’s also a sound investment in your personal health as well as that of every other family member under your roof (dogs, cats and various other pets included).

Here are a few green cleaning tips for pet households:

Create a homemade stain/odor solution in a spray bottle by mixing together 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 1 tablespoon of baking soda (which naturally deodorizes) and one-half teaspoon of dish soap. Spray the affected area liberally, scrub thoroughly and allow to air dry. To boost the formula, feel free to add several tablespoons of white vinegar to the mix.

Address vomit stains by removing any solid material, applying a Borax solution (2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of Borax) and if all else fails, coat the offending area with foamy shaving cream, which truly does work in mysterious ways due to its stain-lifting surfactants.

Personal care products

Anything that comes into contact with your pet’s skin (shampoo, conditioner, flea repellent, etc.) should be as natural as possible — we’re talking about their body’s largest organ, after all. If you scan the list of ingredients found in conventional products, however, there are far too many unpronounceable elements that were likely cooked up in a lab. Bear in mind that there is always a green alternative to what is typically sold in mainstream stores, and if you are daunted by the price (which is understandable), it’s relatively easy to whip up a budget-friendly version that will address your pet’s needs in a much gentler yet equally effective manner.
After the pet food scare of last year, it became a reality that no matter how much money you spend on dog food and snacks, things can go terribly wrong. So why not make your own? Check below how to make your own doggy biscuits.

Peanut Butter Puppy Biscuits

1 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup safflower oil

2 eggs

3 tbsp peanut butter

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/4 cup unbleached white flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup rolled oats

1. Mix water, oil, eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla with a wire whisk.
2. Add flours, cornmeal, and oats. Stir until mixed well.
3. Place dough on a floured work surface. Knead gently, adding more flour as necessary to form a pliable dough
4. Roll out to 1/2-3/4-inch thickness and cut shapes using cookie cutters. Repeat until all dough is used.
5. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 400°F, 20-25 minutes, depending on thickness of biscuits. Leave in oven 20 minutes, after turning oven off, to crisp. Store in an airtight container.

Now we have some happy furry friends!

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