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Go Green Your Pets!

February 17, 2014

go green your petsWe all love our furry family members. From their unconditional love to their funny antics, pet ownership can be a very rewarding experience. But, sometimes our furry friends don’t extend that love to Mother Earth! Here are a few ideas on how to go green your pets:

Go green your pets right from the start by adopting from a local animal shelter.  According to the Humane Society, animal shelters care for 6-8 million dogs and cats every year in the United States, of whom approximately 3-4 million are euthanized. Adopting from a shelter can help give one of these animals a place to call their own and lessen the burden on the shelters.

Help reduce the number of stray or abandoned pets by being sure your pets are spayed or neutered. Decreasing the number of dogs and cats will help conserve energy and other natural resources thus helping our environment and decrease the number of pets euthanized each year.

Go Green Your Pets by purchasing healthy and eco-friendly pet food. Opt for minimally processed foods that contain meat from locally raised animals and organic vegetables if possible. Or if local is not an option, look for certified-organic pet foods instead of traditional varieties at your local pet store or grocer. Certified organic must meet strict USDA standards that spell out how ingredients are produced and processed, which means no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, artificial ingredients or genetically engineered ingredients. Not only does this help protect the environment, it could help keep your pet healthier too! Talk to your veterinarian about the best organic options for your pet.

Birds of a Feather… Do you have your dog groomed regularly? Whether you groom your own pet or take him to a groomer, don’t throw away all that fur! Collect the dog fur and place it in a basket outside for birds to gather for nests! Or use dog or cat fur around gardens to keep the squirrels away.

Clean-up after your pet.  Most of us know that cleaning-up after a dog is important for keeping our pet healthy and our shoes clean. But, did you know dog waste can also end-up in the water supply? So, be sure to clean-up after your dog regularly using biodegradable poop bags so that the bag and the poop can degrade together.

Go Green Your Pets Toys! Instead of purchasing the first dog toy, collar or leash you see, take some time to see what the products are made from. Sustainable materials such as hemp or organic cotton or recycled materials are great choices for bedding, collars and toys.

Wash with Eco-Friendly Pet Care Products. Not only are natural pet-care products better for the environment, they are better for Fido and Fluffy! Chemicals from shampoos and other products can make their way back into our water supply and soil thus having an adverse effect on the environment and wildlife. Plus, harsh chemicals can sometimes lead to allergies, dry skin and other side-effects in our pets. These days many natural options are available at your local store. So, talk to your veterinarian about the safest and most eco-friendly options for your family!

Clean-Up DIY. As with all pets, at some point your best friend WILL make a mess! Instead of reaching for that harsh chemical cleaner to remove unwanted stains, try this DIY pet stain remover recipe (be sure to check fabrics in a small area first to be sure it doesn’t stain or remove color!!):

Blot away as much as possible with a clean, dry towel as soon as the stain occurs. Next combine equal parts of very hot water, vinegar and baking soda in a clean spray bottle. Start from the outside of the stain and work your way inward. Blot and spraying until the stain in removed.

Here are a few more earth-friendly DIY options for the stubborn pet stains from ECOLIFE.COM.

How do you go green YOUR pets? We would love to hear your ideas!


On the you will find local eco-conscious businesses, will learn about green events in your community, and will connect to green living information and news. Rest assured that that those listed and advertising on the directory meet green standards for their type of business. While individuals should always ensure that the green businesses they support are taking acceptable measures, all of the businesses listed on GoGreen have been vetted.

GoGreen is the place to find hundreds of hand-picked green business listings that are local to you.

  • Baking soda: This is nature’s deodorizer and is harmless for your family and the environment. It can be used in a variety of ways depending on the surface you’re treating.
    • For machine-washable items, throw an entire box of baking soda into the washing machine with the affected items and run a normal load. Air-dry the laundry. If you can still smell urine, wash the items again with an enzymatic cleaner like Nature’s Miracle.
    • For carpeting or upholstered items that can be laundered, liberally sprinkle baking soda over the area and allow it to soak up as much moisture as possible. Vacuum remaining soda thoroughly then treat with one of the other options listed below.
  • Vinegar: After thoroughly blotting the stain and/or applying baking soda as above, mix warm water and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. Then apply with a rag in a blotting fashion or with a spray bottle. Place something heavy on the stain and allow it to soak up. Repeat if necessary. Undiluted vinegar can also be used to wash urine off of hardwood floors – wash area, rinse with warm water, and dry immediately.

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