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How To Reduce Your Pets Carbon Footprint

Often we focus on how to make our own lives more sustainable through the living choices we make, but what about the lives of our pets? A few years back an ABC news report likened owning a pet to owning a petrol-guzzling SUV (a comparison I don't like to think about when I'm picturing my beautiful Spoodle Bella). Are you pet owner too? Well there are many simple changes you can make in the lifestyle choices for your pets to help reduce their carbon footprint (or paw print), as well as your own.

1. For your pets food dishes, purchase stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead of plastic. These materials last longer and don't have to be replaced as often, eliminating waste

Careful, thoughtful purchases considering quality over quantity will lead to a saving on space, money, energy and pollution.

2. Use grooming products that are made with natural ingredients instead of chemicals that are harmful to the environment. You should also support groomers that use natural products or ask that your groomer switch to more eco-friendly products. 3. When buying pet food and treats, always look for organic and/or natural products, which are better for the environment. To go the extra step, you could even try making your own pet food to avoid excess packaging and use only natural ingredients you trust. 4. Be sure you always recycle the packaging that is used for pet food, such as cans and food bags. 5. When picking up after your pet, make sure to use biodegradable bags so the contents really will decompose (rather than being preserved in a regular-old plastic bag in a landfill somewhere). 6. Purchase products for your pet that are made from sustainable, organic and/or recycled materials.

Always beware of generalised environmental claims such as ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘climate neutral’ unless they very clearly explain the benefit being claimed and have it independently verified.

7. Use birth control. Spaying and neutering your pet might sound inhumane, but it's the eco-conscious thing to do and helps to reduce the stress that pets can place on the environment. If owning one pet is like owning an SUV, think about a litter of ten puppies which you can't care for, and then end up in a shelter that's already overburdened with the task of feeding and finding new homes for the pets they already have. 8. Instead of purchasing a dog from a breeder, you should strongly consider adoption. Often the amount of pets exceeds the demand for pets from a breeder meaning more hungry mouths to feed.

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