A Quick Guide to “Crunchy Granola” Pet Ownership
By Jessica Brody
With so much changing in our world these days, many pet owners are curious how to provide lasting health to their pets while also being conscious of the world around us. Many sustainability minded, environmentally conscious individuals want to “go green” when it comes to pet ownership.
Here’s a quick guide to “crunchy granola” pet ownership:
To become a more environmentally conscious pet owner, you can start by switching to biodegradable food bowls (bamboo is one excellent option). Rather than buying expensive cat condominiums for your feline friends, try recycling leftover cardboard boxes (your cat will love them, I promise!). Recycled plastic bottles can now be used to make dog toys – or even dog beds!
- Minimize Waste
Making your own pet food allows you to have even better control over what your pet is eating. In addition, it is also better for your pet – and for the environment. For example, some veterinarians now recommend eliminating potential food allergens, gluten, GMOs and other irritating ingredients to reduce symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – yes, pets can get IBS just like humans can! In addition, you can help reduce waste in the environment by choosing products with minimal packaging and by purchasing from companies that focus on minimal waste. All of these efforts will help reduce your pet’s carbon footprint.
- Bring Your Pet With You
Many cities and towns have “crunchy” stores and shops that are eco-friendly, locally-owned and are often pet-friendly. It’s always a good idea to call ahead before just showing up with your pet, but if pets are welcome, this can be a great bonding experience for the two of you. It’s also a purrfect opportunity to practice obedience training and socialization skills. Some types of places to try might include: local coffee shops, pet stores, conscious restaurants, and dog-friendly parks.
In addition to the tips listed above, there are also some basic pet ownership steps that any good pet owner should consider. First, if you’re new to pet ownership or are in the process of getting a new pet, you’ll want to plan for how you will help your new pet acclimate to living with you. There will be an adjustment period for both of you, while you learn to live with each other and your pet learns to become more comfortable in new surroundings. This is especially true for rescue pets, who understandably may be nervous or fearful at first.
If you work especially long hours, you may want to hire a dog walker, pet sitter, or consider boarding your pet. This is especially true in the first few weeks after adopting, to ensure your pet is taken care of and doesn’t feel abandoned or lonely. Check out local dog walkers at Rover.com.
Here’s to all the crunchy granola pet owners – and their “fur babies” – for making this world a better place! As you can see from the list above, we are very lucky to live in a world where it is very possible to pamper your pet while still being friendly to the planet. With so many options available to us these days, it’s easier than ever to be an environmentally conscious, sustainable, and loving pet owner.