Saving the Environment: Pets Go Green!

worlds best cat litterRising gas prices and climate changes have many people worried about the future of our planet and pet owners are no exception.  Luckily, help appears to be on the way.  From organic pet toys to bio-degradable cat litter, many companies are finding new ways to help pets and their owners lessen their carbon footprint.

Until recently, people showing concern for the environment were sometimes referred to as tree-huggers, hippies, even eco-nuts! But the more we understand about climate change and our impact on the environment, the more we want to protect our natural resources – and pet owners are no exception to this trend.

And as we become a greener society, companies are delivering. From organic pet foods and treats to beds made from recycled materials, choices and green alternatives are becoming more readily available to the consumer.

At SimplyFido®, pet owners can purchase dog toys made entirely of cotton and organic dyes. And according to their website, only natural dyes, like clove, are used. And because of their dying process, each toy has a unique appearance, making it one of a kind!

Planet Dog makes all natural hemp collars, leashes and harnesses, as well as toys made from 100% recyclable materials.

And when playtime is over, eco-conscious dogs and cats sleep on PoochPlanet® and SmartyKat® pet beds from Worldwise. These comfortable beds are filled with fiber created from recycled plastic bottles.   Worldwise estimates that every year, 30 million bottles that could have been destined to landfills end up in comfortable, eco-friendly pet beds.

Want your pet to go organic? Pet owners looking for an organic diet go to , where they can search through hundreds of organic diets and treats for their best friend.

Commercial or organic, some of your pet’s diet will ultimately end up in your yard or litter box. Although it doesn’t seem glamorous or trendy, eco-friendly waste disposal is gaining nationwide attention.

For example, in Austin, Texas, city officials estimate that the town’s 100,000 dogs produce 25 tons of waste daily. Some of the waste is ending up in the town’s water supply and affecting recreation areas for people and their pets. Since dog feces can contain potentially harmful bacteria and parasites, the city has started a campaign urging dog owners to “scoop the poop.”  Providing biodegradable Mutt Mitts in dispensers around the area, the city of Austin is reducing the amount of dog waste and potential for disease.

Similarly, Poop Busters in Chicago provides environmentally friendly canine clean-up crews for dog shows and even personal property.

If clean up crews aren’t an option, you can still reduce the amount of dog waste in your yard and local landfill. The Doggie Dooley system provides your canine his very own personal septic system and will help protect your family from parasites.

For the feline lovers, several companies offer environmentally friendly, biodegradable cat litter. GPC Pet Products is making a scoopable and flushable cat litter from whole kernel corn. Next Gen Pet Products also produces biodegradable cat litter derived from green tea leaves and sawdust. Both companies claim improved odor control when compared with standard litters.

With more than two million tons of cat litter ending up in US landfills annually, these products offer better options for environmentally conscious cat owners.

As a final note, some pet owners may decide that “going green” means finding holistic or natural remedies for their pets’ illnesses.   Before you change any of your pet’s current medications or start something new, be sure to talk with your veterinarian and find out how the change might affect your pet.

Keep in mind that like you, your veterinarian wants only the best for you and your pet. Keeping your veterinarian informed about your thoughts and concerns is a great way to keep communication lines open! To see some eco-friendly pet diets, products and toys in action, visit for a video.