We've collected a list of environmentally friendly pet supplies that our cat- and canine-compaions really want. Hint: it's not an ugly sweater set.
Even the most environment-friendly pet guardians sometimes don’t realize that their pets may also leave a significant carbon “pawprint,” through the kind of lifestyle provided to them. For those of us who are doing what we can to live ethically with regards to the environment and laborers’ welfare, then we might also apply the same practices when it comes to our pet’s care. Here’s a handy-dandy list of pet supplies that are eco-friendly, all-natural, or fair-trade so Fido and Mr. Socks can have a healthful, nutritious, and eco-friendly holiday this gift-giving season!
Sustainable Adventure Pet Gear
Instead of leather or synthetic leashes, collars, or harnesses, consider keeping the fur-babies safe and secure with high-quality gear made from sustainable materials and textiles, such as hemp, vegan cork leather, and mushroom leather. These materials are far more sustainable, and they significantly reduce stress on the environment and require fewer resources to produce. And, of course, they are safe not only for our pets but for humans, as they do not contain harmful chemicals or manufacturing by-products. Examples include:
- Wigglywoos - offers natural pet gear made from materials harvested from non-GMO plant sources.
- Ruffwear - focuses on sustainable materials sourcing, waste reduction, conscious design, and recycled materials.
- EarthDoggy - sells eco-friendly, organic, and all-natural pet products.
- Noggins & Binkles cat harnesses and collar - made with vegan cork leather, these luxury pieces provide safety, security, and high-fashion.
Green Cat Litter
Most cat guardians don’t realize that the majority of cat litter products contain clay or sodium bentonite, which can be harmful to kitty’s health. Fortunately, there are green litter options widely available these days. Look for ingredients such as wheat, corn, recycled wood, or newspaper when researching cat litter options. These ingredients are guaranteed safe for cats, and they’re biodegradable. Some can even be flushed down the toilet.
- NEPCO wood shavings bedding - inexpensive, easy to handle, has a pleasant odor, biodegradable, and compostable.
- sWheat Scoop wheat-based kitty litter - clumps fast, offers odor control, is biodegradable, and flushable.
- Yesterday’s News cat litter - 99.7% dust-free, eco-friendly litter made with recycled newspaper, which is 3x more absorbent than clay by volume, and is easy on sensitive paws.
Eco-Friendly Waste Bags
As for cleaning up after Rover, non-biodegradable waste bags are quickly going out of style. We are well aware of the immense and nearly irreversible impact that single-use plastics are having on our environment. As a dog owner, we know very well how much poop we have to scoop day in and day out. Imagine all those plastic waste bags going to the landfill, ending up in our oceans, and inevitable being ingested by sea life. The manufacturing process is also harmful to our air and soil. So, ditch the plastic and make the switch to eco-friendly waste bags.
- Earth Rated poo bags - biodegradable, durable, inexpensive, and are sometimes even scented.
- Cycle Dog Earth-friendly pick-up bags - corn- and plant-based bags that use natural microbial decay to decompose within 10-45 days of burying them in a compost heap.
- BioBag pet waste collection bags - made from a plant-derived resin and can be composted along with other organic waste in municipal composting facilities.
All-natural Dog and Cat Treats
There are countless choices when it comes to dog and cat treats, but finding treats that are low-calorie, nutritious, and delicious can prove difficult. Check out this Guide to Dog Treats, Part One and Part Two. Premium, all-natural treats that are made in the USA and come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee are few and far between. Perhaps just as important is the reputation of the company and the treats. Several commercial treats on the market can cause dangerous and painful intestinal blockages, be harder on teeth than is necessary, and contain toxic ingredients intended to make the product last longer on shelves. Instead, look for high-quality treats that will improve our fur-baby’s health, rather than cause concern.
- EcoTreats wild-caught sockeye salmon filet bits for cats and dogs - premium, all-natural, made with only 100% USA-sourced wild-caught salmon that is high in protein with no by-products, and freeze-dried to lock in the aroma, nutrients, texture, and freshness.
- EcoTreats signature chicken jerky cat and dog treats - the freshest, highest-quality chicken jerky treat on the market is also grain-free, gluten-free, preservative and additive-free, as well as high in protein and low in fat with no by-products.
Organic Dog Shampoo
Believe it or not, the dog shampoo industry is not regulated and follows no standards for health and safety. This is one of the main reasons dog owners often have to experiment with different brands before they find one that works best for their cat or dog. They typically encounter problems like dry hair, heavy shedding, flaky and itchy skin, and a thinning coat. Some dog and cat shampoo brands even contain ingredients that may cause cancer in our precious pets. Plus, most dog shampoo ingredients are bad for the environment. When shopping shampoo check the label for the USDA’s “Certified Organic” seal to be sure that the manufacturer made the conscious and ethical choice to adhere to the USDA’s organic food standards.
- 4Legger - a USDA certified all-natural and organic line of hypoallergenic shampoos and conditioners developed for a variety of conditions, environments, lifestyles, and other needs.
- Vermont Soap - certified to USDA organic food standards and a safe, non-toxic alternative to detergent and chemical cleaners.
DIY Pet Toys from Recycled Materials
As a pet parent, most of us probably buy new toys with some regularity. This is partly to treat them, and partly to replace the toys our fur-babies always seems to destroy no matter how durable we think they are. So it’s a cycle of throwing out the old and bringing in the new. Why not DIY a few pet toys from recycled materials?
We can make a rope toy by braiding strips of old clothes. Create a version of a flirt pole by tying a treat to the end of a stick. Or we can simply give our pets a water bottle to roll around and chase or a box to hide in. Making environmentally- and labor-ethical choices for our pups and kitties may seem like a lot of work at first, but it is doable for many. For those who love shopping for their pets and want to save the homemade toys for their yearly donation to the local shelter, there are options out there.
- High Roller Plus Dog Ball - designed to guarantee a dog's undivided attention, this durable roller is made in the USA out of post-process recycled materials.
- Purrfect Play Hemp Catnip Carrot - a durable carrot-shaped cat toy stuffed with organic catnip and handmade in the USA from dye-free organic hemp canvas.
- “The Most Eco-friendly Cat Litter Products on the Market” Scientific American
- “Have You Been Bathing Your Pet With a Cancer-Causing Shampoo?” PetMD