Have you ever thought about the environmental impact of owning a pet? Instead of adopting an intensive resource user with a large carbon footprint, like a dog, consider selecting an animal with a much smaller carbon footprint. Below are 5 reasons that hamsters are an ideal eco-friendly pet. You may be surprised to learn that a hamster’s eco-friendliness is attributed to more than just its’ small size.
1.Food Consumption- Because Hamsters are small animals and eat very little, the amount of energy used to produce enough food to feed a hamster for a month is far less then the amount of energy used to produce enough food to feed a dog for a month. Manufacturing, packaging and shipping a 20-pound bag of dry dog food across the country via commercial trucking involves using many more resources then shipping an equivalent amount of hamster food. Twenty pounds of hamster food would last a hamster more then a year, which means that commercial trucking of hamster food is not necessary as frequently. With fewer trucks on the road, less fossil fuel will be used and fewer hazardous chemicals and pollutants will be emitted into the air we breathe. To further reduce the environmental impact of feeding a hamster, a wide variety of greens and fruits can be grown right in your backyard. As an added bonus, with a hamster in your home, leftover carrots and lettuce will never go to waste!
2.Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- Hamsters are small consumers when it comes to fancy toys, treats, and furniture. Unlike dogs who require leashes, toys and a myriad of specialized equipment that must be manufactured, stored and shipped, hamsters are natural born recyclers. Hamsters are perfectly satisfied with empty tissue boxes, paper towel and toilet tissue rolls (just the tube) and cardboard cereal containers. Hamsters use these paper products as hiding placing and chewing toys.
3.Water Consumption- Hamsters use very little water on a day-to-day basis. Hamsters should always have access to fresh water, but unlike dogs and cats, hamsters drink less than a ¼ cup a day. In addition, since hamsters do not require regular baths and grooming, no water is wasted and no dyes or chemicals make their way into our water sources.
4.Waste Production- Hamsters produce a very small amount of waste, and the waste they do produce is not hazardous the way improperly disposed of cat and dog waste can be. To reduce the impact of a hamster’s waste on the environment, eco-friendly recycled litter and bedding is available at most pet stores. Recycled paper pellets, untreated aspen wood chips, and even hemp litter are popular alternatives to traditional litters. Unlike cat and dog waste, hamster waste and litter can be thrown directly into the trash or composted. No plastic bags are required and no toxic waste matter is flushed down the toilet to make its way into our waterways.
5.Medical Waste- Unlike dogs and cats, hamsters do not require yearly vaccines, preventative medications or chemical flea and tick treatments. Hamsters are hearty little animals who require very little medical care, unless there is an emergency. This means fewer chemicals and less bio-hazardous waste enters our landfills, soil and water. It also means less fossil fuels are used driving pets back and forth from the veterinarian’s office.
Making the decision to adopt at pet is a serious responsibility. When you decide to adopt a pet, think not only about the responsibility of feeding and caring for the pet, but also about the impact your pet will have on the environment. Hamsters are sweet little pets that are a great eco-friendly alternative to adopting a dog or cat.