Many pets can leave large carbon footprints. They can impact the environment adversely through the products used for them, through their own behaviors as well as numerous other causes. However, almost any pet can become more eco-friendly through the actions of its owner. Through more responsible pet ownership, your pet can leave smaller carbon footprints.
If you have a dog or a cat, one of the best ways to do this is to have them spayed or neutered. The number of unwanted, abandoned and stray cats and dogs puts an enormous strain on the environment. Waste matter left on sidewalks and streets impact the environment. The costs of the shelters needed to house these homeless creatures are prohibitively high. The most important negative consequence is that the animals suffer greatly. By spaying and neutering, you reduce these issues.
Another way to reduce the impact that your dog or cat creates on the environment is to avoid foods that go through a lengthy manufacturing process. You can use natural, organic or homemade foods for your dog or cat. It could be a much healthier diet for your pet and also be kinder on the environment. Be sure to check which foods are safe for your dog or cat and give a balanced diet.
Reduce the quantity and types of items bought by substituting. Instead of buying toys, consider making some homemade toys out of things found around your place. For example, since cats love string, you can use yarn as a toy to play with your kitty. Dogs love to pull. Consider making a pull-toy out of old socks knotted together. Rather than buying a dog or cat bed, what about using old blankets or quilts and some extra pillows you may have lying around? If you sew or knit, you might want to make some or all of your pets clothes (if your pet wears clothes) from scratch. Be creative. That’s part of the fun for you and your pets. An added benefit is the money you’d be saving each time you find a more Earth-friendly alternative to items that you normally buy.
There are other animals that leave smaller carbon footprints. However, think about how many dogs and cats are kept as pets and how every pet owner (everybody, really) can do their part to help the environment. While dogs and cats are far from leaving the smallest carbon footprints, with the popularity of them as pets, if everybody made a bit more of an effort, the positive effects on the environment would be enormous.