Its hard to believe that a recent study by Robert and Linda Vale entitled Time To Eat The Dog: The Real Guide To Sustainable Living, found that an average sized dog has a bigger environmental impact than a gas guzzling SUV. Shocking but true, many traditional house pets such as dogs and cats have a large carbon footprint. Knowing this many eco-concious pet owners try to reduce their pets environmental impact by purchasing eco-friendly supplies and food for their pets which is great but doesn’t completely eliminate the problem. A better choice would be for pet lovers to purchase pets who have a smaller carbon footprint. One such pet is the guinea pig.This cute little animal is member of the rodent family and makes great choice for people who want an eco-friendly pet but still want a pet they can cuddle, hold and play with.
What Makes The Guinea Pig An Eco-Friendly Pet Choice?
The Diet of A Guinea Pig Is Composed of Sustainable Foods
Guinea pigs eat a diet full of fresh vegetables and timothy hay all of which are much more sustainable food choices than the bags and cans of commercially produced food that cats and dogs consume. Much of the food they eat can come from your own organically grown garden making them both an eco-friendly and economical pet. They can also eat grass and clover from your lawn as long as you haven’t used any chemicals or fertilizer on it.
Guinea Pigs Don’t Need A Lot of Space
Guinea pigs love to nest and don’t require much space to stay happy and healthy. There is no need to provide them with a big yard to play in or waste gas driving them to the dog park to play.
Guinea Pigs Do Not Require Much In The Way of Supplies
While guinea pigs require the basics such as a hutch, bedding and feeding dishes they don’t require much else in the way of pet supplies. In addition all of the supplies they use can be made out of recycled materials if desired. A hutch can be made out of anything that keeps the guinea pig safely enclosed and some people have created their guinea pig’s home out of old packing crates, tin wash tubes and stackable plastic cubes. Bedding can consist of recycled paper pellets or wood shavings. Even their feeding dishes can be made out of recycled shallow plastic containers such as margarine tubs.
Guinea Pig Toys Can Be Made Out of Recycled Items
Guinea pigs love to play but you won’t need to buy fancy toys for these eco-friendly pets. Instead use cardboard oatmeal boxes to make tubes crawl through and roll across the floor, pieces of newspaper for them to chew on and toss around and old shoe boxes as places to hide in.
What Can Guinea Pig Owners Do To Further Reduce The Carbon Footprint of Their Pet And Make Them Even More Eco-Friendly?
Adopt Instead of Purchase
To further reduce the impact of guinea pigs and discourage over breeding by unscrupulous breeders always try and adopt your animal from a local Guinea Pig Rescue instead of purchasing them at a pet store or from someones home.
Unlike the feces of dogs and cats which can’t be composted guinea pig “poop” which consists of only plant material can be added to the compost pile and used to enrich the soil in your garden. Their bedding which is usually composed of wood shavings or recycled paper pellets can also be composted making this a pet who adds little or nothing to overflowing landfills.
Feed Your Guinea Pig Your “Leftovers”
Guinea pigs are constantly eating which makes them a great garbage disposal for your unwanted fresh vegetable scraps. Instead of purchasing fresh veggies specifically for your guinea pig to eat feed them a variety of fresh vegetables scraps that you would normally have tossed in the trash or compost bin.
Cavy Cages Your Guinea Pigs Home
Just Blame The Dog For Environment’s Ills CBS News