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5 Ways Your Pets Can Go Green

Pets going green? Get your four-legged family members in on the action.

With all the news about Green Living, we've learned that we can all do a part in protecting and sustaining our beautiful planet. We sort out the recycling and bring our own (and often stylish) reusable bags on shopping trips. It makes us feel great to know that all the little things add up and we are creating a better tomorrow for future generations.  Did you know that your pet can make an impact too?

Here are 5 easy tips you can start today to make your pets go Green.

1. Create personalized pet toys

It's tempting to buy your little buddy a new ball to chew when they're sitting at the counter as you're checking out at the register, but think about it: They have truckloads of new animal playthings shipped all over the country every day. Just enough to stock your local pet supply palace. When it comes down to it, we're paying those manufacturers to use energy to run the factories producing all the toys, pump out the carbon emissions from the supply trucks, and cut down the trees to make the cardboard boxes they're shipped in.
Pets Go Green
Companies know the age old rule of supply and demand, and as a consumer, use it to your advantage. Start making your own toys for your lovely pet. The companies' sales will drop, they'll produce less product, and in turn, do less harm to the environment. Another option is to shop for your pet at "Environmentally Conscious" pet stores. These respectable companies are energy efficient and use recycleable materials to still meet your needs as a consumer while making less of and impact on our planet!

Here are some crafty ideas for FREE homemade pet toys.

- Take some of your old or hole-filled socks (washed first, of course) and tie them together. Dogs love to chew on the knots and play tug-a-war or fetch with them.
- Wrap and tie (or hot glue) spare rope around an empty Quaker Oats cylinder. Fill with heavy rocks, seal well, and put next to your cats litter box for a new scratching post.
- Grab a stick from your backyard and tie a string to it. Cut a few one inch squares of different kinds of fabric. Recycle and use old ripped up clothes or towels you wouldn't give to your community homeless shelter. Thread the other end of the string through the fabric and tie a knot to secure. Both cats and dogs enjoy trying to catch the bait.

2. Remove your pet's poo

Believe it or not, leaving your doggie's doo-doo out it the yard isn't just an eyesore, it can be very bad for the enviroment and your health! The bacteria in your pet's waste can easily be washed down storm drains by rain or your sprinkler system, ending up in our water supply and out your faucet. It's also bad to expose it to young children by leaving it out where they could be walking or playing. Throwing out your doggie doo in biodegradable bags is a good idea, but to really save money start a compost bin just for your pet's droppings. Just scoop the poop in and forget about it. Just make sure the location of this compost pile is far away from any current or future gardening areas. For Apartment or Condo dwellers, another fast option is to just dump it in the toilet where that kind of waste is taken care of professionally.

3. Keep them on a leash

Besides the fact that there are many fines you could pay for not having a leash on you pet, you can help your dog or cat from destroying the natural life outside your home by keeping them inside, or on a leash. It's true that street cats regularly kill birds and other animals to survive out in the wilds of your backyard, but your pet's lifespan could be double or triple the time the average cat has to kill it's next meal. There's no need for your kitty to take down a couple of birds: You meet all your pet's needs of food and shelter, and you keep them safe from environmental and predatorial danger. Going green is all about protecting the environment. Don't let temptation overcome your best friend.

4. Make sure your pet has been spayed or neutered

Animal shelters are overflowing with the massive pet population we have in the US. Many of these animals are from families who couldn't afford to keep them anymore. Lots of these cases can be easily avoided by preventing unplanned pet pregnancies. On top of being good on the wallet, spaying or neutering your pet has fantastic health benefits. Since you're removing the parts, your cats and dogs have virtually no chance getting cancer in reproductive organs (such as the ovaries), which can make for a happier and longer life for you and Fluffy. Check you local shelters or Veterinarians, they may perform the operation for FREE!

5. Make them a part of your family: ADOPT!

The best way to Go Green is to adopt your next pet! Remember all the previously mentions pets that are now stuck in shelters? Try going to Petfinder.com or your local Humane Society and you're almost guaranteed to find the best friend for your living situation, family type, and personality. There's no need to pay "out-for-profit" breeders and run the risk of investing in a devastating and cruel underground business. Remember always make sure that everyone in the household is aware of all the responsibilities and time that is required to provide the right home for your new addition.

Going Green doesn't have to cost a lot of money. You can find lots of ways to reduce your negative impact on the environment that are completely free. Creating a safe and joy-filled home for your family and your pets may just be the best investment out there.

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