3 Ways to Green Up Your Pet

Man-made chemicals can wreak havoc on the bodies of your small, furry companions.

And while some chemicals can’t be avoided, it makes sense to go green as much as possible where and when you can around the house.

Here are three areas where you can reduce chemical usage and get greener for your pet.

Use Natural Products for Cleaning

Sally A. Morgan, a holistic physical therapist for pets and people and the author of “Dances of the Heart: Connecting with Animals,” uses essential oils for cleaning her kitchen and floors. “One thing people overlook is the toxic effects of many laundry soaps and dryer sheet products on pets,” says Morgan. “It is important for all pet owners to be mindful of green products in all aspects of their lives to minimize toxic effects on pets, including not smoking in the house in order to protect your pets!

You can also make your cleaning safer by choosing cleaners that are chlorine, ammonia and phosphate free, recommends Olivia Joyce, a professional cleaner with the company Move Out Mates. “When looking around for cleaners, pick the ones that have a label noting they’re biodegradable, non-toxic and free of synthetic dyes and fragrances,” Joyce adds.

If you’re making your own cleansers, Joyce warns to beware of recipes that suggest using borax as an active ingredient. “Instead, you can replace it with baking soda. That will work just fine and is safe,” Joyce adds.

Stock Up on Eco-Friendly Supplies

You might be able to find good quality dog food in bulk and pick it up and store it in large reusable containers. If the food you buy isn’t available in bulk, at least buy large bags instead of small ones to reduce waste. Joyce also recommends buying biodegradable waste bags, which will not pile up in a landfill and instead will decompose into the soil.

The same can be said for machine-washable dog pads. “Think about how many disposable pads that’s equal to and you’ll get an idea of the impact you will be making,” says Joyce.

Fight Fleas Naturally

No need for scary, dangerous chemicals to fight fleas—lavender is just as effective and a lot safer. To use it, you can easily protect your pooch from fleas with a special solution. “The idea is simple enough: you create a solution that will act as a flea repellent and spray it onto a bandana, that, in return, will protect your doggie,” says Amber Morris, a pest consultant and exterminator for 24/7 Pest Control.

To do this, here’s what to do, according to Morris:

  • mix together 5 drops of lavender essential oil and 3 tablespoons of water
  • use an eyedropper to apply 5-10 drops of solution onto the dog’s bandana
  • rub the sides of the fabric to spread it evenly and tie it onto your dog’s neck (protective and fashionable)

Meet the Author: Diana Bocco

Diana Bocco is a full-time writer and avid adventurer. She's gone hiking in Siberia, snorkeling in Thailand, and canoeing in the Mekong River. She also loves caves and has been known to get lost in one or five around the world. Diana's work has been published in the Discovery Channel website, Yahoo!, Popular Mechanics, and more. You can read more of her work on her website at www.dianabocco.com

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