How to minimise your pet’s environmental pawprint

While you may use calico shopping bags and stainless steel straws, have you ever wondered how much of an impact your furry friend is having on the environment?

Thankfully there are many simple ways that you can help your pet cut down on their environmental paw print.

From making your own pet food to getting clued up on kitty litter, here are five simple things from founder and CEO of pet care brand Rufus & Coco, Anneke van den Broek, that you can do more environmentally conscious of your pets.

Swap products for eco-friendly alternatives

You might be surprised to learn that one cat uses at least 100kg of cat litter per year. So, how can we make all that kitty litter kinder to the environment?

“As a cat lover, I know that most pet parents don’t have time to sit around researching products,” Anneke says. “Start with one area of pet care at a time and make a positive choice: look at the products you are using for your pets and consider the alternatives.”

Fortunately for our feline friends, science and technology have come a long way with natural kitty litter products emerging.

“Rufus & Coco’s Wee Kitty Clumping Corn Litter is made from a sustainable source of biodegradable corn and natural plant fibres with a binding agent for clumping, making it a fantastic eco-friendly choice,” Anneke explains. “It is proudly Australian Made and so safe that clumps can be flushed down the toilet.”

If you have a pooch, look at your daily waste disposal. Plastic dog poo bags can be swapped for biodegradable plastic, or simply use a shovel or paper towel when at home.

Buy quality not quantity

Rather than buying your pet dozens of low-quality toys, invest in a few durable toys that will last for many years, and keep them on a rotation so your pet doesn’t get bored, Anneke suggests.

“The same idea should be applied to everything that you buy your pet, from travel crates to leashes and collars,” she says.

Also keep an eye out for any pet accessories that donate a percentage of sales to a charitable cause.

Make the most of every meal

Anneke says that food is a massive part of your pet’s environmental footprint since they require a meat-based diet.

“This has a larger ecological footprint than a plant based diet – but did you know that the best way to reduce the impact is to use every part of the animal, including organs,” she says. “Speak to your vet about the best meat to offer your pet, then stock up on fresh supplies from your local butcher for a healthy meal that’s great for the earth, and your wallet!”

Desex your pets

“Every year, up to 100,000 treatable Australian cats and dogs are euthanised in shelters,” Anneke explains. “Many more are living as strays with an environmental impact.”

So, by taking the simple step of getting your pet de-sexed, you can avoid adding to this statistic.

Use natural products

When it comes to selecting grooming products, look out for anything that’s natural.

“They’re not only gentle on the environment, but are gentle on your pets too,” Anneke says.

While you may think these types of products are hard to find, they’re becoming more easily accessible and some are also made in Australia, which reduces the environmental impacts of transportation and manufacturing.

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