Reducing our pet’s ecological paw print

Note from Michael: this article was kindly contributed by Lucy Postins of the organic pet food company The Honest Kitchen – Thanks Lucy!

Have you ever considered how the decision you make for your pet can affect both him, and his world? A few simple changes in your buddy’s routine can have a dramatic impact.

Here are seven tips for acting globally, which benefit our animal companions, too.

Refrain from using chemicals in your yard.

Weed & Insect killers can adversely affect your pet’s health and have a detrimental effect on wildlife, too. A wonderful alternative is to introduce natural predators to the bugs you want to eliminate. You can purchase beneficial predator insects to release in your yard or encourage them in the following ways:

• Plant a variety of flowering plants, especially ones with small flowers rich in nectar. Mix up your plants so those that attract beneficial insects are nearby those that need protection.

• Place plants close together to provide a moist, shaded environment for beneficial insects who dehydrate easily.

Wash your dog less.

Over shampooing can dry your companion’s skin excessively, contributing to itchiness. Less frequent washing will help to maintain the natural oils in the skin, keep the pH in balance and also conserve gallons of water at the same time.

Think Twice about Flea and Tick meds.

These topical preparations are laden with pesticides that can harm your companion in more ways than one. They deplete the immune system and compromise over all health. In fact they’re so toxic that people shouldn’t come in contact with them at all.

Try adding Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic to your companion’s meals, or use an essential oil combination to repel unwanted bugs. Pennyroyal is an excellent herbal repellent but should never be used around pregnant pets or peeps.

Heating and cooling

Turn down the thermostat on your freezer by a degree or two if you can. Many households operate their freezers and refrigerators on the coldest possible setting. Often the temperature can be raised slightly without any detrimental effects – helping to reduce electricity usage quite significantly. The same goes for household heating and cooling.

Your dog’s health & skin condition will be better without extreme heat and air conditioning, and moving the thermostat 3 degrees down in winter and up in summer can prevent the emission of nearly 1100 lbs of carbon dioxide per household, annually.

Plant your own herbs.

A herb garden can be as simple as a few select species in a window box. Having your own botanicals on hand might help eliminate the need for chemical preparations (aloe and calendula are great for cuts and scrapes; parsley helps digestion and lavender or chamomile can be dried to use as natural relaxants). Living herbs produce oxygen which helps to cancel out some of the carbon dioxide we all emit into the environment.

Choose natural cleaners and detergents.

Reducing the chemicals in your companion’s immediate living space can help to combat contact allergies when he sleeps on surfaces that have been cleaned with chemical products. Itchy feet and a red belly can be a sign that something is aggravating your pet.

The Honest Kitchen offers healthy, dehydrated pet foods; there’s no cooking and no freezers required, and they use 100% organic grains, hormone / antibiotic-free meats and non-GMO produce. Have a question about earth friendly pet care and diet? Ask Lucy below!