Eco-Warrior Dog (Part I)
February 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
When the size of a household increases in number so, too, does the household’s rate of consumption. Although Maple is only a pint-sized furball on four legs, it is amazing the amount of products and waste we go through in order to provide her with a comfortable life.
It’s no wonder there has been a spike in our bills and a growth in the size of our ecological footprint. Curious to find out our household impact on the earth, I took a short quiz that calculated our ecological footprint. The result is astounding—if everyone on the planet were to adopt our way-of-life, we would require 2.75 earths to support us all. And, here, I thought we were being pretty eco-conscious as it is.
It seems that there is a lot more we can do to lead a sustainable and green lifestyle with Maple, so after a short brainstorming session we compiled a list of simple ideas to transform your Fido into an eco-warrior dog:
1. If Fido is on a commercial feed, check that Fido’s kibbles or canned food are made from ingredients that are high-quality (fresh with minimal by-products), preservatives-free, and organic-certified (if possible). You can refer to Dog Food Analysis for descriptions of and reviews on numerous manufactured dog food brands currently available in the market. Better yet, if Fido loves your homestyle cooking, why not prepare a healthy meal for the little one. You can then shop specifically for fresh meats and organic vegetables that are locally produced.
2. We all enjoy giving our pooches a treat or two. With so many varieties of treats out there to choose from, however, it can be difficult to make an informed selection. Similar to how you would choose the best quality dog food, do the same for treats by checking the ingredients listing and ensuring that the contents are safe for Fido’s consumption. If you are still confused and would like some directons, then you may wish to check out the fifteen eco-friendly dog treat suggestions from Mother Nature Network (unfortunately, they may not all be available in Singapore). Baking treats from scratch in your own home can be a lot of fun, too. MM and I are going to give this a try, and I’ll be sure to post the results on Maple’s blog.
3. When shopping for Fido’s next toy, look out for items made from recycled/recyclable or all-natural materials. Durability is also an important factor—the more indestructible a toy is, the longer it will last (thus, extending the time inbetween replacements). Personally, I find the KONG (by Kong Company) and Huck (by West Paw Design) to be excellent chew and play toys. The KONG is made from a natural rubber compound, while the Huck is composed of a specially manufactured, non-toxic, recyclable material called ‘Zogoflex’.
4. Interestingly, while browsing the West Paw Design website, I also came across their Eco Nap cushion for dogs. The company claims that their Eco Nap mats are made from recylced plastic bottles and partially recycled batting. The Eco Nap can be used multiple times, as it is machine-washable and dryable. Well, I suppose Maple’s S$2 cushion from Daiso could be re-used with some major washing and sun-drying. I’m sure with proper cleaning, Maple’s cushion will look as good as new.
5. Leashes and harnesses can be a fashion statement for Fido. As much fun as it is to go shopping for them, MM and I feel that Maple really only needs just one set of leash and harness. Maple is currently sporting her smart-looking red leash and harness which we wipe clean bi-weekly with water and vegetable soap to remove bacteria and dirt that may have accumulated.
These are just some of the things we have tried, or will be trying out, to lead a green lifestyle. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post, where we will list yet another five tips on how you can be an eco-savvy pet owner and Fido an eco-warrior dog!