Eco-Warrior Dog (Part II)

February 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Maple has joined the eco-movement and is committed to leading a greener lifestyle—that means Momsy and Popsy, too, will have to raise their environmental awareness and take responsibility, as pet owners, for their impact on the planet. Yesterday, we shared five tips on how to raise an eco-warrior dog. Today, we will share another five green initiatives that take no effort at all.

6. If you live in a geographical location—like Singapore—where it is constantly wet, hot, and humid then fleas and ticks can become a real nuisance. Singapore ticks are hardy critters that have become immune to certain brands of flea and tick repellents. Sadly, medicated repellents are, more often than not, pesticide-based. MM and I had a lengthy discussion when considering the method of treatment for Maple. Given the climatic conditions in Singapore, and advice of Maple’s vet and local dog owners, we eventually went with Frontline Plus. However, instead of administering the entire dosage that is meant for one application, we apply about two-thirds of the vial every forty-five days [Note: Please consult a veterinarian before adjusting the dosage of any medication]. We protect Maple the rest of the way with Richard’s Organics Naturally Gentle & Safe Flea & Tick Spray by spritzing this natural solution on to her legs every other week or so.

7. Plastic poop bags are indeed handy to have when you need to clean-up after Fido. Imagine, however, the number of poop bags that get discarded in a year—at least 730 pieces (if Fido goes twice a day)! Why not consider using bio-degradable poop bags instead. Alternatively, newspaper works equally as well (I’ve noticed a few neighbours doing that). Finally, if you’re lucky enough to have your own backyard, perhaps you could install a compost bin for Fido’s biomass. [Note: Never add Fido’s, or any other animal’s, waste matter into a compost pile that is intended for human use. Dog waste contains harmful microbes and pathogens that should not be mixed with plant life meant for consumption.]

8. Maple uses a litter box at home, which is currently lined with an absorbant, disposable pee pad. Like the poop bags, these pee pads are just as harmful to the environment. MM has been insisting, for the longest time, that we line the litter box with newspaper and do away with the pee pads. Now that we’ve secured Maple’s litter box so she can’t remove the lining inside, I think MM has a point and we should convert to newspaper. For those with a preference for pee pads, there are washable, reusable ones that claim to be made from recycled and bio-degradable fibres. However, if your Fido is trained to toilet outdoors and you can bring him or her out frequently, then all the better!

9. Ever since Maple has moved in with us, there have been many occasions when we have had to do some spot cleaning. Instead of using harsh, chemical-based disinfectants we have opted to clean our tile floors with Envizyme (a Singapore-made detergent manufactured from plant and fruit enzymes) and to de-odorize with a homemade vinegar and water solution.

10. Lastly, before you toss out that huge package of food that Fido has suddenly found a dislike for or discard the crate that Fido has outgrown, consider donating these goods to a local shelter so that other dogs may benefit. By reducing, reusing, and recycling, Fido is not only an eco-warrior but also a compassionate and charitable canine citizen.

We hope you have found some of these ideas useful. If you have additional tips to share, please write in. It only takes a small amount of each person’s time and effort to improve the quality of life for all on our shared planet—and that includes (hu)man’s best friend!

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