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Plastic-free Pets

Planet-friendly pets

It is no surprise that we (the UK) are a nation of pet lovers, with around 40% of households sharing their homes with a domestic animal. As much as we love them, pet ownership can come with some challenges, especially when it comes to living a plastic-free lifestyle.

So many pet toys, food and wellness products are conveniently packaged in plastic or are made from plastic. To help you move away from the run of the mill plastic products, we are here to share some handy tips to help you find a more natural and sustainable alternative to some of your pet owning needs.

Here are some simple things you can do to introduce your pet to the plastic-free revolution too!

Grubs up!

Most high street brands sell pet food and treats in convenient portion size pouches. But these are usually made from lots of different materials so they can’t be recycled. This means they’ll end up in the bin and then landfill.

Instead, opt for tinned food or consider a raw food diet for your dog to reduce the need for tins or pouches. But do your research and also speak to an animal nutritionist for advice on the best way to do this or your local, independent pet food store. They are also a good place to buy natural dog chews and treats that aren’t wrapped in plastic like they are in many national pet shops.

Alternatively, making your own dog treats can be a brilliant way to feed your dog healthy snacks for good behaviour. As well as cutting down on unnecessary plastic packaging, you can also reduce your food waste by using vegetable offcuts, like broccoli stems, and if you have a dehydrator you can use this to make dried treats with a variety of foods, such as chicken hearts bought from your local butcher.

Plastic pet bowls tend to be the norm for our furry friends to eat from. While they might be light, they are not as long lasting or healthy (for your pet or the planet) as ceramic or stainless steel. You can buy them in most pet shops or check out Freecycle or Facebook Marketplace for some being given away.

Play date 

Of course, toys aren’t exactly single-use – especially for some dogs who aren’t intent on instant destruction – but after inevitable chewing, scratching, sucking and the rest, even the toughest, most resilient dog toys come to the end of their lives.

Choosing longer lasting, plastic-free toys is a great way to make sure they have a good amount of use and don’t make so much impact when they are done. Avoid those that come wrapped in plastic packaging too!

There are plenty of plastic-free pet friendly toys on the market so we suggest going for those made of plant fibres and other biodegradable materials. That way, when the toy has been chewed and ripped apart beyond recognition, you don’t need to worry about throwing plastic in the bin.

Pet grooming 

After a good roll around in mud – or worse – it’s a good shout to hose down your dog and give their coat a bit of a clean. Opt for a plastic-free dog shampoo bar instead of shampoo in plastic bottles – ideally they should be natural and unscented to keep our furry friends – and our planet – clean.

Make a den 

If you have ever had a cat sleep on an old jumper instead of the special cat bed you bought, you will know that sometimes homemade and comforting beats brand news and wrapped in plastic packaging! Get creative with boxes, old pillows, blankets and towels to create dens for your little furry friend.

Old suitcases from second-hand shops or markets offer a fun retro alternative to a pet bed when lined with soft pillows and blankets. And they can be easier to take apart and wash too.

Lessen the impact of your cat’s poop 

the litter material itself might contain all kinds of nasty things. Clay and crystals are the most common budget litter, with clay needing to be mined and crystals holding silica. Not great for your cat or the planet.

Switching to a litter product made from natural-materials is a great way to lessen the impact of your cat’s poop! Cat’s Best Cat litter is a favourite because it is plant based, comes in a paper bag and is clumping (perfect for long lasting litter) it also has similar sized grains as clay and crystal litter making for easier transition for the cat.

 

Clean Up After Your Dog 

Cleaning up after your four-legged companion can be an unpleasant but necessary part of owning a pet. Unfortunately most poo bags found in pet stores are still made of plastic.

It’s a radical idea, but if you want to be a zero-waste dynamo, you could always make your own poo bags out of things like newspaper. This easy, ultimate eco-friendly option is great for any-and-all pet-poo you might encounter, and will save you some money, too.

Share your plastic-free pet tips!

Have you got any tips for caring for our four-legged friends in a more sustainable way? Let us know on social media, and help others keep their pets plastic-free.

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