Dog waste is a public health issue. Keeping parks and streets clean is an important problem that needs to be addressed daily. Our dog needs to use these bags one to two times each day. Over the lifetime of the average dog, we will uses 5,000 of these. Multiply that by the number of dogs in the US and you have a ton of dog waste.
Dog Waste Bags
Saw man’s best friend doing his business the other day, and the owner responsibly picking up the waste with a reused plastic bag. Petroleum based plastic bags take forever to decay. Even if they are made from recycled plastic, it is still plastic. If these bags reach the landfill, they will take even longer decompose.
Biodegrabable dog waste bags made of starch are available that degrade in only 90 days to 18 months. These are thinner than regular bags. Vegetable-based bags meet the ASTM D6400 guidelines. Due to updated U.S. Federal Trade Commission regulations, as applied to dog waste bags, most bags made to these guidelines cannot meet the regulatory definition of biodegradable as they cannot be proven to break down within a regulated time frame of one year in every type of landfill environment.
Landfills are designed to protect the environment and prevent leakage, so it is hard for air and liquids to circulate, which help facilitate biodegradation. When organic matter decays in a landfill, it usually creates the greenhouse gas methane. Make sure dog droppings are not put into the compost bin.
Flushing Dog Waste
A greener alternative would be to flush only the dog waste (no bag) into the sewer system or to use an inground dog waste digester like the Doggie Dooley or Staywell Eco Clean. Do not do this with cat poop as it contains toxins that affect marine life. You need to consult with your local municipal waste provider to ensure you follow their guidelines.
Natural Dog Food – Natural Cat Food
We saw and ad for a Healthy Pet Kit with Halo all-natural meals and snacks for dogs and cats. Halo’s tag line is “You are what you eat” is true for animals as well as for us. Read the ingredients. Can you identify them? Are there inferior by-products, “meals” or chemicals?” Many mass produced pet foods are made with items humans would not want to eat. The FDA has some regulations for pet food.
Organix dog food with organic ingredients. Note the name is bordering on misleading as there is no definition for organic dog food. It is great that this food has never been recalled and uses no chicken meal or other rendered meats, but will it make your pet healthier? Halo gets a plug from Ellen DeGeneres for helping her cat. Even Amazon sells the stuff and has some positive reviews. Newman’s even makes organic pet food.
There are books like Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food covering the ‘shocking facts’ like the one from Ann Martin. Recommendations for the best pet food is balanced food that is home made. A pain to make but you probably guessed the answer. All Recipes has a section full of pet food recipes.
The bottom line is affected by reality. Our dog is a picky eater, so she may not even want to eat the natural dog food. We try to purchase a small bag and test it out on her before we commit.
Unfortunately pets are mirroring their owners obesity epidemic. Obese pets are 30% above their normal weight, making 1/5 of dogs and cats fit this description. It is important to not overfeed pets, to exercise them regularly, so that you prevent common diseases including diabetes, arthritis, kidney failure, and cancer.
Eco Friendly Cat Litter
Some cat litters contain bentonite, a strip mined material that is hard on the Earth. Instead look for litter that uses sawdust or corncobs. Slowly transition from your present litter to the new one by mixing more in slowly. They might be as effective, but you are not killing the planet for your cat.
Be sure to use all natural kitty litter that has no fragrances and no silica that can cause health problems.
More Green Pet Tips
To get rid of those pet odors on your carpet, sprinkle baking soda and vacuum.
Pet Flea Collar Dangers
Natural Resources Defense Council analysis reveals that some pet flea collars can create toxic chemical residues on pet fur that threaten human health.
“In new scientific analysis also released today, NRDC found high levels of propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP), another carcinogenic neurotoxin common in household pet products, on pet fur after use of ordinary flea collars. NRDC is also petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling for the removal of these chemicals from pet products.”
Do you have any pet tips?