Having a family pet can bring joy to every member of your family, especially babies who may not have mastered the art of the gentle touch. Owning a pet is also a fantastic opportunity for your child to learn the lifelong skills of empathy, sharing and being responsible. These days the responsibility of pet ownership includes being respectful of Mother Earth, and families are looking for easy ways to reduce their eco-paw print.
For the past five years, Purina, Evergreen and a team of community volunteers have been creating better spaces for our furry friends across Canada. And Canadians can help to enrich the lives of pets at shelters by entering to win one of three eco-friendly backyard makeovers from Purina and Evergreen.
4 Ways to Reduce Your Eco-Paw Print
I had a chance to speak with Stephanie Deotto, a spokesperson at Nestlé Purina PetCare about this initiative and asked her to share five tips on how families can reduce their paw print.
1. Backyard makeover
Whatever type of garden you are creating, make sure it is free from items that may cause harm. For all your furry friends, it’s important to identify hazardous plant life that may be growing in your backyard. “Anything that is toxic to humans is also toxic to pets,” says Deotto. Make sure plants like Lily of the Valley, Oleander and Azaleas are out of reach, or even better, not a part of the flora and fauna that exists in your space.
2. Hold the mulch
Mulch is great to add to soil because it will help it maintain the soil’s moisture and reduce erosion. “However, if you have a dog, you have to choose the type of mulch very wisely and stay away from the popular but poisonous cocoa bean mulch,” says Deotto. Instead, look for medium sized alternatives that haven’t been processed or dyed.
3. Look for eco-friendly options
Another simple and smart action, that responsible pet owners can take, is to examine the accessories you are thinking of purchasing for your pet. From collars and leashes to beds, consider purchasing items that are made from either recycled or natural materials. What your pet sleeps on is equally important because regular foam beds can contain fire retardants and other petroleum-based chemicals.
4. Make it a clean scoop
When you’re out walking your dog and you stoop to scoop (as you know you should) use a biodegradable bag instead of a plastic bag. By using a biodegradable bag you’ll be working double time when it comes to cleaning up your local environment.
5. Green space for Kitty
Each renovation that Purina takes on is unique to the needs of the shelters. For instance, they created rooftop gardens for kittens who never went outside because the patio was too hot. If you have an outdoor cat who longs to go outside but the conditions are much too hot, make the outdoors inviting by planting trees, installing catnip, and adding cauliflower for your cats to graze on.