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Earth Day With Fido And Fluffy: Pets and Plastic

April 15, 2024

On April 22nd, we will celebrate Earth Day. This year, the issue of plastic usage is front and center. Earthday.org has set a goal to decrease the overall use of plastics by 60 percent. Fido and Fluffy would be happy to help! Now is a great time to integrate some eco-conscious practices into your furry friend’s care routine. In this article, a local Louisville, KY veterinarian provides some helpful tips on this. 

What Do I Do For Earth Day? 

If the weather is good, now would be a wonderful opportunity to bring your furry friend to a nearby park or trail. Getting some sunlight, fresh air, and exercise will do wonders for both of you!

Additionally, you have the option to take on some simple and straightforward home projects. Consider planting native flora that will attract pollinators to your garden. This will not only beautify your space but also support the local ecosystem. Alternatively, consider adding a small herb garden. Or, if you have a cat, make Fluffy a kitty garden. We recommend keeping cats inside, but this is something you can do with a porch or spare room. Your furry friend will be more than happy to keep an eye on things.

For those who enjoy gardening, it might be worth exploring environmentally conscious methods to attract helpful insects and deter harmful ones. Ladybugs, for example, have a voracious appetite for a variety of harmful pests. It’s fascinating to learn that some insects, like mealworms, have been found to consume plastic, according to recent studies.

Choosing eco-friendly methods is also safer for Fido and Fluffy. It’s important to remember that pet poisonings are a frequent reason for emergency visits. It’s important to be aware of the potential dangers that lawn and garden chemicals can pose to our furry friends. There are lots of ways to go green here. For example, if you’re dealing with hornets, consider placing a paper grocery bag on your porch. They will assume it is a nest belonging to a competitor and move along!

Don’t forget the potential hazards of slug baits, as they can be extremely toxic to dogs. Try sprinkling oats around your plants instead.

Lastly, simply sharing the information can also make a difference. Now would be the perfect opportunity to showcase some adorable photos of your beloved furry companion. Feel free to share this blog on your social media platforms! Don’t forget to include the right hashtags: #Earthday EarthDay. Use #EarthDay, #GoGreen, #SaveThePlanet, and #EcoFriendly.

Are Plastic Products Safe For Pets?

There isn’t a straightforward yes or no answer to this question. Plastics are typically not included in the list of precautions we recommend for pet owners. Actually, quite a few pet products are made of plastic. That includes items such as toys, dishes, leash casings, and crates.

However, plastics are not completely harmless, either. There is a potential choking risk associated with softer plastics, as well as items such as plastic bags and ties.

There has been a noticeable increase in awareness and concern surrounding microplastics. These tiny pieces of plastic are exactly what their name implies. They can now be found in a wide range of things, including water and even seafood. In fact, as much as 90% of our tap water may contain them. Contamination was detected even in rainwater in France. Toxins, chemicals, and microplastics have comparable effects on both pets and people. Further research is necessary, but studies have found associations between them and a range of medical conditions, including cancer and digestive problems.

How Can I Make My Pet’s Care Regimen A Bit Greener?

There’s no need to make drastic changes to Fido’s and Fluffy’s care routines in order to make their pawprints more environmentally friendly. Small things can truly make a big difference! 

Dinnerware Pupgrade: Do you have plastic dishes for your furry companion? replace them with ceramic, bamboo, or stainless steel options. And the same goes for Fido’s treat jar!

Veterinary Care: Yes, veterinary care does help! If your furry companion has not been spayed or neutered yet, we highly recommend taking care of this matter ASAP. There are already countless stray and homeless pets out there who are in dire need of loving homes. 

Clean Green: Pets are amazing pets and companions, although they can be a bit messy as roommates. Consider opting for cleaning products that are derived from renewable resources. For example, if your pet enjoys creating nose print art on your windows, you can use a vinegar cleaner to remove Fido’s masterpieces. Additionally, you have the option of purchasing biodegradable garbage bags for waste and litter. 

Compost: Get a small compost bin and put any uneaten pet food in that. It’s not a good idea to use pet feces for fruits and veggies, though you can use it for plants.

Pick Up After Fido: Did you know that dog feces can actually contribute significantly to water contamination? Remember to grab or order some biodegradable waste baggies 

Purchase in Large Quantities: By purchasing your furry friend’s kibble in bulk, you can make a positive impact on reducing packaging waste. Just don’t get too much, as it might spoil before your pet can eat it. Also, consider choosing a stainless steel or ceramic container instead of plastic for storing your pet’s food, treats, and toys. 

Opt For Environmentally Safe Toys: Quite a few pet toys are made with plastics and rubber. When shopping, always read the label and take note of the country of origin. Some of these products have been discovered to contain harmful substances, including BPAs and even lead. Pick things that were made from sustainable materials.

Stay on top of Preventative Care: You might not realize the positive impact of consistently administering flea medication to your furry friend. Protecting your pet from parasites and diseases is not only easier but also more cost-effective than treating them. Dealing with preventable medical issues can really complicate things for poor Fido in the long run. Additionally, this will require an increase in resources and will cost more. Contact your Louisville, KY pet hospital if Fido or Fluffy are overdue. 

Garden Friendly: Are you a fan of gardening? Hang a pair of cut pantyhose filled with Fido’s fur from your garden beds. This product is a convenient solution for keeping rabbits and other critters away. Another option is to evenly distribute it around the base of your plants. Or, send it to a company that specializes in using this technology to effectively clean up oil spills. Matter of Trust is an excellent choice. For more information, you can visit their website. If nothing else, simply allow it to be carried away by the wind. Birds frequently use it for their nests.

What If My Pet Ingests Plastic?

It’s impossible to discuss dogs and plastic in a blog without addressing this particular issue. Some dogs are quite enthusiastic chewers, happily sinking their teeth into anything within their reach, even plastic objects. Fido also enjoys devouring the squeakers found in chew toys. As for Fluffy, she for some reason seems to like the taste and texture of it, and will often chew or lick wrappers. Needless to say, this can be very dangerous. If you believe that your furry friend has ingested plastic, contact your Louisville, KY veterinarian for assistance immediately.

Contact Your Louisville, KY Pet Clinic

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Is it time for Fido’s wellness exam? Feel free to reach out to us, your Louisville, KY pet hospital, at any time!