Surprise! One of the fastest sustainable switches you can make is for your pets! I'm sharing how Zippy and I do it at home.
My beagle, Zippy, turned 10 this year, and she has been on home-prepped meals on and off for the same amount of time. With the diagnosis of Amelanotic Melanoma last year, her diet now consists of grass-fed beef, fresh veggies (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower) and fruits (apples, blueberries, cranberries, pears), kefir, and golden paste (I follow this recipe). Her meals are portioned then frozen (she has her own set of reusable containers!), then taken out the night before to defrost in the fridge for feeding the next day. She does have a small reserve of kibble for the times I'm participating in bazaars and she's left with her automatic feeder.
Home-prepping your pet's meals means almost-zero waste because you buy their food the same time you buy yours. You have essentially gotten rid of the packaging processed pet food comes in. The best thing about this is you know exactly what goes in their bellies! Zippy has a ton of food and environmental allergies so home-prepping is vital to her health and my sanity 😄
*There’s also a certain pleasure in listening to the kronch-kronch sound Zippy makes when eating her veggies!*
Waste management is also every pet parent's dilemma. Zippy has always been a well-behaved girl, and has been toilet-trained since puppyhood. We used to alternate between doormats, old newspapers, and those single-use absorbent pads for her in-room toilet, but we have since invested in the Four Paws Wee-Wee Washable Pad and the Tall Tails Waterproof Dog Pad. She loves both equally - they're both leak-proof and keep odors at bay - but cleaning the Tall Tails pad is much easier than the Four Paws one hehehe. To pick up her poop, I have been using Earth Rated Dog Waste Bags since they first came out in the Philippines via Bow & Wow*. When we go on our evening walks, it's awesome to see fellow dog owners picking up after their pets - I've seen someone use newspaper and someone else following their dog around with a dustpan!
We also have cats at home - Cthulhu, Eton, and Pirate - and they have been using soy-based, eco-friendly cat litter since last year.
Bath time is always difficult for me and Zippy because she's a great escape artist. Because of her allergies, though, we've had to follow her doctor's prescription for Virbac Allermyl. However, our other dogs at home already use our Dog Shampoo Roundy, the unscented variant. Plastic-free, of course!
Sustainable living with a pet doesn't need to be painful, expensive, or hard. It's all about mindset and the desire to protect Earth.
Honestly, I feel Zippy is healthier (despite the cancer) and happier due to the switch. I also feel better that I am doing good by her.
*The pads and the bags are both carried by Bow & Wow.