Happy Earth Day! Fun Fact: Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year. This holiday was established to demonstrate support for environmental protection, so today we wanted to share some environmentally-friendly pet tips and advice to assist anyone who wants to Go Green with your furry friend.
First, Some Obvious Facts
about Pets and the Environment:
- Adopt from a shelter! Adopting from a shelter is much more beneficial to the earth and our society than buying from a pet store. Some pet breeders (many of whom sell to pet stores) have only one goal–to raise large quantities of animals for profit. These activities lead to lousy food and living conditions, overcrowding, and culling of unwanted animals, among the many other inhumane problems that arise. Why buy when you can adopt one of the thousands puppies and kittens born every day in the United States? Or, adopt a fabulous adult pet that is already trained.
- Spay or Neuter your Pet! Spaying or neutering your pet helps to reduce our planet’s pet overpopulation problem. Here at the HSBC, we’re actively trying to reduce pet overpopulation by offering free/low-cost spay neuter services. Is your pet unaltered? Please click here for more information.
- Pets are a commitment, not a fad or a seasonal gift. Every single year, dozens of baby bunnies and rabbits flood into our shelter a few weeks following Easter. A pet, no matter how small, is a long-term commitment that involves demands on both time and money. So, if you’re considering buying your child a pet for a holiday gift, please reconsider. Impulse buying (say, rushing out and grabbing the next available Dalmatian puppy after your child watches 101 Dalmatians) isn’t a good idea, either.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
- Reduce the amount of chemicals your furry friend is exposed to by using all-natural cleaning/grooming products, or you can make your own:
- Baking soda and cornstarch make a great base for safe, all-natural dry shampoo for both humans and animals!
- Reuse some common household items before you toss them:
- Have an extra (clean) loofah at home? Repurpose it into a chew toy!
- 2 liter pop bottles make great recycled bird feeders.
- A cat litter bucket can be upcycled into a handy travel tote.
- Speaking of upcycling… feedbags can be upcycled into grocery bags.
- Old cotton clothing can be recycled in to travel beds, toys, and more!
- Recycle! This one is obvious, but pets go through a lot of “stuff.” Wet food tins, dry food bags, kitty litter packaging… the list goes on. Before you toss it into the garbage, check the item’s packaging for the recycling symbol (normally located at the bottom of the package) to see if and how you can recycle it. Remember: not all packaging will have a recycling label but this doesn’t mean you can’t recycle it. If you’re not sure what you can recycle in your area, check the recycling locator.
All-Natural Pet Treats
Now for something we think you and your families will really like: All-natural pet treat recipes. Skip store-bought and make these delicious bites at home. Makes a great activity for kids, too!
Tuna Heart Cat Treats
This recipe makes 30-40 cat treats
- 150g canned tuna, in oil (roughly 5 ounces). We suggest Wild Planet, American Tuna, or Ocean Naturals which are highly ranked for how sustainable, ethical and fair their tuna products are for our oceans — and for the workers that help get the products to store shelves.
- 1 cup rice or oat flour
- 1 egg. Try cage-free, organic eggs!
- 1 tbsp dried catnip
- extra olive oil
Preheat your oven to 350˚F, or 320˚F if you have a fan-forced oven.
Combine drained tuna, rice or oat flour, egg and catnip in a bowl, and mix thoroughly with a fork until combined. The mixture should hold together but not be excessively sticky. If the mixture is too dry, you can add a little extra olive oil as required.
Roll the dough into ½ teaspoon sized balls and place on a lined biscuit tray, flatten with the back of a spoon. Then, bake for 10-12 minutes.
Allow to cool, then store in an air-tight container. These treats will keep for 7-10 days.
No Bake Dog Treats
The yield for this recipe varies greatly on how large you make the treats (smaller for toy breeds, please!)
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup honey. We recommend local honey, which can be found at most supermarkets or farmers’ markets.
- 1 cup powdered milk
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup Cheerios
Place Cheerios in a zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin until mostly powder. Pour onto a plate and set aside. In a bowl, mix the peanut butter, honey, milk, and oats. (You may want to use your hands!) Form the mixture into balls the size of walnuts, then roll the balls in the powdered cereal. Feed to a hungry dog!
These treats should be consumed with 2-3 days. Otherwise, put them in the freezer.
We hope you enjoyed this Earth Day blog post. Have a great weekend, everyone!