EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.
GREEN TIP: Giving your pet a greener life is great for them and good for the planet as well. It’s the least you can do when they’re working hard to make you happy and healthy. And, something to think about, the percent of pet owning heart patients who survived serious heart attacks is 28%, compared with only 6% of patients without pets.
Our daughters are really putting on the full court press for us to get a pet. We have tried fish, caterpillars, toads with various degrees of success…
Here are some great tips on How to Green Your Pet from Treehugger.com that our family will probably be implementing soon:
Get Your Pet From a Shelter.
There are 5,500 puppies and kittens born every hour in the United States.
In the Fargo Moorhead area check out:
4 Luv of Dog - They are a 100% volunteer run, non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and rehoming dogs.
Humane Society Fargo Moorhead - Their Mission is to care for, protect and place animals for adoption in life long homes, and to prevent cruelty to animals by educating in the proper and humane care of all animals.
Cat’s Cradle Shelter – The Cat’s Cradle Shelter is a no-kill shelter for rescued cats and kittens. Their residents live in colonies of 6-10 cats in individual units based on compatibility. They are cared for by a core group of shelter volunteers. Young kittens are frequently fostered in private homes where they get 24hr care, and lots of love and attention. And from there, they go to their furr-ever homes.
The Cat’s Cradle Shelter is currently funded 100% by donations and adoption fees. There is no paid staff at the shelter; everyone is a volunteer.
Spay or Neuter Your Pet.
Spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by eliminating the possibility of uterine, ovarian, and testicular cancer, and decreasing the incidence of prostate disease. And, as mentioned above, there are 5,500 puppies and kittens born every hour in the United States.
Keep Your Kitty Inside.
Two out of every three vets, according to the Humane Society of America, recommend keeping cats indoors, because of the dangers of cars, predators, disease, and other hazards. The estimated average life span of a free-roaming cat is less than three years; an indoors-only cat gets to live an average of 15 to 18 years.
Another reason to keep your cat inside: There are 39 million birds killed annually by domestic cats - in Wisconsin alone (The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service).
I should mention that almost all the cats I know either live outside all the time (the cats on my parent’s farm) or are able to go outside whenever they feel like it and they are all healthy and have lived long lives. So use your own discretion, you know your cat better than anyone.
Give Your Pets the Best Food Possible.
Most conventional pet-food brands are made of reconstituted animal by-products, which is otherwise known as low-grade wastes from the beef and poultry industries. The animals used to make many pet foods are classified as “4-D,” which means they are “Dead, Dying, Diseased, or Down (Disabled)” when they line up at the slaughterhouse. Unless the pet food explicitly states that it contains FDA-certified, food-grade meat, you should know that its contents are considered unfit for human consumption – but apparently good enough for your cat or dog.
Since nutrition is an important factor in keeping your pet healthy, you want to feed them good food.
Natural and organic pet foods use meats that are raised in sustainable, humane ways without added drugs or hormones, minimally processed, and preserved with natural substances, such as vitamins C and E. Certified-organic pet foods must meet strict USDA standards that spell out how ingredients are produced and processed, which means no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, artificial ingredients or genetically engineered ingredients.
Visit NaturalNews.com and check out their article about The Best Organic Pet Foods at http://www.naturalnews.com/028904_organic_pet_food.html.
Clean Up Their Poop.
Pick up your doggie doo in biodegradable bags.
Check out some options at http://www.poopbags.com/ and http://earthrated.com/. In our area, you can find Earth Rated Poopbags at Natural Pet Center, 3037 13th Ave S. in Fargo.
Cat owners should avoid clumping clay litter. Not only is clay strip-mined (bad for the planet), but the clay sediment is also contains carcinogenic silica dust that can coat little kitty lungs (bad for the cat). Plus, the sodium bentonite that acts as the clumping agent can poison your cat through chronic ingestion through their fastidious need to groom. Because sodium bentonite acts like expanding cement–it’s also used as a grouting, sealing, and plugging material–it can swell up to 15 to 18 times their dry size and clog up your cat’s insides. Eco-friendly cat litters avoid these problems.
Here’s more information on how to avoid clumping clay litter: www.thelighthouseonline.com
Give Them Sustainable Stuff.
There are toys made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers (without herbicides or pesticides) such as hemp. A hemp collar (with matching leash) is a great sustainable accessory for your dog. You can even get pet beds made with organic cotton or even recycled PET bottles.
Use Natural Pet-Care and Cleaning Products.
Don’t use toxic-chemical-laced shampoos on your pet instead look for natural pet-care products. And, clean up their messes with non-toxic cleaning products that are gentle on the planet and your pet.
This Winter, Use Pet-Safe Products to Melt the Ice.
Use a child- and pet-safe deicer such as Safe Paw’s environmentally friendly Ice Melter. Rock salt and salt-based ice-melting products, which kids and animals might accidentally ingest, can cause health problems, while contaminating wells and drinking supplies.
For more tips on How to Green Your Pet, visit http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-pets.html.
My Green Side’s web pick of the week:
Adopt A Shelter at http://adoptashelter.com/
You can earn money for the shelter or rescue of your choice every time you shop online at hundreds of top retailers through Adopt A Shelter. They also have a excellent blog dedicated to pet tips and information. Check out their site and see if your favorite pet shelter is listed, if it’s not, have them join!