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Eco-Friendly Pet Care

The Martha Stewart Show, March 2011

Reduce your carbon "paw" print by making environmentally conscious pet-care choices. "Petkeeping" host Marc Morrone has some simple suggestions.

Small Decisions, Big Impact
Many of the seemingly small decisions we make as pet owners every day can make a big impact on the environment. Try giving one regular behavior an eco-friendly makeover: If you normally drive Fido to the dog park, try walking him instead (bonus: the exercise is great for you as well). If you normally use a hair dryer to dry your pet after a bath, use a towel instead. And don't wear shoes in the house: Our footwear can bring unwanted pesticides and chemicals from the streets into our homes.

Pick Up Pet Waste
Pet waste contains harmful bacteria that can enter the water system via storm drains, creating environmental and health hazards. Be sure to always pick up after your furry friends, and dispose of the waste in the trash, using biodegradable bags instead of regular plastic bags whenever possible. If you have cats, consider switching to an organic, plant-based litter.

Try: Martha Stewart Pets Waste-Bag Rolls

Eating Green
Natural food options are available now for all pets, from birds to rabbits, guinea pigs to dogs and cats. Take the time to read the labels on all pet food packaging, and look for foods that do not contain synthetic ingredients or chemically altered natural ingredients. The first ingredient listed should be a natural source of protein, such as lamb, salmon, or chicken. Additional ingredients should combine whole grains, accents of fruits and vegetables, and important vitamin and minerals.

Try: Purina ONE Beyond

Recycle Pet Products
Lend a helping hand to animals in need by donating unwanted pet collars, bedding, leashes, or toys to animal shelters and rescue organizations. Contact organizations near you to find out what supplies are in high demand.