When examining what you can do for the environment the simplest answers are often right at your feet. Those furry little creatures we love so much, our cats and dogs, offer a truly great way to not only do our share to improve the environment but to give them better care. Here are five things you can do right now to be a greener pet owner.Dogs unlike cats leave little packages outside.Cleaning up their waste for disposal keeps our water supply much cleaner however rather than using a standard bag, consider using a biodegradable animal waste bag found at your local pet store. Biodegradable bags ensure your dog’s waste ends up at the junkyard where measures are taken to keep chemicals from leaching into the water supply and the material is allowed to degrade naturally so it doesn’t consume space and stay in our landfills for decades.

Natural product cat litter is sure to keep toxins out of your home and your environment. Did you know that many kitty litter products contain silica dust which is a known carcinogen. There are however several viable alternatives which are made out of natural products like wood chips or recycled newspapers. Some can even be flushed right down your toilet and are harmless to your septic system and our ground water. The good news is they can be found at your local pet store. Organic shampoos and cleaners are a pet owners best bet. Many pet care products contain Phthalates and/or Triclosan both known toxins which make their way into our ground water and eventually into our drinking glasses. Organic shampoos and cleaners do not contain these chemicals and are therefore safer for our environment.

Purchase non plastic pet products. Many pet products contain Phthalates and Bisphenol A which are both harmful to your pet and can contaminate our ground water. Some animals can actually have allergic reactions to these chemicals and can suffer symptoms ranging from warts on their cute faces to lung and breathing difficulties. Who can forget the contaminated pet food scare last summer? So many of our favorite furry loved ones suffered illness and even death. Most pet foods contain preservatives, additives, chemicals for coloring and even fragrance and toxins. These toxins come both from the production process as well as natural process like molding and fermenting which produce dangerous effects. Organic food means no chemicals in your pet and no chemicals on the ground or in our water supply. They are also significantly healthier for your cat or dog.