Mugsy will eat anything. He’ll lick anything that gets too close to his face and last week, he was fully convinced that the July 4th fireworks meant the end of the world. He’s an 18-pound Jack Russell alarm system, fully equipped with a hyper bark that might make burglars drop their loot and dash out the front door.
He’s also the first dog who’s lived in this house in over two years. Like most pet parents, I’m concerned about his well-being and health, and since he’s the third dog I’ve kept throughout my life, he’ll probably benefit from green pet products in a way that my previous beagles did not. I knew less about green ways of life, so the other dogs didn’t benefit. But what of Mugsy?
Just as we don’t want to digest a bunch of extra junk in our food, we don’t want to spoon-feed it to our four-legged friends. The answer? Less Alpo or supermarket-brand dog or cat food. More natural and organic pet food, with ingredients that you can read. Are the ingredients in that can of dog food minimally processed? Does it contain vitamins or is it full of artificial preservatives or ingredients that you just can’t pronounce? You wouldn’t eat that, so why should Fido (or Mugsy)?
Mugsy’s favorite time of the day is when he gets to run wild outside, chasing lizards, sniffing new friends, and of course, doing his business. Cleaning up after your pet is usually the law in most communities, but using plastic bags can be a problem, too, as they’re not often biodegradable. So, what’s a pet owner to do? If regular plastic bags have somehow found their way into your home, use them on dog walks – or use them when you’re traveling. At least they won’t be wasted. Another option is to dig a large hole in your backyard – well away from kids’ playgrounds or veggie gardens – and let Mother Nature absorb all the waste. A third option is to purchase biodegradable poo bags for your pet’s mess.
Healthy and On the Go
If you’re traveling with your pet this summer, research different ways to bring him or her on the adventure. Look for pet-friendly car harnesses for that long car trip. Taking your pet on a plane? Be careful and find out the airline’s history of lost animals, as the combination of pets and airline travel can be complicated. If you’re going to take your pet on a plane, make sure to drain his energy beforehand by taking him on a long walk, so he’ll be more likely to sleep through the flight. Also, check with your vet about natural ways to keep your pet calm on the trip.