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Earth Day with Fido: Pups and Plastic.

April 15, 2024

Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd. This year’s subject is combating the use of plastic. Earthday.org seeks to reduce plastic use by 60% overall. This is a ‘pawesome’ opportunity to include some environmentally responsible practices into your dog’s care routine. In this article, a local Longwood, FL veterinarian shares some recommendations for celebrating Earth Day with Fido.

Are Plastic Products Safe for Fido?

There is no definite yes or no response to this one. Plastics are not dangerous in the near term, and they are typically not on the list of items we urge pet owners to be aware of. In fact, many dog items and toys include or are made of plastic. This includes items such as toys, dishes, leash casings, and kennels. 

However, plastics aren’t completely safe. Softer plastics, such as plastic bags and ties, can be choking hazards, and can be fatal if ingested. You may have observed increased awareness and worry about microplastics. These are, as the name implies, tiny pieces of plastic. They’ve now been found in a variety of substances, including water and shellfish. According to a recent investigation, even shrimp and lobster now contain microplastics. Even rainwater in France was discovered to be polluted. Even more concerning: as much as 90 percent of tap water may have microplastics.

As one might anticipate, toxins and microplastics have very comparable impacts on both dogs and humans. While further study is needed, studies have connected them to a variety of medical conditions, including cancer and digestive difficulties.

What Are Some Eco-Friendly Pet Care Tips?

You don’t have to entirely redesign Fido’s care routine to leave a greener pawprint. This is one area where minor details may add up! Here’s some suggestions:

A good start? Always pick up after your dog. Dog feces is a leading cause of water contamination. Get some biodegradable trash baggies and keep them handy. If you need a new leash, opt for one with a space for baggies.

Buying in bulk is another option. Purchasing kibble for your pet can help decrease packaging waste. However, there is definitely a sweet spot here. You don’t want to acquire too much because it may spoil before your dog consumes it.

If you purchase huge quantities of dog food, you may want to reconsider your storage alternatives. Many individuals store kibble in little plastic garbage baskets or bags. Choose a stainless steel container instead. Many farm supply stores sell these to store grain.

Maintain Preventative Care: You might not think that giving your pet his flea medicine on schedule would benefit the environment. However, protecting your pet against parasites and diseases is far easier and less expensive than treating him for them. Treating preventable medical conditions is not only more costly, it also makes things much more difficult for Fido in the long run. This also means that more resources will be required. If your canine companion hasn’t been to their Longwood, FL vet in a while, this is a good reminder to schedule an appointment!

Choose Environmentally Friendly Toys: Many dog toys are made of plastic and rubber. Pay attention to the label and the country of origin. Many of these products have been found to contain dangerous compounds, including BPAs and lead. Choose products made with sustainable resources.

Upgrade Your Pet’s Dinnerware: Do you have plastic bowls and dishes for your four-legged friend? If so, consider replacing them with ceramic, bamboo, or stainless steel. This includes Fido’s reward jar!

Get Your Furry Buddy Fixed: If your canine pet has not yet been fixed, we strongly advise doing so as soon as possible. Millions of stray and abandoned pets are already looking for suitable homes. This is not only appropriate for overall animal care but will also help conserve resources.

Choose eco-friendly cleaning methods: Dogs are excellent pets and companions, but they can be messy housemates. There are a few steps you may take to incorporate eco-friendly measures into your dog cleanup routine. You can use cloth, instead of paper towel, and compost leftover food. If your pet enjoys creating nose print art on your windows, try a vinegar cleaner to remove Fido’s creations. You can also purchase biodegradable waste bags.

What Happens If Fido Eats Plastic?

In many cases, our canine pals can naturally pass very little particles of plastic. However, in other circumstances, even small plastic items can cause intestinal damage or blockages. These can be extremely serious, even life-threatening. If you know or think that your dog has ingested plastic, contact your Longwood, FL veterinarian right away.

What Can You Do With Your Dog’s Fur?

When you brush Fido, do you get enough dog fur to make another dog? Of course, you can throw it away, but there are more environmentally friendly solutions.

Are you an avid gardener? Stuff a pair of cut pantyhose with Fido’s fur and hang it in your plant beds. This is an effective deterrent for rabbits and other creatures. You can also simply spread it around the roots of your plants. Another good option is to send it to a business that cleans up oil spills. Matter of Trust is a fantastic one. 

Last but not least? Simply let it blow away. Birds frequently utilize it to build nests.

What Should I Do On Earth Day?

Weather allowing, now is an excellent time to take your canine partner to a park or path. The sunlight, fresh air, and movement will benefit both of you. Go to a new spot, and just enjoy some quality time with your canine companion. It will be good for both of you! 

You can also do some quick and simple home projects. Plant some native flora, which will attract pollinators. Or, plant a little herb garden. Your furry friend will gladly supervise.

Gardeners may want to consider environmentally friendly methods for attracting helpful insects and repelling harmful ones. Ladybugs, for example, consume a large number of dangerous pests. Recent research has also revealed that some insects, such as mealworms, consume plastic.

Choosing environmentally friendly ways is also safer for your dog. Keep in mind that pet poisoning is one of the leading reasons for emergency visits. Lawn and garden pesticides are quite harmful to Fido. Choose eco-friendly items and processes. For example, if you are struggling with hornets, consider hanging a paper shopping bag on your doorstep. They’ll assume it’s a competitor’s nest and move on!

This seems like an appropriate time to discuss the dangers of slug baits, which are extremely toxic to dogs. Here’s a tip: try sprinkling oats around your plants instead. The slugs will eat that instead. Spoiler: this will not end well for them. 

Finally, spreading the word can assist. This would also be an excellent opportunity to share some adorable photos of your pet bestie. Spread information, such as this blog, through social media. Use suitable hashtags, such as #EarthDay, #GoGreen, #SaveThePlanet, and #EcoFriendly.

Book An Appointment At Our Longwood, FL Pet Hospital

Do you have any queries or concerns regarding your dog’s health or care? Is Fido due for a wellness checkup? Contact us, at your local Longwood, FL pet hospital, at any time!

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