Gardening

Green pets: How to make your dog, cat or other pet eco-friendly

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Gardening

Green pets: How to make your dog, cat or other pet eco-friendly

How to make your pet eco-friendly
Most of us feel our pets are part of the family. The greenest choice you can make when it comes to your pet is to "rescue" one from your local shelter, where it might otherwise become one of the thousands of homeless dogs and cats euthanized every year. The adoption fee can be as low as $50 or as high as $250. It may take the form of a tax-deductible donation, and it covers shots and other expenses. It's still cheaper than the hundreds of dollars you'd pay to a breeder or pet shop, and you're saving an animal.

A big part of going green with our pets involves the food choices we make for them. Instead of buying cheap pet food, try to save money in other ways. In 2006, we spent $1.2 billion on our pets, and there are lower-cost, greener solutions for much of what we buy. Like kids' toys, many pet toys are mass-produced using potentially harmful materials. And chances are you've already got great dog toys at home -- like Fido's all-time favourite, the tennis ball.

You save: $650 by adopting a pet
You'll rescue: One of thousands of hopeful dogs or cats

Go green with your pet action steps:
Adopt a pet. The website at petfinder.com lists animals for adoption at shelters throughout Canada. Or visit your local animal shelter.

Feed your pet well. Look for brands containing all-natural, whole foods and ingredients -- not meat "by-products" and "fillers" made from corn. Avoid foods made with meat "meals," which are leftover animal parts, boiled and processed. Other ingredients in pet food are grown using toxic pesticides or contain potentially hazardous synthetic preservatives, or are made from foods declared unsafe for human consumption. There are dozens of great natural brands to choose from, including Wellness, Innova, Solid Gold, California Natural and Pinnacle. Visit naturapet.com or onlynaturalpet.com to learn more about your pet's nutritional needs.

Buy fewer, healthier toys. Look for those made from pesticide-free cotton or recycled materials like fleece and rubber.

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Excerpted from Go Green, Live Rich by David Bach. Copyright 2008 by David Bach. Excerpted with permission from Random House Canada. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.
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Gardening

Green pets: How to make your dog, cat or other pet eco-friendly

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