Buddy & Porky’s Pet Health: Pet Products and the Environment

Dear Porky and Buddy,

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I can do small things in my own life that are better for the environment. (I’ll admit, it’s primarily so that when I complain about what the government and big corporations are doing to hurt the environment, I will have some credibility, and I do complain about that a lot!) Anyway, back to my point, what I don’t know much about is the impact of pets and especially pet products on the environment. Are there things I should be doing about that that will make a difference?


Dear Sam,

Let us first point out that, for the most part, pets do not drive cars. (Yes, we know that dogs would if they could but they can’t.) They do not dump toxic chemicals into rivers. And they never ever send anyone any junk mail.

That said, yes of course there are things that YOU can do that will be good for the environment and for your pets. Here are some ideas.

When you do your spring cleaning, before you throw a bunch of weird stuff away, consider whether it might be recycled. Call your local animal organization and ask if they need old towels, bedding, leashes, litter boxes and pet toys. Are there strange gifts lurking in your closet that they could use for amusing additions to their fund raising auctions or yard sale?

Give your pet tap water instead of bottled to drink. If you must use bottled, be sure to recycle.

Scoop dog poop with biodegradable bags instead of plastic bags from the grocery store. If you have a lawn, do some research on doggie septic systems—they help keep your lawn free of smelly surprises and break waste down into a liquid the ground can absorb.

Look for eco-friendly cat litters, avoiding brands with mined minerals. And use earth-friendly pet shampoos and grooming products whenever possible. The labels are pretty clear about that nowadays.

Use diluted vinegar instead of bleach to clean up pet “accidents.” This environment-friendly liquid can act as an effective odor-remover and can kill mold and bacteria.

Instead of using a blow dryer to dry your freshly bathed pet, towel or air dry him.

Walk your dog to the park rather than driving there.

Consider making your own healthy dog biscuits and storing them in reusable containers. If you purchase store-bought treats, buy them in cardboard packaging and be sure to recycle.

Buy pet supplies in bulk or the largest available size. You’ll make fewer trips to the store and cut down on packaging to discard.

Do you see the trend here? You can save money, have more fun with your pets, help the environment, and be totally self-righteous about it. What could be better?

And speaking of saving money and helping the environment, turn your heat down and adopt a pet to keep you nice and warm instead! Come to our “Warm Up Oswego” Adoption Day on Saturday, February 5th from 11 to 2 at the YMCA Armory, 265 West First Street, Oswego. There will be lots of WARM cuddly pet s to meet and admire, treats for kids, and coffee and cookies. What could be better in February in Oswego?
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County. Our office is located at 265 West First Street, Oswego, New York. Phone (315) 207-1070. Email:[email protected] Website: www.oswegohumane.org.