By Ann Hohenhaus, DVM, DACVIM
New Year’s resolutions seem to always have a common theme: self-improvement. Everyone wants to lose weight, stop smoking, or eat healthier foods. While these are all worthy resolutions, my 2012 list of resolutions for pets and their owners focuses on others instead of on ourselves.
Personally, I am resolving to be more aware of the environment and to give back more to my community. Some of my suggestions below might fit on your New Year’s resolution list for 2012.
Save the environment and the snow leopard too!
Honest Pet Products are made from sustainable fabrics, making them sturdy and very tactile for pets. Elvis, shown left with his mini Eco-Pouncer, loves to dig his claws and teeth into the all natural sheep’s wool covering and pretend he is a predator cat in the wild. The dog Eco-Fetcher is a woven hemp disc filled with wool, which is heavy duty for the chewers and floats for swimmers. These products are made by disabled adults. When you purchase the Eco-Pouncers, money is donated to help eliminate poverty and protect snow leopards in Mongolia.
Recycle and rest in an eco-friendly pet bed
Empty plastic water bottles and old clothes contribute to landfill accumulation at a rapid pace. We all know we should have reusable water bottles and should donate our unwanted clothes to charity, but it doesn’t always work out that way. P.L.A.Y. pet beds use recycled water bottles to create a Hi-Loft fill inside their comfortable fabric beds.
MollyMutt pet duvets use a mesh sack to create a “mattress” out of old textiles. The filled mesh sack fits inside a colorful duvet cover, creating an environmentally friendly cat or dog bed and keeping your old clothes out of the landfill.
Clay cat litter may be one of the most environmentally unfriendly products in your local pet store. Clay is strip mined and once used, it sits in landfill for years. There are a number of cat litter products which offer biodegradable litter produced from natural materials.
Purr and Simple cat litter is made from a sustainable material – the fibrous portion of a nutshell. This litter contains a low level of dust, which is advantageous for cats with respiratory conditions like asthma. World’s Best Cat Litter™ was also developed to be environmentally friendly and is made from whole kernel corn, scented with lavender. Either of these products may be the ecofriendly solution for your cat’s litterbox.
Scratch your way to a healthier environment
The folks at Imperial Cat manufacture 100% recycled and 100% re-recyclable cat Scratch ‘n Shapes. These cardboard scratchers come in various sizes and shapes to fit with your cat’s taste. Cats love to scratch and giving them a scratcher will prevent your sofa from becoming part of the landfill problem. Imperial Cat also gives back to the community through their inexpensive line of scratchers developed for shelter cats called Scratch n’ Bits.
You and your pet can give back to those in your community who are less fortunate by participating in a pet-assisted therapy program at your local hospital, senior center or rehabilitation facility. The Animal Medical Center’s partner in pet assisted therapy is Angel on a Leash, but you can give back through any of the wonderful organizations that support pet-assisted therapy in your neighborhood.
Finally, not-for-profit agencies continue to be underfunded due to worldwide economic volatility. If you can, give generously to your favorite animal not-for-profit.
Everyone at The AMC wishes you a happy and healthy 2012 and wishes you success in keeping your 2012 resolutions.