Reading is one of my favourite pastimes. As I juggle many business activities and am involved in several start-ups, I don't have the time I once did to devote to this activity. So I'm always grateful when publishers make it easy for me by putting relevant new books on my radar.
This is how I learned about the book Greening Your Pet Care: Reduce Your Animal's Environmental Paw Print. A publicist at Self-Counsel Press was smart enough to get in touch knowing full well that this book on sustainable pet care would be of particular interest to me and to EWP readers.
In Greening Your Pet Care, author Darcy Matheson shares practical 'eco' tips for keeping dogs and cats and other pets, including birds, rabbits, hamsters and even reptiles such as snakes!
So what makes Darcy Matheson an 'eco' pet expert?
Darcy is not your regular animal lover-turned-author. She's also a broadcast journalist who frequently provides expert opinion on the topic of animal care given her role as pet columnist for Modern Dog magazine, as well as writing a 'dog blog' and launching PetFundr, a leading crowdfunding site dedicated to helping animal welfare projects.
It's safe to say that Darcy knows exactly what she's talking about.
A medium-sized dog has a carbon footprint of 2.1 acres, roughly twice the 1 acre for a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle driven 10,000 kilometres (6,214 miles) a year... cats occupy the same footprint as a small Volkswagon, while two hamsters equal the same emissions as a plasma-screen television. - Darcy Matheson in Greening Your Pet Care.
Concerned with the negative environmental impact of our beloved pets and wanting to help green ours and our pet's lifestyles, this long-time animal advocate decided to do something about it. Darcy went to work, putting her journalistic skills to good use, researching best practices and putting it together in this easy-to-follow eco-friendly pet care book.
Why I recommend this book.
- the foods your pet should be eating to reduce their environmental paw print;
- how to cut out toxic chemicals and plastics from your pet's life;
- things you can do to create an eco-friendly environment for your pet;
- making your own sustainable pet cleaning products and pet toys;
- what to do with unwanted pet products and pet medications;
- why shopping local is essential when it comes to greening your pet routine; and
- keeping a non-toxic pet-friendly garden.
As a serious environmentalist - one who has turned her back on nine years of vegetarianism to embrace veganism this year - I have often worried about the environmental impact of my beautiful pets, particularly the carnivorous Dusty, our family farm dog, and Coco, our part Rag Doll mostly office-bound cat. Half-way through the book I realise I was concerned for no real reason. I'm more eco-conscious with animal care than I thought.
- buying locally-produced dog food,
- buying pet food in bulk,
- buying pet food in recyclable packaging
- not buying pet toys and instead using old ropes and fallen tree branches as toys
- not keeping toxic chemicals in the home,
- keeping our pets fit and healthy by giving them ample space to run and play (we live on a 120 acre farm)
- sourcing a second hand portable cat travel carrier
- sourcing a second hand bed for Dusty
- purchasing compostable cat litter
- making our own pet grooming products
- buying locally-produced cat food,
- considering holistic vet care,
- keeping a closer eye on Coco so she's not jumping off of the balcony to reach the office rooftop and potentially killing birds,
- being more mindful about what's in the medications our pets are taking.
I feel more confident in our approach to pet ownership now that I've read the book and I know I will continue to refer to it for years to come. Plus it comes with a link where you can download free resources including shopping checklists, recipes for pet cleaning products and even DIY instruction sheets for building your own dog waste composter!
So no matter if you own reptiles and rodents (gerbils, hamsters, rats, and mice), or common domestic pets such as cats and dogs, Greening Your Pet Care will help you reduce your pet's environmental 'paw' print and help you become a more environmentally-conscious pet owner.
Love what you've just read? Make sure to grab your copy of the book here.
Disclosure: We received a PDF copy (sustainable!) of Greening Your Pet Care for the purposes of this book review. Opinions are the writer's own and is free from commercial concern. EWP upholds the highest levels of ethics and integrity. To learn more, read our disclosure policy.