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Published September 11, 2010, 11:05 AM

Take care of your pet that green way

People aren't the only ones who impact the environment.

People aren't the only ones who impact the environment. Pets can affect the planet as well. Responsible pet owners looking for environmentally friendly ways to take care of and raise their pets can follow these tips for green living.

  • Choose a 'green' pet food. Look for specialty food products

    that are manufactured from organic meats and grains. Not only are

    some mass-produced pet foods full of fillers and scrap cuts of meat,

    they may not be nutritionally sound for a pet. Consult with a

    veterinarian first, but organic slices of carrots or apples make good

    low-calorie treats for dogs.

  • Treat pet waste with care. Pet waste has the ability to

    contaminate the soil and create an unsightly mess. It's important

    to dispose of pet waste in a responsible way. Biodegradable dog

    waste bags decompose quickly, making them a more earth-friendly

    option than plastic shopping bags. Use an eco-friendly – and

    plumbing-friendly – clumping litter for litter boxes and flush solid

    waste down the toilet.

  • Use all-natural products. Vinegar and baking soda are kitchen

    staples that can remove pet odors and stains. Dab up accidents with

    vinegar and use baking soda to deodorize pet toys and litter boxes.

  • Be creative with toys. A dog or a cat will be just as happy to

    play with an old sock or rag as an over-priced, mass-produced toy

    that could be made from plastics and chemicals. Look for items

    around the house that can be recycled into toys to keep pets

    stimulated and busy.

  • Limit use of chemical repellents. Consult with a

    veterinarian about the best course of treatment for protecting pets

    against fleas and ticks. A once-a-month treatment may be more

    earth-friendly than flea collars or sprays.