I love my cat and dog more than anything. In fact, I even used a photo of my dog to create a custom pet portrait as a gift for my dog-loving kids!
That being said, my pets can be expensive. With so many pet products to choose from, I often choose a budget brand for certain purchases.
But some cheaper products are made of harmful or unhealthy ingredients. In that situation, choosing a natural product can be a better choice for my pets and the environment.
If buying a more expensive natural product just isn’t feasible for your budget, you can often make your own. Or do some comparison shopping for natural products to find the cheapest prices.
These five items are a great place to start looking for some natural alternatives!
1. Biodegradable Pet Waste Disposal Bags
Although choosing to purchase pet waste disposal bags that will biodegrade is a smart choice to help the environment, not all bags in this category are created equally.
Call the bag manufacturer to find out if the bag will truly break down — even when sent to a commercial landfill and buried where a sort of mummification process can occur.
2. Natural Pet Treats
If you’re interested in making natural treats for your pets, there’s no shortage of all-natural pet treat recipes online. If you don’t have the time to make treats, there are pre-made treats you can buy.
Choose from a bagged, commercial brand from your local store or search out a local seller that makes these type of treats.
Even though all-natural treats can be more expensive than traditional pet treats, they shouldn’t be cost-prohibitive considering pets should only be given treats occasionally anyways.
3. Biodegradable Cat Litter
Just like plastic bags, clay-based cat litter is non-biodegradable. Once it hits the landfill, it lingers there for ages.
Fortunately, there are plenty of biodegradable litter alternatives available, including those made from wheat, recycled newspapers, dried wood, nut shells or grass.
If you have a kitten, switching to a biodegradable cat litter may be easier than if you try to get an older cat or a senior cat you’ve had for years to switch litters.
You might need to gradually mix the new, biodegradable litter with the old litter your cat is used to using over a period of days or weeks until your cat becomes used to its texture.
4. Natural Dog Shampoo
Dogs, like humans, can have sensitive skin, and ingredients in commercial shampoos can irritate their skin and cause itchiness or flakiness.
To avoid this issue, look for natural shampoos that do not contain ingredients such as polyethylene glycol (PEG), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). These ingredients can cause eye and skin irritation and even diarrhea.
You can opt to purchase a natural dog shampoo, or you can always make your own natural dog shampoo at home. It’s actually easier than you might think.
Homemade dog shampoo recipes contain ingredients such as apple cider or white vinegar, vegetable glycerin, castile soap and water.
If you don’t have time to give your dog a full bath, but you still want to freshen your pooch up a bit, sprinkle baking soda on your dog’s body — avoiding the head to keep baking soda from getting in its eyes or nose — rub it in, and brush the coat thoroughly.
It’s best to do this in a dry bathtub or outdoors to avoid a big mess.
5. Natural Pet Foods
Additives, fillers, pesticides and chemicals are all things that could be lurking in your dog’s food if you don’t invest in a natural pet food brand.
Even canned foods that you might think are made of natural meat and ingredients may not be. Plus, the cans pet food is packed in may have BPA or PVC-based coatings, which release chemical substances that can leach into the pet food.
If you have the time and are so inclined, you might want to make your own natural pet food. But if you don’t, there are plenty of high-quality natural pet food brands on the market to choose from.
Before buying, take the time to research each brand you’re considering to find if it truly is natural pet food.
There are so many inexpensive choices these days when it comes to all natural pet products that adding more natural items to your pet’s lifestyle doesn’t have to break the bank.
Decide if one or all of these switches could be good for your furry friend and the see what natural products are available near you!