in Life + Style
Spa Gift Set ($29.99), Olive; Dapper collars, EcoPup; Hemp elephant ($8.95), EcoAnimal
Left to themselves, dogs and cats are naturally environmentally friendly. However, the billions of dollars worth of pet food, accessories and toys that their owners buy each year ($41.2 billion in the US during 2007) aren't always. Responsible owners are looking beyond the nylon dog coats and plastic chew toys for more sustainable products that will help their furry friends live life to the greenest.
Here's the Greened! pick of products for the ultimate eco-pet.
The Eco Bone from West Paw Design is made from 85 per cent recycled fibres, while EcoAnimal sells stuffed hemp toys shaped like owls, elephants or birds. Cats can go environmental with Shelby the Hemp Mouse, an organic catnip toy from From the Field. In the UK, Animal Pure recycles clothing to make their Eco Denim Dumbbells and makes toys for both dogs and cats out of organic loofah, which has the added bonus of cleaning teeth when chewed.
Picking up after your pet is certainly not to be sniffed at - but if you throw out a plastic bag every time, that's a lot of plastic ending up in landfills. Thankfully, there are now plenty of biodegradable alternatives on the market, such as BioBags and flushable Flush Doggy bags. For cats, Yesterday's News cat litter uses recycled newspapers, while Feline Pine is made from reclaimed wood shavings from lumber mills, and has a natural pine scent to minimize odours.
Loofy Fish (£2.92), Animal Pure; Organimals set ($22.45), Aubrey Organics; Eco Bones ($9.50), West Paw Design
Coats & Collars
At Annie's Sweatshop, Annie's handmade products include reversible fleece dog coats made from recycled plastic bottles, and collars and leashes made from repurposed or renewable fabric. Bonus - you can get a $5 rebate on a new collar when you bring in your old one. Eco Pup makes collars from recycled ties, and coats from organic cotton and hemp, while Etta Says stitches its recycled rubber collars in stylish colours. Isabella Cane's Pink Houses collar and leash set is made of recyclable EarthTex yarns, with a percentage of the proceeds going to rebuilding homes in New Orleans.
There are plenty of pet owners out there who want to use the same quality of products on their canine companions as they do on themselves. Olive's Olive Spa Gift Set is a pack of biodegradable products including Bubble + Squeak® organic dog shampoo, Soap Lump and Fur Spritzer, in recyclable bottles. Fuzzyard's organic sulphate-free products include Tangerine and Rosemary Super Shine shampoo and conditioner, while alongside its human product line, Aubrey Organics makes Organimals organic pet shampoo, conditioning rinse and grooming spray using pennyroyal as a natural pest repellent.
Sleeping & Scratching
Look for beds made from recycled or sustainable fabrics, such as the Eco Slumber bed from West Paw Design and the My Pillow pet bed from Annie's Sweatshop, which are both made with fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles. The Scratch 'n' Shape Scratching Pads from All Designer Pet Products come in 34 different styles - including cheese, chicken, fishbone and football shapes - are made from 30 per cent recycled materials and are 100 per cent recyclable.
Poop bags, BioBags; Hemp mouse, From the Field; Shampoo and conditioner, Fuzzyard
Keep up with the latest in eco-friendly pet products at these green pet blogs: