Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital is dedicated to caring for all of earth’s creatures. Here are some things you can do to help us all have a healthy future:
1. Rescue your pet from a shelter or reliable rescue group. You can give an already existing pet a good home and a healthy, happy life with you.
2. Spay or neuter your pet. There are 70,000 puppies and kittens born every day in the United States. Spaying or neutering your pet is healthier for them, and helps stop the pet overpopulation.
3. Keep pets contained or on a leash. It is safer and healthier, and also helps protect our wildlife.
4. Microchip your pet. Even if your pet always stays at home or on a leash, disasters such as storms, floods, fire, or theft could leave your pet wandering aimlessly, looking for you. Save yourself and your pet from the heartache of separation, and remember the paper waste from printing “Lost” posters, the fuel cost of driving around your neighborhood, and the telephone use trying to reach out to anyone who might help you look for your little lost friend.
5. Consider green ways to deal with pet waste:
—Use biodegradable PoopBags – ours will decompose at a rate similar to an apple to prevent it from remaining in landfill for a much longer period of time or from ending up washed into sewers or contaminating water supplies.
—Use eco-friendly cat litter – Yesterday’s News is a good alternative to clay litter, derived from recycled newsprint, with the ink neutralized in the process.
—Compost pet waste – however, do NOT use it or bury it near your vegetable garden (the compost does not heat up enough to kill pathogens such as E. coli.)
6. Use eco-friendly toys. Always be careful of leaving pets unattended with toys, and don’t buy toys with breakable parts, hanging strings, or anything they show an interest in eating. There are some strong hemp and cotton toys available without plastic or dyes.
7. Check with your veterinarian for the best available diet for your pet’s individual needs. Labels can be confusing and misleading, and nutrition is one of the most important parts of your pet’s good health. You wouldn’t feed your infant the same diet as your grandfather; likewise, one can of pet food can’t be appropriate for all of your pet’s life stages and health considerations.
8. Grow organic catnip or cat grass for your cat. Cats love it, and if you grow it, you know it is chemical free. Your garden should only grow pet-friendly plants; many household or garden varieties can make your pet sick, and some can be fatal, even in small doses.
9. Be aware of the chemicals in and around your home. Check for pet-friendly cleansers, fertilizers, and snow melters. Call your veterinarian or poison control immediately if your pet ingests any chemicals or toxins. It is also a good idea to take off your shoes in the house. You are less likely to bring in pesticides, fungicides, and insects. Wiping their paws also helps prevent licking and ingesting unwanted chemicals or parasites.
10. Use only veterinary approved shampoos and grooming products. A shampoo that is safe for dogs might not be safe for cats. Be sure to read the label and follow directions carefully.
11. If the weather is warm, let your freshly bathed pet air dry, and a walk to the park instead of driving is good for you, your pet, and the earth.
12. If you and your pet drink bottled water, be sure to recycle or use filtered tap water if the quality is good.
13. Shelters and rescue groups are always in need of your old towels, bedding, leashes, litter boxes and pet toys, but you can also arrange for free local trading of goods at www.freecycle.org. We are happy to take donation items on behalf of Rock & Rawhide as well. Contact us to learn more.