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Earth Day Special: Pups And Plastic

April 15, 2024

Mark your calendars for April 22nd: it’s Earth Day! This year, has set a goal to decrease overall plastic usage by 60 percent. That is clearly something that includes pets. Right now is a great time to integrate some eco-friendly strategies into your canine friend’s care routine. In this post, a local Cedar City, UT veterinarian provides some advice on how to celebrate Earth Day with Fido.

Are Plastic Goods Safe For Dogs?

There isn’t a straightforward answer to this question. Plastics pose minimal risks in the short term, and are generally not included in our list of cautions for pet owners. Actually, a lot of dog products and toys are made from plastic. That includes items such as toys, dishes, leash casings, and crates.

However, plastics do have their drawbacks. Softer plastics may also pose a choking risk, as do things like plastic bags and ties.

Also, there has been a noticeable increase in awareness and concern regarding microplastics. As their name implies, these are tiny pieces of plastic. They can now be found in a wide range of things, including water and even seafood. Contamination was discovered even in rainwater in France.

It’s interesting to note that chemicals and microplastics have comparable effects on both pets and people. Further research is required, but studies have found associations between them and certain medical conditions, including cancer and digestive problems.

You don’t have to get rid of your dog’s beloved plaything or Kong toy. Just be cautious while shopping. Ask your Cedar City, UT vet for more information. 

How Can I Make Fido’s Care Regimen More Environmentally Friendly?

Giving Fido a better pawprint doesn’t mean you have to completely change how you take care of him. Small details can make a significant impact in this particular area! Here are some recommendations:

Remember To Clean Up After Your Dog

Dog feces can significantly impact water contamination. Grab a few biodegradable waste baggies and keep them on hand at all times. If you need a new leash, consider finding one that conveniently holds baggies. 

Buy Big

By purchasing your pet’s food in bulk, you can minimize the amount of packaging waste Fido uses. There is a perfect balance to be found here, though. You want to avoid getting too much, as it may spoil before your furry friend can enjoy it.

Change Storage Containers

If you purchase large bags of dog food, you might want to reconsider how you store it. Many people opt for compact plastic waste baskets or totes to store their kibble. Consider opting for a stainless steel container instead. You can find them at various farm supply stores for storing grain. If you like thrifting, keep an eye out at yard sales.

Choose Environmentally-Friendly Toys

A lot of dog toys are made with plastics and rubber. Take note of the label and consider the country of origin. Some of these products have been discovered to contain harmful substances, including BPAs and even lead. Choose products made from sustainable materials.

Give Fido’s Dinnerware A Pupgrade 

Do you use plastic bowls and dishes for your pet friend? If that’s the case, consider swapping them out for ceramic, bamboo, or stainless steel options. And the same goes for Fido’s treat jar!

Fix Your Furry Friend

if you haven’t done so already, we highly recommend getting your dog spayed or neutered as soon as possible. There are already countless stray and homeless pets out there who are in dire need of loving homes. This will help to prioritize the well-being of animals and conserve resources.

Choose Environmentally-Friendly Cleaning Methods

Dogs are fantastic pets and companions, but they can be a bit messy when it comes to sharing living spaces. Consider opting for cleaning products derived from renewable resources. For example, if your pet enjoys creating nose print art on your windows, you can easily remove Fido’s masterpieces by using a vinegar cleaner. 

Stay on top of your preventative care: It may not seem obvious at first, but ensuring that you consistently administer your pet’s flea medication can have a positive impact on the environment. Protecting your pet from parasites and diseases is not only easier but also more cost-effective than treating them. Dealing with avoidable medical problems ends up making things more difficult for Fido in the long run. Additionally, this implies that a greater amount of resources will be required. Additionally, it comes with a higher price tag. It’s important to remember to schedule a veterinary appointment for your furry friend if it’s been a while since their last visit.

What Occurs If My Dog Ingests Plastic?

Our furry friends can sometimes be quite enthusiastic chewers, happily gnawing on anything within their reach, even plastic objects. Fido has a habit of devouring the squeakers in chew toys.

Usually, dogs can easily pass tiny plastic pieces without any issues. However, in some instances, these items can create blockages. These can pose significant risks and potentially be life-threatening. If you believe that your dog has ingested plastic, it is crucial to promptly reach out to your Cedar City, UT veterinarian for assistance.

What Are Some Possible Uses For My Dog’s Fur?

Do you get enough fur from brushing Fido to make a whole other dog? Of course, you can throw it away, but there are more environmentally friendly solutions.

If you have a knack for it, you can easily create yarn or felt from it. There’s no need for you to do it yourself. There are companies that will  handle the task for you.


Are you a fan of gardening? Hang a pair of pantyhose filled with your pet’s fur from your garden beds. This product is an effective solution for keeping rabbits and other critters away. Another option is to evenly distribute it at the base of your plants.

Another fantastic choice? Submit it to a company that specializes in utilizing it for oil spill cleanup. Matter of Trust is an excellent choice.

Or, just allow it to be carried away by the wind. Many birds make their nests out of it.

What can I do to celebrate Earth Day with My Dog?

If the weather is good,  bring your furry friend to a park or trail. Getting some sunlight, fresh air, and exercise will benefit both of you!

You can also take on some straightforward and uncomplicated home projects. Consider planting native plants that will attract pollinators to your garden. Alternatively, consider creating a small herb garden. Your adorable companion will be more than delighted to keep an eye on things.

If you’re into gardening, it might be worth exploring eco-friendly methods to attract helpful insects and repel the harmful ones. Ladybugs, for example, consume a variety of harmful pests. Some insects, like mealworms, have been found to consume plastic, according to recent studies.

Choosing eco-friendly methods is also safer for your dog. Pet poisonings are a frequent reason for emergency visits. It’s important to be aware of the potential dangers that lawn and garden chemicals can pose to your furry friend. Choose environmentally friendly products and methods. For example, if you’re dealing with hornets, consider placing a paper grocery bag on your porch. They will assume it belongs to a rival and move along!

It’s important to note the potential hazards of slug baits, as they can be highly toxic to dogs. (Tip: Sprinkle oats around your plants instead. The slugs will eat them and then, well, explode.)

Finally, even sharing the information can make a difference. Now would be the perfect opportunity to showcase some adorable photos of your beloved pet. Spread the word about this blog by sharing it on social media. Don’t forget to include the right hashtags for Earth Day: #Earthday and EarthDay. Also, consider using #GoGreen, #SaveThePlanet, and #EcoFriendly.

Contact Your Cedar City, UT Pet Clinic

Are you seeking answers or advice regarding your dog’s well-being or maintenance? Is it time for Fido’s routine check-up? Feel free to reach out to us, your Cedar City, UT pet hospital, at any time!

Posted in Dog Care

533 North Airport Road
Cedar City, UT 84720
t: (435) 586-3400
Also serving Southern Utah, UT and surrounding areas. 

Opening Hours:
Mon – Thur: 9AM – 5PM
Friday: 9AM – 1PM
Saturday & Sunday: Closed