Pets can love the planet

Lynsey Martin reckons being an environmentally responsible pet owner involves more than cleaning up after Noah, her six-month-old ridgeback cross, goes to the toilet.

Lynsey said the lifestyle brought about by owning a dog could reduce a person’s carbon footprint and choices people made about how to care for their pets could reduce the animal’s impact on the environment.

According to Petcare Information Advisory Service spokesman Tim Adams, the kind of environmentally responsible attitudes shown by Lynsey are reflected by cat and dog owners across the country.

Lynsey uses biodegradable bags to pick up Noah’s mess and uses dog wash with only natural ingredients to prevent any potentially harmful chemicals making their way in to local waterways.

“He does get washed fairly often so that uses water but I don’t run the hose,” Lynsey said.

“I give him a bath instead.

“I also look out for rubbish and pick it up when I take him for a walk.”

Dr Adams said recent research indicated attitudes of Australian pet owners had improved dramatically between 1994 and 2006.

He said most people were concerned with keeping cats in at night and cleaning up after dogs.

Australian Companion Animal Council president Kersti Seksel said she also thought people were more aware of environmental issues when it came to owning pets.

Dr Seksel said cats needed to be kept inside but there was more to think about.

“Keeping your cat inside at night and cleaning up after your dog are important ways you can help protect the environment, but training your dog to obey your commands and keeping your dog on a leash in areas where that is required are also important,” Dr Seksel said.

“Cats and dogs are not allowed in National Parks but it is also appropriate to keep them out of most State Parks and Marine Parks.”

She said Lynsey was on the right track by making sure that the products she used to care for and clean up after Noah had a minimal impact on the environment.

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