Pets And Plastic: Something To ‘Pawnder’

Earth Day falls on April 22nd this year, with this year’s theme being reducing plastic usage. has set a goal to decrease overall plastic usage by 60 percent. Our furry companions can definitely lend a helping paw with that! Now is a great time to introduce some eco-friendly practices into your furry friend’s care routine. You’ll read some helpful suggestions from a local Tampa, FL vet on how to celebrate Earth Day with your furry friend in this informative article.

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

There’s no need for a complete overhaul of Fido’s care regimen; just taking small steps to make his pawprint kinder to the planet will make a difference. This is one area in which seemingly insignificant details can have a major impact! 

Consider these recommendations:

Clean Up After Your Canine Companion: If you’re in need of a new leash, consider finding one that includes a convenient slot for baggies.

Buy In Bulk: By purchasing Fido’s food in bulk, you can minimize the amount of packaging waste generated. There is certainly a perfect balance to be found; you don’t want to get too much, as it could spoil before your furry friend has a chance to enjoy it.

If you purchase large bags of dog food, it might be a good idea to reconsider how you store that kibble. Many individuals opt for compact plastic waste baskets or totes to store their kibble. Consider choosing a stainless steel container instead. You can find them at farm supply stores.

Choose Environmentally Friendly Toys: Many dog toys are made with plastics and rubber. Look at the label and pay attention to where it was made. Avoid overseas products: Many have been discovered to contain harmful substances, including BPAs and even lead. Choose products made from sustainable materials.

Elevate Your Pet’s Dining Experience: Do you use plastic dishes and bowls for your pet? If so, consider swapping them out for ceramic, bamboo, or stainless steel options. The same goes for Fido’s treat jar!

Fix Your Furry Buddy: If you haven’t 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 is important for both the well-being of animals and the conservation of resources.

Get A Water Filter: Do you buy bottled water? Chances are, it comes in plastic. Get a good filter for your faucet instead.

Choose Environmentally-Friendly Cleaning Methods: Our Canine companions are excellent pets and companions, but they can be messy housemates. Opt for cleaning products derived from sustainable resources. For example, if your cute pet enjoys creating nose print art on your windows, you can easily remove Fido’s masterpieces by using a vinegar-based cleaner.

Keep Up With Fido’s Preventative Care: It may not seem obvious at first, but ensuring your furry friend receives their flea medication on schedule can have a positive impact on the environment. Protecting your furry friend from parasites and diseases is simpler and less expensive than treating them. Dealing with avoidable medical problems ends up making things more difficult for Fido in the long run and more expensive for you. Additionally, a greater amount of resources will be required. In addition, it comes with a higher price tag. It’s important to ensure your furry friend receives regular veterinary check-ups. Consider scheduling an appointment if it’s been a while since his last trip to the vet.

What Do I Do If My Dog Ingested Plastic?

Our furry companions can sometimes be quite enthusiastic chewers, happily gnawing on anything they can get their paws on, even plastic objects. Fido has a habit of devouring the squeakers inside chew toys.

Fido can sometimes pass tiny plastic pieces without any issues. However, even small pieces of plastic can create obstructions. Plastic wrappers and ties are also very dangerous for your pet to  swallow. These can pose a significant risk to your furry buddy’s safety and well-being, and can even be fatal. If you think that your pet has ingested plastic, contact your Tampa, FL veterinarian immediately.


Are Plastic Products Unsafe For Dogs?

There isn’t a straightforward answer to this question. Plastics pose no immediate threat and are typically not included in our list of cautions for pet owners. A significant number of dog products and toys are manufactured using plastic materials.

There are some concerns here, though. Softer plastics can pose a choking risk, as do things like plastic bags and ties. There has also been a noticeable increase in awareness and concern regarding microplastics. As the name implies, these are tiny pieces of plastic that have leached into the environment. Recent reports have revealed that microplastics are now present in as much as 95 percent of our tap water, and can even be found in shrimp and lobster. Contamination was discovered even in rainwater in France.

This isn’t exactly great news. As one might anticipate, toxins and microplastics have very comparable impacts on both dogs and humans. Further research is required, but studies have found associations between them and a range of medical conditions, including cancer and digestive problems.

You don’t have to get rid of your pet’s beloved plaything or Kong toy. Just be cautious while shopping.


What Do I Do For Earth Day?


If the weather is good, now would be a perfect opportunity to bring your furry friend to a park or trail. Getting outside and enjoying the sunshine, fresh air, and physical activity will benefit both of you!


You can also take on some straightforward and uncomplicated home projects. Consider planting native plants that are attractive to pollinators. Alternatively, consider adding a small herb garden. Your adorable companion will be more than delighted to help … or at least supervise.


For those who enjoy gardening, explore eco-friendly methods to attract helpful insects and deter harmful ones. Ladybugs, for example, consume a variety of destructive pests. Recent studies have shown that even insects like mealworms have the ability to consume plastic. (Tip: 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.) 


Choosing eco-friendly methods is also safer for your dog. Pet poisonings are among the most frequent reasons for emergency room visits. Don’t underestimate the potential dangers that lawn and garden chemicals can pose to your furry friend. Pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers are just a few examples of things to be careful with. 


Slug baits are particularly concerning, as they are extremely dangerous to dogs. Try sprinkling oats around your plants instead. 


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


Visit Your Tampa, FL Pet Clinic


Do you need any assistance or advice regarding your dog’s health or care? Does Fido need a check-up? Feel free to reach out to us, your Tampa, FL pet hospital, at any time! As you rlocal veterinary care, we are always here to help! 

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