Los Angeles, CA – In honor of Earth Day, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) offers these tips to be a more earth-friendly pet parent.

Pick up After Your Pet

When walking your dog, always carry a pooper-scooper or biodegradable plastic bags with you to pick up your pet’s waste. It’s an ordinance (L.A.M.C. Sec. 53.49). Dog waste washes from the ground and streets into storm drains, and flows straight to the ocean untreated! Waste-carrying bacteria and diseases wash into our rivers and oceans. Storm drains are designed to simply carry STORM water to the ocean; they DO NOT contain any filtration or purification systems. Properly dispose of pet waste by placing it in the trash. Call the Stormwater Hotline at (800) 974-9794 for more information.

• Invest in a “leash luggage” carrier, a device that straps on to any leash and holds your poop bags, keys, etc.
• Keep extra bags in your car so you are prepared when you travel with your dog.
• Keep extra bags with you and offer them kindly to those not using one!
• Put a friendly message on the bulletin board of your local hiking area to clean up after pets for the sake of other hikers and the environment.
• Spread the word!! Kindly share your thoughts on this subject with other pet owners.

Earth-Friendly Pet Tips

• Adopt. Combat overpopulation, “back-yard” breeding, and puppy mills. See our adoptable pets here.
• Spay/neuter your pets.
• Be a conscious consumer. Purchase pet beds, toys, and other pet items from sustainable and recyclable materials.
• Feed your pets premium pet foods. Less feeding means less packaging waste and pet waste.
• Try eco-friendly cat litter made from materials like walnut shells or wheat.
• Dispose of used automobile fluids properly. Aside from being very toxic to the environment, pets can be poisoned by them. Call (800) 98-TOXIC for more information on disposal.
• Reuse pet water. Instead of pouring it down the drain, use the old water from pet bowls to water plants. Reuse nutrient-rich water from fish tanks to irrigate plants.
• Cut down on water by bathing your pet pre-filled tub, or have your pet professionally groomed.
• Use natural pet care and cleaning products.
• Try natural flea repellents or choose those with less or recyclable packaging.
• Make sure your pet is a good citizen. Keep cats indoors where they are safer and less impactful on the environment. When out with your dog, keep him on a lead to protect wildlife and natural habitats.
• Cleaning house? Remember, shelters can use gently-used towels and blankets. Here is a complete list of needed items.

The spcaLA Marketplace carries many premium pet and eco-friendly products.