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Green Essentials

When it comes to shopping for your pet, there are more options available than ever before. But with growing research around harmful chemicals and materials that pollute the environment, it’s important to make informed decisions about the supplies we buy for our furry friends.

Unfortunately, manufacturers of pet products — from food and toys to grooming and bedding — don’t adhere to the same standards that exist for human consumables. Often times, less-than-stellar quality ingredients sneak in.

Luckily, there is a growing number of responsible producers, and their goods are becoming more widely available. When you’re shopping for your beloved pet, keep an eye out for the following indicators of quality:

Pet Food

Look for pet food labeled as “natural” or “organic.” This often means the food falls under the jurisdiction of the Association of American Feed Control officials and that it was produced without chemical pesticides and fertilizers. You should also look for naturally-preserved foods with vitamin E and rosemary among the ingredients. If you feed your pet food with grains, look for whole grains. Otherwise, look for grain-free food. Talk to your vet about the optimal diet for your pet.

Avoid ingredient lists with any of the following:

  • Bone meal

  • BHA or BHT

  • TBHQ

  • Sodium metabisulphite

  • Corn syrup

  • Vegetable oil

  • Soy

  • Pea protein

Toys and Grooming

If you’re trying to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, don’t forget about the sustainability aspect of your pet’s toys and grooming! Look for products made with recycled materials and toys labeled as biodegradable to cut down on your plastic use. Bamboo is also an excellent option for brushes and other wood products, and choose stainless steel for bowls rather than plastic.

Avoid toys made with PVC and BPA as these are cheap materials with a short product life cycle. You’ll also want to avoid pet litter with clay or silica, which can cause asthma after long term exposure. Make sure there are no odor eliminating chemicals in the litter, which may irritate your pet’s lungs and cause health issues.


Your pet will sleep safe and sound in a bed that’s good for them and good for the environment. Look for natural bedding and materials made with organic cotton, hemp, or down.  You’ll want to avoid bedding with synthetic insulation, which can be harmful if consumed. 

For a complete green shopping list for your pet, download and print this essential checklist.