Affordable Toys for “Green” Cats and Dogs
Consumers are increasingly looking for ways to find “green” products when pet shopping, partly because they want to help protect the environment and also to ensure the safety of their pets. I have seen this become a determining factor for many of their purchases, whether they’re looking at a pet bed or dry food. To account for this demand, I’ve seen many pet product manufacturers come out with “green” product lines, ensuring that a.) very little waste and energy is created during the manufacturing process and b.) the products themselves are nontoxic, long lasting, and safe to dispose. With this in mind, I'm going to take a look at how a couple of manufacturers have been able to make a couple of products eco-friendly and pet-friendly while remaining affordable.
When it comes down to it, most dogs don’t need a complex toy to have fun. Usually just a chew toy or a ball will do so making a dog toy eco-friendly isn’t prohibitively expensive or difficult to do. Yet a lot of manufacturers continue to employ the use of potentially toxic chemicals during the manufacturing process, and last year we saw a huge scare in which millions of squeaking chew toys were recalled due to elevated lead levels.
Fortunately, there are options out there for owners who want a safe, nontoxic toy for their pup. Companies such as Simply Fido are making plush toys that are Certified Organic while other, like West Paw Designs are able to manufacture cloth chew toys out of recycled post-consumer plastics that are cleaned and melted into fabric fibers.
Finding an eco-friendly ball or frisbee might be a little bit trickier, but West Paw also makes these products by using Zogoflex instead of rubber or plastic. Zogoflex is a material made from recycled components that is hypoallergenic, nontoxic, and durable. It even comes with a lifetime guarantee backed by a full return policy should your chew-happy pup somehow damage the product.
Many cat owners know that scratchers are necessary to keep their kitty’s claws honed without wrecking floors or walls. A lot of cardboard scratchers are already made of reused materials, since recycled cardboard is easy to find and relatively inexpensive to convert and reuse. The one major downside to recycled cardboard as a scratching material is that it might not be quite as durable as carpet or jute scratchers, although this is offset by the fact that it is less expensive.
While it’s common to find scratching posts and boxes, we’ve seen some manufacturers find ways to make creative uses out of scratching materials. One such example is the Cheeky Chaise by Marmalade Pet, which acts as both a chaise lounge as well as a scratcher, making it useful to your cat whether he/she wants to scratch or nap! While the Cheeky Chaise is made of corrugated recycled cardboard, I’ve found it to be far more durable than other cardboard scratchers.
I have only touched upon a couple of examples of what’s out there is terms of eco-friendly products. The good news is that today a lot of these products are relatively accessible, and you should be able an earth-friendly product that will for your needs and your pets’ needs at nearly any store around, so long as you give yourself enough time to do the research.