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Good morning, McKinney! Remember in the summer when I published an article about Susan Gary and her McKinney-based company called Top Dog Pet Sitters? Well, when Susan heard about out September magazine and its dedication to green living, she offered to share some green living practices for us local pet parents which you will find below. Thank you Susan, for contributing to The Art of Living Beautifully.

Have you decided to “Go Green”? Maybe you recycle. Perhaps you purchased a Prius. Or take your own bags to Walmart.

What does it even mean to “Go Green”? The US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Nation defines “going green” as: making energy conservation, pollution reduction and saving money a lifestyle commitment.

So…. how can you, the pet parent, “Go Green”?

  1. Pet Poop
    • You’ve got to pick it up. In the U.S., dogs produce 10 million tons of waste a year. Cat litter creates 2 million tons of waste. Most of our pets’ poop ends up in a landfill, where it is FOREVER in plastic bags. Or, it sits on the ground until the next storm washes it into your neighborhood storm drain. SCOOP YOUR POOP and use a biodegradable poop bag. What’s even better? Composting your pet poop! Not for vegetable gardening, but for flowers, trees, and shrubs. It will need to compost for at least 18 months.
  1. KISS
    • I am a retired minister. One of my parishioners, Suzanna, governed her life with KISS–Keep It Simple Stupid. The $60 billion pet industry wants us to believe that our fur babies require lavish beds, expensive toys and cute clothing. All of this is unnecessary for your pup/kitty to be happy and healthy. My own pup is happy playing with an empty water bottle. My grand kitties love hiding in empty boxes. Don’t be tricked into what the pet industry is trying to sell you. When you do purchase pet products, be sure to avoid toxic plastics, flame retardants and noxious household chemicals. Buy organic bedding and choose toys, collars, and leashes made from natural materials instead of plastics that contain vinyl, phthalates or BPA.
  1. Pup Treats
    • Make your own. This cuts down on packaging and ensures your fur baby is getting a healthy snack. Don’t have time to make homemade treats? Green beans and strawberries are healthy snacks for pups. Just be sure to recycle those containers!
  1. Adopt, Don’t Shop
    • What a great way to “recycle”. Shelter pets are spayed/neutered and have been vaccinated. Most shelters also implant microchips. 2 million pets a year are euthanized. More than 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every DAY in the U.S.
  1. Food
    • About 50% of a food-producing animal is not used in human foods. The bones, blood, organs, ligaments, and other parts that are not consumed by humans, are used in pet food. In other words, pets eat the protein that humans will not eat. Even the grains and veggies that our fur babies eat are not fit for humans. What to do?
  • Avoid canned food which is heavy on toxins that will make your pup/kitty sick
  • Avoid “prime cuts”. Pups do not benefit from eating the cuts of muscle meat that humans eat. Pups need ORGAN MEAT!
  • If you can afford it, buy pet food that is made from organicsustainably-raised or grass-fed animals(not from industrial CAFOs), and non-GMO grains.
  1. Use natural pet-care products
    • First, avoid toxic/chemical shampoos. has several resources. Does your pups have allergies? Anxiety? Fleas? Try essential oils. My Sasha is a rescue. She came to our family as a 2-year-old poodle with a degenerative eye disease. She will eventually go blind. Using essential oils has made an incredible difference in her anxiety level. **UPDATE Another excellent article about using Essential Oils for Pets can be found on Your Dog Advisor.
  1. Tag your fur baby.
    • Make sure your pet has a visible ID tag that shares your contact information. Many shelters offer low cost microchipping. If your fur baby escapes, you won’t need to print “lost” posters.
  1. Donate!
    • Dog clothes, towels, bedding, sheets, houses, crates, food, pet meds—donate to your local animal shelter.
  1. Walk, Don’t Drive
    • Instead of driving to the dog park, find a dog park that you can walk to. This will save you gas and money and preserve the earth’s carbon dioxide.
  1. Spay/Neuter.
    • This will reduce overpopulation in shelters, conserve food/energy/resources that would be spent on cats and dogs in shelters and save the environment from the poop of 70,000 puppies and kittens in the U.S. that are born EVERY day, only to become homeless.


Susan Gary owns Top Dog Pet Sitters, a professional pet care service. Top Dog Pet Sitters believes every pet in McKinney should feel loved and safe when their pet parents are away. TDPS is fully insured, educated, and trained to care for all kinds of pets, including those with special needs. Top Dog Pet Sitters will love your pet, respect your home, and exceed your expectations.

photo credit: FredShots Photography



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