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Tips on being a more sustainable pet owner

Apart from being more mindful about the way we live, being more sustainable could extend to how we approach pet ownership. Our choices from choosing a new pet to their everyday maintenance can have a significant impact on our planet!

Opt for pet food that’s manufactured sustainably

Before committing to a particular dog food brand, being more knowledgeable about ingredient sustainability can create a positive impact from the supply chain to consumption. We suggest paying attention to how protein is being sourced, as it is the primary ingredient in pet food. Choose pet food that has been rendered, as it reclaims meat and bone scraps from agriculture and leftovers to manufacture high-quality protein for pet foods. This diverts food waste from landfills and reduces water waste as it is not being used to wash animal leftovers into waste streams. In turn, this reduces greenhouse gas emissions since less protein is needed to be processed.

Apart from protein sources, other ingredients such as fruits and vegetables can be incorporated into your furry friend’s diet. If you have fruits and vegetables that are overripe or bruised, you can incorporate some of that into your pet’s daily diet! Seek brands that look to convert unsold fruits and vegetables before they are rotten, as it is environmentally sustainable!

Choose biodegradable pet toys

Although plastic pet toys tend to be more durable, they contain chemicals that might be harmful for your pet. High levels of phthalates, otherwise known as plastic softeners, can be found in plastic toys in a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group in 2008. Dogs and cats were contaminated by 48 of 70 industrial chemicals tested, including 43 chemicals at levels higher than those usually found in humans, according to their study of plastics and food packaging chemicals, heavy metals etc. in pooled samples of blood and urine of 20 dogs and 37 cats collected at a veterinary clinic in Virginia, USA.

Seek out pet toys that are made of natural or organic materials. Natural fibres such as bamboo, jute or cotton will be helpful in ensuring that they are not harmful to your pet. Additionally, it is important that it would eventually be biodegradable. Alternatively, look for eco-friendly pet toys that are made from recycled PET plastics that are BPA-free & phthalates-free!

No oops, when it comes to a poop-a-doop!

Switch to biodegradable cat litter of compostable dog poop bags. Unfortunately, cat litter and plastic bags end up in landfills annually, adding to the carbon footprint. It is also possible to compost animal waste so you could find one specifically made for animal waste. However, do not flush cat waste as their faeces can contaminate the water bodies and adversely affect marine life with toxoplasma gondii.

Adopt, Don’t Shop

It’s sad to hear but it’s true: There are at least 7,000 stray dogs in Singapore. It’s been estimated that there are as many as 200 abandoned pets at animal shelters. By adopting a little furball instead of buying from a pet breeder, we are alleviating the stress of overpopulation. If you would like to adopt one, here’s a non-exhaustive list of animal shelters in Singapore:

  1. SPCA Singapore SPCA conducts a 24-hour emergency animal rescue, operates a shelter for strays and rehomes abandoned pets. It also performs complementary veterinary care, including spay and neuter services. SPCA’s rehoming notice board is regularly updated with dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs. Besides the notice that they put up for adopting strays, pet owners can put up adoption notices. (Insert Instagram Gallery Page:

  2. Causes for Animals Singapore Contact Causes for Animals Singapore (CAS) if you are thinking of welcoming a furry family member. They take in strays and rehabilitate, vaccinate and foster them too! Besides implementing a stray management program, they run rescue and adoption programs too. (Insert Instagram Gallery Page: h

  3. Mutts ‘n’ Mittens Looking for either a mutt or mitten? Apart from its boarding services, they house rescued strays which are available for foster homes and adoption. Scroll through their Instagram Page to adopt your furkid!

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  1. Cat Welfare Society Formed to achieve sustainable and humane management of cats through advocacy, sterilisation, mediation and educational outreach programmes, Cat Welfare Society (CWS) was established in July 1999 by a group of friends to help community felines. It has a public cat adoption board where netizens can post details of cats that need new homes or new foster family. (Insert Instagram Page:

  2. Keepcats “Keepcats is a small, self-funded animal welfare group based in Singapore managed by a handful of volunteers who are driven by their love and compassion for animals, and relies heavily on the support of a very small network of fosterers. Keepcats rescues, rehabilitates and provides medical care to abandoned, sick and vulnerable cats, with the ultimate goal of helping them find their forever home. In 2019, Keepcats rehomed approximately 60 cats and is continuing to work hard to find loving families for more than 100 adoptable cats.” - Taken from KeepCats FAQ Page (Insert Instagram Page:

  1. House Rabbit Society If cats and dogs are not your choice of pet, the House Rabbit Society Singapore is your go-to. As a volunteer-run group, they have been rescuing and rehoming abandoned rabbits. They also provide guides online on how best to care for your bunnies. Check out their Facebook Page here to see their list of bunnies to be adopted! (Insert Instagram Page:

If you have any other tips on being more sustainable in your journey as a pet owner, we would love to hear from you. Comment on our Instagram post here, so that we can exchange more ideas and tips in our Pistachio community!

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