Dealing With Pet Waste

Use a biodegradable poo bag for your dog. (Photo: Saklakova/Shutterstock)

Nothing says “sucker” quite like the sight of a human being bending over to pick up a pile of doggie doo. Having a pet is like having a toddler who will never become potty trained. You’re stuck in perpetual diaper duty. And all of that duty makes for a pile of waste that needs to go somewhere. Fortunately, you can still be green while tending to your pet’s needs. Here’s how:

Dogs: Don't wrap that biodegradable doggie doo in a plastic bag that will keep it locked up for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. Instead, look for biodegradable poop bags that can be thrown in the compost bin (for use on non-food plants) or collected at your curb with other biodegradable yard waste. Try EcoChoices or Biobags for reasonably priced bags that are 100 percent biodegradable and made from non-genetically modified corn.

Cats: Traditional clumping clay litter is made from strip-mined clay that is infused with carcinogenic silica dust and sodium bentonite, chemicals that are harmful for the health of your cat as well as your children. Look for a nontoxic, biodegradable kitty litter such as the wheat-based, Swheat Scoop.

Rabbits: If you keep your rabbit in a cage, do not use cedar or other wood shavings as litter or bedding as these may cause liver damage or trigger allergic reactions. Like cats, rabbits can be litter trained and do best with organic litters made of paper, wood pulp or citrus.

Ferrets: Ferrets also do well with a litter box. Look for biodegradable litters made from paper or plant fibers. And be sure to scoop regularly as ferrets are not great at the “cover-up.”