GREEN GIFT GUIDE 2008: For Pets
We spoil our pets and it’s ok. For many of us they are our children, our confidants and our friends – of course we love making them comfortable and happy. Along with that though, we want them to be safe and healthy, and a new wave of eco-friendly and healthy pet products have come along so we can be sure that we’re providing the best for our furry loved ones.
Reminiscent of the work by Frank Gehry during the 1970’s, Claw is a multi-functional piece of feline furniture that will keep your home decor looking sharp while keeping your kitty happy. The heavy-duty double wall corrugated cardboard material will absorb long term scratching abuse with minimum wear and tear. Claw is sure to be the envy of all the neighborhood cats.
Pet bowls can be unsightly, but that doesn’t mean they have to be. Whiner & Diner’s elevated double bowl feeder is for the discerning pet who will only eat from the best, and also for those who may like fine wine. These feeders are made from used wine crates from prestigious vineyards, and can be painted to match your decor, or left plain for a more authentic look. The crates are fitted with two stainless steel bowls and sealed with a water-based protective finish.
Planet Dog makes all natural and non-toxic recycled rubber toys for dogs. They even started their own non-profit foundation, which promotes programs that support service dogs. Every year, the Planet Dog Foundation receives 2% of every dollar Planet Dog makes. The Orbee-Tuff RecycleBALL and RecycleBONE are made in the US from 100% reground rubber that would otherwise go to waste.
West Paw makes some great eco-friendly products for dogs and cats. We love their all natural rubber Zogoflex toys that can be sent back and remelted into a new toy if your pet tears it up. The Bumper Bed shown here, is a great way to give your pet a comfy night’s sleep and is made from 100% recycled PET fiber called Intelliloft. The outer fabric is twill, and chosen for it’s durability and softness. The other great part about these beds is that you can mix and match fabric in order to fit your home decor. Beds range in sizes and price from $66 to $158, are made in the USA, and are machine washable.
Whether you love to have a laugh at the expense of your cat or just want to give them something to occupy their time, these cat’s toys from Etsy contributor Cashbakitten, will be sure to entertain your little kitty for hours. All of Cashbakitten’s cat toys by are made from Eco-Felt, which is produced from recycled plastic bottles. They are then stuffed with all natural catnip, which is grown in their backyard. Each toy is hand sewn, and made to last. They make a lot of other very cute little cat toys and even hand knit sweaters.
Have a bird who loves to chew, perch or both? This is a fantastic toy and climbing post to engage and entertain your bird. The natural bamboo trunk has large holes drilled in it which are filled with natural fibers, like sea grass, abaca or coconut. An abaca rope is wrapped around it from which it can be hung, or used as footing for your bird to perch on. Your feathered friend will love the challenge of hanging on, climbing, and chewing on whatever you decide to put in the holes. The Bamboolie comes in 1, 2 or 3 foot lengths and costs $25 to $45. StarBird also makes a great little twig ball called the Pickapart.
Rather than buying a toy or gift for the pet in your life, consider sponsoring an animal through a non-profit organization, like Best Friends. Best Friends is one of the largest animal sanctuaries in the nation and has a commitment to find homeless pets homes. You may have seen a tv series called Dogtown, produced by National Geographic, which is all about saving homeless pets at Best Friend’s Angel Canyon Sanctuary. You can buy gift sponsorships for $25 each and have them sent in anyone or any pet’s name.
Cats love cozy, warm, comfortable spots to nap. This bed looks so comfortable that we wish they made it in human size so we could curl up in it. Each bed is filled with EcoRest, a recycled fiber blend made from bottles. In each bed, there is the equivalent of 13 recycled 1 liter soda bottles.
The great gear you’ve grown to trust from Ruff Wear is getting even better. Ruff Wear recently released a series of eco-sensitive gear for the hard-playing dog that includes bowls, toys, jackets and a bed. Some of our writers have had first hand experience with the gear and love it just as much as their dogs do. Their on-the-gobowls, jackets and bed are made with a recycled polyester shells and fleece as well as PVC-free plastic liners. The dog toys are tough as nails and would do well in a head-to-head competition against your trusty Kong. The TurnUp and the Gordo are especially great – both are made from natural latex rubber, can be filled with treats, and are stimulating for your pup.
We’re certain that if our dogs could speak our language, they would tell us to leave their waste alone, but since there are city mandates against that, we have to pick it up and throw it out. While it was better to reuse our plastic grocery sacks to pick up the waste than just throw them away, plastic bags don’t biodegrade and now many cities are putting a ban on them anyhow. Besides, we know you’ve been using your reusable organic cotton bags all the time now and don’t even have plastic bags anymore. Here’s where the biodegradable dog waste bags come in, running $5.25 for 50 bags. Biodegradable bags are also available for your trash and for your cat’s litter box.
Your little dog surely gets cold during the winter, and they deserve to look good too. Annie’s Sweatshop has a whole list of eco-friendly items for little dogs, including cute collars and leashes from recycled materials, harnesses, scarves, and dog beds. We are most enamored by their Hound Hoodies, made from reversible recycled plastic fleece. You can choose from any two colors and have your pooch trotting around in eco-style. The coats start off at $35 and are tailored to your dog’s exact dimensions.
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