Malcolm Rands: Are pets an eco-issue?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sat, 4 Jul 2020, 12:24PM
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Malcolm Rands: Are pets an eco-issue?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Sat, 4 Jul 2020, 12:24PM

Green pets 

In these days of limited resources, anti-meat farming and issues around waste, can we still have pets in our lives? A resounding YES! 

Studies have shown for those who live alone, owning a dog can decrease your risk of death by 33% and their risk of cardiovascular-related death by 36%Chances of having a heart attack are 11% lower.  
A 2019 review found dog ownership lowers your risk of dying from any cause by 24%.  
 
Other studies have found similar statistics for cats as well, and having pets reduces allergies and boosts immune functionThey up your fitness quotient, reduce stress and can lift your mood. 

So if you look at the eco-impacts of not having this in your life, (especially around health services and medications) then it becomes a good deal 

Food 

Real food is always betterScraps are how they first came into to human partnershipso don’t deny this 
There are great recipes out there for making your own foodWith my last farm dog I made a brew using rice and silver beet and scraps of meat. 
Grains need to be monitored as some animals will react to them. 
* Processed food from your table is not a good idea. 
With a biscuit product I always try to feed at a different time to raw meat. The stomach of a cat or dog will change pH to strongly acid to dissolve bones. Having grain-based product in the same feeding time can confuse this response and the bones mightn’t break down properly 

Poo 

Obviously we are all getting better at picking up after our pets. I don’t like the idea of it all going to landfill , even in a biodegradable bagThe solution is at home placing it under thick mulch that you keep under your fruit tress. 
There is a pipe system you can bury in the garden. The bags go down this and the worms take care of it. 

And a couple of other green pet tips 

* Avoid choosing a fancy bred that is known to be unhealthy or comes from a “pet farm” 
Please keep cats indoor at night especially if near native bush  

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