Pamper your pet with eco-healthy products
To feed and clothe, play and let scratch, an array of good, natural choices
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THEY EAT, nap and walk with us. They're present for the big moments in life, and in the mundane, daily routine. Our goldendoodles and tabby cats unquestionably are part of our families — so why not treat our house pets to the same chemical-free, natural toys, beds and foods that we enjoy? Here are some eco-friendly alternatives to help your beloved animals live out happy, healthy lives:
• Dress your pooch to look his best in a vintage coat made of salvaged materials by Vashon Island-based JoeysCoat. The organization's founder, Robin Bridgman, has always enjoyed collecting and furnishing her home and closet with salvaged items. After her beloved Boston terrier, Joey, passed away in 2009, Bridgman decided to honor him by creating vintage-inspired dog coats that resemble one Joey used to wear. Bridgman collects wool, silks, tapestries and other materials from estate sales and thrift stores around the country. Her neighbor, a designer, then designs and creates the coats. Prices range from $219 to $459 depending on materials, embellishments and construction time. Find them at joeyscoat.com or contact Bridgman with questions and orders at email@example.com.
• Give your kitties the gift of an Imperial Cat Scratch 'n Shape, a structure made from recycled materials that mimic the feel of natural tree bark. Unlike carpeted scratching posts, these don't resemble the texture of your furniture or carpet, making it easier to train your cat to leave the furniture alone. A variety of shapes and styles play to your cat's personality and activity level. Catnip is included. Visit www.imperialcat.com for more information and a list of stores in the Seattle area that carry Imperial Cat products.
• Instead of fighting your dog for the bed, entice him to a space on the floor with a Jax & Bones organic dog bed. The organic lounge bedding is made using nontoxic dyes and is filled with allergen-free fibers. Check out www.jaxandbones.com, click on "bedding," then "lounge." An organic dog-bed will appear as an option. Prices range from $119 to $249.
• Walk the pup on a leash made from 100 percent recycled milk cartons. The Premier ECO Leash is 6 feet long and comes in four colors for around $7. You can also browse for milk-carton collars, walking harnesses and gentle leaders. Visit www.sitstay.com and search for "ECO leash."
• Skip buying the next round of disposable chew toys that inevitably lose their squeakers. Instead try an all-natural toy from Honest Pet Products for your cat or dog. The company makes sturdy hemp flying discs and tug toys for dogs, and wool and hemp chase toys for cats. The materials are durable, nontoxic and all-natural. Items range in price from about $7 to $20. Visit honestpetproducts.com for more information.
• Reward your dog or cat with HALO, Purely for Pets natural treats. The company uses natural ingredients to make biscuits, high-protein treats and dental-care snacks for animals. Each product includes an ingredient list, and you can browse for vegetarian, meat and fish options. Visit www.halopets.com to find a local store that carries the treats.
• Does the stench of your dog's breath make you want to pass out? Try the Herbal Dental Care Kit from Happytails. It includes a soft-bristle toothbrush, fingertip brush for hard-to-reach places, and an all-natural herbal gel that fights bacteria and cleans teeth. With herbs such as echinacea, prickly ash bark and goldenseal root, the gel cleanses your dog's gums, helps control infection and reduces inflammation. Find it at www.happytailsspa.com for about $26.
Michelle Ma is a Seattle-based freelance writer.