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Pet Food

Pets are not really my area of expertise. I had a goldfish once but that’s it. So please if you can add anything useful to this post, dive in.

Homemade Dog & Cat
When we were pet sitting in Loas, we would buy meat from the market and boil it up with rice. That kept 2 dogs and 3 cats going.
1 kilo rice
1 kilo mainly liver and a bit of intestine
Boiled the meat – drained the water used that to boil the rice.
Mixed the two together.
Lasted for 9 feeds they were fed twice a day.

U.K. Wide General
Range home stores do loose dry pet food. For everything from dogs to hamsters.
Some Weigh & Save shops also do it.

Local (West Yorkshire) General
Huddersfield market has a pet food stall that does loose dog chews and birdseed.
Earnshaws timber merchants do loose WILD birdseed.

Remember to take your own bags..


Packaging

While these shops provide bags and they are almost always plastic ones. You will need to take your own plastic-free /reusable bags, tubs and bottles.

Tare

The weight of the container may make a difference at checkout. Some shops  subtract the tare weight but other don’t. The tare weight is the weight of the empty container.

More

Useful post on pet poop composting at home, here.

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Pet bowls biodegradable

For the plastic free pooch in your life, a biodegradable plastic food bowl!

becobowl

“Eco-friendly and functional, Becothings are tough and durable. The Becobowl is dishwasher safe and will last for years in the home – when you are done, simply drill a few holes in the bottom and bury it in a flowerbed! Because Becothings are made from waste waste rice husks and sustainably grown bamboo, land is not being taken away from food production to make them (phew!). They are made from 80% plant material and the rest is amino-acid resin – they will break down in a few years once they are underground”


They also do scoops, hoops and bones in the same material.

you can buy them and loads more ethical pet supplies from Ethical Pets, a locally owned, on-line company run by Joey and Anna.

Check out the mission statement…

We sell Recyclable & Recycled; Vegan & Vegetarian; Biodegradable & Degradable; Non-tested; Non Toxic; Certified Organic & non-GM; High-Welfare; Fairly Traded & Made in the UK, Low Carbon & Sustainable pet products.

We make ethical shopping easy and enjoyable.

We always provide balanced and honest information about the products that we sell.

We want to raise the profile of ethical pet products.

We will always try and provide the best possible customer service.

Whats not to like? I almost want to get a pet…

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Dog poop bags and composting waste

This is something I really hate …. plastic bags of dog @*%! hanging from the bushes.

But then plastic bags of dog poop anywhere are a bad idea and a big problem!

According to PFMA (Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association) the dog population of the U.K., in 2014, stood at 9 million. The average dog according to Streetkleen produces 340g of fecal matter per day x 9,000,000 dog population = 3,060 tonnes of poo per day x 365 days per year =1,111,900 tonnes of dog poo annually.

Why Not Landfill?

Putting plastic bags of poop in landfill is problematic for the following reasons

  • Biodegradable waste does not do well in the unnatural conditions of landfill. It bubbles away producing methane another more potent greenhouse gas.
  • The non biodegradable waste, plastic, is there for ever.
  • As of April 2016 Landfill Tax is £84.40 per tonne . At over a million tons that poop costs a lot.
  • we are running out of holes

What to do?

But how do you dispose of dog poop  responsibly and environmentally?

This might be an answer –use compostable plastic bags such as  BioBag dog bags and get a pet poop composter. You can read more about compostable plastics here and you can find cheaper than Biobags by Googling.

Pet poop composter

I believe that composting is the future. A household that can turn its own waste into food for the plants is truly sustainable and delightfully green. And who wouldn’t want to be any of those?  I have a number of compost bins BUT I don’t have a pet so cannot try this. I thought of getting a puppy but apparently  they are for life, not just for composting.

How they work…

Now as I understand it, the pet waste composter is a bin set in the ground. Chuck the pop in and nature will deal with it naturally. It will compost away. Just to reiterate, the resulting material is left in place. It is not meant to be used as compost, rather that the composting process is used to naturally dispose of dog poop!

Have a look at these ready made dog waste composters. You bury it in the back garden and drop in the poop.

Here is an Australian product called Yard Art in action

Here is a home made one

And an  article,  you can read on the subject.
Using the Compost…nooooooooo

MATT SULLIVAN writes a thoughtful and informative piece about the joys and perils of pet poop composting. As he says “several writers discourage pet owners from the practice at all. Others gave specific warnings of not using the final composted product in any edible gardens. A handful wrote that the compost from domestic animals was safe and could be used in vegetable crops.”

But, despite doom laden warnings, he goes ahead and uses worms to compost his dog dirt. It’s a success and he concludes that “even if you have no desire to add compost to your garden, I believe it makes sense to be a good steward of your animals. You feel good, help out the environment, and have an excuse to spend time outside.”

Wise words.

English: A worm composting bin. Worms are eati...

A worm composting bin. Worms are eating the newspaper bedding and producing compost. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

More

You can find hundreds of different composting methods here  including links to worm bins and underground composers.

This is an interesting idea – biogas from dog poo. 

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Bird Food

bird food featuredFeeding the birds can be a plasticky business but not for us happy Huddersfield folk. Up at Earnshaws saw mill, a place better known for their damn fine timber products, they sell a whole range of bird seeds loose – everything from nigra seed to peanuts. If you don’t know your linseed from your sunflower they  have a chart telling you what seed will attract which bird.

After that its really easy.

Take your own plastic free bags (and I find biobags are the best for bird seed because you can knot them – some of those seeds are tiny), fill em up and take them home.

happy birdies all round.

And this was seen up on Facebook

B&M are doing a great deal on Fat Balls for birds – £8 for a box of 150 balls, no netting and no plastic! Made in Britain.

Wiggly Wigglers do different kinds of birdseed, packed in a thick paper sack which can be composted. The seed is very good quality.
RSPB do 12.5kg paper sacks delivered with 20% off at the moment. Expensive though.

What to feed when

Advice on how to feed birds when and on what can be found (along with the expensive bird seed), at the RSPB web site.