Your eco-destructive habits are impacting your pets
By Sabrina Hansen, Contributor
Almost everyone I know recycles. There are a couple individuals that I (not proudly) associate with who would throw their plastic water bottle they had only bought an hour ago into the trash.
“Is it really that important?” they would ask, half expecting an answer. I would more than likely reply in a sassy tone: “Honestly, yeah.”
I’m sure everyone loves dogs and cats. Anyone reading this right now is probably smiling a little bit thinking about those “family members” of theirs, and how important they are to them, right? Because I know, for myself and the rest of my family, that this fur baby of ours is our world, honestly.
For those of you who don’t believe that climate change is real or at all important, let me just tell you that it is. But climate change doesn’t only affect the wildlife in surrounding forests and parks in our neighbourhoods.
If you are the proud owner of a dog or cat, you must be familiar with heartworm, which is spread by mosquitoes. Giving your pet a pill or a shot prevents heartworm.
You must also be familiar with flea and tick control treatments, both of which being crucial in maintaining the general health of your pet. I think most of us pet owners in the Lower Mainland (especially the ones with indoor cats) haven’t given much thought about administering things such as monthly heartworm pills, spot treatments, and flea collars (which by the way, don’t work very well). Mosquitoes can easily find their indoors making your indoor pets just as much at risk as outdoor pets.
Our summers are becoming much hotter—and it looks like it’s going to stay that way, at least according to climate change. They are also beginning and lasting longer. Winter, well… what even is winter anymore? Because of this, fleas and ticks are not disappearing like they should be anymore. Those longer, hotter summers we’ve been having are fuelling mosquitoes, making them more widespread than ever.
All these pests are getting harder to ignore. At this rate we can expect Lyme disease and heartworm disease to become more and more common. Why take a chance on your pet’s health by just skipping that monthly heartworm pill? Preventative treatments can get a little expensive over time, but treatment for heartworm once your pet is diagnosed is much, much more costly.
If you don’t take climate change seriously enough to participate in something as common as recycling, you should probably make some changes. I’m not talking about a drastic lifestyle change, but small readjustments would be enough. One example is unplugging things that you’re not using at that moment—your phone charger for example. Try not to shower in water so hot that it steams up your bathroom in a matter of minutes, and time your showers as well. Trust me, I love standing under my showerhead for 25 minutes but it’s not a great contributor to being eco-friendly in the slightest. Consuming fewer packaged and processed foods and trying your best to eat locally could improve your personal impact on climate change as well.
Hopefully, by this point, I’ve got you thinking pro-actively about not just recycling but also everything in between. It’s no longer a matter of “saving the environment,” because we are the environment. Every time you put your need for a hotter and longer shower first, you are putting the environment and climate change last. If you’re still not convinced that climate change is happening and directly affecting you, just think about this: what would your pet want you to do?