Our pets are like members of the family. We do our best to keep them happy, healthy and well groomed. In return, they give us lots of love, companionship and entertainment.

Grooming is an important part of pet care. It not only keeps our pets looking their best, it also helps keep them healthy and free of fleas and ticks. But depending on the type of pet you have and its grooming needs, the amount of grooming required could be very hard not only on your pet but also on the environment. Regular washings use a lot of water, and the shampoos and other chemicals used are often bad for your pet, the air, water, and soil.

Here are some ways you can make your grooming routine better for both your pet’s health and the environment.

• Set up a rainwater collection system. Using rainwater when bathing your pet puts water that may have otherwise gone to waste to good use and reduces the need for energy to pump the water. Connect the system to a tankless water heater for maximum energy savings.
• Use all-natural shampoo to wash your pet. You can purchase natural, organic dog and cat shampoos from your local pet shop or online. Be sure to read the ingredients, however, because some “natural” products are anything but natural.
• Animals with long hair may need conditioner to help prevent tangles. You can make an effective and sweet smelling conditioner with a quart of water and 2 tablespoons of rosemary. Boil the water, remove from heat, add rosemary and let steep for 10 minutes. Pour the water through a colander into a bowl and let the water cool (IMPORTANT: Make sure to cool the water enough so it is room temperature…not too hot, not too cold!). After washing your pet, pour the water over it and do not rinse.
• Stay away from most commercial flea and tick treatments. They are dangerous chemical cocktails that are bad for your pet’s health as well as yours. There are some products on the market that use only natural and safe ingredients, but again it’s important to read the label and not just take the manufacturer’s word for it. Essential oils like tea tree, citronella and eucalyptus are effective in repelling fleas and ticks. It’s also a good idea to go over your pet with a flea comb. When fleas are found, drop them into a bowl of hot, soapy water or alcohol to kill them.
• If your dog has ear mites, they’re usually fairly easy to get rid of naturally. Mix ½ ounce of olive oil and the contents of a 400 I.U capsule of vitamin E in a dropper bottle. Warm to body temperature by placing the bottle in hot water, and place a dropper full in each ear. Massage and clean out the excess oil with cotton. Repeat two and four days later.

Using natural pet care products is good for our pets and the environment. These tips will help you take care of your beloved pet in a manner that won’t hurt the ecosystem. If you prefer to let someone else do the grooming, look for a groomer that uses all-natural products.

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