Pet ownership offers us enjoyment, health benefits and companionship……but cats, dogs and other domesticated animals have a significant environmental paw print.

At a local level they disturb, injure and transmit disease to wildlife, whilst the food they eat, the waste they produce and the medication used to treat them all have damaging effects on the natural world.  Changing the way we view pet ownership can have a dramatic impact on environmental growth.

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 Grow  Protect

Here are some ways you can help:

Protect birds and mammals from your cat

Keeping your cat inside at night can reduce the number of animals it kills. Better still, an outside run allows cats to go outside but keeps them away from wildlife. Brightly coloured cat ruffs are more effective than bells in alerting garden birds.

Consider whether you really want a new pet

Their food, medication, predation, disturbance, faeces, and even their parasites damage the environment. Perhaps you could foster, adopt, pet share or volunteer at a local animal shelter instead?


Look after local wildlife – not just your pets

Caring for wild animals such as birds, toads, hedgehogs and bugs by making sure they have food, water and places to shelter can be just as rewarding as keeping pets (and much better for nature too!).

Dispose of dog waste responsibly

Avoid land filling plastic bags full of dog waste by installing a ‘doggy loo’ in your garden. Only use vegetable-based, compostable dog poo bags and never leave poo-filled bags on your walk - this kills wildlife!


Never release unwanted animals into the wild

Make sure you are able to care for your animals for their whole lives and never release unwanted pets including giant African land snails, parakeets, snakes, fish and stick insects into the wild.

Keep dogs to footpaths

Dogs are natural predators, and can disturb and injure wildlife such as ground nesting birds and seals simply by roaming freely through undergrowth, long grass or near water.