Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Start your lawn off on a healthy paw this spring! Go organic for the health of your dog.

It's that time of year! Time to get that lawn in shape for fun outdoors with your dogs!

Over the years we've written a lot about the importance of organic lawn care for your dogs. Why?

Because many individuals and organizations are finally beginning to prove that those chemical lawn care products - including insecticides, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides - are very bad for dogs and humans.

To learn more about the dangers of commercial chemical laden lawn care companies check out these links:
  • In January of 2012 year a published study was released (Abstract of Environmental Health 112(1): 171-6 (Jan. 2012), that shows a link between chemical exposures (including lawn chemicals) and the risk of canine malignant lymphoma.
  • A respected report and DVD "The Truth About Cats, Dogs and Lawn Chemicals," funded by the Newman’s Own Foundation, contains a lot of information for you to learn about the dangers and effects of lawn chemicals on your pets, including the use of herbicides, insecticides and other chemicals, and the resulting effects of seizures, tremors, vomiting, respiratory failure and more for dogs.
  • BeyondPesticides.org studies have found that dogs "exposed to herbicide-treated lawns and gardens can double their chance of developing canine lymphoma. And these dangerous chemicals may also increase the risk of bladder cancer in certain breeds by four to seven times."
  • You can read more about the dangers of lawn chemicals in our 2012 post, 'Is Your Lawn Killing Your Dog.'
  • new study, released in May of 2013 and published in the July 2013 issue of Science of the Total Environment, indicates that exposure to herbicide treated lawns has been associated with significantly higher bladder cancer risk in dogs.
So how do you get started and maintain a wonderful, lush, green, healthy organic lawn? Springtime is a great
time to set up your lawn for a wonderful year.

Here are our steps to take in the spring to help your lawn be stronger, healthier, greener and more weed free! Start by...
  • Cleaning up all the poo after the spring thaw.
  • Raking up any leaves and debris.
  • Mowing if needed.
  • Wait for a good rain, and then pull any unnecessary weeds, as this is the easiest time to get those weeds from the root so they won't come back again and again.
Once you've done the clean up:
  • Put down a good quality, organic, weed preventer that includes corn gluten before or during the blooming of the Forsythia. Distributing this type of product on your lawn before weed seeds begin to germinate is key to cutting back on crabgrass, dandelions and other unwanted weeds throughout the year. But remember corn gluten will prevent all seed from germinating so...
  • Wait approximately one month and then overseed your lawn with a good quality uncoated grass seed that's appropriate for your area. Uncoated seed is important as coated seed is many times treated with a non-organic fertilizer or other growth hormones that may be harmful for birds, rodents and other small bodied living things including your dog.
  • Wait a few days and then spread a good organic fertilizer, like spray Fish Emulsion, or Worm Poo (these fertilizers won't hamper the growth of new grass seed). We like sprays because they are not as attractive to dogs once they have been on the lawn for a few hours. You can also look into a good organic fertilizer that's pellet based, like Lawn Restore, or Espoma Brand organic foods. Even though these are perfectly safe for dogs, some dogs, like my sis Gracie, just can't help herself from sniffing the pellets prolifically which gives her a runny nose, so we use a spray organic fertilizer.
  • Continue to pull unwanted weeds after each good rain.
  • If your lawn is in very poor shape, continue to reseed until the hot parts of summer and fertilize with a safe organic fertilizer every 6-8 weeks. You can even fertilize with a healthy fertilizer during the summer months without worrying about it burning your lawn like those chemical-based products do.
That's it! Keep an eye on our blog for more information about how you can obtain a wonderful organic lawn throughout the year!
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Friday, March 28, 2014

Tomorrow is Earth Hour! Take one small step to help our planet.

Saturday, March 29th at 8:30 PM wherever you are is Earth Hour; a great time to take one hour, turn off your lights and show your support for our planet.

Earth Hour is one hour each year that individuals, communities and businesses all over the world come together and turn off their lights as a show of concern for the environment.

Earth Hour inspires a global community of millions of people in 7,001 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories to switch lights off. And we'll be one of them....we hope you will be too!

If you really want to have some fun, teach your dog to ceremoniously turn off your lights on this special day. We did...here are two videos to help you teach your dog.




Google

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Is your well water safe for you and your dog?

Is your well water safe for you and your dog?

If you live in the country and are not connected to the cities main water system, we recommend you test your well several times throughout the year to know for certain that your well water is safe for you and your dog.

Why should you test your well?

What many don't know is that wells can become tainted at any time with a variety of dangerous and harmful contaminates depending upon the drill level and the area in which you live.

These contaminates can include:
  • VOCs - VOCs (also known as volatile organic compounds) are industrial and fuel-related chemicals that may cause bad health effects at certain levels. VOCs are carbon-containing compounds that evaporate easily from water into air at normal air temperatures. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, "when VOCs are spilled or improperly disposed of, a portion will evaporate, but some will soak into the ground. In soil, VOCs may be carried deeper by rain, water or snow melt and eventually reach the groundwater table. When VOCs migrate underground to nearby wells, they can eventually end up in drinking water supplies." Depending upon where you live, your well VOCs may be a problem. For example, if you live near industrial plants and facilities, some VOCs may include benzene, carbon tetrachloride, toluene, trichloroethelene, and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE).
  • Minerals and other chemicals - Other excessive levels of minerals chemicals may be present in your well water depending upon where you live. Minerals at safe levels are great for your health, however you may find excessive levels that can impact you or your dog's health. For example, we have a high level of copper in our GA mountains which at excessive levels can lead to gastrointestinal distress, and with long-term exposure may experience liver or kidney damage, according to the EPA. Some areas may have high levels of nitrates, lead, arsenic, iron, mercury, uranium, radium and more. 
  • Farm chemical runoff - If you live in farming country, you may have industrial farming chemicals leak into your well, including dangerous pesticides, herbicides and insecticides that studies have shown can have dramatic affects on your dog's health from increased canine lymphoma to significantly higher bladder cancer risk,  and more.
  • Bacteria - Any of several thousand types of bacteria (both non-pathogenic and pathogenic) can contaminate your water supply. Water testing labs use a total coliform bacteria test, to find out whether the water is free of bacteria. Bacteria are single-celled organisms very commonly found in soil, on our bodies, on leaf material and in water. Bacteria serves many functions in nature by breaking down and decomposing matter. Most coliform bacteria is perfectly safe, however pathogenic bacteria can cause diseases like typhoid, dysentery, giardia, E. coli, and cholera. If these bacteria are in drinking water, they can cause serious health problems.
That's what we found out last summer.

Last summer I developed a poison ivy rash on the back of my hands. It wasn't too bad, just a few little areas on both hands. But what should have healed up easily in about 10 days, turned into a couple of months of pain, itching and open wounds on the back of my hands.

Over the course of these two months, I had no idea why my hands wouldn't heal. I took extra supplements, tried every homeopathic and all natural cream, salve and rub to contain the spreading, itching and to speed healing. But nothing worked.

Then, one weekend YoYo, Gracie and I attended an agility trial in another town. I washed my hands there and they seemed to begin to heal. That's when it hit me, it was the water that was affecting my hands. I had been continually washing my hands with bacteria filled well water.

I immediately went out and purchased a faucet filter and installed it where I washed my hands most frequently. Working from home, I wash my hands very often throughout the day. And again, I immediately saw more improvement.

That's when I had proof that all the rains we've had here on our mountain last year (nearly 90 inches in total in 2013, compared to the usual 50 or so inches) had contaminated my well.

I called my local environmental agency and discussed my situation with them. They recommended I contact my local county extension office for a water testing kit. When I talked with the individuals at the county extension office, they indicated that their system only tests for minerals, not bacteria. In addition, I would have to drive over an hour to pick up the test, gather the water sample, then drive another hour to overnight the test to the University of Georgia Agricultural & Environmental Services Laboratories who performs the testing. Not a cosnumer friendly system, by any means.

Being as miserable as I was, I wanted immediate answers. So I picked up the phone and called UGA's Agricultural & Environmental Services Laboratories who was ultimately responsible for the testing and was quickly connected to the head of the department, Dr. Uttam Saha.

I explained my situation, symptoms, and discoveries over the past few months and he immediately confirmed that my well was contaminated; as he has heard of this situation before. I discussed with him options of how to decontaminate our well and there were only three:
Being green and eco-friendly, pouring bleach down my well, then waiting 12 hours and flushing the entire plumbing system, just didn't seem like a firm, green, healthy decision.

So we went with the whole house filter system.

As we are on our adventure experiment and moving around a lot throughout the country, we are now renting a cabin in the mountains in Georgia. I immediately contacted my landlord, explained the situation, and he quickly ordered the filter units that Dr. Saha recommended for the location of our well, the size of the cabin and volume of water usage.

These units are the Trojan Whole House UV Filter System (as UV filtering systems are the only systems that will rid your water of bacteria); and the Watts WH-LD Premier Whole House Filter System, which is a sediment filtering system installed in front of the UV system to reduce the sediment flowing into the home and through the other filter.

In two days the units arrived and were installed. In the meantime, I had been boiling all of our washing and drinking water; as you can rid your water of contaminates by boiling your water at a rolling boil for one full minute.

I'm happy to report that our water is now contaminate free, safe to drink, wash with and enjoy. It was a painful, but yet very valuable process and learning experience that we wanted to share with you in the hopes that the information will be valuable to you, as well.

Thankfully, none of the dogs, cats or I have any lasting effects from the bacteria that entered our internal systems over those two months. And my hands have completely healed. I believe it's testament to our healthy lifestyle that allowed us to fight off the majority of the danger that the contaminated well posed.

If you have a well, please have it tested at least three to four times per year. You never know when your well will be contaminated and it can cause some very serious consequences, especially for those that are auto-immune compromised.

You can contact your local County Extension Office (by doing a Google search for 'county extension office' and 'your state, county') to see if they provide well testing. Some extension agencies will provide testing for free, others will provide test kits. If you'd like to test the well water yourself you can purchase Well Water Testing Kits to have on hand.

If your well contains other contaminates, or has a very high specific mineral content (which also can be dangerous to your health) you can purchase additional whole house filtering systems for all types of contaminates. If you shop around, you can get most probably get a system you need for under $500 uninstalled.

Source:
Centers for Disease Control
Minnesota Department of Health

University of Georgia
Photo: Joshua Ganderson and US Dept of Agriculture on Flickr.com Google

Friday, February 28, 2014

National Pet Dental Health Month: Keep your dog's teeth healthy, strong and clean!

Today is the last day of February, can you believe it?

You may have heard that February is National Pet Dental Health Month, a great month to focus on keeping your dog's teeth healthy, strong and sparkling white.

Many folks talk about the importance of brushing your dog's teeth often, from every day to at least three times per week. And yes, we think that is very important if your dog eats a super high quality kibble, like we do sometimes.

But what keeps our teeth super healthy? Raw meaty bones. Yep, that's right....gnawing and chewing and grinding away at those chicken backs, chicken necks and chicken feet at least four days per week have kept all the plaque, tarter and yucky stuff that decays teeth away from us!

Many of the vets we visit never recommend a teeth cleaning for us....as a matter of fact they say we have the teeth of a two year old, even though I'm almost 10 and Gracie is almost 9 years old now!

Here is one of the chicken backs (organs included) that Mum cuts up and divides for me and Gracie!
Here I am enjoying one of my raw breakfasts....yum! Mum says there is nothing better than the sound of me crunching away at all the bone and cartilage!
Oooooo....Mum! Raw chicken feet? Let me at it!

And here you can enjoy one of my vids enjoying that yummy chicken foot!

Remember, it's important if you feed raw that you do your research! We suggest visits to Dr. Karen Becker's blog and do a search for raw dog food to learn the ins and outs. In addition, you can visit Dog Food Advisor to learn about prepared raw dog foods; and RawLearning.com for more information. And we believe if you do feed raw that you purchase organic, all-natural, hormone and anti-biotic free meats....so as not to add those nasty chemicals to your dog's diet.

How did we start on raw? One chicken neck at a time (since Gracie and I are somewhat smaller dogs). If you have a larger dog, starting on a turkey neck may be a good way to begin a raw journey.

If you don't feed raw, but feed a super high quality kibble, it is very important to brush your dog's teeth frequently. 

Here's to happy teeth for your dog!
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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Part 4: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry stain remover for the health of your dog!

This is the final post as part of our focus this month on how to clean your laundry the healthier and safer way for the health of your dog and the environment.

Today we are focusing on how to remove those nasty stains in your clothes when your regular detergent just isn't enough.

I'm a dog and I get dirty, especially running around like a crazy dog around our cabin, hiking in the woods, and running at agility trials. That's my sis Gracie after a nice romp in the yard, can you imagine how Mum looked after playing with her?

Mum seems to always have dirt on her after our activities. And almost always needs to treat her clothes and our beds before washing to make sure and get all that tough Georgia red clay out.

The best way to get out the stains in your laundry is by pre-treating. But be careful what you pre-treat with! Many of those commercial stain and pre-treaters contain a wide variety of dangerous chemicals and toxins, including:

  • Surfactants that can be harmful to aquatic life
  • Borates that have been shown to be endocrine disrupters and pose allergic and skin reactions
  • Colorants that pose general systemic/organ effects, damage to DNA, and cancer
  • Optical brighteners and bleaches that may cause developmental and reproductive effects, kidney and vision damage, and cancer
  • Fragrances that are unlisted and undefined that have been proven to create respiratory illnesses, allergies affect the nervous system and more.

So what's a dog to do?

Here's our favorite homemade laundry stain remover recipe. To make it you'll need:
Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together and stir. Store in a spray bottle and you can spray those nasty stains before putting into your wash.

Our favorite homemade simulated bleach recipe includes:
  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 15 cups of filtered or boiled water
Directions:

Mix together and place in a dark spray bottle. You may want to use a sprayer from another bottle and add to the hydrogen peroxide bottle to make it easier.

Other ideas:
  • Brighten your whites by hanging them in the sun! The sun is a powerful stain remover and can get those whites, super white. 
  • And some of our friends swear by adding about 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to help whiten whites and get rid of stains. In addition, some like adding just 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle and believe it works very well.
  • One more idea is to add about 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry detergent to make it more powerful and stain fighting.
You can also use these recipes on your carpets and rugs for muddy, dirty stains. They also work well for quick clean ups in the kitchen, bathroom and more! Just test for color fastness first.

We hope you've enjoyed our green, eco-friendly, healthy and safe laundry tips. We know you're dog will love you for it and pay you back in spades with a long and healthy life.

To learn more about keeping your laundry routine green and healthy visit our other blog posts:

Part 1: The Ultimate Laundry Guide for the Green Dog!
Part 2: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry detergent for the health of your dog!
Part 3: How to make your own healthy, safe dryer sheets for the health of your dog!
Part 4: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry stain remover for the health of your dog!

Sources:
Science Daily 'Toxic Chemicals Found In Common Scented Laundry Products, Air Fresheners'
Enviromental Protection Agency
Environmental Working Group
Photo: Emily Katherine May on Flickr.
Google

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Welcome Organic Oscar to the Raise A Green Dog Pack!

Today we welcome Organic Oscar to the Raise A Green Dog Pack!

I remember the very day that Mum brought me home from the shelter. I was pretty infested with fleas, and really needed a good bathing even though I was only 12 weeks old.

Mum was sure to have on hand a safe, eco-friendly, healthy shampoo. So we quickly went to work giving me a nice warm gentle bath with a wonderful healthy, safe shampoo. That was over 9.5 years ago, back before we knew about Organic Oscar.

Today we are very happy to welcome Organic Oscar to our pack! They have a wonderful line of shampoos and conditioners that meet all of our stringent criteria for those we work with. We love that they list every single ingredient on their website, with full disclosure for those of us who care for our dogs and the environment.

The full line of Organic Oscar shampoos and conditioners include Organic Oatmeal Shampoo, Organic
Aloe Vera Shampoo and Conditioner, Organic Lavender Puppy Shampoo, 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, and Holistic Bite and Itch Relief. Their shampoos and conditioners are fused with organic leaf extracts to soothe your dog’s sensitive skin.

Great ingredients can replenish rather than dry out itchy or dry skin with moisturizers and organic oatmeal; and can nourish and restore the natural shine, keeping your pet’s fur healthy and soft. Their product ingredients are organic, all-natural, and biodegradable and 90% certified organic with no soap, parabens, sulfates, petroleum-based ingredients, dyes or artificial fragrances.

And coming this February Organic Oscar’s will be offering their new Wipe & Go which features a simple and compact design combining 100% biodegradable pet wipes and poop bags. You will never be unprepared during a walk with your pup again! Wipe & Go is great for quick and easy use to keep your pup fresh and clean.

Organic Oscar is committed to the health of our dogs and of our environment. Their packaging is 100 percent recyclable, and their organic grooming products offer the highest percentage of organic, natural and biodegradable ingredients possible, while at the same time grooming your dog effectively. Their collection has been specially formulated to provide for dogs’ unique needs, as well as care for the environment while maintaining strict environmental standards.

Be sure and visit Organic Oscar's website and see all their products. Additionally, you can see all the Organic Oscar products showcased on Raise A Green Dog!

Happy bathing! Google

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Part 3: How to make your own healthy, safe fabric softeners for the health of your dog!

As part of our series this month on healthier and safer laundry for the health of your dog and environment, today we are focusing on fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

You may or may not know, but those commercial dryer sheets with heavy duty fragrances, as well as those liquid fabric softeners are some of the most dangerous and toxic part of your cleaning and laundry regimen.

Why?

According to the Environmental Working Group, 'Fabric softeners and dryer sheets coat our clothes with a subtle layer of slimy chemicals. The most common softening chemicals are called "quats" (short for quaternary ammonium compounds) and include such chemicals as diethyl ester dimethyl ammonium chloride, dialkyl dimethyl ammonium methyl sulfate, dihydrogenated palmoylethyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfate and di-(palm carboxyethyl) hydroxyethyl methyl ammonium methyl sulfate.'

A leading international authority on asthma, The Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, calls these chemicals "asthmagens," substances that can cause asthma to develop in otherwise healthy people. In addition, quats have antibacterial effects. That may sound like a good thing, but overuse can lead to antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

And what about all those fragrances? Well, these contain hundreds of untested chemicals including phthalates that are suspected hormone disruptors. These fragrances are also among the world's top five allergens, according to a study by the University of Washington on air contaminants these fragrances include likely carcinogens acetaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, developmental toxicants methyl ethyl ketone and chloromethane, and allergens like linalool.

To search ingredients that are present in your fabric softeners, visit the Environmental Working Group cleaner database.

So what's a dog to do?

Here are six easy, all-natural ways to banish static cling from your laundry and soften your clothing:
  • Add about 1/4 cup of vinegar to your laundry wash cycle or add 1/4 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle to soften your clothing if you are washing synthetic fabrics.
  • Choose clothing made from natural fibers, like cotton, which don’t get static cling as easily.
  • Switch to a green, eco-friendly and healthier fabric softeners, like those made by EcoverSeventh Generation, and/or Planet.
  • Shake out your clothes when you remove them from the dryer to reduce some of that cling and shock.
  • If you feel static in clothing that's been in your closet for a while you can take a metal coat hanger and rub it on the underside to reduce static.
  • Try the new wool dryer balls in your dryer to reduce static.
There are more ways you can have healthier laundry and safe money! Check back later this month for one more post in our series to learn how you can make your own healthy, safer laundry products for the health of your dog! And to read our previous posts, just click below.

Part 1: The Ultimate Laundry Guide for the Green Dog!
Part 2: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry detergent for the health of your dog!
Part 3: How to make your own healthy, safe dryer sheets for the health of your dog!
Part 4: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry stain remover for the health of your dog!

Source: Environmental Working Group
Photo: MjaMes1408 and Colin on Flickr Google

Thursday, January 9, 2014

P.L.A.Y joins the Raise A Green Dog Partner Pack!

Today we welcome P.L.A.Y Pet Lifestyle and You to the Raise A Green Dog Pack!

If you like to play then you'll love all the products from P.L.A.Y. And they are serious about making pets and the planet happier.

P.L.A.Y has a line of super environmentally friendly pet beds that are fun, functional, firm and sturdy. We're talking pure comfort here, with the satisfaction of knowing that their beds are filled with Planet Fill™, certified-safe, 100% post-consumer recycled products created from cleaned and recycled plastic bottles!

How do they do that?

108 recycled plastic bottles get cleaned and recycled. Bottles are turned into soft Planet Fill™ polyfiber for P.L.A.Y. beds. And our planet stays a little bit cleaner.

And that's not all they do for our pets and the planet.

Instead of buying a whole new bed, you can purchase one of their P.L.A.Y. Change-a-Covers, with all the style that their other line of pet beds offer, along with the flexibility of filling it with whatever you'd like; from re-purposed and unused blankets, clothes or even towels that you have taking up space! 

P.L.A.Y also has a great line of eco-friendly, fun and entertaining toys; perfect for any size dog. From their hand-made crafted, durable, squeaker filled, plush toys that are eco-friendly, certified-safe with PlanetFill® filler that is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Their plush toys are 100% washer and dryer friendly, contain only AZO-free dye, and meet the same strict quality standards for manufacturing infant and children's products.

One toy you won't want to miss is their P.L.A.Y. Wobble Ball Toy. A fun interactive, enrichment for your dog. Simply put a treat in and reward your dog for their persistence and intelligence! Made using tough and durable Polycarbonate and ABS thermoplastic, the Wobble Ball is uniquely shaped to roll around unpredictably and couple that with the sound and sight of dog treats spinning inside, this toy is sure to tease and captivate man's best friend. and it's certified 100% dishwasher safe!

P.L.A.Y. is serious about helping the environment with their commitment to reducing waste that goes into landfills; keeping packaging to a minimum; and giving back to those in need through their charitable giving programs.

Be sure and check out all the wonderful P.L.A.Y products, including their wonderful beds and toys; along with their greeting cards, pillows, chill pads and more on their website, and showcased on RaiseAGreenDog.com! Google

Monday, January 6, 2014

One Blog, One Tree: Make a Green Gesture for the new year!

Do you have a blog?

If you do here is a great way to make a green gesture and offset the carbon pawprint of your blog!

Did you know that every time someone visits a web page, CO2 is emitted. These emissions come from the cooling and energy consumption of (mainframe) computer servers and hardware.

To help offset these emissions, Green Gestures has instituted a new program called, 'One Blog. One Tree.' that allows you to help take a step to reduce your blog’s carbon footprint. All you have to do is:
  • Write a short blog post about the Make a Green Gesture project, and add the optional “One Blog, One Tree” badge to your site if you like.
  • Send an e-mail to greengestures@retale.com containing the URL of your post.
  • They plant a tree for your blog in association with the Arbor Day Foundation.
To learn more visit the Green Gestures website.

And, if you don't have a blog, there several other ways you can make a green gesture by opting out of receiving paper marketing materials, aka junk mail. You can opt out of credit card solicitations, phone books and more!. Check it out.

Or you can become a member of the Arbor Day Foundation for as little as $10 and receive 10 free trees (suitable for your area of the US) to plant in your neighborhood, local park and more! Or you can select that the Foundation plant 10 trees on your behalf in a one of our nation's national forests.

We've joined in, how about you? It's a great way to start the new year off on the right great, green paw!

Photo by Martin Cathrae on Flickr. Google

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Part 2: How to make your own health, safe laundry detergent for the health of your dog!

This month we are focusing on how you can have amazingly clean laundry that's healthy and safe for your dog!

This post features our favorite do-it-yourself method for making your own homemade laundry detergent to be certain that you are keeping your dog greener and healthier, and the environment too.

So let's get started!

Many commercial laundry detergents on the market contain a wide variety of toxic chemicals that can be harmful for the environment and for your dog! They can include everything from:

  • Surfactants that can be harmful to aquatic life
  • Borates that have been shown to be endocrine disrupters and pose allergic and skin reactions
  • Clorants that pose general systemic/organ effects, damage to DNA, and cancer
  • Opical brighteners and bleaches that may cause developmental and reproductive effects, kidney and vision damage, and cancer
  • Frgrances that are unlisted and undefined that have been proven to create respiratory illnesses, allergies affect the nervous system and more.

So what's a dog to do?

Make your own laundry detergent with ingredients that you know is safer and healthier for your dog and the environment.

To make your own laundry detergent you'll need the following ingredients:

1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1 cup washing soda
1/4 cup coarse sea salt
1 bar of unscented castile soap finely grated

Directions:

Mix all of the the ingredients together and store in a BPA free container, we prefer glass jars. Use two tablespoons per load for a large load, one tablespoon for a regular load.

Ingredient details:
  • We recommend Kirk's Original Coco Castile Bar Soap, Fragrance Free as it contains no fragrance (which can be harmful) and is pure castile soap made out of pure vegetable and coconut oils.
  • Washing soda is also known as sodium carbonate and is one of the safest cleaning products on the market. If you want to be really ambitious you can also turn baking soda into washing soda with these easy tips.
  • Citric acid is a food grade ingredient often found to preserve foods naturally and provide an acidic or sour taste to foods.
  • Baking soda - if you are like me you have lots of baking soda around your home, using it to freshen and unclog the drains with white vinegar, deodorizing the fridge, cleaning the stainless steel sinks, brushing teeth, cooking and more. 
  • Coarse sea salt - We have a lot of sea salt around our home and use it in many things including soups (instead of table salt), as a body scrub ingredient, and we grind it in our kitchen mini grinder to salt human foods when needed. 
Visit the Environmental Working Group cleaning dbase to review the health and safety of all of these ingredients for yourself; and to check the specific ingredients of your current detergent to compare. We recommend bookmarking their dbases to check ingredients including everything from cosmetic ingredients, cleaning product ingredients and more.

This recipe is borax free as we've determined that despite the fact that we've used it in the past, we have discontinued using it as it's listed as fairly toxic on the Environmental Working Group dbase.

Enjoy your clean laundry!

There is one more way you can have healthier laundry and save money! Check back later this month for more of our series of posts to learn how you can make your own healthy, safer laundry products for the health of your dog.

Part 1: The Ultimate Laundry Guide for the Green Dog!
Part 2: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry detergent for the health of your dog!
Part 3: How to make your own healthy, safe dryer sheets for the health of your dog!
Part 4: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry stain remover for the health of your dog!

Sources:
Science Daily 'Toxic Chemicals Found In Common Scented Laundry Products, Air Fresheners'
Enviromental Protection Agency
Environmental Working Group
Photo: smerika on Flickr. Google