Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Road salt and snow melting chemicals are harmful to your dog and the environment! #Snowmageddon2015

#Snowmageddon2015 has hit the Northeastern US and in the states that are affected by all the snow and ice, you see a lot of trucks plowing and putting down road salt to help get the roads clear, as well as your neighbors putting down salt to melt the ice and snow on their walkways, sidewalks and driveways.

What you may not know is that the chemicals that make up this salt has a huge impact on pets, wildlife, streams, rivers and the environment.

The primary chemicals used in road salt are sodium chloride, which is composed of 40 percent sodium ions (Na+) and 60 percent chloride ions (Cl-), ferrocyanide (which is used for anti-caking) and other impurities like phosphorus and iron.

These chemicals make their way into the environment through run off from melting snow and ice, and contaminat vegetation, soil, groundwater and storm drains that lead to our rivers, streams and ponds.

According to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, "...water contaminated with NaCl creates a higher water density and will settle at the deepest part of the water body where current velocities are low such as in ponds and lakes. This can lead to a chemical stratification which can impede turnover and mixing, preventing the dissolved oxygen within the upper layers of the water from reaching the bottom layers and nutrients within the bottom layers from reaching the top layers. This leads to the bottom layer of the water body becoming void of oxygen and unable to support aquatic life."

In addition the ASPCA incdicates that pets that ingest this road or sidewalk/driveway salt by eating it directly, licking their paws after exposure or by drinking snow melt in the vicinity of road salt run off can experience "drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, volcalizing/crying, excessive thirst, depression, weakness, low blood pressure, disorientation, decreased muscle function and in severe cases, cardiac abnormalities, seizure, coma, and even death.” And just small exposures of your dog's paws to road salt can produce painful irritations, inflammation, and cracking of the foot pads that can be prone to infection and are slow to heal.

What are the alternatives?

For pets: 

Around your home you can use a safer, healthier method to melt ice on sidewalks and driveways by using a product like Safe Paw. Not only is it healthier and safer for your dog, it will not deteriorate your sidewalk and driveway cement over time.

When out and about, keep your dog's paws safer by having them wear simple homemade dog booties and remove when you get home.

A few ideas for cities and towns:

De-icing of roads is very important to cities and towns to keep people safe. There are a few ways that city and town municipalities can create a safe, and yet healthier way to treat roads. These include:

Sand

In many cities, including in the more southern states, the use of sand helps individuals with more traction, without harming the environment and may be a great alternative in some situations.

Other salt alternatives

Experts recommend using calcium chloride over sodium chloride (rock salt) according to Environmental Canada. Calcium magnesium acetate is recommended as a much more environmentally friendly alternative according to the University of Michigan's Salt Use Improvement Team,

Solar roadways

In 2014, the Netherlands installed the first every solar paneled bike path in an effort to help the environment. In addition, a company Solar Roadways created their solar roadway project in an effort to help the environment while preventing snow and ice accumulation.

Sources:
NH Department of Environmental Services
ASPCA
University of Michigan
Green Ventures Canada
Solar Roadways

Photos courtesy of:
Nicholas A. Tonelli
Thomas Barker

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Welcome One Dog Organic Bakery to the RAGD Partner Pack!

We're very excited to announce today that One Dog Organic Bakery has joined the Raise A Green Dog Partner Pack.

Their amazingly healthy organic dog treats come in a wide variety of flavors from pumpkin to peanut butter to ginger and more! And they taste super, super good!

One Dog Organic Bakery is a small, family run bakery with the flexibility to adjust to their customers individual needs.

Each order is baked fresh when ordered and always prepared in small batches to ensure the highest quality and freshness.

In addition, they consult with several pet nutritionists, veterinarians and other pet professionals to ensure their product is the absolute best, most nutritionally balanced treat option. Some of their organic dog treats even contain some pawsome supplements like flax seed, coconut oil, pumpkin and more.

Their high standards and implemented food safety protocols means that your treats will always be of the highest quality and most important of all, made with safe, USA sourced ingredients and contain....
  • No chemical preservatives
  • No fillers
  • No by-products
  • No hormones
  • No salt
  • No artificial colors or flavorings
...only simple, safe, organic, ingredients.

And if your dog has allergies, they can customize treats to your specifications.

Stop by and visit with Veronica and Milo and get your organic treat on!

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Make quick, easy dog boots to keep your dog's paws safe and comfy this winter!

Winter can be tough on dog's paws! With the cold snow forming those ouchy ice balls, to the toxic salt that cities and neighbors put down to melt the ice.

We've got a fun, easy, quick way for you to keep your dog's paws healthier and much more comfortable this winter! And if your dog gets a little injury on their paw (like I do sometimes), they come in very handy for that as well.

We came across a couple of sites that have really great and easy to make dog boot instructions that we wanted to share.

Check out Sew Your Own Winter Dog Boots from 'So you wannabee a Domestik Goddess.' We like this pattern and simple construction for some easy to make fleece dog boots from material you have lying around your home.

They are super simple with no fancy stuff to get in my way, no extra material to feel uncomfortable, just a simple fleece pull up boot.

Here's another very simple, easy to make set of instructions for another very basic pair of dog boots from UberPest.

Neither of these 'made in basic fleece' would do well on rough terrain, but they are great for a quick trip out in the snow, a quick potty break, or a short walk around the neighborhood in super cold temps and snow.

Here's to comfy paws!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

EPA sued to ban toxic chemicals in flea collars and other pet products.

On January 5th of this year, the Natural Resource Defense Council filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) challenging the agency’s decision to allow the continued use of a highly toxic pesticide called tetrachlovinphos (TCVP) in flea control products used on pets.

"Science shows, time and again, that brain and nervous system-damaging chemicals like TCVP are too harmful to have in our homes, on our pets and around our children," says Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

What concerns us is that if these chemicals included in flea collars and other pet products are harming children, imagine what harm they may be doing to our pets?

In February 2014, the NRDC filed a lawsuit in federal court against the EPA seeking the agency to respond to NRDC’s petitions to cancel all manufacturer registrations and uses of neurotoxic pesticides propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP), frequently found in popular pet flea treatment products. Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc. Wellmark International and Hartz were among flea collars brands that NRDC called out for use of these hazardous chemicals.

Prompted by the NRDC’s 2014 lawsuit, the Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement with Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc. and Wellmark International to discontinue the use of the pesticide propoxur in flea collars as a result of findings in the NRDC's 'Poison on Pets II report' that found unsafe levels of pesticide residues on dogs and cats after the use of a flea collar. However, the EPA did not address the use of other dangerous chemicals in flea products like TCVP. Hence the NRDC's action this month.

In 2009, we interviewed the scientists from the Natural Resource Defense Council immediately following the release of their first 'Poison on Pets' report. We encourage you to read the interview and learn more about the dangers of some of the over the counter flea and tick products currently on the market.

Additionally, if you'd like to learn more about how you can combat fleas on your dog naturally, read our post from 2014, 'The Ultimate Flea Guide for the Green Dog.'

Photo courtesy of Takashi Hososhima.

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Bone Broth: The hot new trend is a super healthy treat for your dog!

Have you heard about Bone Broth, the hot new healthy trendy drink for people?

Well what you may not know is that bone broth is super healthy for your dog too!

If you're like me, Marrow bones are a staple in our freezer. We get them as occasional treats after thawed and they are wonderful sources of Omega-3 calcium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, selenium, magnesium, manganese, and other mineral, as well as a wonderful source for Vitamin A.

Dogs not only love them they are very good for them nutritionally too!

During the winter months to take off the chill, Mum loves to make us a super healthy, wonderful post hike and agility treat. What is it? We call it Marrow Stew, but others call it the hot new trend Bone Broth!

If you'd like to make this yummy treat for your dog here is our recipe:

Marrow Stew/Bone Broth for Dogs

Ingredients:
  • Marrow bones (we get our marrow bones from Whole Foods. If you can't find marrow bones you can use chicken or turkey parts, necks and backs are are very good for this recipe!)
  • 2 cups brown rice (pre-cooked)
  • A nice handful of each:
  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Water (filtered is best!)
Directions:
  • Cut the vegetables into chunk sized pieces. Put all the ingredients into a big 'ole stainless steel pot and fill with filtered water to cover. Cook on low heat for a couple of hours.
  • Once cooked, remove the bones and extract the marrow and add back into the stew. Then throw out the bones, 'cause cooked bones aren't good for us pups!
  • Pour into a stainless steel bowl and you've got a great Fall stew. And you can add a dollop of pure pumpkin puree, we love that!
And pups? Don't forget to share this healthy treat with your two leggers.

Photo courtesy of Ben Beauchamp on Flickr.

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Friday, December 12, 2014

Give your dog the gift of green this holiday season!

This holiday season, why not help your dog go green?

Our Raise A Green Dog book is filled with a ton of information about how you can help your dog live a happier, healthier life. From cleaning your home safely, to treating your lawn organically, to what holiday toys are safe for your dog and lots, lots more.

We are pleased to help you learn how your dog can go green with a significant price reduction from our regular price of $7.99 to a special holiday price of only $3.99 on Amazon until the end of December!

That's over 50% off!

So go fetch your Raise A Green Dog ebook and be sure and tell all your friends.

And remember, to read your ebook from Amazon, you can get the Kindle app for your smart phone, computer, and tablet, it's free!


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Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Ultimate Green Dog Holiday Gift Guide!

It's holiday time! And it's not too late to pick up a wonderful gift for your green dog from our Raise A Green Dog Partners.

Our RAGD Partners are awesome...they help support our site so we can keep bring you all the helpful and useful green dog knowledge that we've garnered over the years and help your dog live a healthier, happier life.

We encourage you to support our Partners....not only do they have wonderful, green, eco-friendly and healthy products, they are small businesses that deserve your support!

Today we've paw-picked one amazing product from each of our Raise A Green Dog Partners, a product that we think you'll love to give as a gift to your green dog.

So let's get started...

Brand new Raise A Green Dog Partner One Dog Organic Bakery has some pawsome treats and gifts that are perfect for your green dog! We love their Gourmet Dog Treat Gift Set with Small Holiday Toy which includes an assortment of their signature handcrafted, 100% human grade, organic, gluten-free dog treats, a small holiday toy for all dogs to enjoy, an adorable, reusable cookie jar designed by Bormioli Rocco with Chalkboard Label with marker for personalization, and your choice of 3 eco-friendly, recyclable gift boxes!

Every dog needs some support! RAGD Partner All Natural Dog Beds has a wonderful Orthopedic Dog Bed created with an organic cotton cover. It's hand sewn in the USA and can be removed for machine wash and dry. The dog bed mattress is made of natural talalay latex (from the rubber tree) in the USA. Superior to ‘memory foam’, the longer-lasting natural latex is bio-degradable and naturally resistant to mold, mildew & bacteria. And the beds are very cute!

Have you ever wanted to try new healthy, safe products for your dog, but didn't want to purchase a full bottle? Where here's your chance! RAGD Partner Wondercide, has several hand picked bundles (including this 'try everything' bundle) with sample and full sizes of their products that make wonderful stocking stuffers for your dog! Included is their popular flea and tick spray, and sample size shampoo bars. We love the ease of use of their products, their effectiveness and the yummy smell!

One of our favorite supplements is from RAGD Partner Green Dog Naturals. Their Whole Dog Daily optimizes digestion with food enzymes missing from processed pet food, strengthens natural defenses with probiotics, and maintains glowing skin and coat with food-sourced omegas. As we have found, Whole Dog Daily can make a positive difference in your pet’s health, a difference they can feel and you can see.

The holidays can sometimes be very stressful for dogs. That's why RAGD Partner Earth Heart created their award winning Canine Calm. Made in the US, Canine Calm contains pure essential oils traditionally used for relaxation including lavender, ylang ylang, bergamot and more. Simply spray on your palms and rub into your dog's coat, tummy and ears to help them (and you!) deal more effectively with the holiday hoopla.

Puppy or grown up pup, you're going to love this gift pack from RAGD Partner Organic Oscar! The gift pack includes their Organic Lavender Shampoo and Organic Aloe Vera Conditioner, a pack of their very handy healthy Aloe Vera Pet Wipes and a free toy to help make bath time, fun time; all in a free Jute Storage Bag to store all your pup's accessories in one place.

If you've every been out on a walk, you know how dog's love to do their business right away....leaving you to carry their doo the entire walk or hike. Happens to us all the time! Well here's a perfect solution from RAGD Partner TurdleBag. Simply grab one of the stored biodegradable poo bags, pick up the doo and place in the TurdleBag for clean, safe keeping until disposal. No more holding the bag, or adding it to your hiking pack!

Looking for a wonderful stocking stuffer? Check out RAGD Partner Earthborn Holistic® EarthBites™ Lamb Meal Recipe Natural Moist Treats For Dogs. Each treat contains lean lamb meal blended with antioxidant-rich peas, apples, blueberries, carrots and spinach for high palatability. Balanced Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids help play a vital role in healthy skin, hair coat and immune function. Made without grain or gluten, EarthBites™ Lamb Meal Recipe treats are perfect as a grain-free alternative treat.EarthBites™ Lamb Meal Recipe treats are great training aid. Each treat tastes yummy and also provides optimum nutrition for your dog’s body.

What dog doesn't want a great place to take a load off! Don't miss Island Dog Design's dog beds and pads, they make a beautiful addition to any room, and are loved by dogs for their comfort.The dog-related sayings are hand-printed on a durable 100% cotton cover on earth-toned fabrics with a "distressed look" font, and finished with elegant complementary piping. The beautifully zipped dog pad covers can be unzipped, and are washable. The dog bed insert is made of top-quality natural latex foam, providing the extra cushioned yet firm support dogs need for a comfortable and restful sleep. The dog pad insert is naturally anti-microbial, and chemical-free, which makes it a healthier alternative for humans and dogs alike. And the insert is biodegrable in a landfill. 100% Made in the USA.

Nom!!! I love a good chew and when I'm in the mood I turn to Clear Conscience Pet for my treat chew. They have a wide range of super high quality, healthy chews including these super tasty Lamb Trachey Chewz™ CleanLabel™ Chew Treats with lamb trachea, organic flax, dried organic pumpkin, dried organic carrot. their patent- pending process for coating protein with concentrated vegetables provides your pet with the nutrition they deserve!

Raise A Green Dog DERMagic has a wonderful and useful gift idea for your green dog! This super cute  reusable vinyl zipper “Dog Bone” case with rope handle includes their Skin Rescue Lotion, Certified Organic Shampoo Bar, Rosemary Mint Conditioner Bar, Hot Spot Salve, Dead Sea Bath Salt Scrub and a Vanilla-Scented Aromatherapy Candle just for the green dog moms!

Another great stocking stuff comes from RAGD Partner Garden Delights! Their Flea Repellant Collars feature lavender and pennyroyal,  grown naturally without pesticides in their herb beds in Washington state. They are air dried and then hand milled to create fresh, high quality herbs that fleas will fear. Lasting up to three months, they come in bright colors and close with velcro, which allows up to 2 inches of adjustability to fit a range of pets and provide quick release for safety.Four sizes are available to fit the small to the large of our best friends.

Be sure and support our Raise A Green Dog Partners this holiday season, they help keep us going!

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12 days of green holiday do-it-yourself gifts for your dog!

Are you looking for something special to give your green dog this holiday season?

Why not make something homemade!

Raise A Green Dog partners Earth Heart Inc., is sharing 12 wonderful do-it-yourself gift ideas you can make for your dog this holiday season.

From homemade turkey jerky, to a nice warm coat and boots, to fun games and toys, they've shared wonderful ideas that your dog will absolute love!

Go check out Earth Heart's Facebook page and blog for the 12 wonderful gift ideas and have some fun making easy, useful, upcycled and homemade gifts for your dog....all brought to you by Earth Heart and there wonderful Canine Calm spray that can help your dog deal with any holiday stress.

One of our favorites is this very cool treat dispensing toy and slow down feeding machine. Made from a chicken nesting box, a dowel and one or two reused liter bottles.

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tuesday is #GivingTuesday! A great day to give back to those in need.

This holiday season we encourage you to take the time (and any available funds) to give a little back to charitable causes that you care about!

#GivingTuesday, December 2nd, is a great day to do just that!

What is #GivingTuesday?

On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

How can you participate?

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for you, your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

To spur action and thought we've put together some great ideas of how you can give back to dogs (and other pets) this special day, throughout the holiday season and into 2015:


Local shelters need necessities!

You can donate a wide variety of items from dog food to toys, treats, leashes, collars, food dishes, crates, litter, beds, cleaning supplies and more, to help alleviate costs shelters need.

Dogs in need, need funds!

Shelters and rescues provide a wide variety of services and transportation to help dogs get adopted. If you can donate monetarily to your local no-kill shelter and help pets in need.

Shelters always need volunteers!

Shelters need volunteers to spend time with lonely pets, and walk dogs to help them cope with the shelter environment. Call your local shelter and ask them how you can help to volunteer!

Rescues and shelters need supplies!

Put together a gift basket for your local shelter - include cleaning items (like mops, brooms and vacuums), newspapers, grooming items, pet shampoo, blankets, towels, laundry detergent, dish soap, trash bags, office supplies (like pens, paper, computer equipment and more), rugs, kiddie pools (for the summer) and more to help save costs for the shelter and focus their efforts on getting dogs adopted!

Foster!

Consider becoming a foster parent for a dog in need. Fostering helps dogs be more socialized, and comfortable in preparation for their new home, and helps them have an increased chance of being adopted.

Click!

Just one click from your computer can help dogs in need! Visit the Animal Rescue Site and FreeKibble, as one click can provide food and other supplies to dogs in need.

Adopt! 

If you are ready, and have thought it through thoroughly and want to add a pup to your family, consider adopting from your local animal shelter.

Giving back is part of living a green dog lifestyle! Today, think about how you can participate to help dogs in need today, tomorrow and into the future.

And visit the #GivingTuesday website to see shelters participating this year!


Spread the word!!!

To help spread the word - tweet via Twitter and share on Facebook - the following suggested posts and information so others can help dogs in need this #GivingTuesday! The included short link provides a link back to this post for those looking for ideas of how they can help.

Help dogs in need this #GivingTuesday! Great ideas to help your favorite shelter or rescue from @RaiseAGreenDog http://bit.ly/1uYYsH9
Want to help dogs in need this #GivingTuesday ? Great ideas about how you can help via @RaiseAGreenDog http://bit.ly/1uYYsH9
It's #GivingTuesday ! Learn how you can help dogs in need this holiday season from @RaiseAGreenDog http://bit.ly/1uYYsH9

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Support small businesses this #SmallBusinessSaturday!

This coming Saturday, November 29th (the day after Black Friday and two days before Cyber Monday) is Small Business Saturday!

What is Small Business Saturday?

It's a wonderful day to get out there, whether in person or online, and support small businesses that work hard to keep wonderful, fun and unique goods available to us, and also help stimulate the economy, including all of our Raise A Green Dog Partners who are small independent businesses!

To entice individuals to shop small this Saturday, American Express® Card Members can register to get up to $30 back when they Shop Small® on Small Business Saturday®.

Small businesses all over the country are participating in this unique and important event, don't go shopping this weekend without visiting one of the participating small businesses in your neighborhood!

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