Thursday, February 26, 2015

GMO apples and potatoes coming to a store near you!

If you like apples as much as I do, you will want to know this!

Very recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the commercial planting of genetically engineered apples that are resistant to turning brown when sliced or bruised.

This is the first GMO apple to be approved. The apple will join several other genetically modified fruits and vegetables already approved including papaya, corn, potatoes and soy beans.

The so-called 'Arctic' apples, available in only the Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties at this time, are genetically engineered in a way to suppress the production of an enzyme that causes browning when cells in the apple are injured, from slicing, for example.

The apples are genetically altered by manipulating the apple's own genes rather than adding genes from another species into the apple's DNA, which is how most GMO crops are altered.

Under the law, approval for GMO fruits, vegetables and even meats is based on whether a genetically modified crop (or animal) poses a threat to another plant or animal. The USDA determined that the apples posed no such risk, which is why it was approved.

Within the approval process there is no basis for consideration of whether the genetic alteration of the plant or animal poses a health risk to humans or other animals. In Europe and the US there are some studies that have been done that have shown health risks, including infertility, changes/damage to organs in tested animals and more.

I'm not a potato eater, but another significant event you should know about...in November 2014, the USDA approved a genetically engineered potato developed by the J.R. Simplot Company that uses a similar technique that alters the potato’s DNA to create less of a chemical called acrylamide, which is suspected of causing cancer in people. This chemical is produced when the potato is fried or baked at high temperatures. The potato is also modified to aid the potato in resisting bruising which creates waste in the food industry.

It will take a few years for 'Arctic' apples to be widely available because trees have to first be planted and then become mature enough to produce fruit. By 2016 approximately 5-10,000 lbs of apples are expected to be ready to provide samples to potential buyers with the product expected in the stores in small quantities in 2017.

Right now there are no plans to label the apples as altered, although they will be called 'Arctic' apples. Currently, three US states require GMO labeling. Connecticut and Maine have both passed such laws, but they contain provisions that state the labeling can't be implemented unless several other states approve similar labeling laws. Vermont, however, has passed a labeling law that will go into affect in November 2016.

As we've discussed before, many pet food manufacturers source their meats from a wide variety of farms across the country, with many of them sourcing from factory farms. The main feed for cows and chickens in non-organic factory farms is corn and soy. In the US, 90% of the corn and soy grown is genetically modified..

What this means is that through the food chain, unless your dog is eating an organic source of kibble or raw meat, they are effected by GMO's in their food, which is passed on through the meat source, i.e., cow, chicken, pork and other highly utilized meat source.

Read more about the potential health risks of GMO's.

What can you do? 

Stick with organic, or a food for your dog that contains meats, fruits and vegetables that aren't sourced from factory farms that feed the meat sources with GMO corn and soy.

And, we always recommend if you feed snacks like apples to your dog, go organic to avoid GMO's, pesticides, insecticides and more.

NY Times
NY Times
USDA Google

Monday, February 23, 2015

That's right...biodegradable bags don't really biodegrade in landfills. So what do you do with your dog's waste?

Dog poo, it's inevitable and it's prolific!

For years we've been discussing how you can best dispose of your dog's waste to be more environmentally friendly and healthy. And for years we've always recommended just two ways:

- Flush it if you live in the city.
- Compost it if you live in the country.

Why?

If you live in the city and flush your dog's waste, it goes into your cities waste management system and is treated for health and safety just like your waste.

If you live in the country and are not on the cities waste treatment system, you really don't want to fill up your septic tank with your dog's waste (especially if you have a large dog or multiple dogs). In this case, the most environmentally friendly way is to compost your dog's waste with a purchased or homemade composting system.

If those aren't two good enough reasons, these methods are first recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency and by several large city governments (which maintain their city waste treatment systems).

For years, we've received comments and recommendations to use biodegradable dog waste bags and we have always said that they don't really biodegrade. Now the FTC is agreeing with us, finally!

In early February, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent a letter to marketers of 20 manufacturers of dog waste bags, saying that the “biodegradable,” “compostable,” and other environmental claims in their marketing may be deceptive.

Biodegradable bags need air, water (rain) and light (sun) to biodegrade. This is what creates the process of biodegradation.

If you add your dog's waste in a biodegradable bag to your weekly trash pick up, the bags end up in a landfill, with tons and tons of other trash, and may never see the light of day. In this scenario, biodegradability may never occur.

Over the years the marketing claims of biodegradable dog waste bag manufacturers have developed and developed to the point of potential false and unqualified advertising claims the FTC indicates. "Based on the FTC’s Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (the Green Guides), such a claim without any qualification generally means to consumers that the product will completely break down into its natural components within one year after customary disposal. Most waste bags, however, end up in landfills where no plastic biodegrades in anywhere close to one year, if it biodegrades at all."

Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection says, "Consumers looking to buy environmentally friendly products should not have to guess whether the claims made are accurate. It is therefore critical for the FTC to ensure that these claims are not misleading, to protect both consumers and honest competitors.”

She goes on to say,"Don’t be surprised if they (biodegradable poo bags) are harder and harder to find. If they can’t substantiate their claims (of biodegradability), they need to stop making them,” says France. “We’ll circle back.” If manufacturers don’t change their deceptive advertising, (the) FTC will open an investigation, file a complaint and they will ultimately end up in court."

The FTC advised the companies that they should review their marketing materials and contact agency staff to tell them how they intend to revise or remove the claims, or explain why they won’t.

What's the most environmental way to take care of your dog's waste?
  1. The most important thing you can do is pick up your dog's waste. If left in the environment, it can contaminate ground water, streams, lakes and ponds; not to mention, it's disgusting and potentially unhealthy to find other dog's waste on your dog's walks or hikes. And in some places, it's against the law.
  2. The second most important thing you can do is flush your dog's waste if you live in the city and compost it if you live in the country for the reasons we described above.
  3. The third most important thing you can do if you are travelling and away from home, pick up your dog's waste and flush if you can. If you don't have the ability to flush, utilize a biodegradable bag to pick up and deposit your dog's waste in the trash as a last resort.
Doing these three things will help keep our environment healthier and cleaner, keep our two and four leggers healthier and happier, and keep millions of tons of dog waste out of landfills.

If you'd like to learn how to make your own dog waste composting system. visit our Hub for more information.

Sources:
EPA
FTC
Science Learn
Salt Lake County Engineering
City of Albuquerque

Google

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Will you be my Valentine? Homemade treats you can make for your dog this Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day is just around the corner!

For guys and gals, there is no need to go without a pawsome date for the big day. Dogs make amazing Valentine's Day dates!

When they slobber it's not gross. They don't interrupt you when you're talking. You don't have to go all out, spending a lot of money...dogs like the simple things in life. You don't have to dress up, dog's love day old sweatshirts. And there are few things better than cuddling on the couch, sipping your favorite beverage and watching a great movie with your four-legged best friend.

So why not make some pawsome treats for your favorite four legged Valentine to enjoy the day!

Here are two of our favorite Valentine's Day Dog Treats that you can make quickly and easily with little ingredients.

Sweet Potato Cookie Crisps

Ingredients:
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 1/2 cups organic whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
  • 2 eggs
Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake sweet potato until cooked (this is a good time to make some for yourself too!).
  • Once cooked, scoop the sweet potato flesh out of the skin and mash.
  • Add one cup of sweet potato to a mixture of the whole wheat flour, applesauce and eggs.
  • Mix until it forms a dough then roll out the dough about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Cut out into desired shapes (dogs, hearts, paws and more) and arrange on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake until crisp for about 35 to 45 minutes, cool on a wire rack.
Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes.com.

Red Kisses Dog Treats

Ingredients:
  • Organic Strawberries
Directions:
  • Clean and trim strawberries.
  • Slice.
  • Lay out strawberries without touching on either your dehydrator trays or on a baking sheet with parchment paper for your oven.
  • Dehydrate in your dehydrator for 3-4 hours, or in your oven at 140 degrees for 3-4 hours until they are no longer sticky, but still bendable. Check often.
Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day!

Photos courtesy of Tnkntx, Wellsphere, Google

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Learn how you can keep your green dog's teeth healthy for years.

February is National pet Dental Health month, a great time to focus on keeping your green dog's teeth healthy and strong.

Believe it or not, I am going to be 11 years old in June of this year.

Not once in my 10+ years have I had my teeth cleaned - knock wood. And not once in all those years has a vet told me I needed my pearly whites worked on.

My teeth aren't perfect, I have a couple of insignificant chips, one on my front tooth (you can see in the photo) and one on one of my back molars. But overall, I have really, really healthy teeth.

So how do we keep my teeth so healthy, strong and clean?

Many talk about the importance of brushing your dog's teeth, and yes, we believe that it is really important; especially if you feed kibble (hopefully if you are feeding kibble (we eat it sometimes) that it's super high quality).

I do get my teeth brushed on occasion, but because I eat raw food part of the time, I don't need my teeth brushed nearly as often.

Raw meaty bones are what keep my pearly whites clean. Yep, that's right....gnawing and chewing and grinding away at those chicken backs, chicken necks and chicken feet 3-4 days per week have kept all the plaque, tarter and yucky stuff that decays teeth away from us!

Oh you can see a little yellow on a few of my teeth, but I'm due for my raw food this week as I haven't had it in at least five days, oops....bad Mum!

Here is one of the chicken backs (organs included) that Mum cuts up and divides for me and Gracie!


Mum says there is nothing better than the sound of me crunching away at all the bone, meat and cartilage, so natural. Oooooo....Mum....raw chicken feet? Let me at it!


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. Also, you can visit Dog Food Advisor to learn about prepared raw dog foods; and RawLearning.com for more information.

We believe, it's also very important that 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 and drugs to your dog's diet.

Puppy Rach is getting in on the raw. Mum remembers when he first came to live with us, how quickly and eagerly he devoured his first raw chicken neck about a week after he came to us. Now when he eats raw, since he's such an eager eater, Mum makes sure he gets ground raw - meat, bone and organs, until he gets the hang of it.

video

If you'd like to give your dog a little raw, you can start like we did by adding some chicken necks (you can order them at your local organic grocery or butcher), then graduate to other items like backs, feet, other protein sources and more.

If you don't feed raw, but feed a super high quality kibble, it is very important to brush your dog's teeth frequently. We recommend at least 3-4 days a week.

Happy eating, healthy smiles! Google

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Apple Cider Vinegar for dogs.

Over the years we've used Apple Cider Vinegar for our dogs in a wide variety of ways.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)?

Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar made from crushed apples (preferably organic). Over time, the sugar from the apples is converted through yeast fermentation into acetic acid. Many believe it is the acetic acid which is responsible for all of the health promoting benefits of ACV.

The most potent form of cider vinegar is unpasteurized or organic ACV, which contains the “mother” of the vinegar – a cobweb-like appearing substance that makes the vinegar look slightly congealed.

We are very selective about which Apple Cider Vinegar we use. Our preferred brand is Bragg, because it contains the amazing 'Mother of Vinegar' which occurs naturally as strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules. It is unfiltered, unheated and unpasteurized. It is made from organically grown apples and processed and bottled in accordance with USDA guidelines. It is Certified Organic by Organic Certifiers and Oregon Tilth; and is also Kosher Certified and Non-GMO Certified.

So how do we uses ACV for our dogs?

Itchy feet?

We have never encountered this, but some of our friend's dogs have had itchy feet, If your dog bites at his feet they may have yeasty feet. Give your dog's feet a good sniff. Do they have a yeasty smell (a little like Fritos)? If so you're dog may be a great candidate for a good ACV foot soak to stop the itching and biting. We recommend dipping your dog's feet in an ACV solution (start with 1 tbs. to 1 cup of filtered warmer water) and dab dry. Leave the solution on their feet to help it work more effectively, and continue this process twice a day for at least a week.

Dandruff and itchy skin?

Over the first months that we had new puppy Rach (photo above), he had a lot of dandruff, little bug like bites on his inner thighs and a lot of flaky, scaly skin on his spine and rump. A few treatments of an ACV rinse (1 tbs. to 8 oz. of filtered water) on the affected areas and he was so much better and all healed! We still occasionally give him a little ACV rinse to keep the condition from returning.

Got fleas?

Fleas, and perhaps even ticks, hate the smell of ACV. Even though you may only smell it on your dog for a very short time, fleas and ticks are more sensitive to the smell. We don't utilize an over the counter flea treatment as they can be harmful to your dog, so we keep a spray bottle of diluted ACV (same recipe as above) near our front door and give the dogs a good spray before heading outside during flea season. It's keeping the fleas from jumping on our dogs and keeps our home and our dogs flea free.

Dirty ears?

Some of the ear cleaners on the market have a very strong smell, even the holistic, healthier ones; which made ear cleaning time very unpleasant for our dogs. So we've started using ACV as our mainstay ear cleaner, and have used it for years now. With all the dust and sandy dirt we have around our cabin, dirty ears are a staple, so we clean our dog's ears every week during nail trims and feet fur trims. We dip a cotton ball into a 1/2 ACV, 1/2 filtered water solution and gently swab out the inside of the ear. We use as many cotton balls (with solution) needed until there is no more dirt or wax.

Yeasty ears?

On very rare occasions YoYo will have a little head shake when he barks. That's a true indicator of the potential of an ear infection. So what do we do? We get out the ACV, make a nice ear rinse (1 tbs. to one cup of filtered warmed water) and treat YoYo's ears with it daily for a few days. I utilize a syringe (we purchase them in bulk and use them for a variety of things), 'inject' about 1-2 ml of solution into each ear, then fold down his ear flaps and massage his ears while giving him big kisses to distract him and make the process a little more tolerable. Then after about a minute or so, I allow him to shake it all out. Poof, no more head shaking and we've most probably headed off an ear infection. This is not a fun thing for dogs, but beats an ear infection by far; and overtime YoYo has become used to it; especially since he gets lots of treats after.

A few words of caution:

  • Make sure to keep ACV or an ACV solution from your dog's eyes.
  • Do not use on open wounds or cuts as it can burn.
  • If your dog's skin, ear, foot or flea problem is more severe or these little remedies don't work, please consult your holistic vet and get your dog checked out.

Some people believe that adding a little ACV to your dog's diet may be very beneficial to their health. We've never done that, even though little Rach loves to lick up the ACV when I'm treating his coat. If you want more information about the good side and bad side of adding ACV to your dog's diet, be sure to read this article first from Whole Dog Journal.

Oh and don't forget...it's great for humans too! Google

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

10 top ideas to keep your green dog busy and active during the winter months!

Snow can be a whole lot of fun as Gracie and I found last year on our mountain.

We love playing snow fetch! But you can't stay out in that cold for very long, and us dogs need lots of exercise, both mentally and physically, to stay healthy and happy.

So what do we do on cold, rainy and super snow days? We play lots of games inside, then when it's safe, we go out and have a good play in the snow.

A lot of folks ask us what games we play indoors; because mental games can wear out us herding dogs just as much as physical exercise, keeping us from getting into trouble after a long, dark winter day.

So we thought we would share how we play, stay occupied, have fun, learn, exercise and stay happy when we can't get outside for our usual hikes, agility and long walks.

Here's our list of our favorite indoor games and activities:

Tricks

Gracie, Rach and I love to learn new tricks and perfect ones we've already learned. On my other blog, we posted recently a big, big, big list of dog tricks that we have either mastered or want to learn eventually. We suggest you go and visit and get some great ideas.

Over the years we've video taped and added to our YouTube channel lots of tricks that Gracie, Rach and I have learned. It's a great resource to get more ideas. From simple sits, downs and bangs, to pulling off Mum's socks (I love to tug!) to leg weaving, roll over, circus dog and more.

Here's one of our vids on YouTube, a video of Rach learning 'circus dog'. This trick is great for young dogs to learn more about how their back legs work, because if dog's have a better understanding of their body, they can stay safer during activities.


Activities

Indoor games and activities are another thing that Gracie, Rach and I love to enjoy with Mum. Here are our favorites:

Hide and seek - Mum puts me in a stay down stairs, then goes upstairs and hides (sometimes in a closet, sometimes in the bathtub, you get the idea). Then she calls me to come and I find her to get a treat!

Find Target - This is one of my all time favorite games. Mum uses a yogurt container lid as a target, she puts me in a stay, then goes in another room and hides the target, releases me and then I have to find it to get the treats.

Table Games - Being the agility dog that I am, part of that is learning to 'down' on the table immediately. So during the winter, we like to work on this part of my agility inside, but it's a fun game for any dog! Mum sends me to the table (which is really our ottoman), and the faster I get down, the more treats I get! Rach is really enjoying this game.

Walking on a Treadmill - This is a little advanced, but a great activity to get pawsome exercise when you can't get outside because of the deep freeze temps. It's helping your dog learn to walk on a Treadmill. Here's a great resource to learn to teach your dog to walk on a treadmill.

Games

There are lots of fun, intelligent, interactive and puzzle type games on the market, and Gracie, Rach and I love to play with them. But did you know that you can make yourself some really nice and fun interactive and intelligent games with items around your house? Yep...here are some ideas:

The Muffin Tin Game - from our friend Astrid. Take a muffin tin, put a treat in each space, cover with a toy (make sure they're safe ones, K?) and let your dog learn to take the toy out to get the treat!

Hide a ball - Take an old blanket or towel, hide a ball or other green toy underneath and let your dog learn to find the ball under the blanket or towel. When they find it, give 'em a treat.

Hide a Treat - you know those stainless steel bowls you use to feed your dog their dinner? Well, they can become a pawsome hide a treat toy! Just put a little treat on the floor, then put the bowl upside down over it, and watch your pup use their brain to get to the treat. Even better, use three to four bowls and hide treats under just a couple of them. It's a great interactive toy!

Have fun and keep warm! Google

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 Google

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! Google

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! Google

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. Google
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