Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Today is Earth Day! A great day to help your dog and the environment be more green and healthy.

Today is a very special day for us Green Dogs! It's Earth Day!

What is Earth Day?

"Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in in 1970 and is celebrated in many countries every year. Earth Day is celebrated in spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. Many communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on environmental issues." ~ Wikipedia

We want to inspire you to take one Green Dog step toward a healthier, happier dog and environment today!

Here are some great ideas you may want to try in honor of Earth Day. And remember, it only takes one small Green Dog step at a time and before you know it your dog is living the Green Dog life!
  • Take your pup to one of the local Earth Day celebrations being held all over the country today and this week and learn from and meet wonderful, like-minded people that share your passion for keeping our Earth more friendly. And you can get in some fun socialization for your dog at the same time. Just do a quick Google search with Earth Day and your city or town.
  • Plant a tree in honor of your dog in your yard, or at your local dog park, or a place that's near and dear to you and your pup.
  • Visit your local animal shelter, and take a pup for a walk! Many pups in shelters are much more happy, healthy and likely to get adopted if they are properly socialized and exercised. We suggest you call first and arrange how you can help!
  • It's planting season so why not start an organic garden for you and your dog! Check out our recent blog post for lots of ideas to get started.
  • Appreciate our Earth! This may be one of our favorite ideas. Take some time today or over the weekend and get outdoors with your dog! Take a long walk in the park, or a nice hike. And remember after all that exercise, stop, look, listen, smell and take in all that our Earth has to offer. 
  • One of the most important things you can do for your dog and the environment is turn your lawn organic. Your dog spends most of their outdoor time in your yard, so why not make it a safe haven? Learn more.
  • Take the day and make your pup a toy from reused items around your home. You can make a great tug toy from old towels, interactive toys from used BPA free water bottles and much more! Visit the 'Learn to Be Green' section of our website for lots of ideas (scroll to the bottom).
  • Learn how you can reduce your dog's carbon pawprint by recycling their dog food bags, or by composting their doo. Learn how, it's a lot easier than you think.
  • Subscribe to Raise A Green Dog and get updates to help the environment and your pup live a healthier, happier life! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter too!
And remember, if you can't participate today, make your Earth Day one day this weekend. From then on...make Earth Day, every day!
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

It's time for Spring cleaning for the health of your dog!

It's that time of year....warmer weather, lots more sunshine and more time outside having fun!

Inside, however, with more sun you'll notice more dust bunnies, nose prints on the windows, and maybe even a little spider web on the lampshades.

We all know what that means, right? It's time for spring cleaning!

But how do you clean your home well and still keep away the dangerous chemicals from cleaning products that can be harmful to your dog? It's easy, if you follow our spring cleaning routine. Let's explore!

The first thing you want to do is safely dispose of any chemical based cleaners and go natural for the health of your dog!

And don't be fooled by the 'green, eco-friendly, healthier' marketing hype of your potential cleaner; do your research to be certain that what you use to clean your home is really safe and healthy.

Why? Because many of the chemical based cleaners on the market can have dangerous consequences for you, your dog and the environment. Those chemical based drain, window, furniture, floor, carpet, laundry, dish washing products and more are reeking havoc on our health, not only from the exposure to the air our dog's breath when we use them, but the poisonous residue that they leave that may potentially be ingested by our dogs as they lick and are exposed to surfaces.

You can research virtually every cleaner on the market at Environmental Working Group to see if your products are safe for your dog.

The Organic Consumers Association shares that, 'cleaning ingredients vary in the type of health hazard they pose. Some cause acute, or immediate, hazards such as skin or respiratory irritation, watery eyes, or chemical burns, while others are associated with chronic, or long-term, effects such as cancer.' You can read more to be more informed on their website.

So let's get healthy cleaning!

Here is what is in our home cleaning kit:
  • White vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Washing soda
  • Glycerin bar soap
  • Duster
  • Liquid Castile soap
  • Lavender essential oils (only for surfaces not frequented by dogs and kitties)
  • Old towels
  • Swiffer dry mop
  • Squeegee Vacuum
And our new HAAN MultiforcePlus SS22A  that was graciously provided to us free of charge for review from the great folks at HAAN, our newest Raise A Green Dog Partner!

Dusting and vacuuming

With our kit in hand we start making our way through the cabin, starting with the duster. We start with the duster because many times dust, dirt and webs may fall on the floor, so we work top to bottom. We dust everything from the ceiling corners to the lampshades to the light bulbs to the table tops.

Once that's complete we get out the vacuum. We own a Dyson, which we love and has many attachments to get in all those crevices, and an attachment to get all the dog and kittie fur from the couches and easy chairs. We move the couch and the beds and sweep well under those too!

Floors, rugs and carpets

Now that we have the HAAN floor scrubbing steamer we're using it to steam clean all the floors and rugs that we have in the cabin. I have to say that they really needed it after the long Fall, Winter and early Spring mud and dirt that we drag in from our hikes. The HAAN digs in deep, sanitizing and cleaning all the surfaces on our floor with only one machine (more on this in another upcoming post).


If you don't have a steamer, we recommend after vacuuming that you clean your floors with a wonderful solution of water and vinegar. It's safe for wood, tile and more. We used to utilize an old Swiffer Duster and dip a wash cloth in the solution to wipe down the floors. The best part is you don't even need to rinse! And for those carpets and rugs? Start with just water for stains. If that doesn't work move on to adding a little vinegar to your water.

Windows

Once you've tackled the dust and the floors it's time to start on the windows. Our favorite way to clean any glass (windows, mirrors) and other surfaces in our home is utilizing are fallback solution of water and vinegar, making sure that the windows are very dry when finished to get any potential streaks.

Kitchen

Wipe down all kitchen surfaces utilizing our all purpose cleaning recipe including counters, appliances, cabinets and more. Utilize a good baking soda paste to scrub down the kitchen sink, then add more baking soda and white vinegar to keep your drain clean and clog free.

Bathroom

Once we've finished with the kitchen, we head on to the bathrooms. Many people believe that stronger cleaners are needed to disinfect the bathroom. But the reality is that simple solutions of water, vinegar and essential oils, like lavender have powerful disinfectant properties. For tougher toilet bowl stains, try adding some baking soda to the mix.

Check back next week for our upcoming post of our favorite cleaning recipes for the health of your dog! Google

Friday, April 18, 2014

Enjoy a naturally fun, healthy Easter egg hunt with your dog?

Easter is almost here! One of the most prolific symbols of Easter are eggs, so why not enjoy a little Easter egg hunt with your dog?

Egg shells are an excellent source of calcium and protein for your pet. And eggs themselves are a wonderful source of protein, too.

So for Easter why not make eggs a game and a healthy treat for your dog!

For this activity it's best to hard boil your eggs, because we are going to naturally dye them, hide them around the house and the yard, so your dog can enjoy a nice find it game with a pawsome egg treat as a reward! Much less messy that way.

Here's how:

Cooking:

Start by hard boiling your eggs. Hopefully you've purchased free range, free roaming, organically fed chicken eggs from your local farmer or healthy grocer.

Let the eggs cool while you whip up some natural dyes.

Dyeing:

Natural dye you make at home is much more healthy than the artificial dye you would purchase for egg dyeing at a store. Why? Because some egg dyeing products can be toxic. Naturally dyeing is chemical free, purely natural rather than artificial, and perfectly safe and healthy for your dog to bite into!

First gather your ingredients. We like to use what we have in our fridge or pantry like:

Turmeric or cumin = Bright yellow
Red beets = Pink to red
Red cabbage = Blue
Spinach = Green
Raspberries or blackberries = Pink to purple
Yellow or green apple peels = Yellow-green

To create the dyes, take 2 cups of chopped or mashed fruits and veggies, or 2 Tablespoons of your selected spice, and boil them in 2 cups of water and 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar (vinegar is important for adhesion of the dye to the egg). Let that simmer for 30 minutes. Then, strain out the bits of fruits or vegetables, and the remaining liquid is your dye.

Place the un-dyed eggs in the dye and place in your fridge overnight. You should wake up to some very natural looking dyed eggs that have a matte finish. You can add a little rubbing of olive oil to make them shiny, but be sure and wipe well after so you don't get any olive oil on your carpets, floors, etc. Olive oil will also make them a little more attractive for your dog to find, and it's healthier too!

The Game!

Within the next day or two, hold an Easter Egg Hunt for your dog! Here's how:

While your dog is inside or in another room, go outside or in another room and hide your recently dyed Easter eggs. Hide them behind couches, chairs, in corners of the room, under furniture that your dog can reach under, in baskets covered with wash cloths (well you get the idea!).

Then release your dog and tell them to find it! If your dog doesn't know the 'find it' game, play along with them and start searching around the yard or your home where you have placed the eggs. Dogs will instinctively help you search if they see that you are.

Once your dog has found the egg, break it and give them a treat!!!

Remember everything, including eggs, should be consumed in moderation for the size and appetite of your dog. You can always refrigerate unused eggs and use for later or even make a nice egg salad for yourself!

While you are here, enjoy one of our favorite Easter videos from the Busy Bee Dogs!


Happy Easter!

Source and egg photo courtesy of Organic Gardening
Other photos courtesy of kkinjo and Dave Fayram on flickr.com Google

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Welcome Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute to the RAGD Partner Pack!

Today we are very pleased to welcome Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute to the Raise A Green Dog Partner Pack!

Over the years, I've participated in many holistic treatments from chiropractic to acupuncture to massage and more! Acupressure has always fascinated me, and Mum has wanted to learn more about it and how it may be able to help me with my muscle soreness, especially as I get older. I want to run agility for as long as I absolutely can!

So when the nice folks at Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute decided to be one of our latest RAGD Partners we got very excited (I spin when I get excited, like most shelties do! Spin, spin, spin!).

Acupressure has many benefits for every age of your dog's life. It's great for canine athletes like me to keep in tip top shape, and it's great all the way to a dog's senior years to aid in strengthening the immune system, muscles, tendons and joints. It can help in alleviating inflammation and swelling, and aiding circulation. It can also help in improving digestion and in removing toxins from the canine body. And it's a wonderful way to further that wonderful bond with your dog.

Let's learn about Tallgrass! Over 20 years ago, Nancy Zidonis and Marie Soderberg began Equine Acupressure. They were offering acupressure to dressage riders. One day a rider asked if they could work on her horse since he needed it as much as she did. This was the beginning of research, study and the development of their first two handbooks on equine acupressure and later another on canine acupressure.

In 1998, Nancy Zidonis and Amy Snow joined forces with the intention of expanding Equine Acupressure and writing new books on equine, canine and feline acupressure.

Now they have a wealth of information relating to equine, canine and feline acupressure. From books to meridian charts to DVDs for horses and dogs!

The best part? These resources are available for everyone! If you are just looking into the practice and want to learn how to perform acupressure on your dog their resources are excellent. And if you are a practitioner, they have resources for you too!

Take for example their book 'Acu-Dog A Guide to Canine Acupressure.' It's a 188 page, 4-color book touted as the ultimate how-to canine acupressure book. It includes tons of charts and photos with detailed discussion of hands-on techniques, and, best of all includes 32 canine health & behavioral acupressure sessions. ACU-DOG is by Amy Snow & Nancy Zidonis with Foreword by Linda Tellington-Jones.

Head on over to their site to learn a lot more about their offerings relating to books, DVDs, online courses, charts and more! Google

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.




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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