Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thank you Stonyfield Farm!

I'm feeling so lucky today!

yesterday, we got a cool gift bag from one of my favorite green companies, Stonyfield Farm, the makers of my favorite yogurt in the universe (lowfat plain of course :)

On Earth Day last week, we participated in a pretty cool project called #earthtweet. #earthtweet is a way to share environmental news with the Twitterverse. Participating was super easy. We tweeted a Green Dog tip every hour, and added in our #hashtag. It was fun sharing tips with all the like minded green folks! Have to say, I think I was the only dog tweeting tips, BOL!!

Before we knew it, we found out we had won a super cool gift bag from Stonyfield Farm and #earthtweet for this Twitter tweet:

"#earthtweet An organic lawn is a safer, healthier lawn for you & your aspiring green dog! Learn how: http://snurl.com/gga6j #earthday"

Well, yesterday our gift bag arrived, and dog were we excited! Not only did we get some super cool free coupons for Oikos Greek Yogurt (another one of my favs), but we also got a very neat reusable drawstring tote, a reusable SIGG like bottle, a cool kitchen mitt (for when Mum bakes me those yummy treats), and a Preserve toothbrush (just the right size for my sis Gracie :), all of this wrapped up in a reusuable tote, perfect for our training classes.

Thank you so much Stonyfield and #earthtweet, we sure do appreciate the gifts!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Mum is on Wendy's Animal Talk today!

Be sure and tune in to Wendy's Animal Talk today on HealthyLife.net at 4 PM ET/1 PM PT and hear my Mum, Leslie, talk about Raising A Green Dog!

The show is live and if you would like you can call in to 1-800-555-5453 and ask her some questions!

Me? I'm hoping to get a bark in, BOL!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Flea and tick solutions for the green dog!

With all this talk about the dangers of flea and tick medications, I thought it would be a good idea to research a few safer alternative solutions for you.

Firstly, I have to tell you that I don't use any flea or tick preventatives. I spend most of my time in my yard working out with my Mum. And when I do venture out for walks, agility, and hiking, Mum always checks me over very thoroughly immediately upon my return for any signs of fleas and ticks.

We have treated our yard with beneficial nematodes. We keep our shrubs trimmed and grasses cut. Even when I was newly rescued from the shelter and had a flea infestation, Mum bathed me in an eco friendly, safe, gentle shampoo, combed me with a flea comb, vacuumed thoroughly and they were gone in a matter of days.

  • A healthy dog on a good holistic diet is much less prone to attract flea and tick infestations.
  • Check your dog often for signs of fleas and ticks.
  • Utilize beneficial nematodes in your yard to cut down on fleas and ticks.
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your yard to ward off and kill existing fleas and ticks, or better yet get chickens or guinea hens for your yard...they love to eat ticks.
  • If you find ticks or fleas on your dog remove them immediately utilizing proper removal tools and dunk them in soapy water.
  • Keep pet beds and other linens cleaned regularly.
  • Herbal repellents containing cedarwood, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary and thyme are likely safer. Avoid citrus, cinnamon, clove, d-limonene, geranium, tea tree, lavender, linalool, bay, eucalyptus, pennyroyal and rue oils, as they have been shown by the NRDC to be dangerous to pets.
  • Check out our Squidoo lens on Dogs and Ticks to learn more about the dangers of ticks and how you can battle them.

If you have additional green, safe, and environmentally friendly ways to prevent the nasties, be sure and share them! So here are a few safer alternatives and tools to keep your pet healthy and happy....and here's to a safe summer!

UPDATE: (Note: In 2011 we moved to a cabin in the mountains of Tennessee and encountered an exorbitant amount ticks.Read more about our experience in that area. We left Tennessee just last year because of tick problem and now have a cabin in the mountains of NE Georgia. Read on to see how we are dealing with just the few ticks we've encountered).

Here's what we've done to keep the ticks at bay here in our home in Georgia (notes we've only found just a few ticks a year while living in Georgia):

  • We fenced in an area around the cabin and raked all the leaf matter out of that area.
  • Then we sprinkle Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth around the outside of the fence line to keep the little critters out.
  • When out and about hiking, we utilize Earth Heart's Buzz Guard on a bandana to keep and ticks and fleas off when we're away from home.

And all of that has been working very well. Yeah for being able to live your dream in the forest and live without ticks and fleas!

Anibio Tic-Clip Insect Repellent Collar Tag for Cats and Dogs

Anibio Tic-Clip Insect Repellent Collar Tag for Cats and Dogs

$69.99

Store: Only Natural Pet Store

Brand: Anibio

Sentry Natural Defense Flea & Tick Squeeze-On for Dogs 15 - 40 lbs.

Sentry Natural Defense Flea & Tick Squeeze-On for Dogs 15 - 40 lbs.

$13.99  $11.89

Store: Only Natural Pet Store

Brand: Sentry

NaturVet Herbal Flea Powder For Dogs and Cats (4-oz. plastic container)

NaturVet Herbal Flea Powder For Dogs and Cats (4-oz. plastic container)

$10.78

Store: PetFoodDirect.com - CLOSED

Brand: Turvet

Flea Control Nematodes

Flea Control Nematodes

$19.95

Store: Gardens Alive!

Brand:

D/EARTH - diatomaceous earth (12 oz)

D/EARTH - diatomaceous earth (12 oz)

$10.99  $7.99

Store: EntirelyPets

Brand:

The Original TICKED OFF

The Original TICKED OFF

$5.99  $4.49

Store: EntirelyPets

Brand:

Cloud Star Buddy Wash Pet Shampoo Lavender & Mint for Dogs and Cats

Cloud Star Buddy Wash Pet Shampoo Lavender & Mint for Dogs and Cats

$10.49

Store: Only Natural Pet Store

Brand: Cloud Star

NaturVet Herbal Flea Pet Powder (4 oz.)

NaturVet Herbal Flea Pet Powder (4 oz.)

$8.10  $7.99

Store: EntirelyPets

Brand:

Vetri-Science Flea & Tick Repellent Wipes for Dogs and Cats

Vetri-Science Flea & Tick Repellent Wipes for Dogs and Cats

$13.99

Store: Only Natural Pet Store

Brand: Vetri-Science

Vetri-Science Flea & Tick Repellent 8 fl oz for Dogs and Cats

Vetri-Science Flea & Tick Repellent 8 fl oz for Dogs and Cats

$18.99

Store: Only Natural Pet Store

Brand: Vetri-Science

Millers Forge Vista Mini Flea Comb

Millers Forge Vista Mini Flea Comb

$3.99

Store: EntirelyPets

Brand:

Vet One Flea & Lice Comb

Vet One Flea & Lice Comb

$3.99  $0.59

Store: EntirelyPets

Brand:

Got Fleas? Black T-Shirt

Got Fleas? Black T-Shirt

$6.99

Store: EntirelyPets

Brand:

Fleago Natural Flea Control for Dogs and Cats

Fleago Natural Flea Control for Dogs and Cats

$23.99

Store: Only Natural Pet Store

Brand: Fleago

Fleabusters Rx for Fleas Plus for Dogs and Cats

Fleabusters Rx for Fleas Plus for Dogs and Cats

$39.99

Store: Only Natural Pet Store

Brand: Fleabusters

Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedy Powder for Dogs and Cats

Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedy Powder for Dogs and Cats

$14.99  $12.74

Store: Only Natural Pet Store

Brand: Only Natural Pet

Only Natural Pet Herbal Defense Conditioner Dog & Cat Flea & Tick Control

Only Natural Pet Herbal Defense Conditioner Dog & Cat Flea & Tick Control

$13.99

Store: Only Natural Pet Store

Brand: Only Natural Pet

Only Natural Pet Moderate Flea Care Kit for Dogs

Only Natural Pet Moderate Flea Care Kit for Dogs

$65.99

Store: Only Natural Pet Store

Brand: Only Natural Pet

PetAlive BeFree Flea Shampoo For Cats and Dogs

PetAlive BeFree Flea Shampoo For Cats and Dogs

$33.99

Store: Only Natural Pet Store

Brand: Tive Remedies

Shoo Tag for Dogs (Single Pack)

Shoo Tag for Dogs (Single Pack)

$37.50  $29.95

Store: EntirelyPets

Brand:

Koolatron Fz01 Flea Zapper Electronic Comb

Koolatron Fz01 Flea Zapper Electronic Comb

$34.60

Store: Sears.com

Brand: Koolatron

Thursday, April 23, 2009

GreenPaws.org & NRDC share important information about the dangers of commercial flea and tick products

The Natural Resource Defense Council, an organization that is working diligently to help create a more sustainable future for all of human kind, last year launched an offshoot of the NRDC. GreenPaws.org is completely devoted to researching, lobbying, and providing information about the dangers and effects of flea and tick products for pets.

Now that it's flea and tick season here in the US, we have been getting tons of questions about what flea and tick products on the market are safe for us pups (and cats). So, we sought information from the NRDC to help our readers understand about all the flea and tick products on the market, what's safe and not safe for us pets, and why. We emailed them and asked their scientists a few questions, which they were more than happy to answer.

The following is our interview with the great folks at the Natural Resource Defense Council and GreenPaws.org. We thank them for taking the time to provide us with this important information, and hope that you find it as valuable as we did.

Please tell us about the Natural Resources Defense Council, GreenPaws.org and your mission.

In 2000, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a report entitled Poison on Pets which listed in detail the potential health hazards to humans and pets from dangerous chemicals in flea collars and other flea and tick control products. Since NRDC released its flagship report, we've been hard at work to get the most toxic chemicals posing health hazards to people and pets out of flea and tick control products. We've had incredible success removing all but two dangerous chemicals from the original list we published nearly 10 years ago--but still have two left.

GreenPaws.org was founded in July of 2008 to help draw attention to the use of these two insecticides, organophosphates and carbamates, and will be pressuring the EPA to ban pet products containing these ingredients. By providing people with easily accessed information we hope to empower the public to make safer and smarter choices when treating their pets for fleas or ticks.

Can you share information about your past and present research programs regarding toxins in flea and tick products?

NRDC was the first to put the individual risk assessments for pesticides from pet products side by side, highlighting the overall risks to children. NRDC found that pet products then on the market could expose adults and children to toxic pesticides at concentrations that exceed the safe levels established by the EPA by 50,000 percent. The report recommended that the EPA ban all products using organophosphates to protect children and pets from short- and long-term health effects associated with these pesticides.

In our new report we take a closer look at the safety of two dangerous pesticides still permitted for use in flea collars – tetrachlorvinphos and propoxur. In a first-of-its-kind, real-world study we tested the levels of residue found on pets wearing flea collars that could get on a person’s hand when they pet their dog or cat. We found that EPA’s assessments were flawed and drastically underestimated the risks posed by these products, particularly to children.

What effect has your research and action had on the products in the flea/tick marketplace?

At the time of NRDC's initial report, flea control products on the market included seven specific organophosphate insecticides. Since the report's release, six of these organophosphates have been banned and removed from the pet market: chlorpyrifos, dichlorvos, phosmet, naled, diazinon and malathion. Only one -- tetrachlorvinphos -- is still found in stores.

Thanks to an upcoming revision of our Poison on Pet's Report, Green Paws and the NRDC will be hard at work in the next two months to try and eliminate this last organophosphate insecticide and its related class of insecticides –carbamates. Sign up at GreenPaws.org to receive updates and to have an opportunity to take action as we take aim at the EPA, the manufacturers, and the distributors of harmful pet products!

What is the most important thing that dog lovers should know about flea and tick products on the market today?

The most important thing dog lovers should know is that not all over-the-counter flea and tick products are safe for your pet! Many Americans believe that commercially available pesticides, such as those found in pet products, are tightly regulated by the government. In fact, they are not. Many of the products sold in grocery, drug and pet supply stores, even when applied as instructed on the box, can cause serious health consequences to pets and humans. Just because these products are on store shelves does not mean they are safe.

Check our product guide to see if you are currently using a flea or tick treatment that could be harmful to your pet, and to find safer options.

Until the EPA bans the last of these toxic chemicals, consumers should avoid products that list tetrachlorvinphos, carbaryl and propoxur as active ingredients. Let us know if you or someone you love (whether furry or not) has had a toxic reaction to a pet product, email us at greenpaws@nrdc.org with your story.

How can dog lovers utilize the information on your site to help protect their pets?

Pet owners looking to find a non-toxic way to get rid of their pet's fleas can take a look at our Guide to Better Flea and Tick Treatments. The page offers advice on using a flea comb, maintaining outdoor areas, and how to deal with a pet's bedding.

When chemical control is necessary, choose a safer treatment and avoid the most toxic chemicals. All pesticides should be used with caution and in consultation with a veterinarian. Check our comprehensive product guide, and ask your vet about one of the products or treatments marked with a yellow paw.

With the concerns of chemicals, many flea/tick manufacturers are turning to herbal oil based formulas, are these products safer?

While it may seem that herbal oil based products seem like a better option for your pet, not all essential oils are safe for pets or people. Herbal or natural products containing citrus, cinnamon, clove, d-limonene, geranium, tea tree, lavender, linalool, bay, eucalyptus, and rue oils should be used sparingly because they can cause allergic reactions in people -- and severe reactions in cats and dogs have been reported. Avoid the use of any flea or tick product containing pennyroyal oil. It can cause seizures, comas, and even death in animals. Herbal or natural products that contain cedarwood, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary and thyme are likely safer. Learn more in our Guide to Safe Pets by looking under 'oils'.

What do you recommend as the safest way for pet lovers to help protect their pets from fleas and ticks? What products do you suggest, and how effective are they?

The safest way for pet owners to protect their pets and their family is to avoid toxic chemicals by controlling fleas through regular use of a flea comb, bathing, and vacuuming. Weekly baths and washing pet bedding in hot water can help get rid of existing fleas and their eggs, as will regular vacuuming. For more information visit our page on Better Flea and Tick Treatment.

What are your organization's plans for the future?

Thanks to the hard work of the Natural Resources Defense Council, we have an updated version of our Poison on Pet's Report to be release at the end of April. Along with this new report Green Paws will be taking action by petitioning the EPA, manufacturers of flea collars containing the most harmful chemicals, and large retailers who sell these harmful products in their stores. Anyone interested in joining our campaign should sign up at GreenPaws.org and keep checking the site for new videos, news, and useful information!

How can our readers help your cause?

Tell your family, friends, pet groomers, vets, and anyone you know about Green Paws! Feel free to download our fact sheets or handy Wallet Guide to help spread the word about keeping your pet and family safe from harmful chemicals. Your readers may also be interested in ordering an Action Kit which includes materials that can be taken to vet offices, pet groomers, pet stores, and anywhere people and pets gather.

As always, none of our information would be available without the support of generous donations. It costs $75 to run one test to see if a flea treatment leaves toxic residue on a pet's fur. Any size gift will help us to keep funding the research that helps protect our pets, our homes, and the people we love.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day - A day to celebrate and learn!

Today is Earth Day! A day to celebrate the amazingly, wonderful planet we live on.

Being the dog that I am, I especially appreciate the Earth - the smells, the grass, the amazing small and large bodies of water, the trees and plant life, the rain, the sun, the cold, the warmth, the wildlife, the animals, and, of course, the humans that I love.

It's the Earth and it's where I live, sleep, breathe, eat, lick, poo, roll around in yucky stuff, and play, play play. So today I hope you will join me in celebrating - Earth!!!!

Earth Day is a name used for two different observances, both held annually during spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere. These are intended to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth's environment.

The United Nations celebrates an Earth Day each year on the March equinox, a tradition which was founded by peace activist John McConnell in 1969. A second Earth Day, which was founded by US politician Gaylord Nelson, as an environmental teach-in in the late 1960s, is celebrated in many countries each year on April 22, today!

Today is a day to appreciate the Earth and all it's wonderfulness. It's also a day to learn and act to help keep it a safe place for all living things, including us pups and the wonderful humans who care for us.

So here are a few pawsome tips to help your pup live a healthier, happier life and help the environment at the same time:

Eating and Drinking

If you're like me you love your food and treats.

Remember, it's true that you are what you eat. Eating the healthiest and most balanced food you can afford is the very best food to feed your pup, to keep your dog happy and living a long life. Do your research, because not all dog foods are created equal!

Add locally grown, organic fruits, veggies and meats to your pup diet. They, and the environment, will love you for it!

And when it comes to water, it's a basis for a dog's life. Be sure it's safe!

Playing and living

Us dogs we love to play. I could play all day long! But what we play with is super important. There are dangers out there! Find fun and entertaining toys that are free of dangerous chemicals, lead and toxins, or make a fun dog toy from reused items in your house! Not only are they safer for us pups, but they are safer for the environment, too. The same rules apply for all our doggie gear, like collars, beds, bowls, jackets and more. And remember, always supervise!

Inside environment

If you're a green dog like me, you spend nearly 80% of your time inside doing things like, running around the house, helping your Mum fold the laundry, cleaning and gathering up the trash for trash day, sleeping on a comfy blanket or bed, licking up things you find interesting on the floor, investigating stuff in the cabinet or on the counter when your Mum isn't looking (whoops, wasn't supposed to admit that, BOL!!! :), and more.

That's a lot of stuff to potentially get into, so make sure your inside environment is free of the bad stuff. Clean with safe cleaners in case you lick the floor; keep all the dangers out of your cabinets in case we 'accidentally' investigate one day; keep medicines out of our reach and safely locked away; purchase goods that are safe and non-toxic for your home and for us; utilize environmentally friendly and non-toxic paints, wall coverings, and carpets; find safe, non toxic ways to deal with pests, and more! Keep our environment safe, we'll live healthier and happier, and the environment will be the better for it!

Outside environment

The great outdoors is doggie heaven! We love romping around in the yard, digging holes, eating grass, and taking our daily walks. But the outside environment is fraught with dangers; from chemicals put on lawns, dangerous algae deterrents in ponds and lakes, salts put on the roads to melt the ice and more!

Do your best to make your dog's environment the safest it can be. Turn your lawn into an organic chemical free lawn - and spend more time with your pup playing, fetching, doing tricks and running around there. Stay away from salted roads, chemical laden ponds and rivers near chemically-sprayed farm land, and neighborhood areas that have been treated with dangerous fertilizers.

Find safer places to play, because studies have shown that these chemicals can be dangerous and have long term, detrimental affects on the life of your dog, including cancer. So be aware, be watchful and be safe out there. And don't forget to take biodegradable poo bags when you're out and about to dispose of the poo the eco-friendly way!

These are just a few ideas you can do to help you, your pup and your environment. If you're just starting out, take puppy steps, one green paw at a time. And before you know it, your pup's environment will be the healthiest it can be, they will live a longer, healthier and happier life, and the Earth will be a much better place to live. That's how we started and you can too!

Enjoy this video and get more tips on reducing your dog's carbon pawprint!

Here are some other fun Earth Day activities to help you enjoy Earth Day and learn more about helping you and your pup be more green!

Take care of your pup and your Earth - they are all we have!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New puppy? Start 'em off on a green paw!

Puppies! Who doesn't love puppies?

I will never forget the day that Mum adopted me from a no-kill shelter here in Indianapolis and brought me to live with her in my furever home. (See that's me on the left on the first day I came to life with my Mum) It was the scariest, most fun and exciting day of my life!

My Mum has always been green since she was a wee pup herself. So it was only natural (so to speak :) that she wanted my life to be as safe, eco-friendly, and green as can be. So what did she do to get my life started off on a green paw?

  • First she puppy proofed the house and yard, getting all the little, potentially dangerous, things out of my reach - cords, papers and magazines, tools, plants, (we don't have chemicals in our house, but she still put away our vinegar cleaners), shoes, remotes, strings/threads, and all the things in puppy eye view that I may have an interest in.
  • Then she set up my puppy play pen in the kitchen/living area and arranged a little workspace for her nearby so she could be with me when she worked. And she set up some puppy gates around the house, so that I would stay more close to her and keep out of trouble.
  • She put some nice used towels and an eco-friendly bed in the pen with some organic toys and Made in the USA chew toys ('cause puppies love to chew, you know).
  • Up went my crate, one in her bedroom and one in the living/working area, and I began my crate and potty training. On a pad of paper she recorded when I ate or drank and when I pottied , so that she would know more about when I needed my potty breaks.
  • She hung some bells on the door, so that she could start teaching me with clicker training to ring the bell and let her know I needed a potty break.
  • After researching extensively, she decided upon a great food for me, a mix of organic kibble and raw food.
  • She put out the stainless steel bowls of fresh, filtered water for me to have on hand.
  • After settling in to my new digs, she started teaching me tricks (giving me lots of organic treats) with clicker training. The second day I lived with my Mum, I learned how to sit. Then it was stay, load up (go to my crate/den), and more during the next days and weeks. It was so much fun!
  • Mum took me everywhere with her, to stores, in the car, to friend's houses, and meeting people around the neighborhood, so that I could become well socialized with persons of every age. It was also a great time to teach me some leash manners with my eco-friendly leash and collar, and those great bio-degradable poo bags.
  • And when I got a little older, she signed me up for my first clicker training obedience class.
  • The next day or so, I got my first check up with our holistic vet, riding in my car crate for safety. Happy to say I got a super clean bill of health! We talked about preventative care, what vaccines were absolutely, absolutely necessary, titers for my future, and of course heartworm medications. We also talked about growth expectations, diet, what to watch for at what age and more.
  • Mum found out early that I was a very active pup, so she made sure to give me lots of jobs to do. My jobs were to learn new tricks, fetch, go to my mat and bed, wait, stay, and lots of other things. And she exercised me well through walks, or just playing with her in the backyard, so I wouldn't have the urge to get into things in the house that I wasn't supposed to.
  • And the best part is that Mum and I worked on our relationship, and enjoyed each other. We spent (and still do) all of our time together when we're together. We play together, train together, exercise together, eat together, work together and sleep together. And it's really helped us build an amazing bond that can never be broken. I'd rather be with my Mum than do just about anything else. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

There are a lot of things to do to get ready for and enjoy a new puppy in your home. Hopefully these tips will give you a good start off on the right 'green' paw!

And here are a few eco-friendly puppy products to help you and your pup live the safest, healthiest and greenest way possible.




West Paw Design Eco-Friendly Reknitz Sweaters For Dogs - Size 10, Linen

$33.99
Brand: West Paw Design

Earthbath Natural Grooming Wipes Hypo-Allergenic Wipes

$15.99
Brand: Earthbath

ABO Gear Dog Digs Collapsible Dog Crate Medium for Canine

$79.99
Brand: Abo Gear

WestPaw Ecotoys for Small Dogs

$13.65
Store: Golly Gear
Brand: West Paw Design

Ruff Wear Knot-a-Just Dog Collars - Small Blue for canines

$17.99
Brand: Ruff Wear

Pawz Biodegradable Natural Dog Boots S

$15.99
Brand: Pawz

Top Paw? Bone Clickers

$3.99
Store: PetSmart
Brand: Top Paw

Belvoir Media Group, LLC The Whole Dog Journal Subscription for Dogs

$20.00
Brand: Belvoir Media Group

West Paw Recycled Fill Eco Slumber Bed - Four Patch S

$77.99
Brand: West Paw Design

West Paw Recycled Fill Organic Bumper Beds Medium Basil

$115.99
Brand: West Paw Design

Puppy KONG Dog Toy (Small; 3"" Height)

$7.99
  $5.99

Brand: Kong

Orijen Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food 15.4 lbs

$41.99
Brand: Orijen

Four Paws Biodegradable Doggie Doo Bags 60 Count for Dogs

$8.49
Brand: Four Paws Products

Complete Natural Nutrition Terrabone Dental Chew Bone Dog Treat Puppy Small Value Pack 8 oz

$14.99
Brand: Complete Natural Nutrition

West Paw Zogoflex Tux - Tangerine

$15.49
Brand: West Paw Design

West Paw Zogoflex Zisc - Aqua Blue

$14.49
Brand: West Paw Design

West Paw Eco Nap Small Porcelain

$39.99
Brand: West Paw Design

West Paw Design Eco-Friendly Tuckered Out Dog Bed Large Beach Glass/Chocolate

$131.99
Brand: West Paw Design

WestPaw Eco Twist Tug Toy for Small Dogs

$9.50
Store: Golly Gear
Brand: West Paw




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