Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Homemade sweet potato chews!

It's that time of year...time for sweet potatoes!

I love sweet potatoes, they are a super yummy and really good for me.

Sweet potato chews are a great alternative to the ever present rawhide chews, which contrary to pupular belief, really aren't good for dogs. They present a choking hazard, and they don't digest very easily and could become lodged in the intestines creating a dangerous health hazard. In addition, many rawhides are processed with chemicals which aren't good for dogs either.

So what's a dog to do? Make some yummy sweet potato chews!

Mum wanted to make some for me and Gracie the other day. She looked up a great recipe online and guess what, we loved em! Here is the recipe, courtesy of The Dog Treat Kitchen:

Sweet Potato Chews for Dogs

Wash a sweet potato (organic is best and we like to peel them). Cut down the middle lengthwise. Then cut long lengthwise slices about 1/3 of an inch wide and place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet (use a stainless steel, for healthier cooking).

Put in the oven at 250 degrees for about 3 hours. This leaves them kind of chewy, but you could also bake them a little longer to get them crunchy.

Oh, and you can waffle cut them for more fun...Enjoy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A few make your owns - dog boots, raised dog feeder, harness vest and more!

We are always on the lookout for ways to save money, re-use items we have around our home, or just make dog necessities out of old, unused materials. Today we are sharing a few we found from some great folks we encountered surfing around the Internet.

Here is a pawsome tutorial on how to take the old hardware from your worn out dog's collar, and make a shiny new collar using material you have lying around the house and gathering dust.

We recommend creating the collar with heavier material to make the collar stronger. Head on over to see this, a great tutorial on making a dog's collar in just about 15 minutes from The Sewing Blog.

Raised dog feeders are all the rage lately. They can offer your dog some very real health benefits by helping them maintain better posture when eating and drinking, causing less stress on their back and joints; which can be very important for senior, arthritic or dogs with back problems. Just make sure they are right for your dog, because recent studies are showing that raised feeders may not be the right thing for dogs prone to bloat.

Those raised feeders can be super expensive, if you've priced them lately. But there is a solution - make your own!!! Here are some pawsome instructions for making a very cool raised feeder from an old wooden crate. If you are like our family, we have a few old wine crates just gathering dust in the garage, or you can construct your own crate with unused or reclaimed wood, and then stain and treat the wood with an environmentally friendly, safe and non-toxic stain and sealer.

It's starting to get chilly out there, and you know what that means in a lot of parts of the country? Yep, snow, ice, painful ice balls between your dog's toes, dangerous ice melting chemicals and more. So what's a pup pawrent to do? Make your dog some home made boots with reused material, save lots of money, protect and make Winter more comfortable for your dog!

Here is a great tutorial and pattern for making very simple dog boots. The cool thing is you can reused some strong material you have lying around the house, or an old holey sweatshirt, and even reuse some velcro that you saved from other projects and products. Try to find material that will be the least water absorbent.

The other day it was one of those chilly days. Mum is always concerned for me when the weather turns sharply cold - because I am prone to pulling muscles from not warming up enough before going for our hikes. So, she had my coat on me, and my harness, but guess what? They weren't compatible! So Mum thought, why not figure out how to make a coat and harness in one!

We searched the Internet and found this pawsome tutorial on making a dog harness vest. What a great idea! It could be modified to be a full warm coat as well as a harness, and we could use some old material we have around the house that would be nice and warm and sturdy for me. Interested? Head on over and see the tutorial for this dog harness vest.

And last, but certainly not least for this go around, if you'd rather crochet your dog a nice warm sweater, here' s a great tutorial.

Have fun!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A couple of great green dog resourses!

Learning how to raise a green dog is an ongoing process for us - new products to investigate, new research to read and learn, new ideas and information that trusted experts share. So how do we keep up?

One thing we do is read! There are two magazines that we subscribe to religiously to keep up with the latest information. One of them is Animal Wellness Magazine. In business for 10 years, they have a wealth of information in their magazine, everything from safer and healthier foods, to complimentary medicines, approved products, to training methods and issues, and much more. Definitely worth a look. And you can save a tree and get the digital subscription (six issues for one year) for only $12.00!

The other staple in our magazine library is Whole Dog Journal. The preeminent resource for raising a green, heathy dog. Subscriptions are $20.00 for 13 issues. Each year, Whole Dog Journal features their ""Top Dog Foods for Total Wellness" a very comprehensive review of popular dog foods (not to be missed). In addition the journal features articles relating to all things health, wellness, behavior, training, environment and much more.

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

Happy reading!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The all new line of Raise A Green Dog shirts!

This weekend Mum and I got busy!!! We put our heads together and came up with a few cool new designs to add some pawsome new products to our CafePress shop.

Ta da!!! We are super pleased to show off our new line of Raise A Green Dog organic t-shirts, Sigg bottles, pet bowls, totebags, sweatshirts (for those chilly nights) and more!

We worked our paws to the bone and put together six new designs for the line. Here's one of the new designs - Reduce, Reuse, Repaw!

And another one of my favs...Reduce your Carbon Pawprint!

And we have four other designs, just waiting for their time to be added to a nice tee or tote, to help you show off your green dogliness!

And the best part is you can get all these designs on some nice organic tees in various colors, Sigg bottles, organic grocery totes, other totebags, dog bowls, sweatshirts and more. Yes, they cost a little more, but they are super quality and help us keep up our good Green Dog work going!

So paw on over to the shop, scoop up some great Green Dog items, show off your green dogliness and help us out at the same time!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today is Blog Action Day! A day to change the World!

You know I'm just a pup!

But, even I know that dogs, just like humans, can affect our wonderful Planet, both positively and negatively.

I'm a green dog. And by living a green life I can positively impact my World. And, at the same time, I can enjoy a healthier and happier lifestyle, to live the longest and most wonderful life possible with my family.

Today is Blog Action Day, a day to focus on Climate Change. So, today I challenge you to live a greener life with your dog!

I challenge you to take one step, one paw forward, in helping to positively affect the World, our World...our wonderful, wonderful World.

I want you to go right now to our "Learn to be Green Library," and read a few articles that are of interest to you. Then, I want you to choose one (that's right, just one!) thing you can do to help our World, and, at the same time, help your dog live a healthier life.

Maybe you decided to:

  • Make an effort to reduce the amount of dog doo in our landfills.
  • Consolidate your errands when taking that trip to the dog park.
  • Vow to make a toy for your dog made of reused materials around your home.
  • Or more!

After you've made your choice, I want you to come back here and post your plan in the comment section of this post. Share it with the World, because....

Together, we really can change the World!!!

Our post today is a part of Blog Action Day, a day focusing on Climate Change.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fall/Winter dog stew treat!

It's starting to get cold outside! After a a good Fall hike, a nice romp and fetch in the snow, a little sledding with the family; who doesn't want to come home to a nice pot of stew.

I know I do!!!

So Mum and I thought we'd share a couple of our recipes for a Fall/Winter stew treat. It's not a substitute for our regular breakfast or dinner, but a super nice warming up kinda of treat, and very healthy!

Enjoy!!!

Marrow Stew

I love raw marrow bones. I'm lucky that I get some raw marrow bones on occasion to enjoy a good chew. Did you know that the marrow in those bones contains some pawsome health benefits? They are an excellent source of amino acids and essential fatty acids. So we like to call this one - Marrow Stew!

Ingredients:

Marrow bones (we get our marrow bones from Whole Foods, or you can use chicken or turkey parts, necks are good!)

2 cups brown rice (pre-cooked)

A nice handful of each:

Green Beans

Carrots

Zucchini

Kale

2 tablespoons olive oil

Water (filtered is best!)

Directions:

Cut the vegetables into chunk sized pieces. Put all the ingredients into a big 'ole stainless steel pot and fill with filtered water to cover. Cook on low heat for a couple of hours.

Once cooked, remove the bones and extract the marrow and add back into the stew. Then throw out the bones, 'cause cooked bones aren't good for us pups!

Pour into a stainless steel bowl and you've got a great Fall stew.

And you can add a dollop of pure pumpkin puree, we love that!

Chicken Stew

Here's another one of our favorites, 'cause we love chicken:

Ingredients:

Whole chicken

Nice big handfuls of coarsely chopped:

Carrots

Sweet potato

Zucchini

Yellow squash

Green beans

And any other veggies you'd like that are healthy for us pups (but be sure and do your research, not all veggies are good for us!).

You can add in a cup of brown rice if you'd like too - cook it first, then add.

Water - filtered is best!

Instructions:

Add all the ingredients to a big stainless steel pot, and add enough water to cover everything. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a couple of hours. We like to add the veggies about an hour in, so that they aren't cooked to death, and carry more nutrition.BOL!!!

After it's all cooked, let it cool a bit, then remove the chicken and debone it ('cause, remember, cooked bones aren't good for us dogs!

Once you have all the chicken deboned, throw it back into the pot, and serve!

You can freeze these little stew treats for later. Remember this isn't a replacement for our regular meals, but a nice treat and addition to our breakfast or dinner, and we think your pawrents will like it too - both are great Fall/Winter treats you can share together!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The premiere of the Raise A Green Dog email newsletter!

We are preparing the very first issue of our new Raise A Green Dog email newsletter!

Don't miss out - be sure and subscribe so you don't miss a single green dog tip, trick, bite of information, or healthy, safe, green and eco-friendly new product on the market to help your pup be the safest, healthiest dog he or she can be!

Just click here, add your email address and then select the newsletter of your choice! But do it quickly, 'cause we'll be sending it out in the next few days! Oh, and if you'd like to send a friend an email to tell them? Click here!

We don't believe in spam and will only use your email address to send you relevant information about Raise A Green Dog, and we won't share your email address with anyone, promise!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dogscaping: Getting that healthy, safe, pawsome garden for you and your dog!

Last year, we were fortunate to meet a super great guy, Tom Barthel, who shares our love for being green and for dogs!

He's a writer and did an interview and article with us for the premiere issue of Dog Fancy's Natural Dog Magazine. You can see the super great article here, "10 Steps to a Greener Home."

He had told us that he was working on a new book, "Dogscaping, Creating the Perfect Backyard & Garden for You and Your Dog," and that he wanted to share some of the information in his new book that we provided in our interview with him.

Then about a month ago, he sent us a galley of the book, and to our delight, we were included! He asked us to review it and provide an endorsement if we liked it, which we did, of course, since it's a pawsome book.

Saturday, we were super surprised to receive a free advanced copy of the new book in the mail from the publisher. And look, there we are!

If you care about your pup's, and your health, and love gardening, you are gonna love this book! It's packed full of great information to help you create the 'green,' organic garden of your, and your dog's, dreams!

The book will be released in February 2010, but you can pre-order it now for only $11.53 at Amazon. It's a great bargain for anyone looking for safer alternatives to keeping your lawn and garden beautiful and thriving, and the healthiest for you and your dog!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Is your tennis ball safe? HealthyStuff.org tests over 400 pet products for toxic chemicals.

We're always concerned about the health and safety of the products that our dogs come in contact with - toys, collars, beds and everything they enjoy wearing, playing with, putting in their mouth, chewing up and more!

But are our pup products safe?

Currently, there are no government standards for testing or determining if there are hazardous chemicals in pet products, so we unfortunately have had to rely on product manufacturers claims, recalls and other information from independent resources.

Over the years, we've learned a lot about what companies provide safer and healthier products for dogs, and we share the information and products we find from those companies on RaiseAGreenDog.com. And, we find information through a variety of independent organizations that have the same concerns about the safety of our dog's 'stuff' as we do, which we've shared throughout the years, to help all of us become more educated about the product choices we make for our dogs.

Thankfully there is another independent resource now helping us know more about 'the good' and 'the bad' about pet products on the market. Recently, HealthyStuff.org released their test results of over 400 pet products, including beds, chew toys, stuffed toys, collars, leashes, tennis balls and more. It's a not to be missed report that showcases their testing. Not surprising there were some alarming levels of toxic chemicals found in some of the most popular dog toys on the market.

HealthyStuff.org is a project of the Ecology Center, a nonprofit environmental research organization. The Ecology Center (EC) is a membership-based, nonprofit environmental organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded by community activists after the country's first Earth Day in 1970, the Ecology Center is now a regional leader that works for a safe and healthy environment where people live, work, and play. The Ecology Center works at the local, state, and national levels for clean production, healthy communities, environmental justice, and a sustainable future.
Be sure and check out these links to information contained in their report and their test findings:


And here's what else you can do to help your pup be safer, and encourage healthier products for your dog!

Even though the tags on your pup's toy says to throw it away once it becomes torn, most of us let our pets destroy their toys until they’re unrecognizable or obviously hazardous. Sometimes the innards of toys hold the worst chemicals, like flame retardants in stuffing or lead in the parts that reinforce tougher toys. Pay extra attention to what your critters are putting in their mouths and get rid of toys that have seen better days.

Contact the manufacturers of your favorite products and let them know you want safe products for your furry friend (and let the ones with healthy products know you appreciate them!). The pet industry is huge – it’s our dollars that have gotten it there and it’s our dollars that can impact where it goes next.

Go to the Take Action section of HealthyStuff.org to find out how to contact your elected representatives. You can’t tell just by looking at stuff whether it’s healthy, and Made in the USA isn’t a guarantee either. It’s impossible to test everything on the market and, ultimately, we need stronger laws to get safe products on the shelves for our pets.

As pet owners, we’re used to speaking for those who can’t speak for themselves. Now they need us again, so spread the word and stay informed!
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