Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How to clean your carpet the healthy way for your dog!

Last week we shared information about how dangerous the toxic chemicals are that some professional carpet cleaning companies use and how they may affect your dog. If you haven't read that post yet, we highly recommend it!

Today we are going to discuss healthy ways you can clean your carpets to keep those nasty toxic chemicals out of your home and away from your dog so they can live a happier, healthier life and help the environment at the same time.

Dirty carpets are a staple at our house. We've got the mud from the yard around our cabin, and we also have the occasional hairball cough up from one of our senior kittie bros, and don't forget the spills, yep Mum spills stuff now and then.

So how do we recommend you keep your carpets cleaner and clean your carpet for the health of your dog? Here are our top ideas to keep your carpet clean, smelling fresh and free from bacteria.
  1. Place doormats at the entrance (outside and inside) to your home and encourage the humans to wipe their feet. You can also purchase wonderful mats that help soak up the muck from dog's paws too or do what we do...place old cotton towels at the door for the dogs to stand on for a few extra seconds! This tactic can reduce the dirt and debris coming into your home by at least one-half!
  2. Have your humans remove their shoes when they come inside. Mum never wears her shoes inside our cabin, she's more of a sock person. And that helps reduce lots of dirt and debris in our cabin.
  3. Vacuum often, at least 2-3 times per week. Keeping up on the vacuuming helps reduce a lot of dirt. We like our Dyson, it sucks up superbly, and has a HEPA filter to reduce the dust coming back into the room.
  4. Clean up spills and oopsies as quickly as posible to prevent staining. Start with just plain water on a white towel and dab, dab, dab. If plain water doesn't do the trick add a little white vinegar 1-3 solution (spot test first) and use that to dab. Never rub as it could damage the carpet fibers. For other stains like red, use club soda; for wax or gum use an ice cub to harden and then scrape off; and for greasy stains use baking soda and let sit overnight then proceed with the vinegar/water solution.
  5. For overall cleaning of carpets you can utilize a steam cleaner (rented or purchased) but remember to only use plain water, never the chemical cleaners that sometime come with the machine. We like the 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! Just be sure to do this on a non-humid day when you can have the windows open and let the carpet dry more quickly and naturally, to prevent mold and mildew.
  6. To keep carpets fresh smelling, you can sprinkle baking soda (keep pets in another room while you do this, so they don't breath it in) all over the carpet, leave for about 15 minutes and then vacuum.
  7. Use a green, safe, healthy, eco-friendly carpet cleaning company. If time is an issue you can call on a green, eco-friendly, healthier carpet cleaning company. Just be sure that you know exactly what solutions they may be using on your carpet when evaluating the company. A good quality company will be completely forthright in sharing information about their solutions, and you can then look up each individual ingredient on EWG.org and insert the specific chemical into the search box to receive toxicity or non-toxicity information to that particular product.
Happy cleaning!!!

Images:
Christopher Woo
Sarah McKagen

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Welcome Wondercide as our newest Raise A Green Dog Partner!

Oh the ticks are really bad up here on our mountain this year! So we were ever so happy that the nice folks at Wondercide decided they wanted to join us and be our latest Raise A Green Dog partner!

Wondercide is a great company that provides chemical free, natural solutions for pets, people & property.

Stephanie Boone founded Wondercide in 2008 when her dog, Luna (an Akita- Husky mix), became deathly ill from pesticide poisoning.

Like millions of other dogs and cats, Luna was treated monthly with a traditional, vet prescribed flea & tick treatment. The product, with the active ingredient fipronil, was prescribed by various veterinarians over the course of Luna’s life. At age 10, Luna developed pesticide poisoning, with side effects ranging from seizures and chronic skin issues to liver and kidney failure.

She began researching pesticide formulations, the impact of traditional pesticides on human and animal health, regulatory laws, and federal environmental policies. The shocking truths she discovered lit a fire in her so intense, she left her career and Wondercide was born. Luna is now healthy, happy, and just celebrated her 15th birthday!

When we talked with the nice folks at Wondercide we told them that one of the most frequently asked questions we receive is how to deal with fleas and ticks. Being in the mountains here in North Georgia we know a lot about ticks.

Wondercide sent us several products to try to combat the nasties here on our mountain one of them is EcoTreat, a solution that you spray using a hose end sprayer on your yard or in our case our fenced in property. The other product we are trying is EVOLV, a cedarwood and lemongrass based natural repellent you spray on your dog.

After finding six ticks on the three of us in one day, (they came on quickly and unexpectedly early) we immediately went out and started treating, and Mum also sprayed the EVOLV on me, Gracie and her clothing. Over the next days the ticks diminished and we are hoping we've begun to lick our problem. We'll be treating with EcoTreat again in about two weeks or after a heavy rain.


Wondercide also has many other useful and helpful products, from organic lawn fertilizers, to dog shampoo bars, to ear cleaners, to a highly rated hip and joint supplement called FidoPlex, and yummy treats made with USA sourced rabbit, oh my, and more!!!

So take a little time and check out our new RAGD partner - Wondercide. If you need solutions, they've got great recommendations!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Is professional carpet cleaning toxic to your dog?

Ahhhh, carpet. It's soft, it's cushiony, it's very comfortable.

I don't know about you, but I love lying around on the carpet. Especially on a cold winter day, when the sun is streaming in.

Back when we lived in Indiana in our house in the suburbs, our neighbors had a yellow lab. Got the little one as a puppy. A few months after he moved in, we started seeing a very well known name brand carpet cleaning company show up nearly every week.

Mum would watch as they would haul a big tube into the house, and begin the process of cleaning their carpets. Not only was it very loud, but Mum knew that they were spreading very harmful chemicals on that carpet, which could be very dangerous, not only for their dog, but the environment as well.

Professional carpet cleaning companies, especially the large chains, are very good at marketing. You'll find TV, newspaper ads touting five rooms for under $100. You sometimes even get great coupons delivered right to your mailbox on a weekly basis.

But what some don't know and don't realize is that the chemicals that the majority of these companies are using to get that wonderful, long lasting clean and fresh smell are utilizing very dangerous chemicals that linger for hours and days.

With dogs very close to the ground, lying on the carpet with their noses within fractions of an inch, they are inhaling and being exposed to these dangerous chemicals, carpet cleaning chemicals that may contain Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether, which may cause reproductive issues and cancer; Petroleum Distillates, which may cause impairment to the central nervous system, reproductive disorders, kidney disorders and potentially cancer; d-limonene, which is banned by the European Union as a skin allergen; and the list goes on and on.

The mixture of these chemicals used to clean carpets is a toxic soup that leaves behind dangerous fumes and residue that can seriously affect the health of your dog, your family and your environment.

Watch out for green washing!

But what about those natural carpet cleaning companies....they are the 'in' thing now. Many of these so-called natural carpet cleaning companies including the three we visited on the Internet today list themselves as 'green,' 'natural,' 'safe,' and even 'organic.'

However, what many of these companies don't list is the ingredients of their cleaners on their website, so you can safely and thoroughly evaluate the actual safety for your dog, you, your home and your environment.

Don't be fooled, if the company you are evaluating to clean your carpet won't disclose the ingredients of the products they use, run away and find another that will.

If you would like to analyze the specific ingredients in your or your professional cleaning companies carpet cleaners, visit EWG.org and insert the specific chemical into the search box to receive toxicity or non-toxicity information to that particular product.

Watch for our next post about how to safely and healthily clean your carpets for the health of your dog, you and the environment!

Images credit:
Sara Kolb-Williams
Elisa Self
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