Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Welcome HAAN as our latest Raise A Green Dog Partner!

Today we welcome HAAN as our newest Raise A Green Dog Partner!

Can you say excited? Yep, I am because now we have a pawsome, healthy way to clean our floors, our rugs and any floor surfaces without the use of any dangerous chemicals or even mixing up our usual cleaning solution of vinegar and water, quickly and easily with our new floor scrubbing steamer from HAAN!

Let me tell you all about it.

The HAAN MultiforcePlus SS22A is a steam cleaner designed for effortless cleaning, scrubbing, and buffing – both indoors and out using CR-motion™ technology. CR-motion™ technology enhances the natural pull-and-push motion of standard steam mops by adding a powerful scrubbing motion.

Variable steam technology allows you to select the perfect setting depending on the mess or surface and kills 99.9% of common household germs, bacteria, and dust mites. A HAAN steamer provides chemical free, natural, safe, and environmentally friendly home cleaning.

So how does it work and what does it do?
  • It can clean indoors and out
  • 2 pads move back and forth at a rate of 850 cycles per minute to scrub, buff, and clean
  • Chemical free – uses 100% steam to safely clean and sanitize around children and pets
  • 20 steam jets provide a wide cleaning path and reduce hot spots while focusing steam where it's needed most
  • Removable water tank can be easily filled at the sink
  • Swivel head for hard-to-reach spaces
  • Includes carpet glide to sanitize and refresh carpet with 2 sets of reusable ultra-microfiber pads for extended cleaning time
We've been using it now for a week or so, along side our spring cleaning routine and all I have to say is WOW!!!

It's so easy to set up by adding the water, then all we have to do is start it, run it across our floors and carpets and voila! Clean as can be.

Thank you to HAAN for sending us this amazing product to try out for free in exchange for sharing our experience with all of you - our readers. We highly recommend this product for any dog love, green, eco-friendly, healthy home!

Monday, July 28, 2014

The dangerous health effects of flame retardants in your dog's life.

If your dog is enjoying their time with you right now on the couch, there's a very good chance that you and your dog are being exposed to dangerous chemical flame retardants which have been linked to cancer, reproductive and endocrine system problems and lower IQs in children.

Flame retardants are chemicals meant to save human lives by delaying the combustion of products in a fire. They are widely used in a broad range of products from children's cribs, furniture, electronics and building insulation.

In the 1970's, regulations where set that required home furniture to be injected with chemicals including PBDE's hoping that these chemicals acting as flame retardants would be effective in reducing sofa fires. In reality, in 2012 it was found that these retardants actually didn't provide protection through an investigation by The Chicago Tribune through their series and highlighted in the documentary, 'Toxic Hot Seat.'

PBDE mixtures made up of less-brominated compounds are regarded as more dangerous because they bioaccumulate in animal tissues. These mixtures were banned by the European Union and were voluntarily removed from the U.S. market in 2004, but remain in the environment. Mixtures with more-brominated compounds remain in use in the U.S. but will be phased out by 2013, when new regulations become effective that will bring into play less toxic flame retardants in our home furnishings.

However, while these new standards, instigated by the state of California will create change nationwide, there is evidence that our bodies and those of our dogs will not be free of these chemicals, linked to cancer, reproductive and endocrine system problems and lower IQs in children, any time soon.

In 2011, Indiana University scientists, wrote about their findings, indicating they have found chemical flame retardants in the blood of pet dogs at concentrations five to 10 times higher than in humans.

Their study, "Flame Retardants in the Serum of Pet Dogs and in their Food," appeared in the journal Environmental Science & Technology and was authored by Marta Venier, an assistant research scientist in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and Ronald Hites, a Distinguished Professor in SPEA.

Their study focused on the presence of PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) in the blood of dogs and in commercial dog food. Why test for the presence of PBDEs compounds in dog food?

PBEs can migrate out of their intended products and enter the environment in a variety of ways including;
"...contamination of food during processing or packaging and general contamination of the environment via emissions of PBDEs at various points of the life cycle of consumer products. As PBDE-containing products continue to degrade and enter the waste stream in larger amounts, future exposure to PBDEs may begin to shift more heavily from the indoor environment to the outdoor environment and, consequently, the diet (Harrad and Diamond 2006). This study highlights the need for research into the pathways of PBDEs into the food supply, particularly commercial animal products in the United States,' according to a study by the Boston University School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health.
As you can see even though PBDEs have been banned in the US, there is evidence that these dangerous chemicals still permeate our lives and our dog's lives.

In addition, the Indiana University study also detected newer flame retardants that have come onto the market as PBDEs have been removed, including Dechlorane Plus, decabromodiphenylethane, and hexabromocyclododecane. These chemicals are currently and largely unregulated, but pose concerns because they are structurally similar to organic pollutants that have been linked to environmental and human health effects.

So what can you do to avoid PBDEs and other flame retardant chemicals for the health of your dog? The Environmental Working Group has some ideas:

1. Inspect foam items. Replace anything with a ripped cover or foam that is misshapen and breaking down. If you cannot replace these items try to keep the covers intact. Beware of older items like car seats and mattress pads where the foam is not completely encased in a protective fabric.

2. Use a vacuum fitted with a HEPA filter. These vaccuums are more efficient at trapping small particles and will likely remove more contaminants and other allergens from your home. HEPA-filter air cleaners may also reduce particle-bound contaminants in your house.

3. Do not reupholster foam furniture. Even those items without PBDEs might contain poorly studied fire retardants with potentially harmful effects.

4. Be careful when removing old carpet. The padding may contain PBDEs. Keep your work area isolated from the rest of your home. Clean up with a HEPA-filter vacuum and mop to pick up as many of the small particles as possible.

5. When purchasing new products ask the manufacturers what type of fire retardants they use. Avoid products with brominated fire retardants, and opt for less flammable fabrics and materials, like leather, wool and cotton. Be aware that "natural" or latex foam and natural cotton are flammable and require a fire retardant method that may contain toxic fire retardants.

Furniture complying with the new regulations beginning in 2014 will bear a tag that reads “TB 117-2013,” but that does not mean that furniture is free of flame retardants. For that information, consumers will have to ask retailers directly, and for retailers to know the answer, they will have had to make inquiries to manufacturers.

And for electronics: According to EWG, 'The form of PBDEs known as Deca is used in computer and television monitors; as well as other electronic products. Deca is not subject to any use restrictions, despite the fact that is has been detected at higher concentrations in children, and is toxic to animals. It has been shown to break down in to more toxic forms once it enters the environment.'

'When purchasing new products look for these brands, which have publicly committed to phasing out all brominated fire retardants: Acer, Apple, Eizo Nanao, LG Electronics, Lenovo, Matsushita, Microsoft, Nokia, Phillips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony-Ericsson, and Toshiba,' and more.

Sources:
School of Environmental and Public Affairs, Indiana University
Environmental Working Group
National Law Review
Chicago Tribune
Scientific American
Environmental Working Group PBDE Free Guide
Environmental Working Group TBBPA
Environmental Health Perspectives
Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society Biological Sciences
Boston University School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health

Photos courtesy of:
Don DeBold
Stoo Mathiesen
Living in Monrovia

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Natural Canine Health Symposium to be held.

The Natural Canine Health Symposium, October 16-19, 2014, presented by Dogs Naturally Magazine, is the largest online event of its kind celebrating your dog and raising him naturally.

At the online symposium you can get access to the best holistic vets and experts in the world.

Registration opens in 40 days. We'll update you with more information as soon as it becomes available.

Click and insert your email, for updates to this event.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Donations sought for rabies vaccine long-term duration immunity study in dogs.


Think about it....when you where young you received vaccines, right? But have you received any vaccines since that time?

Nope, not unless you are visiting a foreign country that may require a vaccine that you may not have had and the US doesn't require.

So why should our dogs get yearly vaccines? We believe they shouldn't. It's not only unnecessary, it's unhealthy and can potentially have very real health consequences for your dog.

If you are like us, you worry about over vaccinating your dog. That's why we follow Dr. Dodds' Vaccine Protocol for all of our dogs, which basically outlines two rounds of puppy shots, titers every three years, and then only following the law as your state requires for rabies vaccinations.

But do our dogs really need to be vaccinated against rabies so often? Does rabies immunity stay in our dog's bodies longer than believed and required by law? That's what the Rabies Challenge Fund, headed by Dr. Dodds, is seeking to discover and prove; so that it may be possible for laws to be changed and our dogs benefit with a healthier, happier life.

The Rabies Challenge Fund has just received the commitment from a USDA-approved facility to perform the first of the challenge phases of  their 5 and 7-year studies. This rabies research was undertaken to determine, by challenge, the vaccine’s long-term duration of immunity in dogs and to establish the world’s first canine rabies titer standard.

Fees for this first challenge, slated to begin later this year, will involve 15 of the study dogs and will cost $100,000. If successful, two subsequent challenges of 15 dogs each will be conducted in order to meet the USDA rabies vaccine licensing requirements.

These results, which will have been obtained using the same federal standard upon which all currently licensed rabies vaccines and rabies laws and regulations are based, should establish the scientific foundation upon which the legally required rabies booster intervals for dogs can be extended to 5 or 7 years.

Further, for the first time, their accumulated rabies titer data should permit incorporating clauses pertaining to rabies titers into the existing laws.

Currently, The Rabies Challenge Fund will need to raise an additional $24,847 to cover the challenge facility fees. They are asking for donors to maintain their generous levels of support through this critical challenge phase, so that the results to benefit all dogs can be available in early 2015.

For more information and to donate visit The Rabies Challenge Fund website.

Photo courtesy of Naval Surface Warriors

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Natural teething solutions for your green puppy!

Awww....puppy teeth.

They are cute, but they are sharp. And just like little two leggers, puppies go through teething too!

Dogs have two sets of teeth. The first set are  28 baby teeth, which will eventually be replaced by 42 permanent adult teeth. Baby, or puppy teeth, begin to come in at about 2-3 weeks old. Adult teeth begin replacing the baby teeth at about 12 weeks old and then your dog will most probably have all their adult teeth at 5-6 months.

At the 12 week mark, take this time to be sure and look for puppy teeth around your home and save them like we did with YoYo, when he was a puppy! You'll be glad you did.

A natural reaction to a puppy feeling his/her teeth coming in, and sometimes the pain that comes with it, is to mouth. And that means mouth anything that's around, from toys, to chews, to beds, to crates, to chair legs, to even your arms, hands and fingers.

They can't help it, they really need to alleviate that discomfort and chew.

So how can you help your green puppy through the teething phase? Here are our top three natural remedies that have helped our new addition, Rach (pronounced Rock) feel better and deal more easily with teething pain and discomfort.
  • Find an old clean 100% cotton wash cloth, wet it thoroughly, ring it out lengthwise and put it in the refrigerator in a BPA free container. Give it to your puppy to chew on when chewing becomes an issue.
  • Freeze a small puppy Kong with a finger wipe of organic plain yogurt or organic plain peanut butter and provide your puppy with a cool froze treat to safely chew.
  • And our favorite tip...wet your finger (with water or a little organic plain yogurt) and reach in your dog's mouth to massage his/her gums. This not only alleviates discomfort, but begins the training process for your dog to trust you in caring for their teeth.

Not only will these tips save furniture legs, your arms and fingers, they will help your puppy develop their teeth appropriately, while helping with any discomfort from teething that they may have.

Happy teething!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Welcome Rach to the Raise A Green Dog Pack!

We have a very exciting announcement to make today!

This week we welcome Rach to the Raise A Green Dog pack, and one of our new hosts for Raise A Green Dog.

Rach (named after Sergei Rachmaninoff) is a 11 week old, sheltie/cattle dog mix, adopted from the Eastern Herding Dog Rescue in Richmond VA, and new brother to four-legged RAGD hosts Johann (YoYo) and Gracie.

In the coming days, weeks and months, we will bringing you lots of information on how to not only Raise A Green Dog, but Raise A Green Puppy, too.

We'll cover everything from cleaning, chewing, potty training, positive training methods, teething, yard and lawn care, and keeping your puppy healthy and safe, indoors and out.

So stay tuned, and be sure and leave a comment welcoming Rach!

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