Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tuesday is #GivingTuesday! A great day to give back to those in need.

This holiday season we encourage you to take the time (and any available funds) to give a little back to charitable causes that you care about!

#GivingTuesday, December 2nd, is a great day to do just that!

What is #GivingTuesday?

On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

How can you participate?

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for you, your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

To spur action and thought we've put together some great ideas of how you can give back to dogs (and other pets) this special day, throughout the holiday season and into 2015:


Local shelters need necessities!

You can donate a wide variety of items from dog food to toys, treats, leashes, collars, food dishes, crates, litter, beds, cleaning supplies and more, to help alleviate costs shelters need.

Dogs in need, need funds!

Shelters and rescues provide a wide variety of services and transportation to help dogs get adopted. If you can donate monetarily to your local no-kill shelter and help pets in need.

Shelters always need volunteers!

Shelters need volunteers to spend time with lonely pets, and walk dogs to help them cope with the shelter environment. Call your local shelter and ask them how you can help to volunteer!

Rescues and shelters need supplies!

Put together a gift basket for your local shelter - include cleaning items (like mops, brooms and vacuums), newspapers, grooming items, pet shampoo, blankets, towels, laundry detergent, dish soap, trash bags, office supplies (like pens, paper, computer equipment and more), rugs, kiddie pools (for the summer) and more to help save costs for the shelter and focus their efforts on getting dogs adopted!

Foster!

Consider becoming a foster parent for a dog in need. Fostering helps dogs be more socialized, and comfortable in preparation for their new home, and helps them have an increased chance of being adopted.

Click!

Just one click from your computer can help dogs in need! Visit the Animal Rescue Site and FreeKibble, as one click can provide food and other supplies to dogs in need.

Adopt! 

If you are ready, and have thought it through thoroughly and want to add a pup to your family, consider adopting from your local animal shelter.

Giving back is part of living a green dog lifestyle! Today, think about how you can participate to help dogs in need today, tomorrow and into the future.

And visit the #GivingTuesday website to see shelters participating this year!


Spread the word!!!

To help spread the word - tweet via Twitter and share on Facebook - the following suggested posts and information so others can help dogs in need this #GivingTuesday! The included short link provides a link back to this post for those looking for ideas of how they can help.

Help dogs in need this #GivingTuesday! Great ideas to help your favorite shelter or rescue from @RaiseAGreenDog http://bit.ly/1uYYsH9
Want to help dogs in need this #GivingTuesday ? Great ideas about how you can help via @RaiseAGreenDog http://bit.ly/1uYYsH9
It's #GivingTuesday ! Learn how you can help dogs in need this holiday season from @RaiseAGreenDog http://bit.ly/1uYYsH9

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Support small businesses this #SmallBusinessSaturday!

This coming Saturday, November 29th (the day after Black Friday and two days before Cyber Monday) is Small Business Saturday!

What is Small Business Saturday?

It's a wonderful day to get out there, whether in person or online, and support small businesses that work hard to keep wonderful, fun and unique goods available to us, and also help stimulate the economy, including all of our Raise A Green Dog Partners who are small independent businesses!

To entice individuals to shop small this Saturday, American Express® Card Members can register to get up to $30 back when they Shop Small® on Small Business Saturday®.

Small businesses all over the country are participating in this unique and important event, don't go shopping this weekend without visiting one of the participating small businesses in your neighborhood!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How to share your Thanksgiving dinner with your dog the healthy way!

If you are like us, dogs  hanging around the kitchen while preparing your Thanksgiving meal is a staple.

And who can resist those eyes!!!

What you may not know is that you can share parts of your Thanksgiving meal with your dog, if you do it safely and healthily. We're here to show you how!

Let's talk turkey.

Turkey is very common for most Thanksgiving meals. Did you know that you can share your turkey with your dog? First start with an organic turkey, free of antibiotics and hormones as it will be much more healthy for you and your dog.


Skip the seasoning while cooking your turkey. This way you can share with your dog in a more healthy manner and season later to taste for yourself if needed. Although we love the seasoning free taste of an organic turkey.

Stick with the white meat when feeding cooked turkey for your dog. It's healthier for them and lower in fat than the dark meat and skin. And remember everything in moderation!

One of our favorite things about Thanksgiving is raw turkey necks! When pulling out the turkey neck and giblets, be sure and save that wonderful raw turkey neck, it's a great treat to give to your dog (in raw form) and even a full meal for a small dog. Just be sure to watch your dog while eating to be extra safe.


Let's talk sweet potatoes!

I love sweet potatoes always in moderation of course. So when Mum bakes or boils sweet potatoes for mashing she always saves some for us, pre-seasoned of course. 

Another idea is to take some of those sweet potatoes and make some yummy sweet potato chews for your dog! They'll love the treats for days to come.

What about those cranberries?

If you are making cranberry sauce from scratch with organic cranberries you've got a nice treat for your dog. Save out a few of those organic cranberries and let your dog enjoy a nice treat! Cranberries are wonderful for urinary tract health for your dog, but remember, again, everything in moderation! We recommend just a few for a medium size dog on turkey day.


Carrots? You bet!

We love a small organic carrot or two on Thanksgiving. Mum likes to lightly steam them before she eats them and likes to share them with us before seasoning or adding a tad of butter. When carrots are lightly steamed they are much easier for us to digest!

Green Beans? The answer is yes!

Organic green beans are pretty much a staple at our house. So when Mum get's out the green beans we come running. One or two lightly steamed green beans are wonderful treats for your dog, so let them enjoy them in moderation!

Got pumpkin? You've got a treat!

If your dog has ever had an upset tummy, we bet your veterinarian has prescribed some canned pumpkin (not the pie filling, but pure organic pumpkin). A dab of pumpkin can be a wonderful treat for your dog. Not only will they love it, but it is super easy on the digestive system and is wonderfully safe for your dog.

Remember these tips!
  • Cooked bones are harmful to dogs. They could splinter and damage a dog's insides. So steer clear!
  • Raw bones are fine for dogs with supervision of course! Dog's love a good turkey neck.
  • Skip the turkey skin for your dog, as well as the dark meat, it's fattier and not as healthy for your dog.
  • Make sure to keep the onions and garlic from your dog, they can be harmful if ingested.
  • Skip the sugar and seasoning, and wait until you share the appropriate foods for your dogs before seasoning and sweetening.
  • Grapes can be a staple at the Thanksgiving table, but they can be toxic to dogs, so keep them out of harms reach.
  • Stick with our tips and your dog can enjoy Thanksgiving just as much as you!
YoYo, Rach and Gracie!

 Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers...we are grateful for the time you spend with us!

Photo credits: Brian Black, Zach Beauvais, Seth Anderson, Ellie Attebery, Just Me

Monday, November 17, 2014

Keep your dog toasty warm with a homemade heating pad!

It's cold out there!

Now that we have puppy Rach with us, we're concerned about keeping him warm in the winter. It can get pretty cold in our cabin here on the mountain. and with his short coat, and being young, it's important that he stays warm whether he's outside wearing his coat, or inside snuggling in his bed or in his easy chair.

But many times, it's just not practical to turn up the heat just for Rach, since Gracie and I have heavier coats, are used to the cold and Mum can put on extra clothes.

So what do we do to help Rach? We made him a nice heating pad that can be placed within his bed or under a cover in his chair. Now he can stay toasty warm no matter where the temperature is set.

A homemade heating pad is really, really easy to make. Let's get started!
  • Grab some old fabric you have lying around, or an old flannel sheet, old sweatshirt or similar.
  • Cut the fabric in 12" squares, you'll need two.
  • Lay the fabric squares with the outside of the fabric facing each other.
  • If you have a sewing machine, sew one half inch in all around leaving about three inches on one side unfinished.
  • If you don't have a sewing machine you can join the fabric with fabric tape, again leaving about three inches on one side unfinished.
  • Now that you have a mini sack, turn it right side out and fill the inside of the pouch with white rice (it's the least expensive). Fill just enough to create a pad when flattened.
  • Then all you have to do is hand sew up the three inch opening and your done!


To use your heating pad:
  • Place it in the microwave for no longer than two minutes. 
  • Place the pad inside of your dogs bed, or under a blanket if they lie on the easy chair, couch or bed. It's important to remember not to place the pad directly so the dog has contact with it, it may be too warm for them; and keep an eye on your dog for any discomfort.
We'll bet that your dog, your puppy and even your kitties will love the warmth!

Thanks to Martha Stewart for more detailed instructions and ideas.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Help your dog face the Polar Vortex with these dog coats made from re-purposed materials!

Awwww....Fall!

I love this time of year, the winds pick up, the leaves fall, the birds are easier to see to herd (oops! wasn't supposed to talk about that #HerdingDogObsession).

It's a great time of year, but we've noticed that with this little chill that our little bro Rach (with his super slim fur coat) is already feeling the chilling effects.

And we know that those of you facing the Polar Vortex will be looking for ways to keep your pups warm!

So we went searching for a few great ideas to utilize items you have around your home to make your dog a warm little coat to keep the chill off and help them feel more comfortable when they are outside!

Here are our seven awesome dog coats created from re-purposed materials!



From Crafty Stylish comes this very cute sweater you can make for your dog (small to medium) with an old out of style sweater vest that may be taking up space in your closet.


Got some old jeans lying around? Here is a great little coat for small to large size dogs that will have your dog stylin' on their walks from Instructables.


Speaking of jeans, from Sew Doggie Style comes this uber cool fetching number just fit for the Fall and Winter runways. 


Another great idea utilizing an old sweater you have lying around. This one looks very warm courtesy of Resweater.


We love this one! Made from either an old sweater or sweatshirt, great for small to medium sized dogs who will surely be the envy of the neighborhood from Babbles by Brook.


Another great coat from Instructables for any size dog, it's the Canine Carhartt Coat made from an old hoodie for your best pal.


And last but certainly not least, this is a great idea to utilize an old sweater sleeve to make a terrific little warmer upper for your little dog, courtesy of VoKnits.

We hope you and your pup enjoy fall! Stay warm and have fun!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Some dishwashering detergents contain dangerous chemicals that can affect the health of your dog!

Dogs.....we lick and lick and lick!

We've learned before that eating out of safe, radioactive free, stainless steel bowls are the healthiest and safest way for us dogs to enjoy our food and water. But what about washing them?

You can do what we do and wash them out regularly with water and vinegar. But sometimes putting them in the dishwasher is faster and easier for the dog Moms and Dads out there.

So we wanted to be sure that you know all you can about healthier, safer dishwasher detergents on the market, and how you can make your own!

Did you know that some of those dishwashing detergents contain ingredients that can be very harmful to people and dogs, causing anything from skin irritations, to allergies, to respiratory issues, organ toxicity and even cancer. And many are not good for the environment either, contributing to acute aquatic toxicity and more.

These dishwashing detergents on the market can contain:
  • Zinc Carbonate that is of high concern for skin irritation/allergies/damage, chronic aquatic toxicity, acute aquatic toxicity; and some concern for general systemic/organ effects, damage to vision.
  • Colorings that are of high concern for general systemic/organ effects, damage to DNA, and cancer; moderate concern for chronic aquatic toxicity; and some concern for acute aquatic toxicity, skin irritation/allergies/damage.
  • Fragrances which have some concern for skin irritation/allergies/damage, acute aquatic toxicity, nervous system effects, respiratory effects, biodegradation.
  • Preservatives which have a high concerns for cancer; and a moderate concern for general systemic/organ effects, acute aquatic toxicity, respiratory effects.
  • Surfactants which have a high concern for acute aquatic toxicity; and a moderate concern for respiratory effects, general systemic/organ effects.
Sadly even some of the eco-friendly brands (like Seventh Generation) can contain some nasty chemicals like:
  • Sodium Borate which has a high concern for developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects; and some concern for skin irritation/allergies/damage, respiratory effects
  • Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil which has some concern for acute aquatic toxicity, respiratory effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage, cancer, general systemic/organ effects

So how do you know which dishwashing detergents are safer?

Our friends at the Environmental Working Group have tested and rated 100's of dishwashing products currently on the market. You can visit their site and search for your favorite brand to see if it contains any toxic chemicals that can be harmful to you and your dog. They rate the products from A (healthier and safer) to F (very, very dangerous to health).

Another idea to be sure that your dishwasher detergent is healthy is to make your own! Here's our favorite recipe that doesn't contain any borax, which has lately become one of those on our 'don't' list.

Ingredients:
Directions:
  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl with a spoon.
  • Just add a tablespoon to your washer dispenser and wash as usual and store in a glass airtight jar. 
  • If your powder starts to harden in jar, simply take a clean sock, fill it partially with rice and add it to the container to keep out the moisture and prevent hardening.
You can review 100's of dishwashing products on the market and gauge their level of health concern by ingredient via the Environmental Working Group's website.

Photos courtesy of Jeb and Chalon Handmade.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wonderful, yummy, easy, homemade Pumpkin Apple Jerky treats for dogs!

With pumpkins and apples everywhere, Fall is a great time to make this super simple recipe for Pumpkin Apple Jerky for your dog!

Whether you have a dehydrator or just want to use your oven and add some warmth to your home at the same time, these easy treats will please any dog. And they are so easy you won't want to stop making them.

The best part? They are super healthy and very low in fat and calories to help keep your dog stay trim and slim.

Here's our recipe!
    • Mix together about one cup each equal parts of...
    • 1 can 8 oz. of organic pure plain pumpkin (remember it needs to be pure, not pumpkin for pies that includes spices and other ingredients) and...
    • 1 cup 8 oz. of organic apple sauce (or you can blend up organic apples in your blender.)
    • Lay out some parchment paper (which is healthier than foil) and spread the mixture about 1/8 to 1/4 inches thick) in stripes on the paper about 6 inches long and one inch wide.
    • Dehydrate in your oven at about 170 degrees for about eight hours, or dehydrate in your dehydrator at 130 degrees for about 10 hours.

    The resulting jerky should be firm, but not sticky or brittle, when fully cooked. As ovens and dehydrators vary greatly we recommend checking on your cooking jerky often during the process of cooking.

    That's it! Super easy and super yummy and healthy for your dog!
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