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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

Brand: West Paw Design

Earthbath Natural Grooming Wipes Hypo-Allergenic Wipes

Brand: Earthbath

ABO Gear Dog Digs Collapsible Dog Crate Medium for Canine

Brand: Abo Gear

WestPaw Ecotoys for Small Dogs

Store: Golly Gear
Brand: West Paw Design

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

Brand: Ruff Wear

Pawz Biodegradable Natural Dog Boots S

Brand: Pawz

Top Paw? Bone Clickers

Store: PetSmart
Brand: Top Paw

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

Brand: Belvoir Media Group

West Paw Recycled Fill Eco Slumber Bed - Four Patch S

Brand: West Paw Design

West Paw Recycled Fill Organic Bumper Beds Medium Basil

Brand: West Paw Design

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


Brand: Kong

Orijen Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food 15.4 lbs

Brand: Orijen

Four Paws Biodegradable Doggie Doo Bags 60 Count for Dogs

Brand: Four Paws Products

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

Brand: Complete Natural Nutrition

West Paw Zogoflex Tux - Tangerine

Brand: West Paw Design

West Paw Zogoflex Zisc - Aqua Blue

Brand: West Paw Design

West Paw Eco Nap Small Porcelain

Brand: West Paw Design

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

Brand: West Paw Design

WestPaw Eco Twist Tug Toy for Small Dogs

Store: Golly Gear
Brand: West Paw

Pet Health Insurance for Cats & Dogs


  1. Chances are good that if you were to ask ten of your neighbors how they felt about pet health insurance you would probably get ten very different answers.

  2. your puppy is so precious!!!!!! thanks for the step-by-step info on what you did when you first got your puppy. we just got two labrador puppies and this will definitely help us out as we are new to the pet owning world. i also like all the eco friendly product ideas you listed as well. this is also something we have been working on is becoming a more "green" household.

  3. Nice informative post.. I was looking out for some pet supplies for my pet when i came across your post.. thanks for sharing this article. Keep posting similar stuff.


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