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Archive for Green Pets
June 25th, 2014
Strange title for a post, isn’t it? Right now there’s a chipmunk in my life. I feel like I’m in my own little Caddyshack -remember Bill Murray chasing a gopher? That’s me right now. There’s one big problem - I have no idea where the chipmunk is.
This is not quite how I envisioned my first few days of summer. My vision was in fact very different. Me working quietly from my office, going on a mid-day run, hanging with my husband while my kids kick off 4 weeks at overnight camp.
Everything came to a screeching halt when I saw a small tail peeking out from behind our family room sofa.
Let me take a minute to share the backstory.
Way back around Halloween I decided to store old, unopened bags of Halloween candy on a bench in our garage. I forgot about them. Mistake number 1.
About a month ago my youngest son reported finding an empty candy wrapper outside the garage and proudly proclaimed “it wasn’t me!” We found another wrapper in the garage a few days later, which led us to the bags of unused Halloween candy on the bench. A chipmunk had broken in and stolen a few chocolate bars.
I tossed the half eaten candy and moved a second bag of unopened, untouched candy into a closet in the house.
Fast forward to yesterday. While working, I left the door from our garage into our house open. Mistake number 2.
The chipmunk decided to come in and somehow managed to find the unopened, uneaten bag of old Halloween candy. Seriously smart chipmunk. I found another candy wrapper on the stairs before spotting the chipmunk.
I freaked. Yes, I know that I’m a lot bigger than a little chipmunk, but it was in my house. It had crossed a line.
How I got rid of the chipmunk……I think
I called for help. Thankfully I was able to reach a sweet friend who’s in the know when it comes to this sort of thing. I certainly was not. This was well beyond my pay grade.
I went to a local hardware store and purchased a Have a Heart Trap. This was the two door, easy set trap that took me over a half an hour to figure out. The goal was to capture the chipmunk and set it free outside.
All the bedroom doors were closed before going to the store. When I came home my son’s door was slightly ajar. Then I spotted the tail again in his room. Smart chipmunk.
The Have a Heart Trap was set with peanut butter in my son’s room. I was also advised to open a window and remove the screen so the chipmunk could escape. Done.
His door was closed and I patiently waited for the sound of the trap working. Nothing.
So here’s where I’m at right now: No chipmunk in the trap. No chipmunk sighting. No idea if it exited through the window. No sleep for me.
What would you do? Assume that it’s out? Call wildlife rescue to come over and confirm that it’s out (this one is high on my list right now)? Keep the room sealed for a few days and hope for the best? Advice needed……
photo credit: beckstei via photopin cc
April 4th, 2012
It’s Wednesday and all over the internet you will find photos with no words of explanation. Why? Because pictures say a thousand words.
She was my first baby. Guess how old she is now?
Linked up with: I Thought I Knew Mama, My Organized Chaos, Searching for Simplicity,
October 13th, 2011
This week I have been traveling- visiting J.R. Watkins Naturals in beautiful Winona, Minnesota. The leaves are flaunting some beautiful colors and the weather has been uncharacteristically warm. Rumor has it there is at least an inch of snow coming by Halloween, which is hard to imagine. There’s more to come on my trip, but for now there are a few things I wanted to share with you before the weekend kicks in.
Green Pet Care
Lisa over at Condo Blues is hosting this month’s Green Moms Carnival: Green Pet edition. October is National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month as well as National Pet Wellness Month so it’s the perfect time to talk about green care for our pets. You will find pet adoptions stories, green pet care tips, stories about green pet life, info on food and treats and a little green pet philosophy. My posts, 8 Tips for Choosing Healthy Dog Food and Natural Flea and Tick Prevention for Pets, are included.
Green Your Apple Picking
It is the perfect time of year for apple picking. I have to admit that we haven’t gone on our annual trek to the local apple orchard yet, but I’m hopeful it will happen. Over at Momtastic this week I shared 8 Ways to Green Your Apple Picking. Check it out!
Project Green Challenge
This amazing mom and daughter team started Teens Turning Green and Project Green Challenge. Read their inspirational story over at Healthy Child Healthy World and enter Project Green Challenge-I did!
Patagonia and Onlineshoes.com Giveaway
Reminder-entries for the giveaway end tonight (October 13, 2011) at midnight (EST). A big thank you to all of you who have entered. The winner will be announced tomorrow….so stay tuned!
What groovy green things are on tap for this weekend? Whatever you do, ENJOY!
[Photo used under Creative Commons from Diane Turner/Flickr]
October 4th, 2011
This post is part of this months Green Moms Carnival -green pets edition- hosted by Lisa over at Condo Blues. The carnival goes live Wednesday, October 12, 2011. Be sure to stop by for lots of great, green tips and suggestions for your pets. This post was also cross-posted at Healthy Child Healthy World as the Blog of the Week.
October is my favorite time of the year. The disappointing performance by the Red Sox put a big damper on my usual October obsession with baseball playoffs, but there are still plenty of October highlights to look forward to. The leaves are beginning to change colors (they never disappoint), Halloween is on the horizon, routine is back on track and the dry weather brings on plenty of “good hair” days. October is also National Pet Wellness month, an annual event that encourages year-round pet wellness and owner education.
We have a 12 year old chocolate lab that rules the roost. She has free rein to climb on furniture, track in mud and sleep in our bed. She’s been through it all with us and still manages to provide us with that unconditional love that dogs are so wonderful at giving.
Over the years we’ve searched high and low for a dog food that’s full healthy ingredients, but free of toxins and harmful chemicals. The number of choices are overwhelming, each claiming to be the best.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the best commercially packaged dog food for your pet:
- Carefully read the ingredient label on the package.
- Look to see where the meat (i.e. chicken) is listed on the label. The closer it is to the beginning of the list the more actual meat used in the product. Protein is the most vital substance in a dog’s diet. You want a quality meat product.
- The type of meat should be specified. If the label says “meat” without specifying the type, don’t buy the product.
- Avoid any products that list a “by-product” of any kind.
- Avoid products that list “meal” instead of an actual meat. I have read some conflicting information on this and thedogfoodscoop.com says that meal isn’t necessarily inferior to fresh meat.
- Check where the fat is coming from. The dog food should specify the source of the fat-which meat or oil it’s coming from.
- Avoid dog food with grains as a top ingredient. Most commercial dog foods contain grains-and lots of them. There’s a lot of debate as to whether grains should be part of a dogs diet. Some claim that dogs do not have the digestive system to cope with grains and grains are one of the biggest sources of allergies in dogs.
- Don’t buy dog foods with added chemicals, food preservatives and synthetic colors.
We use Wellness Super5Mix Healthy Weight Recipe for our chocolate lab. She would eat anything-most labs would-but this food keeps her at a good weight and provides her with the nutrition that she needs to stay healthy and energetic.
In addition to her dry dog food we also feed her raw vegetables. Bananas and carrots are her favorites. There are a few foods that are big no-no’s (don’t ever feed these to your dog):
- Onions and garlic
- Grapes and raisins
I have always been intrigued by raw diets-both for humans and dogs-but have never taken the plunge.
Here are some reasons to go raw:
- Feeding raw is cheaper than commercial dog foods.
- It’s what your dog would eat if it lived in the wild.
- Cleans teeth naturally-by chewing raw, meaty bones.
- Less visits to the vet because your dog is healthy.
In honor of pet wellness month-this month and every month, take steps to keep your pets healthy. If you’re looking for natural ways to prevent fleas and ticks click HERE. Also, check in with Healthy Child Healthy World and their information on pesticides in pet products.
What type of food do you feed your pets? Have you tried a raw diet?
Disclosure: There is an Amazon link in this post. If you purchase the product it will place a few pennies in my pocket. Thanks!
April 25th, 2011
If you are a dog or cat lover you know that protecting your animals from fleas and ticks is high on the list for responsible pet care. In the northeast and other parts of the country ticks can run rampant, so keeping them off pets is essential.
In August our chocolate lab, Mico, will be 12 years old. That’s 84 in dog years. She’s no spring chicken, but she can still swim for hours and run a few laps with the young pups in the neighborhood. During the winter months there’s no need to use flea or tick prevention-the ticks and fleas are hibernating. But now that spring has sprung they are back in action and prevention is key to keep them away from your pets and out of your home.
Toxic chemicals in conventional flea and tick control products
There are many different brands of conventional flea and tick control products on the market. Most contain toxic chemicals that can poison pets and harm people. Some of the chemicals are linked to cancer, allergies and asthma and are suspected endocrine disruptors. Pregnant women and small children are especially at risk.
For all almost 12 years of her life we have doused poor Mico in K-9 Advantix or Frontline (depending upon the vets recommendation). The Natural Defense Resource Council (NRDC) put together a handy list of flea and tick products, listing which chemicals are in each and assessing the chemicals’ toxicity. Take a look at Greenpaws Flea and Tick Product Guide to see if the product you’re using is considered toxic. K-9 Advantix and Frontline both fell between the “use sparingly” and “avoid use” categories. Both are pretty toxic and don’t belong on Mico.
The bottom line: Don’t use spot treatments such as K-9 Avantix and Frontline which tend to be very concentrated and, according to new studies, may pose a hazard to pets and humans.
Natural solutions for flea and tick prevention
Regular combing with a flea comb, bathing and vacuuming can reduce and control fleas.
Keep your pets out of areas where ticks are prevalent –long grass and trees. This is a tough one for us since we are surrounded by woods and we love to walk Mico off road.
There are many natural options to repel ticks. Here are a few to try:
- Brewers yeast- Brewer’s yeast works by making the dog’s blood too acidic for bugs’ taste.
- Apple cider vinegar- Add no more than 2 tbsp. into a large bowl of water. Or make a spray of 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% water and spray onto your dog’s coat. Make sure you don’t spray in his/her eyes.
- Citrus rub- Cut a lemon into quarters. Put it into a jar and cover with boiling water. Let it steep overnight and put the solution into a spray bottle. Spray on your pet and rub in.
- Garlic-I’ve ready conflicting studies on the safety of garlic for dogs and cats. It seems clear that when large quantities of garlic are consumed by dogs it could lead to anemia and/or death. I’m going to stay away from garlic for the time being.
- There are also many all natural products on the market. When purchasing be careful to read through the ingredient list. Many of the “natural” products I came across did contain toxic chemicals. One product that looks promising is Ticked Off! ,which contains southern red cedar oil -another chemical-free, safe way to control fleas, ticks and other bugs.
When we buy flea and tick control products we make an assumption that they’re safe. However, the EPA isn’t like the FDA and they don’t require pet products to undergo field trials prior to approval. We need to let the EPA know that we do care what goes onto our pets and these toxic products shouldn’t be on the market.
Do you have any other natural remedies to share for flea and tick prevention?
Please consult with your veterinarian before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested in this article. Only your Veterinarian can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your pet’s unique needs or diagnose your pet’s particular medical history.