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Going Green for your Pets

January 20th 2008 11:10 pm
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Mom saw this awesome posting on Squirt's diary and had to post it here for my pals. Hope we all learn something here!
~~~~~

Mom was watching on Dateline or something like that tonight. They were showing how the glaciers were melting so fast because of us of course. And how were scientists walked 5 years ago were there was ground is now water, or were there was snow is now green. And how the Penguin and other animal population has decreased by 50%.::o So mom went online to see how she chould help out more! And thought she whould share this with you! And hope you will try to help as well!

For more info go to: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/03/how-to-green-your-pe t.php

What’s the Big Deal?

Ah, the pitter patter of four-legged feet as they whip through your living room at overclocked speeds or uproot your prize gladiolas with manic fervor. But Snookiepuss and Mrs. Fluffypants are practically family, right? So why should they settle for anything less than top drawer when their health and wellbeing are at stake? Throw the planet a bone while you’re at it; we’ve got the goods on how to reduce your pets’ carbon paw prints—without making your wallet roll over and play dead.

1. Adopt from a shelter

Pet breeders have only one goal in mind—to raise large quantities of purebred animals for profit. They’ve also been pilloried for misdeeds such as overbreeding, inbreeding, poor veterinary oversight, lousy food and living conditions, overcrowding, and culling of unwanted animals. Why buy when you can adopt one of the 70,000 puppies and kittens born every day in the United States? Love knows no pedigree. Check out Petfinder.com to find your perfect match.

2. Spay or neuter your pet

Did we mention 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in the United States? That’s 15 puppies and 45 kittens for every hairless biped that slides out of a birth canal. And “multiplying like bunnies” isn’t just any old trope. We don’t need any more homeless animals than we already have. As a bonus, spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by eliminating the possibility of uterine, ovarian, and testicular cancer, and decreasing the incidence of prostate disease.

3. Rein in your pets; protect native wildlife

Always keep your dog on a leash when outside, and confine your mangy feline indoors. Topped only perhaps by habitat destruction, cats are the biggest, baddest bird killers of all time. Even wind turbines have got nothing on them. While you may poo-poo high cat-related bird-mortality rates as collateral damage in the great Circle of Life, domestic cats do have an unfair advantage. Unlike wild predators, house cats are always well fed, well rested, and in tip-top fighting shape. They’re also present in more concentrated (and rapidly increasing) numbers than say, the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike.

That aside, two out of every three vets, according to the Humane Society of America, recommend keeping cats indoors, because of the dangers of cars, predators, disease, and other hazards. The estimated average life span of a free-roaming cat is less than three years; an indoors-only cat gets to live an average of 15 to 18 years. If kitty needs to heed the call of the wild, an outdoor cat enclosure is a good compromise.

4. Swap out the junk food

Most conventional pet-food brands you find at the supermarket consist of reconstituted animal by-products, otherwise known as low-grade wastes from the beef and poultry industries—you know, inedibles you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot fork. In fact, the animals used to make many pet foods are classified as “4-D,” which is really a polite way of saying “Dead, Dying, Diseased, or Down (Disabled)” when they line up at the slaughterhouse. Unless that can of Chicken ‘N Liver Delite explicitly states that it contains FDA-certified, food-grade meat, you should know that its contents are considered unfit for human consumption—but apparently good enough for your cat or pooch.

Now, since nutrition is one of the key determinants of health and resistance to disease, ideally you’ll want your pet’s chow to be comparable in quality with what we would eat.

Natural and organic pet foods use meats that are raised in sustainable, humane ways without added drugs or hormones, minimally processed, and preserved with natural substances, such as vitamins C and E. Certified-organic pet foods must meet strict USDA standards that spell out how ingredients are produced and processed, which means no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, artificial ingredients or genetically engineered ingredients.

(Hemp dog beds from Earth Dog)

5. Clean up their poop

Scoop up your doggie doo in biodegradable poop bags so your buddy’s No. 2 isn’t immortalized in a plastic bag, while deep-sixed in a landfill somewhere for hundreds of years. Cat owners should avoid clumping clay litter at all costs. Not only is clay strip-mined (bad for the planet), but the clay sediment is also permeated with carcinogenic silica dust that can coat little kitty lungs (bad for the cat). Plus, the sodium bentonite that acts as the clumping agent can poison your cat through chronic ingestion through their fastidious need to groom. Because sodium bentonite acts like expanding cement—it’s also used as a grouting, sealing, and plugging material—it can swell up to15 to18 times their dry size and clog up your cat’s insides. Eco-friendly cat litters avoid these problems; a happy cat is a cat that doesn’t claw your face off.

6. Give them sustainable goods

Your furry friends can get in on some saving-the-planet goodness, too—and have plenty of fun—with toys made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers (sans herbicides or pesticides) such as hemp. A hemp collar (with matching leash) is a rocking accessory for a tree-hugging mutt. These days, you can even get pet beds made with organic cotton or even recycled PET bottles.

7. Use natural pet-care and cleaning products

You don’t use toxic-chemical-laced shampoos and beauty products, so lather up your cats and dogs (or ferrets, rabbits, or hamsters—we don’t judge) with natural pet-care products, as well. And if your cat horks up a hairball, or Fifi doesn’t make it all the way to the bathroom, clean up the mess with cleaning products that are as gentle on the planet as they are on your critters’ delicate senses.

8. Pets, not fads

Sure, everyone’s ovaries ping when they see a five-year-old moppet cradle a tiny chick or a bunny during Easter, but nature dictates that baby bunnies grow up into rabbits, and little chicks into full-size chickens. Unless everyone involved understands that a pet is a long-term commitment that involves demands on both their time and money, you’re better off giving the kid a stuffed animal. Impulse buying (say, rushing out an grabbing the next available Dalmatian puppy after watching 101 Dalmatians) isn’t a good idea, either, as the large numbers of fad dogs that pass through shelters (often to their death) can attest. Repeat after us—especially you, Paris Hilton: Pets are not fads or fashion accessories.

9. Melt the ice, nicely

Use a child- and pet-safe deicer such as Safe Paw’s environmentally friendly Ice Melter. Rock salt and salt-based ice-melting products, which kids and animals might accidentally ingest, can cause health problems, while contaminating wells and drinking supplies.

10. Tag your pet

It might be a stretch to call inserting an electronic ID chip into your pet an eco-friendly move, but losing your buddy causes extreme emotional distress that turns you into nobody’s friend. Then there’s the paper waste from printing out Missing posters, the fuel cost of driving around your neighborhood trying to find them, the phone bill as you bawl your eyes out to everyone you know … well, you get the idea. Ask your vet for more info. For hanging tags, check out these recyclable (and recycled) aluminum ID tags and these WaggTaggs made from recycled silver.


Wanna Do More?

1. Compost their poop

American dogs and cats create 10 million tons of waste a year, and no one knows where it’s going, according to Will Brinton, a scientist in Mount Vernon, Maine, and one of the world’s leading authorities on waste reduction and composting.

Most of our pets’ poop either winds up in a landfill purgatory, where it’s embalmed practically forever in plastic bags, or sits on the ground until the next rainstorm washes it into the sewer where it can drift on down to rivers and beaches. You can compost the poop—just don’t use it with your vegetable garden, because the compost doesn’t heat up enough to kill pathogens such as E. coli., which could contaminate your homegrown produce and land up in your (very unhappy) belly.

If you have room in your backyard, you can bury an old garbage bin (note: far away from your vegetable garden) to use as a pet-waste composter. Or check out the Doggie Dooley. The makers of the Doggy Dooley also sell an enzymatic “Super Digester Concentrate” for your backyard pet septic system.

2. Be a pet chef

If you want to know exactly what is going into your furball’s food dish, or your pet suffers from allergies, you can always make your own puppy (or kitty) chow. If the idea of becoming a fulltime pet chef is just crazy talk, making the occasional meal or treat is completely doable. Those broccoli stalks left over from your last stirfry also make some tasty morsels for your pup.

3. Get crafty

Your cat will love you forever if you grow your own organic catnip or cat grass. Scrap yarn and fabric you might otherwise toss can also easily be transformed into pet toys with some basic crafty know-how. And they wouldn’t have had to be trucked thousands of miles just to get drooled on.

4. Get ticks off

While you don’t want to douse your pet in toxins, it is also important to keep the bugs in check. Pets can carry ticks, and ticks can carry Lyme Disease, a serious and poorly understood disease that attacks the nervous system. If you live in an area where Lyme Disease is a risk, be very cautious and seek sound advice on keeping ticks off you and your furry friends.

5. Offset your pet

Maybe Scruffy will only drink water from an electric-powered water fountain, or perhaps you have a self-cleaning litter box from before you went green—we all have corpses buried in our backyards. Why not purchase green tags, otherwise known as renewable energy credits, to offset your pets’ carbon emissions. Heck, buy ‘em for the whole family so no one feels left out. Or better yet, check if your state sells green power so you and your furry compatriots can go carbon neutral.


By The Numbers

1. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service estimates that domestic cats kill more than 39 million birds annually—and that’s just in Wisconsin.

2. There are over 66 million pet cats in the United States; approximately 35 percent are kept exclusively indoors.

3. Certain studies have shown that children who grow up with two or more pets are more than 75 percent less likely to develop allergies later in life.

4. Sixty percent of pet owners have a dog; on average owners have almost two dogs (1.7).

5.Over 5,500 puppies and kittens (compared with 415 human babies) are born every hour in the United States.

6. The U.S. Dept. of Health found that 28 percent of heart patients who were also pet owners survived serious heart attacks, compared with 6 percent of patients without pets.

7.In 1994, Time magazine estimated that as many as 25 percent of purebred dogs were afflicted with serious genetic problems.

8. Shelter workers nationwide are forced to euthanize an estimated 3 to 4 million homeless cats and dogs each year.::o

 

Cave bed

January 17th 2008 12:31 am
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I have discovered the ultimate doggie furniture - the cave bed. It is pawsome. It's fleece lined with a covered fleece lined top. No one had to show me how to get in it. I jumped right in, curled up and claimed it!!! Every evening I hang out in it. I even slept in it one whole night. I've never slept anywhere except in bed with mom & dad, so you know this is it. Yesterday, mom laughed when I crawled to the back and the bed rolled back. I looked like I was in a sack. But I didn't care. This is definately comfort. Mom will post a photo of me in it. Sorry Georgie, mom will have to get you another one!

Winston

 

Walkin in a doggie wonderland

December 20th 2007 7:08 am
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I saw this on someone else's page and thought it was hilarious!!!

WALKIN IN A DOGGIE WONDERLAND...

Dog tags ring, are you listenin'?
In the lane, snow is glistenin'.
It's yellow, NOT white I've been there tonight,
Marking up my winter wonderland.

Smell that tree? That's my fragrance.
It's a sign for wandering vagrants;
"Avoid where I pee, it's MY pro-per-ty!
Marked up as my winter wonderland."

In the meadow dad will build a snowman,
Following the classical design.
Then I'll lift my leg and let it go Man,
So all the world will know that it's mine-mine-mine!

Straight from me to the fence post,
Flows my natural incense boast;
"Stay off my TURF, this small piece of earth,
I marked it as my winter wonderland."

 

Puppy Prayer

December 18th 2007 8:27 am
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I'd say this is about right...

Now I lay me down to sleep.
The king size bed is soft and deep.
I sleep right in the center groove.
My human being can hardly move!
I've trapped her legs, she's tucked in tight.
And here is where I pass the night.
No one disturbs me or dare intrude.
Till morning comes and I want food!
I sneak up slowly to begin my nibbles
on my human's chin. She wakes up quickly,
I have sharp teeth-I'm a puppy, don't you see?
For the mornings here and it's time to play.
I always seem to get my way.
So thank you Lord for giving me
This human person that I see.
The one who hugs and holds me tight
And shares my bed with me at night!

 

Starting to relax

December 14th 2007 3:39 am
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I've been in my new home for less than 2 months. Last night was the first time I asked for affection. I sat near mom and pushed my nose under her hand. Then I also kept pawing at her to keep petting me. And I laid down next to her and asked her to rub my belly. Up to now I haven't quite been trusting. I've liked affection but couldn't relax. When I first arrived I slept in a crate for a couple of weeks, but I was getting more anxious as the days went by. My original owner said I slept in bed with her, so mom & dad let me sleep with them. I get comfy right away and sleep soundly. Mom thinks I'm going to start relaxing now. She said it took Finnegan about 3 months to feel like he was going to get to stay furever. She's hoping it will be soon for me!

Winston

 

Birthday Celebration

December 3rd 2007 11:38 pm
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Yesterday was my birthday, and I had such a good time. After mom & dad sang happy birthday to me, we all had breakfast and the usual morning round of play. Then mom took me for a walk just with her! There was a marathon running near our house, and mom decided to take me to watch, partly just for something different to do and to see how I am in a crowd. She could immediately tell that I've been in big crowds before. I really enjoyed it. All of the streets were closed off to traffic so I got to run down sidewalks and grassy slopes where I would never get to go. There were people everywhere, a DJ playing loud music, water station with dancing people, just lots of people everywhere. I met a couple of other dogs and really liked this one cute pomeranian in a pink jacket. We were the same size & she smelled really good, like only another dog could! We walked from 1 mile checkpoint to the next, and then back home so we walked over 2 miles! It was so fun. Then I went back home & played more with Finnegan, Georgie & Molly. I had some special treats and got some toys. And lots of hugs & belly rubs. And was told lots of times how glad everyone was that I was in the family. I think I'm going to start relaxing now and maybe keep these guys. I had a great birthday!

Winston

 

Tomorrow is my birthday!

December 1st 2007 9:06 pm
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Tomorrow is my birthday!!! I can't wait to pawty. It is the first time I've been away from my first mom on my birthday - I hope she doesn't miss me too much. But I'm having so much fun with Finnegan, Georgie & Molly. Mom & dad are very good to me. Can't wait to see what's in store for me!

Winston

 

All clear...

December 1st 2007 7:12 am
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Well, we finally have our house back from the intruders. And no plastic on the windows so I can at least see who is coming!!! Our living room and dining room have 3 - 6 foot tall windows and a sliding glass door...I tell you we were living in darkness!!! Whew, we can see the light of day again, and it's quiet outside. I just did my rounds to make sure no one was left behind. All is safe in Shangri-La again.

Winston

 

Plastic House

November 29th 2007 6:34 pm
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OMD - now all of the windows & doors are encased in plastic!!! Those people named Painter covered up EVERYTHING with plastic and tape. We can hear them and see their shadows on the windows, but we can't SEE them!!! It's like living in a bubble. I can't wait until it bursts open and we get outta here.

Winston

 

House invaders...

November 26th 2007 9:59 am
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OMD - there are people spraying water at the house!!! I keep barking to warn mom and to tell those people to go away. She says "it's ok, they're the painters". How can this be ok? I never met anybody named Painter. Shouldn't they have been introduced and shouldn't I give them instructions on appropriate behavior around my place? Some people....

BOL,
Winston

 
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Family Pets

Georgie
Molly
♥Annie&
hearts;
Finnegan
Socks
Tigger
NeeNee
Lily
Fearless Four

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