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The Dirty Truth About Dog Poop

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Abba smiling

Abba smiling

A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker

With 78.2 million dogs in this country (according to the 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey), that’s a lot of dog poop (about 10 million tons!). Waste removal is a part of every dog owner’s life, both on the go and at home, and probably not a subject that is given much thought. As dog parents, we are always checking the quality and the frequency of our dog’s poop. Now that there are so many dogs living and pooping in this country, let’s not just look at it, let’s look at what we can do with it!

All of the options below are for those who are committed to being gentle on Mother Earth, making conscious choices in everyday life, and who don’t fling dog poop over the fence into the neighbor’s yard. If this describes you, read on!

Biodegradable Poop Bags
This is a cheap and easy solution for busy dog owners. Let’s assume that you already bring your reusable shopping bags to the supermarket and avoid the plastic bags at checkout. Biodegradable poop bags come neatly rolled up, taking up way less room than used shopping bags, and break down in both active and inactive environments (like landfills). They are affordable, come in fashionable colors, and some are even scented! Not scented like poop, but nice things like blueberry or vanilla. Hey, it’s the canine equivalent to bathroom spray.

Pooper Scoopers
These home tools are for use in your own yard. There is a great deal of variety in popper scoopers, all of which have long handles so you don’t have to bend down to the ground. There’s even a 1-handed model which uses spring action jaws that you open and close on the handle. They vary in price, starting at around $10 and can be found at your local hardware or garden supply store.

Flushable Poop Bags
Yes, it’s true! These bags are amazing! They are safe to use with a septic or sewage system and biodegrade in water. The benefit of using flushable bags is that you get the poop into the system that was designed to remove harmful toxins and bacteria from feces. These are a little more expensive than biodegradable bags, but so cutting edge Green, how can you resist!

Dog Poop Composter Bins
Whether you use a popper scooper or the designated “dog poop shovel” to get the stuff off of your yard, the next question is likely, “Now what do I do with it?” Unfortunately, it is harmful to add to your food compost bin due to its high levels of bacteria and parasites. So, some Earth-friendly geniuses came up with dog poop composters. They are for dog poop only (cat poop, too) and use an enzyme to break down the poop, making it into compost and ready to give back to the soil. They come in various designs and colors to look like yard art or hide quietly in the corner. For those who are DIY captains, there’s plenty of websites that give you step-by-step instructions on how to make your own!

The dirty truth about dog poop is that it’s considered a pollutant. It is not a fertilizer, and actually harbors toxic bacteria and parasites, making it a health hazard for all of us when left on the ground. Cities all over the country have made it illegal to leave your dog’s waste on the ground, due to the health risks, so cleaning up after your dog has become a part of everyday life. Thanks to innovative thinkers, we have plenty of earth-friendly options for that make the clean-up job a lot less crappy!

 

Find a dog rescue or animal shelter near you >>

March 2, 2021 |

4 Ways to Get Your Four-Legged Friend Involved in Valentine’s Day

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4 Ways to Get Your Four-Legged Friend Involved in Valentine’s Day

At Christmas time, Santa fills special small stockings for your dogs, and you’ve been known to send them postcards when you are on vacation. To say that you love your dogs is probably the understatement of the year.

4 Ways to Get Your Four-Legged Friend Involved in Valentine’s Day

So, for a holiday that is devoted exclusively to love, why should humans have all of the fun? Get your precious pooch involved in Valentine’s Day with gifts and special treats just for them or by getting them in on the gift giving action. If you need some help involving your pets this year, consider the following four ideas:

Give Your Pup a Special Gift

Dogs know when a gift is just for them. This Valentine’s Day, show your adoration for your furry friend with a new heart-shaped collar. Elmo’s Closet features a selection that suits both boy and girl dogs. When giving the new collar to your dog, put it in a gift bag along with a couple of other goodies like a new squeaky ball, a Nylabone and a small bag of fancy dog treats. Then, add some loose Milkbones to the packaging so your dog can smell the present and will entice him or her to start pulling the tissue paper out of the bag. This way, your pup can find all the goodies and gifts himself.

Schedule Time for a Long Walk

Dogs love going for walks with their beloved humans. While you probably enjoy getting out with your four-legged friend, work, school, family commitments and other obligations sometimes cause that leash to go unused. So, a great way to show your dogs some love, set aside a good chunk of time on Valentine’s Day for a nice long walk around the neighborhood. Instead of walking as quickly as you can, go at a leisurely pace and let your dog stop and sniff the roses—or bushes, lawns and fire hydrants.

Plan a Doggy Spa Day

If your dog loves getting groomed, schedule a special spa day on or near Valentine’s Day. Call your favorite local groomer to set up a time for your dog to be pampered, massaged and shampooed. Or, if your dog gets a bit nervous at the groomer but likes getting a bath, do it all yourself at home.

Paw Nation offers great tips on how to do a spa day at home. For example, put on some music that your dog loves, give him or her a nice rubdown and massage before putting him or her in the tub—this will help to remove loose fur and prevent your drain from getting clogged. Then, give your dog a good shampoo with a special doggy spa scrub, like Doggie Vogue’s vanilla and blueberry scrub that will leave your four-legged friend smelling great.

Let Your Pup Give a Gift

Dogs love to be part of whatever you are up to. So, if you are giving your significant other a gift this Valentine’s Day, buy another goodie from your dog. For example, FTD sells Valentine’s Day arrangements that come with flowers, chocolates and a plush puppy. This way, when the big day rolls around, your beloved dog can give him or her a Valentine’s Day gift, too.

February 11, 2021 |

5 common Valentine’s Day toxins for pets

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Valentine's day

Valentine's day

Valentine’s day is this week and with all the human festivities, there are hidden dangers for your pets. Below are toxic items that you may give or receive on Valentine’s day to hide from your best friend.

  1. Chocolate – Ingestions of more than 0.1 ounces per pound of body weight of dark or semi-sweet chocolate may cause poisoning.
  2. Roses – Although not really poisonous, the thorns can tear through a puppies throat and stomach.
  3. Lillies – Sometimes given instead of roses, lillies contain a toxin that is deadly to pets
  4. Macadamia nuts – Poisonous to dogs but no cats.
  5. Xylitol – The sugar substitute can cause drop in blood sugar as well as liver damage in dogs.

Stay safe this Valentine’s day!

February 10, 2021 |

The Joy of Fostering a Dog

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dog rescue

fostering a shelter dog

A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker

Whether you’re a family with a few dogs already, experiencing empty nest syndrome, or simply looking for something meaningful to do, fostering a dog can be a source of great joy in your life. There are many reasons why you should consider being a dog foster family that you may not have thought of.

Companionship.
Whether you’ve recently lost a canine loved one, or your human children have gone off to college, dogs provide outstanding companionship and love. You can work with a shelter to customize the personality type of the dog that you foster to ensure that you bring home a snuggler, a buddy, or whatever type of companionship you may be seeking.

It’s mutually beneficial.
While you enhance the quality of your own life, you will simultaneously be helping out the entire pet adoption industry by easing the burden on overpopulated shelters. It may seem minor to have one dog at your house for a few weeks or months, but it all adds up.

You can become part of the solution.
When you make the decision to foster a dog in your home, your friends and family become aware of the enormous need to help stop the homeless pet epidemic. You can take the opportunity to educate your friends and family on the statistics that are staggering. If, as a result, just one friend or family member decides to adopt from a shelter (instead of buying from a breeder), you’ve now helped out exponentially.

You will make new friends.
By getting involved with a local dog rescue, you will certainly be meeting other like-minded individuals. Most rescues provide an immense amount of communication and support, often provided by other volunteers. There are events and functions you can attend and you needn’t worry about ice-breaker strategies..your dogs do it for you!

It’s a chance to role-play parenting.
In the case that you’ve not been a dog parent recently, fostering can provide you with the opportunity to see if your current lifestyle would be conducive to committing to the next 15 years with a dog. It also gives you the ability to consider specific dog breeds, sizes and ages that might be best for you long term.

If you’ve ever found yourself rooting for the underdog, becoming a foster parent will bring you great joy. No matter what level of a commitment you can make, it will have a ripple effect in terms of how much it helps. Talk to your local shelters and find a good fit for you and them and feel good about your contribution to your community!

January 4, 2021 |

5 New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Dog

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5 New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Dog

5 New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Dog

The new year is upon us and it’s time to make those annual changes that we always strive to make, the resolutions. This year, why not make it a little more fun and invite someone to join you? You know you always do better when you the motivation of another person! So this year, instead of going at it alone, bring along your best friend, I know they won’t let you down. Here’s some New Year’s resolutions for you and your dog to try:

  • Loose a little weight. As the saying goes, if you have a fat dog, then you’re not getting enough exercise. You know your dog would go for a walk if you just asked. Take that walk around the block or a few miles, your choice.
  • Watch your calories and stop munching. Just like you, your dog’s diet most likely isn’t the best in the world. It’s not their fault, they just eat what you put down. Look for foods for both of you that don’t have a ton of preservatives or additives in them. The fresher the better. And watch that portion control.
  • Make new friends. If you have a social dog, get them out to the dog park to interact with others. Who knows, you may meet a few new friends too.
  • Pamper yourself and dog a little. Enjoy life! Make yourself a spa appointment and get that massage you’ve been wanting. While you’re at it, get a spa day for your best friend too. Make an appointment at the dog groomer. Although they may act like the don’t like baths, a clean dog is a happy dog. When they are matted it can be uncomfortable and unhealthy for them.
  • Learn some new tricks. Both you and your dog can benefit from dog training. It strengthens the bond and cuts down on the frustration.

Happy New Year from all of us at DogGeek.com!

January 1, 2021 |

Pet Friendly Holiday Travel Tips

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Pet Friendly Holiday Travel Tips

Pet Friendly Holiday Travel Tips

The holidays are a fun and hectic time for all of us, including the family pets. Here are some tips to make your trip safe and worry free.

  • Get their ya-ya’s out before you get in the car! A tired dog is a happy dog. Take them for a walk or to the dog park to get some of the travel excitement out. Besides, you could use the fresh air too! You’ll just be sitting on your butt all day in the care anyway.
  • Plan in advance! Before you hit the road, plan out where you can stop with your pets for potty breaks, food and lodging. Don’t wait till the last second! Many hotels, especial pet friendly hotels, sell out quickly. Book your dog friendly hotel in advance.
  • Bring water along with water and food bowls. You don’t know if where you stop will have them and it’s always better to have something that your pet is familiar with.
  • Pack wisely. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve packed up our pack only to get to our destination to see that we forgot a Frisbee for our Border Collie mix. A Border Collie without a ball or Frisbee is the equivalent of a small child crying on an airplane… no one is going to be happy! Check, double check, then triple check that you brought everything you need!
  • Don’t forget the food. Many pet stores are closed (as they should be) on holidays. Don’t let your pet have an upset stomach because they had to eat table scraps that they are not use to.
  • Don’t let your gifts get destroyed. No one wants a hole if their gift from a dog that stepped on it during the car ride to Grandma’s. Plan ahead on how you will store everything in your vehicle so that everything gets there in one piece.
  • Make sure all tags are up-to-date. Ensure that your correct mobile phone number (including area code, you are traveling) is on all tags and is readable. Also make sure rabies and other tags are up-to-date too. If you have your dog micro-chipped, ensure that all information is correct there too.
  • Don’t forget the pet medications too.

Last of all, don’t forget to have a good time! It is the holidays, enjoy them!

December 11, 2020 |
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