Thursday, March 28, 2013

Getting Ready for Spring Walks with Your Dog

According to the calendar (and the groundhog) it is spring. However, where I live, we still have snow and temperatures below 40 degrees. I am really looking forward to some nice days soon to take my dogs out for walks. Since we live on five acres, my dogs get to run free all the time, it is me who doesn't want to go for long walks in the cold. I do like to run, so as soon as the weather is at least in the 40s, I will resume my running routine and my black lab, Sophie, will run with me. To get myself motivated to run more this spring, I just signed up the for Pittsburgh 5k on May 4th and in the process, found out they have a dog walk as well. I signed my daughter up to walk with Sophie and I think it is going to be a lot of fun. If you like walking with your dog, you may want to see if there are any dog walks scheduled in your area. Active.com lists a lot of races and walks (for humans and dogs) and you can search in a variety of ways. Even if you can't find a dog walk in your area, maybe there is a 5k walk or run you could participate in to benefit a local shelter or dog related cause.

If you are preparing to do a dog walk or want to start running with your dog, just keep in mind that dogs need to build up and train just like humans do. Check out this blog from Dr. Sophia Yin for ways to help train your dog to run with you or get other ideas for ways to help your dog get enough exercise. Sophie has shed some extra pounds by running with me and eating healthier treats and she looks really healthy and not so round anymore.

If you do take your dog to running or walking events, or even just take long walks near your neighborhood, you also should try to have eco-friendly, biodegradable dog waste bags with you at all times. I think Natural Pet Warehouse has a really cute dog waste holder with biodegradable bags! You can also find eco-friendly waste bags at most pet stores and online at Amazon.

If you do know of any dog walks or fun dog activities, please share them in the comments section below!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Healthy Homemade Dog Treats

If you eat a healthy whole food diet, consider upcycling your leftovers into yummy homemade healthy dog treats. Check out my article on How to Make Healthy Homemade Dog Treats.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Environmentally Friendly Ways to Fight Fleas

Spring is in the air and that means pretty soon, dog owners will once again have the joy of dealing with fleas on their dogs. Although commercial flea products usually work well and take little effort to use, most of them are not very friendly for the environment. The excessive use of those chemicals in your home can also be dangerous to your family's health as well as to your dog. There are many natural ways to deal with fleas that are equally as effective as commercial products BUT....it does require some extra time and effort on the part of the dog owner.

Check out this article on how to make a homemade flea collar using lemon juice. The article also contains information about the chemicals used in commercial flea collars. Spraying my dogs and home with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar as well as frequent cleaning is the most effective way I have found to keep my home free of fleas. Since I live in a rural area and have two dogs, I feel like I am constantly battling to keep the fleas out of my house. Fortunately, I have very little carpeting in my home and I have a junk tub in my basement I can use to rinse and bathe my dogs frequently. If you truly want to fight fleas naturally and without chemicals you need to put time aside every day, but in the end I truly think it is time well spent to keep pets, people and the environment healthy!