Tennessee Girl Calls For Change After Dogs Die From Antifreeze Poisoning | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 10,000 animals die each year from antifreeze poisoning. And, Haley Ham wants to do something about that.

This 11-year-old girl from Tennessee lost her two dogs, Sam and Jessie, when someone in the neighborhood gave the dogs a poisonous stew with antifreeze as the main ingredient.

Antifreeze smells and tastes sweet to pets, and a few tablespoons can kill a dog, and a couple of teaspoons can kill a cat….

Read the whole article here:
Tennessee Girl Calls For Change After Dogs Die From Antifreeze Poisoning | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats

Reduce the chemicals you use by using more vinegar

vinegar.gifIt’s amazing how much we as a society have come to rely on stronger and stronger chemicals to get our cleaning done, and how much the simple remedies have gotten lost over time. One of the very best cleaners around is simple vinegar mixed with water. Try it on your windows or your kitchen floor. So many pets are suffering from itchy, rashy hotspot-plagued skin issues. Many people automatically assume that food is to blame (of course poor quality fats and proteins can cause nasty skin issues), but we forget that the chemicals we use to clean our floors, carpets, clothing, etc can really add up for the pets that live in such close contact with these surfaces. Check out this link that lists some of the many household uses for vinegar. Here’s another one!
*Raw Apple Cider Vinegar has many many uses for pets, both inside and out. Here’s a great link that discusses the benefits for skin and coat especially, and for combating yeast.

Honest Kitchen Prevails in Lawsuit to Proclaim Human Grade Ingredients

force.jpgThis is excellent news for Honest Kitchen – one of our favorite pet foods. They are the only food manufacturer in the US to have proven to the FDA that every ingredient they use is suitable for human consumption – they are even made alongside other products that are for human use. They were not allowed to sell in Ohio, as the Ohio Dept of Agriculture wouldn’t allow them to print “human food grade” on the package. They took them to court and won, as the statement is true. they do not claim that the product is for humans, only that the ingredients are of such quality that it would be safe for humans to consume. It is of course formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of dogs and cats. Here’s the whole article (thanks to Itchmo for this link):

News for cats and dogs – Court Rules That The Honest Kitchen Can Describe Pet Food As Human Grade On Labels

50 ways to Reuse your old Yoga Mat


I love this link – I practice hot yoga regularly and I really love it. But with all that sweating, I felt like I needed to replace my yoga mat. I put it in the closet, as I’m so loathe to throw things away if they can be reused, and I thought I must be able to find something useful to do with it. Check out this link, that shares 50 great ideas for ways to reuse your old yoga mat. A couple of good pet suggestions are to line your crate with it when transporting animals to the vet, so that they don’t slip all around. They also suggest using pieces of it under water and food bowls. I think it might also be great to put under crates at home to protect the hardwoods from being scratched. There are many other interesting ideas for kids and home uses. Brilliant!

Electronic Waste – if it has a plug, don’t throw it away!

I’m typing this on my new laptop computer while Mike works on the store’s main computer, the ipod is shuffling away through the stereo, and my cell phone is charging in the next room. All of these gadgets have improved our lives in ways we never could have imagined, and now we can’t live without them. Unfortunately, the life spans of these devices are fairly short, as new and better versions become available all the time. This leads to an incredible disposal problem, and not just because of the amount of space that all of this electronic refuse consumes (according to the recycling company E-Waste Solutions, individuals and organizations worldwide will replace more than 400 million computers in the next 3 years). Did you know that as much as 25% of a monitor’s weight is lead? Some monitors and TVs can contain up to 8 pounds of lead! Electronic equipment also contains loads of other metals and chemicals, like mercury, cadmium and fire retardants. When disposed of improperly, these toxic metals and chemicals leach into our soil and water supply. In fact, 70% of heavy metals in landfills come from discarded electronic equipment. The other ugly secret is that 50-80% of electronic waste that has been collected by “recyclers” has been exported to developing countries, where laws about the disposal of toxic materials are more lax. This poses quite a danger to the people and to the environment of these countries. To read more about this exporting issue, visit this link

The good news is that there are many good recycling operations, and a lot of the materials that make up electronic materials (glass, steel, gold, etc) can actually be recycled, and the toxic materials can be captured and reused or properly disposed of. Also, many computer companies are now taking back old computers when you buy a new one.

Many of the recyclers at this link will take any item with a plug. This is good news for me, as I know I have some old fluorescent lights in my garage that have mercury in the ballasts, a few old cordless phones that I haven’t wanted to throw away because of the batteries inside, and scads of telephone and stereo cables clogging up my junk drawers and tool boxes. And don’t forget — you can bring me your old cell phones for recycling! The company that recycles them either donates them to good causes or makes sure they are recycled properly, and The Orangutan Conservancy gets a few dollars for each phone to benefit orangutan conservation in the wild. If you’re not here in Portland, you can mail your old cell phone to:
Happy Hollow
Cell Phone Recycle Program
1300 Senter Road
San José, CA 95112

A quick Google search for electronic waste recycling in your state should make it easy to find a place to bring your stuff. Here are a few links to help as well:

Staples takes e-waste

Apple takes back computers

Wikipedia’s article on e-waste has lots of great links

Dell’s recycling program

Sony’s free take back program

Smart Animals

Check out this wonderful collection of smart animal videos.


Eating Organic is better for you

farmersmarket.jpgOur local farmer’s markets are in full swing right now, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Living in Portland has really made us feel so much more connected to our local farmers – maybe because there are so many things grown here. It’s made us much more aware of not only how much more delicious fresh organic foods are than those that have ridden in a truck or boat or train (or all of the above) to get to my supermarket, (moments from wilting), but also what a challenge it is for small, locally owned organic farmers to compete with giant agrobusiness.
I’m sure most of you know that organic farming is good for both you and the environment, as it reduces overall exposure to toxic chemicals. Synthetic pesticides and other chemicals can end up in the ground, air, water and food supply, and not only are they pollutants but they could be associated health consequences, from asthma to cancer. But did you know that organically grown foods can actually be better for you (and your pets) nutritionally than their traditionally grown counterparts? Just a few of the examples I found:
A study was presented at the Soil Association (UK’s largest soil conservation, organic farming, and environmental protection NGO) Annual Conference that came down solidly on the side of Organic milk. According to the research, cows farmed organically produced milk which was, on average, 50% higher in Vitamin E, 75% higher in beta carotene, two to three times higher in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthine, and richer in Omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced milk. A group of scientists from Europe have shown that organic food is healthier, for rats. The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne and the Danish Research Center for Organic Farming found that by feeding rats only organic food they had a stronger immune systems, slept better, and stored less fat. In a study by the U.S. Dept of Agriculture, organic ketchup was shown to contain 57% higher levels of the antioxidant lycopene.

So get on out there to the Farmer’s Markets while they’re still in full swing, or seek out markets in your area that carry locally grown produce. When food is locally grown, it hasn’t traveled as far to get here as stuff in the supermarket — this uses far less fossil fuel and produces fewer emissions to transport it. It’s also fresher, so it tastes better and lasts longer. Support our local organic farmers!