We really try very hard to carry products that we trust from companies who have rigorous safety protocols for their manufacturing facilities and who source good ingredients. These pet food companies are pretty big companies though, providing a lot of product nationally to a great number of pets. Problems are fairly uncommon, though they are still possible. Remember, we can’t report problems to the company unless we have the date codes and lot numbers. If your pet’s food seems to have changed, or your pet suddenly doesn’t want to eat something they usually like, or you open a new bag and your pets suddenly start having issues, here are 4 things you should do:
We just wanted to remind everyone to be very careful with products with Xylitol around your dogs! It’s a sweetener used more and more in things like candies and gum. Though safe for humans, even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs. We recently spoke to a customer whose little dog somehow ate a stick of gum with xylitol (they didn’t have any in their house, and they figure the dog hoovered it up on a walk and they didn’t see it). The owner saw his dog in the yard a short time after their walk and she was swaying and drooling. She was rushed to the emergency hospital where they were able to remove the gum (less than an hour from ingestion), which was lucky, as if it had been in her stomach longer, it could have been a fatal dose. They have a protocol where a dog has to be then boarded for 3 days so it can have its liver values tested regularly, as it’s common for dogs to continue to have a risk of crashing in that time period. This event also cost him $1600. Shortly after, one of our employees’ dog got into some gum in the house and they were also very lucky to find her quickly and discern the problem, but her little dog’s liver values were very seriously high. Please share this information, reminding your dog owning friends and family to be very vigilant about keeping your dog away from this very dangerous substance for dogs. More info here
(* = items we sell or can order for you)
Remember – if it’s not safe for you to stay in your home, it’s not safe for your pets. When in doubt, bring them with you. There is a chance that if conditions worsen, you may not be allowed to return to your home to retrieve them later.
Pro Tip: Use the buddy system. If you can, make arrangements with a nearby neighbor to try and help each other if the time comes to evacuate. Trade keys now and give instructions on where your pets and medications/supplies are. If you are out during an emergency event, your neighbor may be home and able to get your pets out when you cannot (and vice versa).
Containment: One of the most important things to own are crates*, (especially for cats). If your house is damaged, your pets might be very frightened and disoriented, and panicking pets are hard to keep safe. Crate them to protect and transport them. You may also have better chances to find shelter elsewhere if you have a means to contain your pet.
Green Dog Pet Supply is gearing up to deliver the second half of our annual pet food drive to The Pongo Fund pet food bank. The Pongo Fund has called this donation “The BIGGEST single store, premium quality pet food drive in America”.
We do a pet food drive every December for the Pongo Fund. We offer a bag of dog food for customers to purchase (at our cost) for donation, and we’ve always matched each of them. Both our distributor (Animal Supply) and the food manufacturer (Nutrisource) also matched one bag for each 12 sold. This resulted in a VERY large donation this year, one we had to break into two deliveries to be able to afford to do it, which is why this update comes to you in July.
This delivery brings the total number of pounds of food donated to 15,550 (that’s more than 7 tons of food with a retail value of more than $21,000). Our food drives have always been impressive (last year’s was about 11,000 pounds) but this year, customers donated 183 bags!
We had to break it up into two parts, as this sort of donation isn’t easy. Green Dog is a local independently owned store. We believe in taking good care of our staff – we provide a living wage, and full time staff receive benefits. We have sacrificed most of our advertising budget to help support local pet rescues. The owners make the same salary as our senior employees. We exist to help people keep their precious pets in their lives as long as they can, and we work tirelessly to become the best resource for holistic pet care that we can possibly be. We donate over 200lbs of food a month plus additional supplies (many of which are donated by our fabulous customers) to local rescues and other causes, including Meals on Wheels (for seniors to feed their pets when they couldn’t otherwise afford it), Dignity Village via Safe Dogs by the River, Underdog Railroad Rescue, and Angel’s Eyes Dog Rescue (a small rescue operating on a shoestring), among others. We think this donation is a very exciting event – we are honored to be able to help the Pongo Fund.
Many cities have a food bank for humans, but a pet food bank of this size and scope is a very unique thing in this country. There is quite a bit of conversation these days about the homeless situation in Portland, and the things that are and are not being done to help. This amazing service makes a big impact for families facing food uncertainty, both for themselves and their pets. Sharing your only meal with your pet is a sacrifice many people are willing to make. The stories told by Larry Chusid, the founder of The Pongo Fund are always touching, regularly posting stories in his blog of people who have found themselves in terrible situations yet stay hopeful due to the presence of the pets in their lives. His stories do a valuable service, humanizing the people who are homeless or food challenged and reminding us all that this problem is not faceless. The Pongo Fund is critical to help keep pets with their families and out of the animal shelters when their families are homeless or having a difficult time finding the money to feed their pets. People can visit the pet food bank in Portland, but the fund also delivers food to distribution points in other parts of Oregon. They also have an Emergency Veterinary Care fund, (read the great blog post about this fund in this link and a wonderful story about one dog that really needed it here ). He often calls us to help a pet owner with tricky health issues, and we and he both donate products and money to help people get the supplements, etc that they might need. The Pongo Fund also has an Emergency Pet Food Response Team, a Spay and Neuter program, and provides high quality and nutritious pet food directly to many other social service and emergency food organizations that in turn provide that food to their own clients.
We are proud that our customers helped us to make this delivery of what is likely to be the largest ever pet food donation by an independent pet supply store, and proud to support the Pongo Fund in the endless work they do to support homeless and low income pet owners.
Read the super nice article they wrote about us when the first half of the food was delivered!
By Green Dog Pet Supply
The 4th of July is a bad time for many pets around the country, but in places like Portland where people seem to be very big fans of fireworks and the larger illegal fireworks are so easy to get, it’s often a complete nightmare for people whose pets are terrified of the noise. Some people choose to camp in remote areas with their dogs, and one customer routinely gets in the car with her dog on the 4th and just drives and drives for hours, around and around the city’shighways to avoid the stress of the night. Here are a few tips we hope can help if you’re staying at home this 4th of July.
BEFORE JULY 4th:
– Are your ID tags current? Make SURE that every pet, perhaps even your indoor cats, are wearing their tags – fearful animals can often bolt for the door or out of a gate, and so many pets are lost every year! There’s still time to order a fresh ID tag from us, but I’d recommend doing it very soon to ensure you’ll get it in time. Many big box stores have machines where you can get tags engraved on the spot.
– If you have a new dog, please don’t make plans to bring them to a fireworks display. The crowds and the very big noise and smells of the explosives can all be very overwhelming to a dog, and could create a fear of fireworks or loud noises where they might not have had one before.
–As people generally start setting off a few fireworks in the days leading up to July 4th, you can use these intermittent pops and bangs as opportunities!
Keep some very high value treats nearby and when you hear a pop, act like that’s a really great opportunity for your dog for fun and treats. Many dogs will start to feel more tolerant of noises if they predict good things for the dog. If nothing else, at least don’t act like you’re worried that they will be frightened by the noises, or they might pick up on that and be frightened. Best to either ignore the noise or act like you think it’s fun and treat-worthy.
– We do have a variety of calming treats in the store that are certainly helpful to many pets. We’ve had great results with each of them, but each pet responds differently to different formulas – now’s the time to try them to see how they affect your pets, so you have time to return one and try another if it didn’t help during these pesky “warm-up” days where people start setting fireworks off in the evenings before the 4th. Our favorites are (in no particular order): Happy Traveler by Ark Naturals, Calming Chews by Pet Naturals, Animal Essentials’ Tranquility Blend, Homeopet TFLN, which stands for Thunder, Fireworks and Loud Noises, and Cannapet CBD biscuits.
NOTE: do NOT use the sedative Acepromazine for noise phobias as it heightens noise sensitivity! See this video for more information.
– Thundershirts can be a very useful tool. These snug wraps can really help to calm and reassure dogs in stressful situations. Click here for a blog post about the Thundershirt, how it works, with a few great testimonials.
On July 4th day:
– Make sure to get all of your pets lots of exercise (don’t forget to play with the kitties). Getting them tired will help them not to be so amped up over noises. Burn off that nervous energy! Keep them inside – don’t leave them outside as they can panic and run off, or be injured accidentally or purposely by people playing with fireworks.
– Offer dogs something new and exciting to chew on that night – chewing often helps dogs deal with stress and gives them something to distract them from the strange noises.
– Close the blinds and do what you can to minimize the intensity of the stimulus. Turning on some white noise or music, a movie on the TV, or even the clothes dryer or a noisy dishwasher they’re already used to hearing all the time can be helpful to drown out the fireworks noise. (Be careful about the stereo and TV that they’re not broadcasting fireworks noises themselves!) There are even recordings out there that are designed to calm dogs, such as “Through A Dogs Ear” CD’s for soothing any animal – available on itunes. Let us know if you try them and whether it makes a difference http://throughadogsear.com
– Consider staying home that night – your presence does a lot to calm and comfort your pet. It’s OK to hold your pet if she needs comfort, as long as you are very calm as well. A few of our customers have told us that they’re already feeling anxious about the 4th – your pets will pick up on that! Make sure you do things to calm yourself like exercising that afternoon, drinking chamomile tea that evening, or taking some Rescue Remedy yourselves. Be positive!
If you’re having a barbecue, be careful of allowing pets to interact with matches, tiki torch oil, lighter fluid, charcoal, sparklers and insect coils, or you may face a trip to the emergency clinic. Make sure they’re not able to get into the garbage and gorge on meat scraps or corncobs, etc. Keep glow sticks away from dogs – they may want to chew them.
– If you must go out that night please make sure your pets are in a secure location without access to the outdoors.
– Check your yard the next day for used fireworks before letting your pets outside. They may contain toxins like arsenic and potassium nitrate that can make your pet sick if consumed. Don’t let them interact with the BBQ grill after it’s used – a major cause of summertime pancreatitis is when dogs get into the grease trap.
Here’s wishing you a fun and safe Fourth of July!
By Christine Mallar.
When we go grocery shopping, many of us have learned to make choices that are both healthier for the planet and healthier for our bodies. We look for organic, locally grown produce, non toxic cleaners, and paper products made with recycled materials. But how many of us realize that we can apply these same sorts of good consumer choices when we’re shopping for our pets?
In the not too distant past, choices for holistic, earth-friendly pet products were few and far between. Food and treat choices were limited to ingredients that were simply waste products from the human food industry – grain fractions and condemned meat made more palatable by the addition of artificial flavors, colors and carcinogenic preservatives. Pests like fleas were only controlled with the use of toxic chemicals. Leashes, collars and beds were often only available from big chain stores and were made of the cheapest materials, with no regard for toxicity, durability, or wastefulness of resources. Many might have asked, what does it matter – they’re just animals, right?
Luckily, times are changing. Our animals have moved inside and become an integral part of our family unit. We respect and depend on the positive roles our pets have on our emotional and physical health; many studies have shown an increase in the quality and even length of our lives through mechanisms like the reduction of our blood pressure when we’re touching them. Greater awareness of global climate change has resulted in a significant increase in the range of available sustainable pet products. Furthermore, the demand for better products for our beloved furry friends has supported a veritable boom in the number of independently owned, holistic-minded pet supply stores. We did a lot of research before we opened, and we believe we’re fairly certain that we were the first environmentally friendly pet supply store in the nation when we opened in 2004! Many other stores have followed suit, and now, though those things I listed above still exist, it is so much easier for people who care about the health of their pets to also make choices that are good for the environment. (more…)
Happy Earth Day Month!!
We’re continuing with green tips this week to help people find simple ways to live more sustainably.
Amp up your recycling!
Portland helps us recover a lot of our waste at curbside. Curbside composting really has decreased the amount of waste in our landfills; in fact, a report released in January showed that more than 63 percent of what businesses and residents threw away in 2013 was recovered through recycling, composting or energy generation, which was a new record. Do you recycle reuse, repurpose, or compost 60% of your waste? Maybe not, but as far as recycling goes, there are good ways to increase the amount of non-curbside waste you can recycle without too much effort – our friends at Whole Foods in Hollywood (who are sponsoring the Fremont Fest Parade again this year) have a wider array of items that can be recycled than you’d expect.
– In the parking garage, there are bins for both “soft clear plastic” and “non-curbside plastic”. Soft clear plastic are things like clean clear (not colored) plastic bags, bubble wrap, shrink wrap and cling wrap. (Crinkly crunchy plastic like potato chip bags aren’t considered soft). It’s important it is rinsed – food contaminates plastic recycling and could make a facility reject and landfill the entire load.
– “Non curbside plastic” are things like clamshells and the flexible lids that come on tubs like yogurt, cottage cheese or deli items. Our curbside only allows plastic tubs (like cottage cheese), plastic buckets (like for kitty litter) or plastic containers with necks (like a water bottle), but these other items are not allowed. New Seasons also has a bin for clean clamshells and flexible lids as well.
– You can also bring hard bottle caps to Whole Foods. They have a little collection bucket in their dining area, or you can bring them to the customer service counter. Wine corks (real cork only) are another thing you can easily recycle there.
– The other interesting thing at Whole Foods is the bin (looks like a dumpster) in the parking garage where you can recycle clothes and fabrics. Wearable items will be donated and unusable fabrics will be recycled. This makes it a one stop solution for many of your household recycling needs, and it’s convenient to drop things off on your way in to do some shopping.
– Do you have other things like styrofoam, TVs or other electrical appliances, batteries, or CFL bulbs? Metro will help you find a place to bring them! There are many nearby options (a few right on Columbia Blvd) that will take them for free or for a small fee.
Springtime cleanups are a great way to unload a lot of waste easily.
Neighborhood Clean-ups are plentiful this month
The Cully Cleanup takes place on April 23rd! Check out the list of accepted items as well as tips on where to bring items they can’t take
There are actually over 40 neighborhood cleanup events scheduled around Portland in April and May to give residents a chance to remove unwanted clutter from their homes, basements and garages. Keep your eyes open in your neighborhood for signs advertising cleanups.
You can recycle computers and electrical gadgets at Free Geek – they accept “nearly everything that plugs into a computer or uses electricity (including smart phones, tablets, e-readers, video game systems and any old gadget you can think of) whether or not it’s in working condition. We are happy to accept your printers (including extra ink and toner), scanners, routers, UPS, digital cameras, PDAs, cell phones, and a whole lot more!” Link here
Things we take or give away at Green Dog:
We save packing materials that come to us (cornstarch and styrofoam peanuts, etc) and donate them to people who have needs for them. If you have a local business and would like us to call you when we have bags of peanuts or other items you might be looking for, let us know!
Cardboard Boxes – are you moving? Check with us for loads of boxes of different sizes. We normally have a lot of them to give away, unless the recycling truck just picked them up.
Paper Shopping Bags – Bring them to Green Dog! We love reusing clean paper bags with handles. We don’t mind if it has a logo from another store on it, it just lets people know we like to reuse things!
Good links for folks everywhere:
Recycle your empty pill bottles to benefit this charity
Recycle any old sneakers at a Nike Store! They have a bin labeled “Old soles never die”
Here’s a good list of many ways to recycle common household items that you may not have thought of before. Click Here
Recycling Guide from Earth 911 has even more nifty tips
Apple is doing an amazing job with recycling and other sustainable practices these days. They’ve invented a new robot that can quickly disassemble something like a phone and recover even every tiny screw and recycle or reuse them. They’re growing their own forests for paper as well as other initiatives. Check it out here (as well as a nifty video of the robot in action). They often have programs where you can bring your Apple products to the Apple store for recycling and in turn you can get a better deal on a new item.
Note: From now until April 24th, go to the Apple App Store and look in the Featured app section. You can choose from different causes and 100% of the proceeds from those participating apps will go towards that cause.
It should go without saying that the greenest things you can do are to reuse things (the bag that sliced bread comes in makes a good poop bag!), re-purpose things – a jar with a lid makes great food storage, a smoothie to go cup, or transport for bulk foods), or better yet, choose a product that comes with less packaging waste to begin with, and tell that company why you skipped buying it!
For the first few days after giving birth, all mammals produce something called colostrum in their milk. This amazing substance is critical for the early development of newborns, as it serves as a concentrated source of proteins, growth factors, and antibodies. Its properties have been revered for thousands of years across many cultures, as it is a powerhouse of nutrition and tools for healing and protecting the body. Many human health benefits have been attributed to bovine colostrum including: increased energy levels, lower risks of upper respiratory illnesses, reduced risk of intestinal damage from anti-inflammatory drugs, increased ability of the body to burn fat and increase muscle, and the acceleration of injury healing.
The immunoglobulins in colostrum have specific immune system activity against many common pathogens such as E.coli, Cryptosporidium, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Rotavirus. Another of the many beneficial attributes in colostrum is that it is rich in “Proline-Rich Polypeptides” or PRPs, which are specifically designed to modulate the activity of the immune system, stimulating its activity when needed to fight off an infection or quelling its activity to prevent tissue damage once the infection has been defeated. PRPs have also been shown in studies to be potent stimulators of natural killer (NK) cell activity (cancer fighters).
One of the most important things that colostrum can do is to help seal the lining of the gut. The gut lining (ours and those of our pets) is fragile, and can be damaged easily by the many stresses of life which include a poor diet, chemical exposure, vaccines, medications (especially NSAIDS), and adrenal stress. The lining is naturally permeable to allow tiny nutrients to enter the blood stream, but when the lining is damaged, larger gaps are created, allowing things like toxins, microbes and waste materials to travel into the blood stream. The immune system is designed to spring into action to prevent these things from hurting the body, but when this condition is chronic, it can cause the immune system to become over reactive. Holistic vets and Naturopathic doctors believe that it can lead to a host of symptoms, such as seasonal allergies and asthma, skin issues, yeast overgrowth, chronic problems with stool quality, food intolerances, and IBD. Colostrum has a unique ability to help to seal and heal the lining of the gut and calm and support the immune system. It also helps probiotics to work more efficiently, preventing their loss through that leaky gut, and providing the soil for the seeds of probiotics, so to speak. Colostrum can also be used topically! On the VCA Hospital’s website it says that it’s “useful for accelerating the healing of insect bites, wounds such as abscesses or ruptured cysts, warts, and surgical incisions”.
The good news is that the benefits of colostrum are not species specific – the colostrum produced by cows is just as beneficial to humans and pets as it is for cows. When cows are born, their needs are met first, as calves will likely die or have serious health issues without colostrum in the first hours of life. Luckily, the mother continues to produce enough extra colostrum that it can be collected for use in supplements. The other piece of good news is that colostrum has been proven to be safe and therapeutic. Colostrum is food and should be thought of as such. There have been no significant side effects from supplementation with bovine colostrum reported in the abundant literature. It is best taken on an empty stomach with liquid – you could also add it to a small spoonful of food, like yogurt, cooked sweet potato, etc, or even better, added to Answers brand of probotic-rich goat’s milk! When shopping, look for colostrum that is from grass fed cows, ideally organically raised. Read more about colostrum here
Fun idea! You can play games with your dog and contribute data to the science of dog cognition at the same time. Ever wonder how your dog measures up to other dogs in the way they think and problem solve? This program’s evaluation component could be a fun thing to see!
For more info, check out this link
Forward by Christine Mallar:
This is a blog post written by Dr. Karen Becker, DVM. She’s a veterinarian with an active blog discussing many aspects of pet health and behavior. This article sums up the issues we had with these leashes so well that I thought I would paste it here for your benefit. When I was a trainer teaching classes I quickly banned them from class time, as dogs can suddenly dash into the space of another dog that might have social issues. This has continued to plague us at the store, as many dogs are reactive on leash or simply overexcited by other dogs. Some dogs are painfully frightened of being in a store to begin with, and being in close space with other dogs nearby can exacerbate this. When another dog on a retractable leash can quickly rush into their space, fights can break out. Stopping a fight is very difficult and dangerous if you can’t pull them out of the situation with their leash, and reaching in to remove the dog on a retractable leash would put the human in danger of being bitten. This also creates an unfair disadvantage for other people that are carefully trying to train dogs with social issues, as their ability to manage their dog’s space to keep their dog comfortable is destroyed easily by a dog that is suddenly 16 feet away from their owner and in that dog’s space. It can be a huge training setback for these people who are trying to provide positive experiences for their dog in a place that contains other dogs within sight range.
Another problem for us is that when people are distracted by shopping, they may not notice when their dog is getting into trouble, eating treats on counter displays or marking our antique furniture (old wood is so porous!).
I do think there are some times that a retractable can add to the fun of an outing while still being “on leash” for safety, such as on the beach, or on a hike in areas that are not busy with people and other dogs, but please be aware that dogs leaving a trail at all in some habitats can damage fragile vegetation, etc.
The safety concerns for dogs and people are many when you use a retractable leash in a populated area. Even if your dog is tiny and wouldn’t break a leash, wouldn’t it be terrible if an off leash dog attacked your little dog and it was 16 or more feet away from you when it happened? Please read these ten reasons below before deciding to use a retractable leash. Remember: if you use a retractable leash, keep it retracted and locked so it is as short as or shorter than a regular leash in places with other dogs and people. When you are in an open space, you can give them more room to explore. If you are looking to buy a retractable leash for trips to the beach, find one with a “belt” or “tape” instead of a cord. This can be safer for your skin.
Why I Don’t Recommend Retractable Leashes
June 11, 2014
By Dr. Becker
A retractable leash is not so much a leash as it is a length of thin cord wound around a spring-loaded device housed inside a plastic handle. The handles of most retractable leashes are designed to fit comfortably in a human hand. A button on the handle controls how much of the cord is extended.
Retractable leashes are popular primarily because they aren’t as confining as regular leashes, allowing dogs more freedom to sniff and poke around on walks. But unfortunately, there are many downsides to this type of leash.
10 Reasons Not to Use a Retractable Leash
1. The length of retractable leashes, some of which can extend up to 26 feet, allows dogs to get far enough away from their humans that a situation can quickly turn dangerous. A dog on a retractable leash is often able to run into the middle of the street, for example, or make uninvited contact with other dogs or people.
2. In the above scenario, or one in which your pet is being approached by an aggressive dog, it is nearly impossible to get control of the situation if the need arises. It’s much easier to regain control of – or protect — a dog at the end of a six-foot standard flat leash than it is if he’s 20 or so feet away at the end of what amounts to a thin string.
3. The thin cord of a retractable leash can break – especially when a powerful dog is on the other end of it. If a strong, good-sized dog takes off at full speed, the cord can snap. Not only can that put the dog and whatever he may be chasing in danger, but also the cord can snap back and injure the human at the other end.
4. If a dog walker gets tangled up in the cord of a retractable leash, or grabs it in an attempt to reel in their dog, it can result in burns, cuts, and even amputation. In addition, many people have been pulled right off their feet by a dog that reaches the end of the leash and keeps going. This can result in bruises, “road rash,” broken bones, and worse.
5. Dogs have also received terrible injuries as a result of the sudden jerk on their neck that occurs when they run out the leash, including neck wounds, lacerated tracheas, and injuries to the spine.
6. Retractable leashes allow dogs more freedom to pull at the end of them, which can look like aggression to another dog who may decide to “fight back.”
7. The handles of retractable leashes are bulky and can be easily pulled out of human hands, resulting in a runaway dog.
8. Along those same lines, many dogs – especially fearful ones – are terrorized by the sound of a dropped retractable leash handle and may take off running, which is dangerous enough. To make matters worse, the object of the poor dog’s fear is then “chasing” her, and if the leash is retracting as she runs, the handle is gaining ground on her – she can’t escape it. Even if this scenario ultimately ends without physical harm to the dog (or anyone else), it can create lingering fear in the dog not only of leashes, but also of being walked.
9. Retractable leashes, like most retractable devices, have a tendency to malfunction over time, either refusing to extend, refusing to retract, or unspooling at will.
10. Retractable leashes are an especially bad idea for dogs that haven’t been trained to walk politely on a regular leash. By their very nature, retractables train dogs to pull while on leash, because they learn that pulling extends the lead.
If your dog is well trained, gentle mannered and smart enough to master a regular leash and a retractable leash without being confused, you could be one of the rare guardians that can walk your pooch on any kind of leash without increasing risks to either one of you.