Stuff your Kong!

 

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Winter is a tough time to have a busy dog. Granted, this winter has been much milder than most here in Portland, but what do you do for dogs that have lots of energy when it’s cold and rainy out? Keep their mouths busy – stuff a Kong! Many people know about stuffing Kongs – those durable red or black rubber toys are great to smear a bit of peanut butter in. However many people don’t get creative enough about their Kong stuffing, and may be wasting a good opportunity to keep a dog busy. <! — more — >The stuffing is only limited to your imagination. Peanut butter with no added sugar or salt is a good stuffing for sure. A bit of cream cheese is often fun. We don’t love the ingredients in the commercial stuffing pastes. However, when you start thinking outside the box, you can really make those Kongs interesting. The best way to really make the Kong work for you is to feed your dog out of it. When you put your dog’s food in a bowl it’s gone in a few moments, but if you stuff it into the Kong, breakfast can take a lot longer to get through. For the Kong novice dog you can just put their kibbles in there and let them roll it around and eat them as they fall out. As they get the hang of it, you can soak the kibbles in a bit of water to soften the kibbles, or mix canned dog food in there, and stuff that mixture into the Kong to create more work for them. You can create layers of soaked kibble (or ground raw meat if you feed raw), a cookie or two, some cooked rice, another layer of kibble, some cottage cheese, etc. If you need it to last even longer, you can freeze that mixture the night before. Freezing is actually a great way to even make treats last longer in the Kong. Yogurt and bananas are fun to freeze, or canned dog food, mashed potatos, cooked carrots, or how about plugging the little hole with cheese, standing the Kong up in a cup and filling it with chicken broth to freeze (ok, so maybe that’s a good summer outdoor treat). I have a friend that puts shredded cheese and kibble in her Kong and microwaves it to melt it and stick it all together, then freezes that! The nice thing about a Kong is you can also wash it on the top shelf of your dishwasher. Nifty! Do any of you have a creative idea about stuffing Kongs? Post them in a comment here and share them with others!

Snow Day!

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Our winters are usually a little wetter than white, but we do get the occasional snow storm. This one’s a good one with lots of fluffy snow, and a lot of happy dogs and kids playing in it. We made it into work, as we’re New Englanders with a bit of experience with this situation, and we don’t live far from the store. We had lots of fun seeing our neighborhood regulars off from work and out playing in the snow. This is a beautiful photo of Abby and Cooper enjoying it, snug in their locally made winter jackets. Also check out this cute photo of one of our customers’ miniature horse, Bentley, playing in the snow. Yippee!

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Green Tip – LED Christmas Lights

Now is a great time to pick up some LED Christmas lights on sale! If you were in our store between Thanksgiving and Christmas you might have noticed that we decorated with Christmas lights. These were actually strings of LED lights, which are an amazing innovation in Christmas lights – they’re incredibly durable (you can step on them and they don’t break), if one goes out it doesn’t affect the whole strand, and they stay cool to the touch when in use. Even better, they last about 25,000 hours (some even claim up to 200,000 hours) before burning out, and use 80-90% less electricity. If you’re getting rid of old strings of lights, make sure to find a place where you can recycle electrical waste instead of just throwing them away, as they often contain lead in the wiring/coating and shouldn’t be landfilled. LEDs are a bit more expensive but well worth it in the long run in energy savings and durability. Get some now while they’re on sale around town. Happy Holidays!

Welcome to the Green Dog Blog!!

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Hello everyone! Welcome to our new blog. A fair number of our customers have said they don’t know what a blog is, so I’ll give you a rundown – I’ll be trying to post little messages here at least once a week. Sometimes they’ll be announcing an event, or a new product, sometimes I’ll write articles like I’ve done in our past newsletters. And sometimes it will just be something funny we’ve found on the web related to dogs and cats, or something funny that happened in the store, or I’ll post a photo of a cute new puppy customer. The neat things about blogs are that you can respond with comments to any of my postings, or ask questions about a post. Also, you’ll be able to search the contents easily, and find all the nutrition articles, for example. To that end, I’ll be slowly adding the articles you might have already read in past newsletters, just so others can see them and you can search them in the future if you’d like.

Check out a few other blogs to see how it works:

This is a blog that one of our customers, Bella the Boxer, writes.

Go Fug Yourself is a funny blog that makes fun of celebrity fashion “don’ts”.

The Candy Blog is by a woman that eats vast amounts of candy and reviews it.

I’ll still send out the occasional newsletter letting you know of upcoming events, etc but most of the action will be here on the blog from now on. I certainly hope you enjoy it, and that you’ll bookmark it and check in on it regularly to see new posts. Anything you’d like to see on here – just let me know!

Thanks to all of you for your support these past few years!

Christine