photo by Anna Shepherd copyright Green Dog Pet Supply

You’ve clicked this link because you adore your pets and want to learn more ways to support their health and happiness. We applaud you for that. Here’s a list of some of our blog posts, divided into categories for easier reference:

Reducing Your Pet’s Carbon Pawprint
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?

Diet and Health/Cats:

Congratulations on Your New Kitty! Comprehensive Guide to Cat Care

Cat Nutrition
Nutrition can be the key to keeping your kitty healthy, avoiding chronic illness and ultimately saving lots of money at the vet. We might be called Green Dog, but the owners and staff of Green Dog are actually made up of some pretty serious cat people. We know there’s a lot of info in here, but after 10 years of serving the cat community of Portland, our hearts are often heavy from the overwhelming numbers of cats with chronic illness, much of which we feel could have been prevented with better nutrition. Whether you’ve gotten a kitten or an adult cat, we hope that these tips will come in handy for you

Have You Heard of a Catio?
What’s a catio? It’s an enclosed outdoor space (Cat Patio) for kitties that keeps them safe from harm’s way and protects much of the wildlife that is harmed by outdoor cats every year. We of course adore our cats here in the U.S. and want them to be happy. Here are some tips on ways to make outdoor kitties adapt to being indoor kitties, and how to keep indoor kitties stimulated and content.

A Discussion of FDA Disparity in Raw vs. Dry Pet Food Safety
This week we had to tell our customers about another voluntary recall of raw pet food. We thought it might be an opportune time to mention our frustration with the disparity between how the FDA treats raw foods vs. how they treat other pet foods like kibble.
Raw food is under intense scrutiny, but the facts point to a significant lack of scrutiny towards kibble based foods, despite the fact that in past years dry food recalls have far outpaced raw food recalls, and the most significant recalls, complaints of illnesses, and death have all resulted from contaminated dry pet foods.

The Completely Healthy Pet Food That Your Vet Probably Villifies – Article by Dr. Karen Becker, DVM

A tip on getting your cats to drink more water
Cats often do not drink enough water to stay as hydrated as they should be. This is because cats in the wild would get a lot of moisture from eating raw prey, but cats in our homes who are fed dry kibble are not getting that valuable hydration from their food.

Excellent Video about crystals and stones
This is a very nice clear description of how to protect the health of your cat’s bladder, and of the causes and prevention of stones and crystals in the bladder. Note – though she seems to be talking about both cats and dogs, most of the information she states is most relevant to cats. (Dogs have a few interesting differences when it comes to crystals and bladder infections.)

Why Dry Food Is Not The Best For Your Cat

Dental Health for Dogs and Cats – Dental health is so important to the health of your pets, and if you’re doing a good job maintaining healthy teeth and gums, your pet’s life could be extended. 

Chicken Necks for Cats and Dogs Chicken, Duck and Turkey Necks can be valuable tools for both dental health and joint support.

Diet and Health/Dogs:

A Discussion About Chews For Dogs (And a Few For Cats)!
This is a two part article written for our newsletter for February which is dental health month. This first part discusses the pros and cons of some of the chews we carry.

Attention: Study Finds No Link Between Grain-Free Diets and DCM in Dogs.
A new study failed to find a definitive relationship between grain-free and legume-rich diets and dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs.

Attention Kibble Feeders: New Health Problem Reported.
Note: This was the article we posted when the first news of the alleged link between grain free foods and heart disease. It has since been proven that there is no link between grain free foods and cardiomyopathy. That being said, we still feel this article has valuable and important information about processed foods such as kibble, and how they are in fact still compromised nutritionally when it comes to the fragile amino acids that dogs and cats rely on for a healthy body. Educate yourself about how some companies “cheat” when it comes to proteins, and easy and inexpensive ways to amend your pet’s diet to ensure they’re getting these amino acids and other nutrients that will support their health and longevity.

When Vets Tell you To Switch From Grain Free Kibble To Grains
You may have heard something online or from your vet about the issue of dogs eating grain free foods sometimes showing low levels of taurine in their bloodwork. Since then, we’ve had a number of customers that come saying their vet told them to switch to a food containing grains. One local vet in our area sent out an email about heart disease, urging their customers to use foods containing grain, and also advocating for the use of  “Meat By-Products” in pet foods, and we’d like to address both of these topics to help you learn more and make educated decisions. One thing that we feel is important to point out is that some of the diets with grain in them do contain harmful ingredients. Not all grain is bad, of course – we carry a few foods with grain that we like, but there are a few ingredients in other products that we’d never allow in the store. Read why.

Giardia Recovery Tips
Giardia is tricky to eliminate and is unfortunately also tricky to test for. Symptoms can persist for some time after treatment, as the lining of the gut may need repair. Here are two tips.

Your Bag of Kibble Might Have Pretty Pictures, But Do You Know What’s Inside?
Processed kibbles have come quite a long way in the past 10 years, and there is a great disparity between what you might find on the pet aisle of your local grocery store and what might be available at your local independent pet retailer. It is not legally required (it is actually prohibited) for manufacturers to use language on a pet food label that would help a consumer to know if the quality of the ingredients on a label are similar to the ingredients you might use to cook your own dinners or are simply waste products that were inappropriate for use in human foods, though there are some things to look out for on kibble labels that will give you a good idea. I hope to empower you to recognize some of these “red flag” and “green flag” ingredients that might help you to determine the quality of the ingredients in any dry kibble you’re feeding to your pets.

A Few Myths About Senior Dogs And Nutrition
We all want to make sure we’re supporting our senior pets as they get older, but there are a few myths that persist about what is nutritionally appropriate for senior dogs.

The Completely Healthy Pet Food That Your Vet Probably Villifies – Article by Dr. Karen Becker, DVM

A Discussion of FDA Disparity in Raw vs. Dry Pet Food Safety
This week we had to tell our customers about another voluntary recall of raw pet food. We thought it might be an opportune time to mention our frustration with the disparity between how the FDA treats raw foods vs. how they treat other pet foods like kibble.
Raw food is under intense scrutiny, but the facts point to a significant lack of scrutiny towards kibble based foods, despite the fact that in past years dry food recalls have far outpaced raw food recalls, and the most significant recalls, complaints of illnesses, and death have all resulted from contaminated dry pet foods.

Is Table Food Really Bad For Your Pets?
We humans certainly don’t thrive on a diet of processed foods alone – your pets also may never be able to achieve optimal health on a diet that doesn’t contain some whole foods.

Whole Food Toppers Are Important!
We try to carry the best dry foods on the market, but it’s important to realize that even the best ones are still a heavily processed food. Just like for people, a diet for pets made entirely of processed foods with no fresh whole food nutrients is a recipe for chronic illness. With the rapid rise in chronic illnesses like cancer, we should (in our opinion) be doing everything we can to boost the diets of our precious, short lived pets to try to take advantage of whole food nutrients. But what to give? (See Discussions About Specific Ingredients below for links to part 2 and part 3 in this series)

Dental Health for Dogs and Cats – Dental health is so important to the health of your pets, and if you’re doing a good job maintaining healthy teeth and gums, your pet’s life could be extended. 

Chicken Necks for Cats and Dogs Chicken, Duck and Turkey Necks can be valuable tools for both dental health and joint support.

Food for Thought – Raw Meat and Bones for Cats and Dogs
We know that whole foodsare the most nutritionally complete for us, and that a steady diet of fast food can make us unhealthy pretty quickly. So what about for our pets?

Some of My Favorite Resources
I wrote this up a while back for a nutrition lecture I was giving, and I thought it might be useful to post it somewhere for more people to use.

Dr. Ian Billinghurst’s Targeted Nutritional Therapy, Which Includes a Ketogenic Diet, Can Kill Your Dog’s Cancer
An important article from Dr. Karen Becker, DVM: World-renowned veterinarian, author and the father of raw pet food, Dr. Ian Billinghurst, has written a new book about treating cancer with nutrition. Dr. B’s book, “Pointing the Bone at Cancer,” lays out the science behind the use of a ketogenic diet in treating cancer in dogs, cats and humans. Dr. B has successfully treated dogs with many different cancers, including aggressive lymphomas and mammary tumors, and seen them live years longer, with an excellent quality of life.

Discussions About Specific Ingredients:

Why You Should Avoid Farmed Salmon
You won’t believe how many ways farmed salmon is bad for people to eat and worse for our animals, terrible for the environment, and bad for wild salmon populations.

Be Careful To Avoid Carageenan in Canned Foods 
Carrageenan (a thickener made from red seaweed that is used in many canned pet foods and in some moist and chewy treats). It’s an ingredient that might or might not cause obvious problems for animals right away, but it could have negative effects over time, especially if the animal is eating it every meal of every day. It’s also in a lot of human foods, so if you, your pet or someone you know has chronic GI problems, you’ll want to read this.

Colostrum for digestive health and immune system support
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. This amazing supplement has the same great benefits for our pets, helping with digestive health and the immune system, and therefore with allergies as well!

Part Two of our Whole Food Toppers are Important: Bone Broth
Chicken soup isn’t just good for the soul: slow cooked bone broths of all kinds have legitimate healing properties for our own bodies and for our pets

Toppers Are Important Part 3 – Hearts
Hearts are high in natural taurine and make an excellent treat or topper!

3 New Studies show the Benefits of Fish Oils in Dog Diets
There are a few things that I wish I could convince more customers to try adding to their dog’s diet, and fish oil is certainly one of them.

Jiminy Crickets!
A discussion about the use of insect proteins in pet food and treats

Products We Love: Medicinal Mushrooms
Medicinal Mushrooms are amazing. Many cultures around the world have used mushrooms for centuries for medicinal purposes. Modern research has shown us what ancient healers and scientists have learned through this practical experience – studies indicate that medicinal mushrooms have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-tumor properties. Some mushrooms contain compounds that stimulate the immune system, activating the pet’s natural defenses and healing response, and more.

Training and Behavior:

Training A Cat  So many people think that cats don’t need anything – we hear this all the time. They seem to understand that dogs need interaction, exercise and mental stimulation, but cats, (especially indoor cats) need these things as well. One thing we hear a lot from the people who think their cats don’t need anything is how horrible their cats’ behavior is and how destructive these cats are to their home! Cats can certainly be trained through positive reinforcement techniques to follow commands. Training can also be excellent enrichment for indoor cats, and could solve some of your behavioral issues as well.

Tips for New Puppy Owners

Congratulations on your new puppy! What a fun time you’ll have! We very much want your new baby to live a long, healthy, happy life, so we thought we’d compile some of the nitty-gritty dos-and-don’ts of puppy care. Socialization, nutrition, our favorite chews, tips on potty training, etc!

Raising a Puppy (Or Any New Dog) During Covid19
All of us feel frightened and unsure of how long we’ll be living in this strange, suspended, frightening reality. A new dog is not just a delightful distraction from boredom- that little soul can really be a life raft for your psyche. But, this new-puppy-during-quarantine situation does come with a few unique challenges. How to work on socialization and help to prevent separation anxiety once you go back to work.

What Do They Want? How Should They Get It? (Foundational Thinking For Creating Good Behavior in puppies and kittens! Part One) Often we hapless humans try our best to tell our puppies (and kittens) what we want them to do or especially not do, yet the bad behaviors increase and we struggle to get them to be what we wish they would be, especially when it comes to attention-getting behaviors. I’m here to offer a few rules of thumb for most any behavior you don’t like.

To Treat Or Not To Treat?  (Foundational Thinking For Creating Good Behavior In Dogs Part 2 : Choose Your Methods of Training Carefully, especially with Reactive/Fearful Dogs.) This is the second article in the series that I call “foundational thinking”, as once you understand how dogs think and learn, and the concepts behind why you use certain methods, you can train just about any behavior you like! I think this article contains what I believe to be some of the most important information I can give you about why we use positive reinforcement, and the dangers of using dominance theory and aversive methods especially when dealing with situations that are uncomfortable for dogs.

Do I Always Have To Use Treats? (Foundational Thinking For Creating Good Behavior In Dogs Part Three) A lot of people worry about training with treats.
* Do I have to keep giving them treats for everything for the rest of their  lives?
* Aren’t I bribing them?
* I want them to do things because they want to please me.
* I want them to do things right away and I don’t want to have to show them a treat to get them to listen.
 These are all good questions. Here’s how to help your dog be able to do what you ask of them the first time you ask, while continuing to build a good relationship.

Drop It!
We’re continuing our puppy series with discussions of common training challenges. It’s so easy to accidentally create a dog that runs away from you when they get a hold of something they shouldn’t have. Wouldn’t you rather they spit something out of their mouth when you approach? You can do it!

The “Come!” command is one of the very most important things we can teach our dog. A reliable recall is imperative to get them quickly to safety, to recover them if they happen to get out the door, and to proactively remove them from a situation at the dog park that might evolve into trouble. It’s also a wonderful luxury when you are in a safe quiet place to be able to have your dog off leash and know you can get him right back when you want to. Like the command “Drop It!”, it’s easy to accidentally make mistakes when training this behavior that can undermine your success. Here’s how to succeed in training a reliable recall.

What The Heck Is Target Training?
To ask an animal to target, you are asking the animal to deliberately touch an object, and you are marking the moment with a sound (like a click from a training clicker). Targeting is a great way to teach an animal how training works, to challenge an animal’s mind, create fun, build your relationship, and make you a better trainer by teaching you to have good timing (clicking at the right moment) and watching for ideal moments where you can catch the behavior, or even a very small version of that behavior over time. Target training can be a great confidence builder in a shy dog, and a great way to teach a behavior like “heel” as they have to be behind the target for it to work! Christine also shares stories about how zookeepers use targeting to help captive animals participate in their own medical care, reducing stress and building trust in their keepers.

Pet Hair Everywhere! (and my pet won’t let me groom her!)
The difference between normal seasonal shedding and year round shedding, and what’s to be done if your pet won’t let you brush him or perform routine grooming tasks?

The Dominance Myth in Dog Training is Debunked Again
New Study backs up what many good trainers know already- blaming dominance for bad behavior in dogs is way off the mark, and can make matters far worse.

Dominance-based Training Leads to Aggression
As a trainer and a retail pet supply store owner, I’m often in a situation where I can help someone through a problem. There are other times, however, where I see someone doing something so terribly wrong, so injurious to a dog’s behavior, and the person can’t seem to hear me when I try and guide them towards a new way.

Fireworks – Fun for some people, but a nightmare for some dogs and their owners.
If this is your first 4th of July with your new puppy, this is your chance to set the tone for the future. This exercise can also help older dogs that are already frightened of fireworks noises.

Fun video of dog and handler dancing
Although I can’t help thinking Freestyle is a tad goofy with its costumes and routines, I am also in awe of how much you can accomplish with positive training, and I think it’s a testament to how much fun we can have with dogs when you engage their minds and bodies in activities that challenge them and allow them to have fun at the same time. Not so goofy at all!

Happy Halloween! Fun Stuff and Tips
Don’t forget to be on guard for dogs getting into that Halloween Candy stash! Chocolate isn’t the only thing that’s toxic to dogs. Behaviorally, make sure that if your dog is stressed out by strangers, to have him in a secure area of the house where he won’t be plagued by constant scary monsters ringing the doorbell. Conversely, if you’re up for it this is a great time to work on door manners with a dog that isn’t frightened, just excited.

Stuff your 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, especially during the holidays when you’ve got a busy household full of guests.

Safety Issues/Dogs:

Should I Shave My Fluffy Dog in the Summer?
Actually, shaving some dogs can result in more overheating. We explain why.

July 4th Tips: July 4th is often a complete nightmare for people whose pets are terrified of the noise. Check out these strategies, products, and very important safety tips you might not have considered. For example, did you know there’s a medication that is sometime prescribed by vets for anxiety that can actually increase noise sensitivity?

Caution! Hot Pavement!
if you bring your dogs outdoors during a hot summer day, as the day gets hotter pavement heats up much more than the air, resulting in a temperature that could result in permanent damage to the pads

Pet Friendly Ice Melting Products Are Still Problematic
Even the ice melting products that say eco-safe or pet friendly may not be entirely safe for your pets to interact with. Here are some common ingredients and their concerns.

Safety First – A Reminder When It Comes to Pet Food
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

Safety Alert! Xylitol Is Deadly For Dogs
Though safe for humans, even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure or even death in dogs.

Be Ready for Emergencies and Disasters
Covering your bases and being prepared will give you peace of mind – Here are 10 critical things to think about now.

Halloween Safety Tips
Halloween can be fun, but there are a few important things to keep in mind to help keep pets safe.

Flea Control:

Tis the season for Fleas
We’re coming up on a time of the year when fleas start to become more active. Here are a few quick tips to stay ahead of fleas (and ticks) effectively without harmful chemicals

Now’s your chance to fight fleas through the whole season without chemicals!
If you have pets that come in contact with your lawn, Beneficial Nematodes can be an excellent weapon to use against fleas and their larvae.

Dog stuck in crate highlights rare risk of spot-on flea treatment
A dog in Ontario Canada was given a flea treatment with Advantage and put to bed in his plastic kennel. An ingredient in the Advantage dissolved the plastic which resulted in the dog becoming stuck to his crate and unable to get out.

Green Tips:


Community Solar in Oregon – A win/win for customers and the planet!
You too can have solar power, even if you can’t afford to put panels up!
Oregon has a wonderful new program that supports the development of solar energy and also saves you money on your utility bills!

Earth Day Post: Orca Conservation!
Happy Earth Day!
We had an amazing turnout for Raffle Tickets, raising $1302 for the Orca Conservancy. If you missed the raffle, we’re here to tell you that there are certainly other easy ways you can help! Learn more about Orcas here.

Exciting Adventures Can Also Support Important Conservation Projects!
We wrote this article for Earth Day, and as a Green store, this day is a major holiday for us. I wanted to post something inspirational here on this blog to mark the occasion. I want this day to be a day of celebration, as well as a call for advocacy and action, but it’s hard these days to be able to create enough hope in our hearts to actually celebrate, or to act. I want to suggest something that might help to restore your ability to hope and give you the energy to affect change, even if it is small.

A Discussion of Sustainable Choices in Pet Foods
The larger a company is, the more difficult and expensive it is for them to source the most sustainable ingredients on a large enough scale to meet national demand. One might expect that we would source only organic foods, but this is more of a challenge than you might expect – many pet foods that are certified organic are not, in our opinion, necessarily suitable nutritionally for carnivores, so what to do?

Why You Should Avoid Farmed Salmon
You won’t believe how many ways farmed salmon is bad for people to eat and worse for our animals, terrible for the environment, and bad for wild salmon populations.

Reduce the chemicals you use by using more vinegar
It’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.

Christmas Recycling Tips and Why Some Items Can’t go into recycling
We generate a lot of waste on Christmas morning, so here are some tips for ways to keep waste in check.

Eating Organic is better for you

Did you know that organically grown foods can actually be better for you (and your pets) nutritionally than their traditionally grown counterparts?

Unfortunate Changes in Plastic Recycling
(Part 1 of a 3 part series) China has been the buyer of our post-consumer plastics and other used commodities. They have just announced to the World Health Organization adoption of new environmental regulations, under which they are no longer allowing importation of recycled plastics from the United States and Europe.

No More Wishful Recycling!
(part 2 in a 3 part series) People assume that “plastic is plastic” and so they put items like clamshells into the curbside bin, just hoping that the recycling facility will just have to recycle it with the rest. This contamination can result in entire loads being landfilled, and ruining the chance of the recyclable materials actually getting recycled.

Tips for Reducing Plastic Waste
We often focus on recycling as it feels like such a direct way to help curb the waste stream, yet it’s actually at the bottom of the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle hierarchy.
If you want to save energy, water and resources, the best thing you can do is reduce the items you consume (products, packaging) and then reuse the items as many times as possible.

Make your own pet bed
Times are tough and beds can be expensive. I found a couple of cute links for making pet beds out of things you might have lying around the house.

Cutting out the plastic bags
This is a great link to a site that illustrates the importance of cutting back the use of plastic bags globally.

Are you still on the bottle??
It’s beginning to be outrageous to me that people are drinking so much bottled water without realizing its tremendous environmental impact. Though the nutritionally aware part of me is glad that people are drinking water instead of soda, the sheer volume of bottled water consumed has created a product with enormous impact.

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

Green Tip – LED Christmas Lights
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

Green Tips for Portland Holiday Recycling
Unfortunately it’s easy to contaminate our curbside recycling bins with well-intentioned attempts to recycle things we wish they would take, or with little things that we don’t realize can ruin the ability to recycle the rest of the material.


Wow! Dogs Help to Study Endangered Wildlife
This is an amazing article about how dogs’ amazing noses are helping wildlife ecologists to better study endangered species.