Monday, January 23, 2012

Dogs Have Bad Hair Days Too!

Is your dog having a bad hair day?  Could he or she use a bath like, yesterday?  Is the Pet Groomer costing you too much money? Here are some easy, natural, Eco friendly tips on grooming your dog that will save you money!

Some dogs just love a good bath, but some dogs, like my Conner, HATES them!  Funny, because Conner is a Lab mix who should love the water, but he wants nothing to do with any of it - hates the rain, runs from the hose and no way are you coaxing him into a tub!
So what's a girl to do when she wants to cuddle with her furry baby, but he's just too stinky and is on strike when it comes to grooming?  As my 6 year old likes to say...Easy, Peasy, Lemon, Squeezy!  Dry Dog Shampoo!

Dry dog shampoos are powdered products that are designed to be rubbed into your dogs coat and will absorb grease, dirt and odors from their fur.  Here are just some of the benefits:

  • They are easy to work with, simply apply and rub into your dogs coat, wait a few minutes and brush out.  
  • They are a great alternative for the anxious or temperamental dog who does not like the traditional bath.  
  • If your dog suffers from allergies or has had an allergic reaction to traditional shampoos, you may find that a dry shampoo eases or eliminates those symptoms.  
  • They are great for the dog owner who has limited space or time. 
  • It's a great way to keep Fido fresh between visits to the groomer.
  • They are cheap!  In fact you can even make your own dry dog shampoo at home.  Here's how:
Homemade Dry Dog Shampoo Recipe and Instructions
  1. Take your dog outside or to an area of the home that can be cleaned up easily (kitchen, basement, etc..).  In order to make clean up easier, I suggest putting down news papers or an old blanket and have your dog stand over them.
  2. Brush your dog to remove any loose fur and dirt.
  3. Mix one cup of cornstarch and a quarter cup of baking soda in a container with a lid.  Shake to mix together.
  4. Sprinkle the mixture on your dog's fur.  Massage it into their fur (they love this part).  Let sit for a couple of minutes.  The mixture will absorb odor, oil and dirt.
  5. Brush your pet until none of the mixture remains.
Voila - your for legged baby is smelling better and and ready for cuddle time!  Plus, their coat will look healthy and shiny from all that brushing!

Bonus Tip!  Add 1/2 cup of ground lavender to the mixture to give your dog a nice, soft scent PLUS lavender acts as a natural flea repellent!

Don't want to make your own or clean up the mess?  No problem!  There are "waterless" dog shampoo choices as well and offers these great waterless shampoo products.

So, how about ways to save money on the dog who loooovvvvveeeesss baths and pampering?

If your dog normally goes to the groomer to get all freshened up, try using dry dog shampoo or waterless sprays to extend time in between visits.  Or if you're a do it yourselfer - try making your own dog shampoo that is inexpensive, Eco-friendly and natural.  Here are some pawsitively great recipes.

Homemade Dog Shampoo

1 cup all natural dish soap
1 cup organic apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup glycerin (can be found at craft supply stores, some pharmacies or on-line)
1 quart water

  • Mix all ingredients together in a container with lid (such as empty plastic bottle, mason jar).  The glycerin naturally moisturizes and hydrates your dogs coat, the natural dish soap provides the cleansing properties to the shampoo and the organic apple cider vinegar freshens your dogs scent while adding shine to their coat.
  • Apply natural, homemade dog shampoo to your dogs wet coat, lather and rinse with warm water.  Repeat if necessary.
Soothing Homemade Dog Shampoo
1/3 cup glycerin
1 cup lemon liquid joy
1 cup white vinegar
1 quart water
  • Pour ingredients into a liter size bottle (use funnel if needed) and shake to mix.
  • Use mixture at regular bath time or whenever your dog seems itchy or irritated.

No time to make your own?  Visit the Eco Grooming and Care section at and shop our extensive line of dog grooming products.  Everything from your basic shampoo to specialty shampoos for the pooch with special grooming needs.

So, the next time your pup is having a bad hair day, but a trip to the groomer is not their thing or not in the budget, no problem!  Just whip up some homemade dog shampoo and get Buddy and Belle smelling and looking good in no time!  After all, there's just nothing like snuggling up with your furry friends, especially when it does not require a nose pin!  Happy Grooming!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Rewolf!

Reduce, Reuse, Rewolf!  (What?  Did she say Rewolf???  Does she know that's not even a real word?  I don't know about this girl.)  Yep, I said Rewolf!  Just what is Rewolf?  I am referring to adoption!  The ultimate eco friendly pet thing you can do.

Did you know that an average of 2.7 million healthy and treatable pets are losing their lives in shelters each year?  Sad, I know.  But, did you know that approximately 17 million people will acquire a dog or cat within the next year?  And for some good news - Shelter pet adoptions are on the rise, despite the ongoing recession and high rates of unemployment!

A common misconception about animals that end up in shelters is because they've been abused or done something "wrong".  In fact, most animals are given to shelters because of "people reasons", not because of anything they've done. Things like a divorce, a move, lack of time or financial constraints are among the most common reasons why pets lose their homes.  And some never had homes to begin with.

Why is adopting better than buying?
  1. The obvious - you SAVE a life! In fact, you will be saving two lives. (What?  This girl doesn't know how to count does she?).  Yes two.  By adopting from a private humane society or animal shelter, breed rescue group, or even the local animal control agency (most overlooked), you'll save the pet you adopt and a homeless animal somewhere who can be rescued because of the space you helped free up.
  2. You'll get a healthy pet.  Animal shelters and rescue groups are brimming with happy, healthy animals just waiting for someone to take them home.  Most shelters examine and give vaccinations to animals when they arrive, they also may screen for specific temperaments and behaviors to make sure they will be a good fit with their new home.
  3. You'll save money!  Sure, you'll pay an adoption fee, that's how these shelters keep going!  But adopting is much less expensive than buying from a breeder or pet store.  Plus, they are already spayed/neutered and vaccinated!
  4. You'll feel better.  Who doesn't want to feel better with all the depressing news today!  Pets have a special way of putting a smile on your face and a spring into your step. Not only do they give you unconditional love, but they have been proven to be psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial for us humans (and sometimes we need all the help we can get!).  Even when they do something bad, you just can't help not being mad (or at least for not too long) when they give you those puppy dog eyes and wag their tail at you, saying their sorry.
  5. You won't be supporting puppy mills and pet stores!  Marketed as coming from great breeders, well-rehearsed sales tactics keep money flowing to the puppy mill.  Most of the puppies have serious behavioral and healthy problems due to the cruel and abusive conditions they endure.  By adopting instead of buying a pet, you can be certain you aren't supporting cruel puppy mills with your money.
Now, what if you are saying, Heather, I totally agree with you (you are so right and so smart and so pretty and....OK, OK I said this last part), but I just can't adopt a pet right now.  No Problem!!  There are so many ways we can help and give back, plus many of them are earth friendly.

First, do a search on the Internet and find the local shelters in your area.  Once you have a list, here are some things you can do to help.  

Volunteer.  I know, we all lead busy lives, but could you spare an hour a week?  These organizations are looking for any and all help.  Looking to keep your New Year resolution of getting more exercise, losing weight, etc?  Walk the dogs!  These shelters need your help to take care of these babies.  They need to be walked, fed, played with.  They get exercise and you get exercise - win, win!

Donate!  I know things are tight, but it doesn't have to always be money.  Here is a common list of what most shelters are in need of:  paper towels, towels and blankets (new or used), collars and leashes (can be gently used), dog beds - get your baby a new one, (hmmm, I wonder who sells eco friendly dog beds???) and donate the old one, treats, pet food, pet toys, bleach, trash bags and much more.  Most shelters will have a "wish list" posted on their website.  And for you coupon clippers - clip the pet supply coupons you don't usually use, buy something extra and donate it.  You save money on supplies to donate ( and I just get a thrill out of using yet another coupon!)  If you can afford to donate money, it is very much appreciated!  These places need to pay the light bills, water bill, provide medical care, it's very expensive.  Plus your monetary donation is tax deductible!

Foster.  This is a tough one for me because I get so attached. But this is a great way of giving a dog a temporary home until they find their forever home.  It also helps free up space at the shelter for more dogs to be rescued.

Join a Rescue Network and help spread the word!  I have been working with a great group - Col. Potter Cairn Terrier Rescue Network.  They have people all across the states working to save these adorable dogs.  You can visit their website and learn more at  In fact, I am offering hand painted wine glasses of the Cairn on my website.  For every glass sold, I will donate $1.00 back to Col. Potter (oh! Here is that shameless plug again - check them out at  Which leads me to another suggestion. Do you shop on-line?  A lot of rescue groups have affiliate pages that have vendors that will donate a percentage of your purchase if you shop through their link - and some big names too - Walmart, PetSmart,, and many more.  What could be more easy than doing your normal thing and helping at the same time?

So, here is my rescue story - nothing earth moving - but it is my story and I thought I would share.  I lost my Golden, Asti, in a divorce (it was actually better for her to go with him although it completely broke my heart!).  Sometime later, I found myself on my own, 5 months pregnant and buying my own house.  I thought, gee now is the time for a dog!  So I started looking on line at the dogs available for adoption.  Wow, so many and I wanted to take them all!  As I mentioned earlier, a lot of the time, the local "dog pound" or animal control is overlooked when it comes to adopting a dog.  I happened on to the City of St. Louis' pound and saw this cute little black face looking at me and I just had to go check him out.  I got there and was a bit appalled at the condition of this place.  Not very clean, cages stacked up with dogs in them, I fought back the tears (good news is they are no longer in business and has been taken over by St.Louis Stray Rescue).  I inquired about # A009088, the 4 month old, black lab mix I saw on the Internet.  They took me too him.  I fell in love with him instantly!  He was not the typical shy, timid or scared dog at the shelter, but a bit wild (little did I know this was going to be an ongoing trait!).  He went crazy when I talked to him and LOVED the attention.  I paid my $45 dollars and had to wait for him to be neutered.  After three long days, I excitedly picked him up from the vet's office after his procedure.  I couldn't wait to take him home!  He jumped all over the place, whined and cried, and peed in the back seat of my new car!  Just the beginning of our adventure!  Two months later and 7 months pregnant, Conner was a "bit" out of control and getting very big!  I brought in a dog trainer and she said, Wow, you have your hands full with this one.  After working with him, she became worried that he would not do well with the baby (he dragged the baby doll around by it's head!) and suggested that I give him up.  I was heart broken.  I cried non stop for several days at the idea of giving him up.  Then a friend said to me the most simplest thing - Don't!  And I didn't and that was the best decision I made.  Turned out he was super great with my daughter Emma, and eventually he calmed down, although he still has a wild streak and he grew to be a very tall, 120 lb, handsome man!  He is my best friend and loves to cuddle with his head in my lap.  He melts my heart every time I look at him! And as you can see, his favorite spot is my couch!
My goal is to some day have a house full and of course a bigger house :-)

"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face" - Ben Williams