May 27, 2010

green dog

ah yes. a puppy has entered our lives. it is not completely unplanned. we have often talked about it around the dinner table. but i was surprised by how quickly it all really happened! i have always had strong feelings about adopting a pet. we have visited the shelter, and also contacted rescues at different points, but nothing ever quite worked out. until now. friends'(not breeders) dog had puppies, and they needed to be placed in homes. (said mama dog has now been neutered oops spayed.) a puppy answered my condition of chicken-friendliness. or at least chicken-get-along-ness. (they are getting along smashingly!) my current employment situation has me working from home so that was a consideration as well. i have the time to care and train a puppy. so we held a family vote - and welcomed moxie to our family.


and now we are faced with all the accouterments of pet ownership. our choices need to be good for her health and good for our planet.

there seems to be plenty out there for "earth-friendly" pet bedding, feeding bowls, toys, leashes and collars. a google search gives lots of options. we chose to buy local and/or handmade as much as possible. we were very lucky to receive some hand-me-downs from our favourite dogs next door. a carrier was one item checked off our list. a trip to our favourite neighborhood shop, green and greener, provided leash and collar. uncommon goods has some darling chew toys - but we have made a few impromptu chewies with old socks and some organic cotton batting we had on hand. so squeaky - but she seems to like them. i didn't want a plastic bowl, so purchased two small "ferret bowls" at a local pet shop which my husband installed in a fabulous holder.

just for moxie

her bed right now is an old cardboard box with a towel and my youngest's napping blanket - which she generously donated. it isn't a permanent solution - so i ordered a machine-washable felted bed today. i want to make this as well.

and oh yes - the poop. not easily compostable like our chook droppings. i have been doing some reading on hot composting. we will see. and the pee. we aren't investing in pricey training pads since i'm at home but have put down some newspaper when we have to run out on an errand.

and of course there are the myriad of food choices, bath and beauty choices and so on...

here are some other resources I found useful:
Pet food ratings
Natural Resources Defence Council's GreenPaws initiative to get improved Federal protection for chemicals going into pet care products

i know there is much i've missed here - and i am curious - how do you keep your pet keeping green?


this single spark said...

yay! what a cutie! something so tiny can't have that much impact on the earth, can it?

so my green dog tales... i made a felted dog bed out of old sweaters. lexi ate it. then she ate a couple of patches out of our patchwork quilt, which i repaired. then she ate part of our carpet (the fringe-y bit). then she ate some socks..... sensing a pattern here?!?

so then we went looking for pet healthy, earth friendly chew toys. we found a natural rubber squeaky that seems to be holding up quite well. she loves her orbie. and we found a leather ring that is treated with vegetable dye and stuffed with organic cotton leftovers (looks like shredded denim, but not sure). there are lots of toys using recycled stuff, and if your dog isn't a destroyer, it is easy to make your own.

food is also easy. seems to be lots of choices.

poop. *sigh* compostable dog bags are the best we've done. we talked about different composting options, but our yard is so small and almost entirely dedicated to vegetable garden that it won't work for us. maybe we could train her to use the toilet!

other than dealing with the poop, i think the greenest thing you can do is not get sucked into modern dog culture, which encourages people to treat their dogs like kids and lavish consumer goods on them. i mean seriously, does your dog care if it has a burberry leash?

jessica said...

What a cutie.

Anonymous said...

Mama dogs get spayed, males are neutered. :)

Tracy said...

thanks all! and esp. anonymous! i have a lot to learn :)

Cassandra said...

Flushable poop bags for walks! They are the best. My husband throws them away and they break down in the garbage and I bring them home and flush them where they break down even faster. Not too expensive either!