Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Come to GreenPets to experience Nature's Miracle!

If you live with a cat, what's the most important thing to your mutual quality of life?

Yup; the quality of your cat's litter.

That's why GreenPets carries Nature's Miracle brand odor control cat litter, with its numerous advantages!

Take a look at all the joy's of Nature's Miracle below, and you'll probably come to GreenPets to get some for your cat TODAY!

  • Non-clumping formula that is easy to clean and dispose of.
  • Fresh pine scent.
  • Works great with automated litter boxes.
  • Lightweight formula that weighs half the weight of clay litter is easy to carry, pour, and dispose of.
  • 99% dust-free.
  • Safe, completely biodegradable formula.
  • Also great for newly declawed kittens/cats who can begin using immediately.
  • Good for multi-cat households or with sick cats.
  • Triple Action Odor Control system continually insures the freshest environment.
  • Uniquely blended natural formula with superior clumping quality.
  • Natural corn cob granules immediately absorb 2X the volume of traditional clay litter.
  • Activates when wet to entrap, neutralize, and destroy tough odors.
  • Pine fragrance with natural enzymes act continually to deliver a long lasting scent.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Question of the Week- Hip and Joint Health

The results of the poll are in, so the Question of the Week answers the question: "What issues would you like more information about concerning your pets health? " The result was Hip and Joint issues.

This was not a surprising outcome to the poll; GreenPets staff gets questions everyday about hip and joint health for both dogs and cats of all ages.

There are a few things I would like to discuss first, mostly because there is an important difference in natural vs. conventional treatments of hip and joint pain. Usually people come into GreenPets and tell us that they have been on a prescribed medicine recommended by their vet and are looking to put their companions on something more natural. It still amazes me that people are not aware of some of the long term effects of prescription medications on the health of their animals. We know that if we, as humans, are on certain prescription medications for long periods of time, our body suffers in other ares.. why is it a surprise that this is also a truth for our animals?

Most of the prescribed medicines are NSAIDS- which stands for nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs. These drugs block the production of prostaglandins- which are a group of chemicals produced by cells in the body responsible for inflammation, pain and fever. Blocking these symptoms does seem like one way to go, but prostaglandins are also responsible for protecting the stomach lining against acids, and are necessary for clotting of the blood. Any prolonged use of these drugs could have hazardous effects on the health of your animal that most drugs will be unable to help later down the road. Ulcers, kidney and liver failure, and nervous system abnormalities are all side effects of these types of drugs.

The key factor in this information is that whenever you are only treating symptoms, you are refusing to look at a solution to the problem from a holistic point of view. Block one problem, cause another. GreenPets has a firm belief that it does not have to be that way.

Natural treatments supply the body with building blocks to joint health. Glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid would all be produced naturally in a healthy body. By supplying an animal with these basics, the body repairs itself naturally and there are no side effects. There are a number of different herbs that can also be supplemented that will help promote different anti-inflammatory properties and provide anti-oxidants responsible for cell formations and healthy circulation. Keeping your animals body healthy and performing as it would naturally is the best way to ensure the long happy, pain-free life of your pet.

GreenPets carries several different treatments for hips and joints, they can come in the form of powder, treats, liquids and pills. We are constantly researching the best products and we keep a variety in the store because like anything else, certain animals will react differently to different treatments than others.

Here are just a few of our favorites- recommended usually by our own clients and their results.
Ark Naturals has a wide range of products including Sea Mobility treats, and the popular Joint Rescue pills. Vet Best is another product with a very strong glucosamine supplement. Look for their Aches and Pains supplement as well. Dogswell makes a jerky treat called Happy Hips that we cannot keep on our shelves. Also, most of these products have added herbs to the product which help keep joints lubricated and have natural anti-inflammatory properties such as Yucca, Cayenne, Devils Claw and Vitamin C.

As with any holistic approach to health care, keeping an open mind and knowing that rotation is key will make sure you are giving your animal the best method of pain prevention possible.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Get Western Timothy at GreenPets!

If you have a small herbivore, like a hampster, for a pet, then you know they need hay to chow down on; that's why we carry it for you at GreenPets!

For small mammal pets, we have Oxbow brand products, like Western Timothy hay. Western Timothy grass hay with high-fiber, low-protein and low-calcium content, helps keep the gastrointestinal tract of rabbits and small herbivores functioning properly.

Western Timothy hay will help prevent obesity, maintain a healthy urinary system and improve overall health. A high-fiber diet will also lower the incidence of soft stools, intestinal gas and bloating. Timothy hay is the most widely recommended hay by veterinarians for rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas and other herbivores. Its fresh fragrance encourages consumption.

Hay is absolutely vital to the health of small herbivores. It provides not only nutrition, but environmental enrichment that mimics the animal's natural habitat. Western Timothy provides a long-strand fiber source that is needed to improve the digestive and intestinal function by stimulating the digestive system.

Feeding animals free-choice hay promotes a natural chewing behavior and helps prevent molar spurs and other teeth problems so common in these small herbivores.

Buy hay while the sun shines at GreenPets!

Friday, October 17, 2008

"Jane! Stop this crazy thing!"

Maybe your dog is getting a little chubby from eating all those treats. Or maybe the weather -- too hot, too cold, too snowy, too stormy -- makes it difficult to get him out for exercise.

Whatever the cause, DogTred may be the solution. It's a little doggie treadmill sized for the canine physique. Krista Wickens, head of PetZen in Utah, which developed the product, says DogTred is not for lazy humans. While you don't actually get on the treadmill with him, you can't just tie him to the equipment and go about your business.

There is a training process in which you guide him with a leash and interact with the dog, offering bait to get him going. And for safety's sake, you always have to be present while the dog takes his stroll.

DogTred -- adjustable in half-mile increments up to 5 m.p.h. -- tilts for easy storage.

The current model costs $499 and is good for dogs up to 30 pounds.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Political Dog Biscuits at GreenPets!

As a Washingtonian, you surely know that our local industry -- national politics -- is a dog-eat-dog world.

Well, GreenPets can help you make the most of it with Capitol Dog Bakery brand Political Dog Biscuits!

The shape is good for your political soul and the contents are good for pet's health!

(ALL of the ingredients are certified organic)

Stone-ground Organic Rye Flour, Stone-ground Organic Barley Flour, Unsalted Organic Peanut Butter, Organic Honey, Organic Flax Seeds

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein (min.) 11%, Crude Fat (min.) 5%, Crude Fat (max.) 8%, Crude Fiber (max.) 2%, Moisture (max.) 9%

Think the country's going to the dog because of political parties? Turn the tables on them, and send the political parties to the dogs (or, at least, your dog's stomach!).

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Intelligence of Dogs

Dogs may actually be far more intelligent than we think. Stanley Coren, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia and a best-selling author of books on dogs, including The Intelligence of Dogs (Free Press), thinks so. He says that dogs display intelligence in a variety of ways -- reading social cues, learning new tasks, understanding language, solving problems and more. He even argues that you can measure your dog's smarts.

Other experts agree with Coren that there can be a canine equivalent of the IQ test.

"You might be very good verbally and weaker at math and someone else might be good at music but not at logic. Dogs are no different in so far as they share some of our domains," says Jean Donaldson, author of Oh, Behave!: Dogs from Pavlov to Premack to Pinker (2008) and director of the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal's Academy for Dog Trainers. "One dog may be good at problem solving and another may be a quick study at learning new tasks."

Here are some simple tests, suggested by various experts, that you can give your furry friend to find out if its brain is sharper than its bark:

  • Problem Solving
  • Donaldson suggests that you hide something your dog loves -- a toy or ball or biscuit -- underneath a sofa, and see if it can figure out how to retrieve the object. She says dogs may go through several strategies, including digging with paws or using snouts.

    Score Five points for getting the item with its paws in less than 30 seconds; four points if it uses paws and takes more than 30 seconds; three if it uses paws but fails; two if it uses its head but doesn’t try paws, and one point for dogs that try to use their head but then give up. It gets no points if it does nothing.
  • Learning Rate
  • How many times do you have to repeat a task with your dog before your pal masters it? Donaldson recommends a test involving detour taking. You need a fence that your dog can see through with a gate open at one end. With you on the other side of the fence, call your dog and see whether it can figure out how to get around to the other side.

    Score Five points if it goes around the fence in a minute or less; four points if it succeeds right away after you take a few steps in that direction and gesture; three if it succeeds in 30 seconds after the prompts; two if it succeeds between 30-60 seconds after prompts, and one if it succeeds but requires even more prompting and time than that.
  • Social Cues
  • Coren developed the "smile" test for an Australian TV program to see how smart your dog is at picking up social cues from humans. Start with your pet sitting a few yards away from you. Stare at your pet's face. Once you make eye contact, count to three and then smile very broadly.

    Score Five points for coming to you with its tail wagging; four points for coming part way; three points for standing or rising; two points for moving, and one if your doggie dunce pays no attention at all.
  • Inference Challenge
  • A canine version of the shell game. With your dog on a leash or in the stay position, use treats and two different bowls set a few feet apart, Donaldson says. Smear the treat on both bowls. Then very dramatically put the treat underneath one bowl. Release your pet and see what happens. Repeat this 10 times changing which bowl you put the treat under. Repeat another 10 times without letting your dog see where you're stashing the treat, but DO let the pup see you enthusiastically lift the other bowl up each time.

    Score Five points if the dog goes to the correct bowl and gets the treat each time; four points if it masters the first 10 and improves over the course of the second 10; three if the first set is perfect but not the second set; two if the dog improves during the first and second rounds, and one if the dog is initially not very good but improves over the first round and completes the second round by going to the bowl you lifted.

  • Language Comprehension
  • Coren developed this test to determine how well your dog understands what you are saying. Start with your dog sitting in front of you. Using the tone of voice you use to call your dog's name, call "refrigerator." Try this again, calling "movies."

    Score Five points if the dog doesn't respond to those words but comes after you call its name; four points if the dog comes the second time you call its name; three if the dog starts to come; two if the dog comes to "movies" but not "refrigerator,” and one if the dog simply doesn't come to any of the calls.
Your Dog's Score

Gifted and Talented (25-31) Consider your dog brilliant and then…watch out! Smarter dogs are often harder to live with because as soon as you teach them new skills, they try to get around following your orders. You may also inadvertently teach them bad behaviors.

Clever Canine (18-25) On the higher end of the intellectual spectrum, these are good listeners who will likely perform tricks well at parties or in obedience class.

Sharp, But Slow (10-18) You will find them trainable -- even if it takes numerous repetitions to master a skill.

Doggie Dropout (Less than 10) Let's hope that you selected your pet for its beauty as opposed to its brains, but since anyone can have an off day, give your furry pal a good pat on the head, and maybe try the tests again at a later date.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Question of The Week

For the past several years I have wanted a place where I could talk about, discuss or answer all of the questions we get from our customers. The questions cover a wide range of topics from nutrition and supplements to training and funny stories. The great part about having a place to post these questions and stories is that the answer never relates to only one person or issue. You can now look forward to this weekly Question of the Week post and hopefully will find it useful.

Here's last weeks question.

"My 10 year old Maine Coon cat has been ( increasingly over the last two weeks ) licking photographs. He pulls photos out of drawers to do this, even! Any ideas? Is he deficient in some sort of vitamin, or is he simply getting weird? "

While I understand the inclination to believe that our animals develop strange habits, ( or act out intentionally to drive us crazy ) that is rarely the case. I did a little digging around to find out what exactly a cat may find attractive on a photograph and discovered some interesting facts. First, it turns out that there a lot of cats out there that do this. They also have been known to eat and lick tape, wires ( so not safe! ) wood, and ceramic tiles. This normally is observed in kittens and young cats. Not so unlike dogs, it is usually a teething issue, or boredom.

I figured that since this cat is 10 years old though, it may have to do with the fact that there is a chemical called hydoquinone that is used to keep pictures from oxidizing over the years. Most cats become deficient in anti-oxidants as they age. (Also why you may find your cats licking the moisturizers that keep your skin looking young!)

A simple way to check if this is the problem is to increase the anti-oxidant/vitamin intake in your cats diet. GreenPets carries a product from Ark Naturals called Nu-Pet Feline Granular Greens. Loaded with powerful antioxidants and essential vitamins not found in a cats diet alone, it is a supplement that should be used in any aging cats meal.

Keep in mind that there could be several different factors that contribute to a cat's desire for photo licking, but starting with something simple and safe, like adding a vitamin supplement is certainly a good place to start.

Monday, October 06, 2008

TropiClean: the BioDegradable Product Bottle!

You probably already know that the TropiClean pet bathing products that GreenPets sells are natural formulas with therapeutic extracts for the health and care of your pet's skin and coat. That's why they're so popular with our customers!

But did you also know that TropiClean is committed to environment-friendliness in its products and packaging as well?

Yes, that's why TropicClean bottles are 100% biodegradable! In fact, they are the only pet shampoo bottles that are. The bottle and sleeve are completely degradable within 180 days in a commercial compost landfill. Amazing!

As long as you're devoted to keeping your pet clean, why not keep the planet clean at the same time? Buy TropiClean petcare products at GreenPets!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Canine Chorus Lauds Dog Hero

Canine crooners have auditioned to take part in a special choir which will pay musical tribute to legendary dog hero Swansea Jack.

The black retriever became a local hero in the Swansea area of England in the 1930s for rescuing drowning swimmers from Swansea's docks. Born in 1930 Swansea Jack hit the headlines the following year when he rescued a swimmer from the docks.

Legend has it that he went on to save 27 people from drowning over seven years. In 1936 he was named the 'Bravest Dog of the Year' by the London Star newspaper and was awarded two bronze medals by the National Canine Defence League. A monument paid for by public subscription stands on Swansea promenade .

Once formed, the canine choir will create and and perform a new song in celebration of the hero. 'A Song For Jack' will also be transcribed.

Judges auditioned dogs at Swansea's National Waterfront Museum. The dogs which auditioned all start singing after hearing a piece of music or a direct command.

Grace Davies who helped to organize the auditions said they had seen some "cracking diva dogs".

"It has been loads of fun," she added.

The project is the brainchild of Cardiff-based artist Richard Higlett who said the canine choir will perform a special concert outside the National Waterfront Museum with accompaniment from local musicians.

"Dogs sing together instinctively as part of a pack, their sense of community," he said.