It's been nearly two months since we asked for your best green pet tips for our new puppy. Within that time our dog has doubled in size and we've learned a whole lot about ways to inject obedience and eco-mindness into our pet's life. Find out our best tips and yours, after the jump!
Keep in mind we are not veterinarians or dog trainers, but these tips have worked wonders in our experience, and were echoed by others, including you readers.
- Upcycle: You can never have too many old towels and clothes to reuse! Whether it's for potty training, lining the crate, wiping off dirty feet or drying off after a bath, there's about a million reasons to keep these threads around rather than throwing them away.
- Re-Use: While it is incredibly tempting to spoil your pet rotten and go wild at the pet store, first consider using hand-me-downs or reuse items when possible. Our parents donated us tons of their old and unused pet supplies, saving us money while taking it off their hands.
- Patience: Speaking of, if your pet is growing, wait to buy certain items, or get them larger to leave room for growth. We got our puppy early January so a jacket was necessary for his 5-pound frame — unfortunately he grew out of it within a month!
- Crate Training: This is a must for expediting potty training, while giving your dog a place to call his own. It may seem counter-intuitive and cruel, but it's not and it really does work. We've stocked his crate with a water bottle, food dish and a few toys so that he is comfortable, while also discouraged from doing his business. Patience is also key with this step.
- Odors & Stains: Bac-Out is your new BFF. I wish it wasn't the case, but we've gone through several of these bottles during our pup's potty training. Bac-Out is an enzymatic stain and odor eliminator, crucial for sanitizing and wiping out odors so your pet doesn't think he's marking his territory, which could result in repeated accidents in the same location.
- DIY Cleaners: If you want to try your own cleaner, one reader suggested a mixture of very hot water, vinegar and baking soda. Soak up as much as possible first with a towel, then treat with the vinegar mixture.
- Food: Feed your pet with high-quality food. We've heard all kinds of suggestions on this, as well as seeing a variety of options in big box and boutique pet stores. While the current trend is to use a grain-free product, the bottom line is that the food should be made of healthy high-quality ingrediants, and the shorter the ingredient list the better (just like your own food!).
- Organization: Keep all the toys organized! Whether is putting them in a basket, keeping them by the crate or leaving them in the pet bed, just be consistent about whether the toys go. This will keep you sane as well as provide some stability for your pet.
- Cleaning: During bathtime consider using an all-natural dishsoap instead of shampoo to help combat fleas; add 10-20 drops of grapefruit seed extract to the shampoo to prevent ticks and mites; or even try Dr.Bronner's to lather-up.
- Pickup: There's no bigger doggie faux-pas in the city then leaving dog poop on the streets. Do not forget to pick it up and throw it away using a biodegradable material such as BioBags or even paper bags.
See our original pet tip survey here, and check out some of these recent pet posts for more ideas!
(Image: Rachel Wray)