Homemade Puppy Popsicles

2 09 2007

…and red is definitely it!, originally uploaded by romeo’smom.

Do the dog days of summer have your pooch panting for a cool summer treat? Try this simple recipe for Puppy-Popsicles.

  • 32 oz. plain yogurt
  • 1 ripened banana, mashed
  • 2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons honey

Add all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth. Pour mixture into ice trays and freeze.

While any old peanut butter you have around will do, we recommend natural peanut butter available at most grocery or natural food stores because they contain less sugar than the usual stuff. Just a note, the live cultures in yogurt create lactase, an enzyme in which lactose-intolerant people (or puppies) are deficient; and aid in the digestion of casein, a milk protein. So while most dairy products aren’t good for dogs, plain yogurt is a lot gentler to the tummy.


World’s Best Cat Litter: A Natural Alternative

30 08 2007

Bun on the Can, originally uploaded by caitlinburke.

GPC Pet Products offer an all natural, completely biodegradable cat litter made from corn fibers and proteins that have received rave reviews from cat owners looking for a natural alternative to conventional cat litter. GPC claims that World’s Best Cat Litter is clumpable, flushable and controls odors without creating silica dust. The general public is supporting these claims and giving it two thumbs up. Unlike natural clay, this corn based litter has a pleasant natural scent and evidently scoops easily. Of course with all natural litters, it does require more frequent cleaning then conventional litters but at least you can toss it without worry that it’s harming the environment. The natural material and reduction of dust has the added benefit of being easy on cats and humans with allergies, asthma or sensitivities to dust. Although GPC advertises that World’s Best Cat Litter is safe to flush it’s important to note that flushing cat waste can be detrimental to the environment. Cat’s are capable of passing on a variety of pathogens in their feces and introducing those bugs to your local watershed is never a good idea. Although it says flushable it’s recommended you toss it in the trash.

PROS: 100% Biodegradable, clumpable, doesn’t track dust, doesn’t agitate sensitive noses.

CONS: Needs frequent cleaning and expensive at $9.00 per 7 lb bag.

BP BONUS: Cats seem to love it.

Have you used World’s Best Cat Litter? Let us know what you think.

Grow Your Own Catnip

26 08 2007

This is your cat on drugs., originally uploaded by jocieposse.

Growing your own catnip, is simple, cheap and kitties go crazy for it. While organic nip is available there is nothing greener than growing your own and once you’ve given Fluffy her portion you can snip a bit for your own delicious cup of catnip tea. These days catnip seeds, Nepeta cataria, can be purchased at just about any home and garden center and with the proper conditions can blossom into a fragrant plant with clusters of small white or blue flowers.

What You’ll Need

  • A medium or large size flower pot or seed starter. (A garden or flower bed is great too.)
  • Organic potting soil.
  • Catnip seeds
  • A sunny location
  • Water

While catnip can be grown year round, it is recommended to plant it in the late winter/early spring so you can bring it outside after the last frost or if you’re planting it in an outdoor garden sow you seeds in the late fall for spring germination. Catnip is inexpensive and easy to grow so don’t stress too much about the time of year. Fill the pot or seed starter with soil and wet until it is quite moist. Add a few seeds to the pot or one per seed starter pod and push the seeds down just about 1/8″ and cover with just a tiny bit of soil. If you are planting catnip in your garden spread the plants out quite a bit more, about 18″ apart as they are capable of growing large and spreading within the bed. Cover the pot or seed starter with plastic wrap until it germinates locating the pot in full sun or partial shade. Once the seedlings reach about 2″ they are usually safe to acclimate to the outdoors. Be sure to keep the soil moist, especially while the plant is young and growing. Catnip is a perennial that grows large and blooms readily with little care. Cutting the plant back with encourage a second bloom.

To harvest, cut off the largest stems including the top leaves and flowers and lay them out, away from kitties, where they can dry. The dried leaves can be stored all winter and brought out whenever you’d like. Homegrown catnip is more potent then the store bought stuff and completely safe for cats. You’ll notice the difference without a doubt. A few fresh leaves can be given to cats as well but don’t be surprised if they quickly eat them up. The oils from the fresh leaves are equally as potent as the plant itself. Rub fresh leaves on kitty toys or cat beds to achieve a similar spazoid effect.

Catnip Tea

To make catnip tea heat water just shy of boiling and add 1 teaspoon of loose, dry catnip to the water for about 90 seconds or until desired strength is achieved. Strain out catnip and serve with lemon or honey. Catnip is a member of the mint family and has a flavor reminiscent of mint. Catnip tea is great for insomnia or to calm an excited mind.

BIObags: Biodegradable Dog Waste Bags

25 08 2007

Shit Is Real!, originally uploaded by J-ROCK!.

Dealing with doggie dookie is a necessary part of life for any canine owner. For those of us who share an urban environment with our four legged friends we are all too familiar with the daily war that is waged between us and the puppy piles dropped on the city side walk.

There are 74 million owned dogs living in the U.S. according to the 2006 census, the majority of which are in or near urban areas. This equates to a potential 27 billion polyethylene / polypropylene dog waste bags dropped into landfills each year. For the eco-conscious there have been few successful alternatives to the plastic bag. Fortunately, BIObag USA has developed a 100% biodegradable, 100% compostable pet waste bag made from corn starch, vegetable oil and other biodegradable materials. According to the BIObag website these bags fully decompose in 10 to 45 days in a controlled compost and while most city-folk don’t have the luxury of a compost, the increased degrading time in a landfill situation is still sure to beat the 100 years it takes for conventional plastic bags by a long shot.

The price is right too. At less than $5 per 50 pack (or 600 bags for $40.90) these are an affordable alternative that any Earth-loving dog owner can embrase. BIObags USA provides their certification and testing information online too so we can rest assured their product performs as claimed.

PROS: Affordable and completely biodegradable.

CONS: Tough to find. BioBag website links to their vendors.

BP BONUS: BioBags has an entire product line of kitchen and garden bags to go along with their pet products.