Friday, April 11, 2014

Where to Find REAL Eco-friendly Products For Your Dog

Recently, I was shopping at TJ Maxx and they had a lot of cute dog stuff, and some of the tags said Eco-friendly and had a picture of the Earth on it. Once I turned the tag over and started reading the label, it was all synthetic materials, made in China, and the only part that was slightly eco-friendly was the eco-filler/stuffing made from recycled soda bottles. I dug through every dog bed and clothing item they had there, and none of them were my idea of eco-friendly. I did however find a ball made of natural rubber and fair trade certified and many organic and all-natural dog treats, so I did not leave empty handed, but I was a little frustrated with the way things are labeled.
When I look for Earth friendly items, I look at the whole process; I consider where it is produced, with what materials, and how it can be disposed of when finished. I live in a rural area and don't have many pet store options and even though I have found many eco-friendly products online, I try to order from places that are fairly close to me to avoid as much pollution as possible as it travels to me. Here are my top ten companies (in no particular order) for REAL eco-friendly pet products. All of these businesses consider the Earth from start to finish. Some of them do have their products for sale in Petco, on, and at other pet stores, but depending on where you live, it may be best to order directly from their site.

  1. Cycle Dog- Dog collars made from used bicycle tubes as well as other earth-friendly products
  2. West Paw Design-Eco-friendly dog bedding
  3. Olive Green Dog-Earth friendly clothing and accessories
  4. Muttropolis- All natural flea and tick products
  5. Barking It Up-Stainless steel dog tags
  6. Eco-Dogs-All-natural dog food and treats
  7. Better Buddies- Organic cotton and hemp dog beds and mats
  8. Hunt Ridge Ranch- Dog crates, gates, and beds
  9. Blue Ridge Dog Chews- All-natural dog chews and hemp rope toys
  10. Planet Dog- Toys, collars, and leashes

Friday, April 4, 2014

5 Reasons Your Dog Should Sleep in Your Bed

It is one of those things all new dog owners struggle about; should I let my dog sleep in my bed? This is definitely a topic that has dog owners, veterinarians, doctors, and trainers on both sides of the fence. According to various research from pet related businesses to mattress companies, anywhere from 35-55% of dog owners say they do allow their dog to sleep in their bed at night. Those owners that don't sleep with their pets often have strong arguments on why they don't. These can include things from allergies to power struggles, or owners just wanting to not have to sleep in weird positions around a large outstretched dog. However, other owners find sleeping with their dog reduces anxiety, gives them a sense of security and improves their overall relationship with their dog. Although there really seems to be no right or wrong answer to this question, there are a few reasons why allowing your dog to sleep in your bed could be beneficial. Here are five reasons why you should CONSIDER allowing your dog to sleep in your bed (or at least right next to it).

  1. Security- If you are a heavy sleeper or live in a place where burglaries are a problem, a dog offers security at night. If a dog hears a noise or senses a fire or other danger, he will quickly alert the person he is sleeping by. Many people have been saved by house fires and other potential tragedies due to a dog being right by them at night and waking them up in time to escape injury or death.
  2. Bonding- Although it may not be a good idea to let your dog sleep with you until she is properly trained, once trained, sleeping with your dog can improve your bond with her. Bonding at bedtime can help reduce anxiety and restlessness for both the dog owner and the dog.
  3. Routine- Dogs love routine and it doesn't take long at all for their biological clocks to know when it is time to eat, sleep, play, and so on. By allowing your dog to sleep with you, you may likely never need an alarm clock again. (Except for maybe when the time change happens). Dogs are great at signally to you when it is time to go to bed and when it is time to wake up!
  4. Medical Conditions- If you have certain medical conditions, sleeping with a trained dog can be a matter or life or death. Trained service dogs are available for people with Sleep Apnea, Alzheimer's, victims of rape, and many other conditions. These dogs are well trained to keep the person and those around them safe. Service dogs are also available for children with various disabilities and conditions, including seizures and hearing impairment. Both parents and children can sleep soundly knowing that their dog is trained to alert them to medical or other related dangers.
  5.  Reduce Stress and Loneliness- For some people that live alone, having a dog to snuggle with at night truly does make sleeping a lot easier. Even some happily married couples feel less stressed when snuggling with their dog (s) at night. I am one of them. My queen size bed sleeps my husband and I with our two Lab/Collie mixes and even though stretching my legs out completely at night only happens once and a while, I wouldn't change what a good thing we have going. We love our dogs and we love having them with us at night. 
Do you let your dogs sleep in your bed? Why or why not? Comment below or converse with Pupcycled on Facebook!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

13 Odd Places to Find a Sleeping Dog

Even if you buy a dog the best (and most eco-friendly) bed in the world, some dogs just love to find their own unique place to sleep. This week Pupcycled takes a look at thirteen odd places to find a sleeping dog.  Has your dog ever slept in one of these places?

Sleep behind the cushions and no one will ever know you were on the sofa....maybe.
(used by permission from Christine Sterling)

Beware the stairs! They offer a firm foundation for napping.
(used by permission from Joanne Bednall)

Some dogs take the Goldilock's approach and need to try all the beds in the house.
(used by permission from Tracey Shontz)

It doesn't get any more earth-friendly than this!
(used by permission from Phyllis Wise)

Sleep anywhere you want, but make sure your tongue is out!
(used by permission from

Flower pots make great beds, just be sure to dig out the flowers first.
(used by permission from Lynda Sokoloski)

Whenever possible, find clean laundry and snuggle in it!
(Kasey- used  by permission from Erick Seager)

Sadie loves her head rest under the dining room table.
(used by permission from Kerri Hanks)

When sleeping with other dogs, always strike the same pose like Ping and Benson.
(used by permission from Brooke Lee)

Harlow has a thing for sleeping against walls (when the sofa is unavailable).
(used by permission from Christine Sterling)

Is this what they mean by Downward Dog?
(used by permission from Garth Riley)
A warm lap is always a good place to sleep.
(Syd-used by permission from Ben Yokitis)

When in full nap mode, do not leave room for anyone else!
(used by permission from Christine Harr)

 Thank you to everyone that submitted photos of their dog sleeping in odd places. Let's keep it going....visit Pupcycled on Facebook to submit your sleeping dog photos.

Note: all photos for this post were used by permission and may not be used on any other websites, in any way, without written permission. Contact Pupcycled at for permission to use photos.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Featured Fridays- Ruffelstiltskin Upcycled Dog Toys

This week's Featured Fridays' company is one that truly knows how to upcycle! Ruffelstilskin's most popular product, the eco-friendly, upcycled jean pocket turtle, shouts cute and green all at the same time!
Ginger DePriest, founder of Ruffelstiltskin, says,"Our main goal is to make environmentally friendly pet products more available, so that buying eco-friendly stuff for your dog will not just be the right thing to do, but also the easy thing to do!" 
Ginger started her journey to a greener lifestyle for herself many years ago, and quickly realized the effects all her dog's products had on the environment. From plastic treat bags to one time use toys that ended up in the garbage can, Ginger decided to no longer purchase mass produced toys or treats for her dog. She began using old jean fabric to create toys her dog loved. Her toys are made from upcycled materials and are colorful and durable. 
As an avid supporter of dog-related  fundraising events, she continued to find ways to get more and more eco-friendly products out to other dog owners as well. Although she began selling her creations exclusively online through an Etsy store , they are now available in several places.  Subscribers to Big Licks Barkery monthly box, and attendees to a variety of dog-related events, can get the wonderful toys, all-natural treats, and eco-friendly cooling pads, that Ruffelstiltskin creates. Soon you may see the iconic pocket turtle even peeking out of your favorite local pet store. So, be sure to follow Ruffelstiltskin on Facebook to find out the next place they might pop up!

Ginger with her dog and husband

Monday, March 17, 2014

Quotes for Dog Lovers

Theo and Beau from

"The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants."Johnny Depp

National Puppy Day is March 23rd, and as a way to celebrate, Pupcycled is featuring quotes for dog lovers. Dogs are true companions that offer unconditional love everyday and bring so much joy into our lives.

The first quote we found from Johnny Depp, seems to go perfectly with this photo of Theo and Beau from a blog called Mommas Gone City. Please take some time to check out the photo contest pictures of babies with their puppy soul mates

On National Puppy Day, be sure to share some of these quotes with your friends. Looking for more ideas on how to celebrate? Try one of the suggestions below:

     Drop off puppy food to your nearest shelter
     Donate money to a local puppy rescue
     Make a photo album or photo pillow of you and your dog on Snapfish or Shutterfly
     Use social media to spread awareness about puppy adoption
     Enter your dog into a photo contest
      Make your dog special treats and make a few extra for other dogs in your neighborhood

     Get your dog a new eco-friendly collar, shirt, or name tag
     Get matching shirts for you and your dog
     Get pictures taken outside of you and your dog together
     Donate eco-friendly puppy safe toys to a dog rescue group

     Sign up for a dog walk to raise money for a local charity
     Treat your dog to a spa at home treatment with earth friendly items
     Take your dog on a day trip to a puppy pool or water park
     Spend some quality time just snuggling with your dog

Have a wonderful National Puppy Day everyone!!!!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Upcycle an Old Yoga Mat into Dog Food and Water Mat

I have never known a dog to drink from a water bowl and not leave a little bit of a mess. However, in our house, our three dogs seem to make quite a mess with water. I originally purchased a water hog mat to place under the water bowl, but one problem I have had with this mat, is that in addition to collecting water, it also collects a lot of dog hair. (Which is hard to clean off of it)! When I saw this unique water and food mat on incredible I knew it was the perfect thing to share with Pupcycled's readers. Whether you have an old yoga mat at home, or pick one up at your local thrift store, within minutes you can set up an upcycled dog water mat that is easy to clean.
To create the yoga mat food/water bowl mat, just take an old mat and cut into a dog bone shape large enough to hold the water and food bowls for your pet. Place the mat on the floor and the bowls on top.

When you need to clean the mat, you have a few natural options. First, you can spray with white vinegar and wipe clean. Another option, is to fill a bathtub with warm soapy water (Castile soap is perfect), soak the mat in the soapy water for about twenty minutes and then hang outside to dry OR hand over your shower rod until completely dry.

Yoga mats can help with more than just collecting excess water from your dog's bowl, they also keep food and water bowls from sliding. Yoga mats are perfect to put inside crates and  across the seats of the car. Mats work well under crates to stop them from scratching the floor as well as inside for a comfy surface to relax on. In the car, the mats help give your dog traction for getting in and out and keep your seats protected from your dog's nails, slobber, and dirt.  If you have several old mats, consider donating them to your local pet shelter or check out these other ways to upcycle old yoga mats. 
Bone Appetit
Bone Appetit Mat from Better Buddies
If you don't have access to old yoga mats, consider going to Better Buddies to buy an upcycled yoga mat food bowl mat that is made in the USA. They also have other great eco-friendly pet products available on their website. In addition to offering eco-friendly pet products, Better Buddies, is involved in helping homeless animals and animal shelters. Be sure to visit their website and checkout their story and is very inspiring!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Your Dog

Whether you are Irish all the time, or just for one day every year, make sure to include your four-legged friend in the happy festivities of St. Patrick's Day. Here are five ways to celebrate this fun holiday with your GREEN dog.

 Green Pepper Breakfast- cut a bell pepper the fat way so you get a thick shamrock shaped piece. Put a little olive oil in a small skillet on med/low heat and place the green pepper slice in the skillet. Scramble an egg and pour it into the green pepper. Make sure the egg is cooked and cooled completely before serving to your dog. You could also just give your dog sliced green peppers as a healthy, green, and crunchy treat.

Attend a Parade Together- Many cities hold St. Patrick's Day parades and allow dogs to attend and even be part of the parade. Consider making your dog a festive bow tie (he can wear to parade) from old green or shamrock material you have around the house or can find at a thrift store.

 Make Minty Dog Treats-treat both you and your dog to homemade minty dog treats that will leave his breath minty and fresh! You could also wrap these treats in gold foil and give them to other dogs to help them celebrate being Irish for a day.  I like this recipe from
2 cups of whole wheat flour.
1/2 cup of cornflour
1/3 cup of freshly chopped mint.
1/2 cup dry or chopped parsley
1 cup water
6 tablespoons olive oil. 
Mix flour, cornflour, and herbs.
Add 3/4 of you cup of water and save the rest. Also add the olive oil and mix thoroughly.
Roll out on floured board and roll to about 1cm thick (if the dough does not stick together add some of the water until mixture is less crumbly.
Use knife or cookie cutters and put on a baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cool completely before serving.

Go Green and Glamorous for the Day- Consider giving your dog a pedicure with eco-friendly dog nail polish! You and your dog can have beautiful green toenails to tap to some Irish tunes. For a full at-home spa treatment, bathe your dog in homemade oatmeal soap and finish off her paws with homemade all-natural paw balm prior to the nail painting.

Play Rainbow Tug-of-War-Make a braided tug-of-war rope from a colorful variety of old t-shirts or colored jeans. (Look under the Pupcycled craft tab for directions on creating a braided rope toy for your dog). Another fun homemade toy idea is to get a large rainbow soccer sock (think Rainbow Brite) and put an old flat tennis ball in the bottom, tie it off and get ready for a game of fetch and tug.