1 Relaxing in Style
There is no better place to curl up after a long walk than on the Mt. Bachelor Pad from Ruff Wear. The fleece-top bed has a waterproof base that’s made from PVC-free recycled materials. From $60. www.ruffwear.com
2 Organic Eats
Made from all-natural ingredients with no artificial colors or preservatives, 2-Chomp Munchies -- available in flavors like Crunchy Peanut Butter Banana and Roasted Turkey with Cranberries -- are treats worthy of your pooch’s begging. $7. www.nuhemp.com
3 Tug-of-War Twist
Hems of old T-shirts are given new life with these tug toys. The scraps are braided to make them extra durable, and the colorful blends are always a different mix, ensuring that no two Tugeez toys are ever the same. From $10. www.reteez.com
4 Eco-Friendly Fetch
The Orbee-Tuff RecycleBall is made of nontoxic rubber that is 100 percent recyclable (it’d otherwise wind up as landfill fodder). The message on the ball says it all: reduce, reuse, rewoof. $12. www.planetdog.com
5 Green, Unleashed
Old billboard advertisements are saved from the dump and transformed into one-of-a-kind leashes and collars. Each one has a tag that reads, “I used to be a billboard.” From $16. www.itzadog.com
6 Bath Bar
It looks like soap but lasts longer than a bottle of dog shampoo. This cleansing bar is made from certified organic ingredients and comes in scents like rosemary and lavender. The packaging is made from recycled materials. $8. www.dermagic.com
7 Green Fashion Statement
Let your dog wear her views on her sleeve. This collection of recycled cotton T-shirts features eco-friendly one-liners like, “Be Kind to Mother Earth” and “Tree Hugger.” Three sizes; 13 designs. $25. www.getitfromscratch.com
Ask the ExpertAll kibble is not created equal. And news of recent pet food recalls has more and more dog owners concerned about what goes into their furry companion’s bowl. Michael Dix, DVM, medical director at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, and a regular on the National Geographic Channel’s DogTown, weighs in on choosing pet food.
What should consumers be looking for in a pet food? For optimal health, it’s best to make sure that one of the first ingredients listed on your dog food is a protein source. You get what you pay for: Inexpensive dog food tends to have a lot of fillers, so you have to feed your dog more to get the same amount of nutrients.
Is there a benefit to choosing dog foods labeled “All Natural” or “Organic”? These labels tend to imply higher quality ingredients, though that’s not always the case. Read the labels carefully and look for ones that list “human-grade ingredients.” Steer clear of nondescript protein sources, which can include listings like “meat products” or “meat meal.”
When it comes to food, what is the most important thing a pet owner should know? It’s important to feed your dog the right amount of food. Your pet’s lifestyle will alter his nutritional needs. It makes no sense to feed a working border collie the same amount as a couch-potato bulldog. Ask your veterinarian about establishing the right feeding guidelines for your pet.
Note: Not all foods are best for all pooches, so even though these are great brands, they might not work for your dog.