DOG for DOG is a movement to help as many dogs as possible. With every purchase DOG for DOG gives an equal amount of food to dogs in need.

DOG for DOG Team

DOG for DOG Transformation – Ethel from Simi Valley Missing Pets

by DOG for DOG Team 1 Comment

Today, we want to introduce you to Ethel – a pup who had a hard life that was rescued from our amazing donation partner, Simi Valley Missing Pets. Simi Valley Missing Pets was started by the amazing duo – Doug and Jenn. It started off as a place where the community can get together to look for… you guessed it, missing pets. Owners can post their missing pet on their Facebook page to see if anyone has seen their pet. If the missing pet doesn’t find their owner after 30 days, the dog is fixed and all medical needs are taken care of and sent to a foster home until they can find their forever home.

Ethel is a special pup that their volunteer Brittany fell in love with. Here’s her story:

Ethel, is now an almost 5 month old little girl who was taken in by Simi Valley Missing Pets from Bakersfield shelter when she was 10 weeks old. They called Jenn from Simi Valley Missing Pets and asked that she take this little girl who had just been brought in with some facial deformities and was malnourished. Of course Jenn agreed and then I asked to foster her. When I got her home, my husband and I weighed her and she was all of 8 pounds. You could see all of her ribs, and the fur on the end of her tail was missing. When we picked her up, it was almost as though her chest would collapse inward because she was just so frail. Ethel was immediately put on DOG for DOG Grain Free Salmon Formula (her skin was flakey and red under her armpits so grain free seemed to be the way to go!).  She eats 3 cups of DOG for DOG dry food a day as well as gets her DOGSBUTTER in her chew bones for treats. She is now 27 pounds, all of her fur grew in beautifully, she no longer has irritated skin, and she is as solid and healthy as they come! DOG for DOG helped her gain a much needed 2 pounds, on average, a week and her coat looks gorgeous! 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and we couldn’t agree more with these Before and After photos.






Want to hear (and see!) more heart warming stories like this? Make sure to like the DOG for DOG Facebook page as well as Simi Valley Missing Pet’s Facebook page.

Also, a HUGE thank you to those who have joined our POUND for POUND movement. As a small token of our appreciation, we are offering a $5 off coupon for any bag of DOGSFOOD at your local PetSmart store. Click here for the coupon: To redeem, either print the coupon or show it on your phone.

DOG for DOG: Investors Wanted!

“It is time to feed every dog in every shelter across North America.” – Rocky Kanaka, founder of DOG for DOG 

Today, we have an important message from our Founder, Rocky Kanaka.

DOG for DOG was found with one mission: to feed dogs in need. With the amazing support from our friends and family and all of you that have joined our movement, we have been able to donate thousands and thousands of pounds of food to dogs in need. Though the perception of shelter dogs is rapidly changing, there are still many homeless dogs that need our food donation. So why do we need investors? It’s because we are growing so rapidly. We need your help in feeding every dog in every shelter across North America. Will you join the POUND for POUND movement? 

Are you an investor that can help us feed more dogs in need? Email Rocky directly at:

We can’t do this without all of you! Help us spread the word by sharing this video:

5 Reasons You Should Adopt a German Shepherd

When looking to adopt a dog, you’ll likely spend time researching breeds and finding personality traits and physical traits that appeal to you and your lifestyle and taste. And while we’re all for just heading to your local shelter or rescue and seeing who you connect with, we also totally support getting to know your breeds before you make any final decisions. While many adoptable pups are mixed breed, they usually have one distinguishing breed within them and most shelters and rescues are also full of pure breeds as well. You’ll want to consider obvious things like activity level, trainability, health concerns and size. To help, we like to spotlight different breeds so that you can learn a bit more why you should considering adopting one. This week, we’re talking about one of the most popular dogs in the US (and thus, often found in shelters across the states), German Shepherds!

German Shepherds, best known today for their noble service as police dogs, trace their popularity as house pets to their shining history as celebrities. After careful breeding in Germany in the late 19th century, the pups found stardom: They frequently appeared on the big screen, bringing furry fun to silent films as early as 1922. In fact, they’re still one of the top three most popular breeds to appear on film and tv.

5 reasons to consider adopting a GSD:

  1. They’re smart. It’s no wonder GSD’s are the choice service dog for the police, as they are an extremely intelligent and quick learning breed. Training them will be easier and more rewarding than with many other breeds. Schutzhund, a German word for “protection dog,” is a sporting event that tests talents, such as tracking, obedience and protection. Originally created to test German shepherds, your pup is bound to outperform their friends at the dog park. They also love to please their owners, making them less likely to engage in negative behaviors.
  2. They’re perfect for active families. GSD’s make the perfect running and hiking partners, as they love exercise and are strong and adventurous.
  3. They’re healthy. With the proper diet and enough exercise, German Shepherds have few major health risks. The main risks are canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and elbow dysplasia, both of which are preventable. They generally live around 12 years, so you know you’ll plenty of time with them too.
  4. They’re highly adaptable. Though German Shepherds prefer larger yards, they easily adapt to apartment living as long as they get enough exercise each day (at least a 30 minute brisk walk). Plus, with proper socialization, a German Shepherd will make a great playmate for children and will exhibit extreme loyalty to the family. Though German Shepherds are often aloof toward new people, they follow your lead and are likely to warm up to the people you love.
  5. They’re heroes in dog form. Often recognized for heroic acts, German Shepherds relentlessly serve their special humans. In fact, Filax of Lewanno, a canine soldier, was honored in 1917 for bringing 54 wounded soldiers to safety during World War I.

Need some other quick reasons? They don’t shed badly (only seasonally and nothing crazy), they love water (beach day, anyone?), they don’t need to be bathed much and they come in a wide range of color combos, making each pup a little unique. And have you seen how cute they are as puppies!? If you’re considering adopting a GSD, you’ll want to check out this handy guide on things to look for as you meet GSD’s.

Not quite sold yet? Check out the amazing German Shepherds that are available for adoption from German Shepherd Rescue – Burbank and see if you can resist their charms any longer.

In the comments below tell us why you’re thinking about adopting a GSD. Or maybe you already have one or two? Help others with tips on what to expect and why they should definitely consider having a German Shepherd in their life!

How to Help the Displaced Dogs of Fort McMurray Wildfire Crisis

Help the Displaced Dogs of Fort McMurray Wildfire with DOG for DOG

On behalf of DOG for DOG, our hearts go out to those impacted by the devastating Fort McMurray wildfire crisis. We know during a crisis, many dogs are displaced and we need YOUR help! Visit any PetSmart store throughout Canada from now until May 20th and purchase any DOG for DOG product. For every product sold, we will donate an equal amount of DOGSFOOD to the displaced dogs of the wildfire. Find your nearest PetSmart Store here.

Not in Canada but still want to help? You can donate directly to our donation partner, PetSmart Charities.

Thank you for joining our movement and making a difference with us, pound for pound.

Benefits of Adopting a Specially-abled Dog

Benefits of Adopting a Specially-abled Dog


Did you know: May 3rd is National Specially-abled Pets Day (formerly Disabled Pets Day)? Now here’s a holiday we can get behind! Specially-abled Pets Day celebrates these amazing and heroic animals, helps to educate the public about caring for disabled pets and finds homes for orphaned, specially-abled pets. Founded in 2006 and internationally embraced, the decision was made to change the original name when founder Colleen Paige felt that it just didn’t fit. “The name held too negative a connotation… because these pets are very able! Pets that become challenged due to disease, birth flaws or injuries, tend to develop greater senses than your average pet. Most of the time it’s as if they never had to readjust to life… and we need to keep up with them!” Celebrated on May 3rd annually, National Specially-abled Pets Day encourages adoption always and hopes that people who would like to bring a new furry family member home will consider a specially-abled pet.


A PetFinder poll found special needs pets are the third-hardest animals to place, behind senior pets and bully breeds. Many of these “less adoptable” pets spend up to two years waiting for a forever home, more than four times the average wait. This is just part of why we always condone adoption over buying here at Dog for Dog, and today we’d like to talk about the advantages and key points of adopting a specially-abled dog. This is, of course, beyond the very obvious point that choosing to adopt a dog with special needs in many cases means saving the life of that dog or at the very least (if they’re coming from rescue), means that you’re taking on an amazing task that few would even consider facing. Special needs can encompass various disabilities, chronic medical conditions and behavioral issues. Some common problems among cats and dogs include missing one or more limbs, hind limb paralysis, deafness and or blindness, diabetes, allergies, urinary tract infections and lack of socialization. Some pets might require diapers, ramps, support slings, regular medication, and dog training and/or pet socialization classes.


One set of limited skills can bring out a whole new set of advantages. Pamela Nakamura wasn’t necessarily looking to adopt a special needs pet when she came across a beautiful yellow Lab named Max two years ago. “I knew from his photo that he was missing an eye,” says Pamela. “I didn’t want him to get passed by and I really wanted to give him a good home.” While Max is a little clumsier than your average dog (he has a tendency to bump into fences and walls) he has surprising mouth-eye coordination that makes him excellent at playing fetch, says Pamela. Learning to walk him was a little awkward in the beginning. However, she quickly learned if she keeps him on her right side that she’s within his eyesight and he feels safe and content. Overall, the past two years with Max has been really positive and Pamela says she wouldn’t hesitate adopting a special needs pet again.


Consider the commitment. Rochelle Michalek, the executive director of Paws Chicago, a no-kill shelter that rescues and adopts out injured and healthy pets in the Windy City, says that “Animals with disabilities are incredibly adaptable and despite their injuries can still be functional and even find a way to play. We put animals in homes where there is a commitment to succeed. People who adopt disabled pets ought to be of the proactive set. The environment at home has got to meet the needs of the pet and owners have to be committed to providing exercise, stimulation and training when necessary. Paw’s philosophy is one of education. We really talk about the cost of medical care so people in tricky financial situations know what they are taking on.” Her rescue also offers foster-to-adopt setups, where potential adopters can take their new bud home for a few weeks to make sure the new situation is one that works for both the pup and their human counterpart.

Stay open minded. In “The Power of Three Legs,” co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society Faith Maloney says that nowadays disabled animals are often the first to be adopted at the shelter. “It wasn’t long ago that any animal coming into a shelter with a defect – be it three legs or one eye – was considered unadoptable and automatically destroyed,” says Maloney. “But just as there are trends for certain breeds of pets, the trend now in adoptions is toward animals that come with publicity attached or with readily apparent war wounds.” This isn’t necessary a good thing – with the rise of so many “animal celebrities,” shelters are often overwhelmed with adoption requests for a few pets at the expense of many others. While this publicity can be a boon for the pet in question, there’s only one available for adoption; many potential adopters will leave empty-handed without considering other animals.

Blindness in a pet doesn’t mean you’ll have to hawkeye them 24/7. Actually, blind cats and dogs are no different than other animals! A blind pet doesn’t know what blindness is or that he or she has it, so they act like a regular dog or cat. “Blind cats can do pretty much everything that a seeing cat can do,” says Blind Cat Rescue, a permanent housing sanctuary in North Carolina. “They can climb trees, climb up on top of cabinets and get into places that you cannot figure out how they did it.” When caring for a blind pet, it’s important to maintain a consistent household. This means keeping food and water bowls, litter boxes and furniture in the same spots; blind pets navigate using their other senses, so moving things can confuse them. Dog trainer Cesar Millan recommends blocking off dangerous areas like stairs or pools with a baby gate, and laying down carpet runners or creating a “sniff path” of air fresheners on your pet’s regular route.

Deaf dogs are still totally trainable. Many animal shelters initially can’t tell if a pet is deaf; they look and act just like a regular pup – because they are. While many deaf dogs are easily started even by the lightest touch, with regular training they can be desensitized. “Deaf dog owners do take special measures to alert the dog to their presence before walking up to, or touching the dog,” says the Deaf Dog Education and Action Fund. A vibrating or “vibe” collar is used to train deaf dogs in a way similar to clicker training. Because dogs rely more on visual cues and body language than spoken words – they don’t understand English, after all – training a deaf dog is no more difficult than with a regular pup. One pet parent even made news for teaching her deaf Great Dane American Sign Language and many trainers teach their hearing dogs ASL commands as well.

Tripawds have an extra zest for life, in case you didn’t already know! While it’s true an animal amputee won’t be winning any races, the majority of dogs and cats get along just fine on three legs. Many report their three-legged pets are particularly spunky. Tripawds, a community for pet parents of three-legged animals, encourages strengthening your dog’s abdominal core muscles to compensate for missing limbs, rather than excessive walks or runs. Many tripawd dogs wear a special harness that allows for easy maneuvering of stairs and cars, while others can provide extra support. The location of the missing limb can make initial recovery difficult for some pets. “The front leg accounts for approximately 70 percent of the dog’s strength and balance,” says Seattle pet hydrotherapist Sheila Wells. “That is why front-leg amputees often have a more difficult time adjusting to their new state. The rear can follow but the front has to lead.” In any case, there’s no need for a long face when you spot a three-legged doggie!

Inspired and obsessed yet? Check out these six heroic special needs animals and check out the official website of NSAPD for a list of blogs all about special needs animals. In the comments below, tell us about your special needs pet or a favorite one you’ve met!

Here’s a video of our friend @underbiteunite on Instagram

“All too often I think Specially-abled Pets are overlooked because people are worried it will cost too much money to care for them or that it’ll just take too much work. That is not the case. Most animals, especially those that are blind in one eye or missing a leg, do just as well as if they had no issues at all. Dogs in wheelchairs can run around chasing balls, playing with other dogs and romping through water. Even totally blind animals can chase toys by sniffing them out. Animals are so resilient. They just need a chance to show us what courageous little heroes they are!” – Colleen Paige

High Tech Pet Products

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

High Tech Pet Products

If you consider yourself to be pretty tech savvy, often picking up the latest gizmos and gadgets created in order to make your life easier, it’s probably spilled over into your pet-parent life. And why shouldn’t it? There are a lot of great, high tech items on the market for the dogs and cats in your life that not only make their lives more interesting and fun, but can also make your day-to-day with them easier. We decided to deep-dive into the world of high tech pet products to uncover the best of what’s available now and share our findings with you. We hope that whether you’re already an avid user of tech items or a newbie to the tech game, you’ll enjoy reading about what’s available for you and your furry friends!



Tagg Pet Tracker: The Tagg pet tracker is a GPS attachment for your pet’s collar that serves two functions. First, it tracks your pet in case he or she ever gets lost. The app will send you a text message or email if your pet travels beyond its designated boundaries, then lead you directly to the animal’s location. Second, it tracks the animals activity like a canine Fitbit or Fuelband, so you can make sure Fido is getting enough exercise. The device costs $99.95, and the service costs $7.95 per month after a three-month free trial.

Pet’s Eye View Camera: Strap a camera to your pet’s collar and see what they are up to! You can set the camera to snap photos in intervals of one, five or 15 minutes. The device, which costs $40, stores 40 photos and comes with a USB cable to upload them onto your computer.

Motorola Scout 5000: This $200 device has a GoPro-like video camera built into its GPS location tracking device. Connect to a live stream of the camera anytime on your phone and – even better – a speaker lets you talk to your pup, too! There’s also a bark detection feature that notifies you when your dog is being too loud.

Trackimo: A very small GPS location device designed for both pets and humans. It costs $100 for the hardware and a 12-month mobile connection plan. You’ll also get international GPS tracking for no extra charge. Depending on use, Trackimo lasts two to three days on a single charge and comes in a waterproof silicone case. One single “SOS” button will broadcast the wearer’s location via app, email, or text.

Whistle Activity Monitor ($99): This little device snaps onto a harness or collar and communicates with the Whistle app for iOS. The device connects to WiFi, so you can see your dog’s activity in real time. Whistle also compares your dog’s activity to similar dogs, so you can keep him or her healthy. The data is sent from the Whistle over WiFi to the connected phone. While you’re away at work or on vacation, you can check in to see how your pup is doing.

Pet Chatz: Pet Chatz lets you have a video conference with your pooch, just by using your smartphone connected to their video monitor display. This makes it so you can check in on them from time to time while you are at work, or otherwise out of the house. You can even give them treats using the device, so your dog knows you’re still thinking of them. Pretty sweet!


Go-Go Dog Pals: Dogs need exercise to stay healthy, just like humans. The Go-Go Dog Pal is a remote-controlled device made to look like a small critter. According to the product’s website, the remote control works at long range, and the device is capable of speeds surpassing 20 mph. Unless your dog has no interest in chasing it, in which case it just turns into a fun toy for you. Cost is $229.99.

Go Dog Go Fetch Machine: This automatic fetch machine will save some wear and tear on your arm. It launches balls more than 40 ft. You can fill the bucket with one ball or launch several in succession depending on how your dog likes to play. $139.99.

Dart Automatic Laser Toy: There are few forms of entertainment more pristine than watching a cat chase a laser beam. With this automatic rotating laser, you won’t even need to wave your arm around. For $30, just sit back and enjoy the fun.

FitBark: Pups need to stay fit, too! This $100 item is a dog activity monitor that turns your pet’s movements into “BarkPoints.” Track your pet’s play, daily active time, and rest in one app via Bluetooth. It’s light (eight grams) and designed to fit dogs of any breed, size, and weight.

Nite Ize Light Up Ball: The light up ball lets you play fetch with your dog even when the sun goes down. Night time is no reason to stop playing! Just be sure you are playing in an area that is clear of objects so your dog doesn’t get hurt. $12.

iFetch ($100): An automatic ball launcher that throws mini tennis balls. It’s awesome for energetic dogs — or lazy dog owners. Train your pup to fetch balls, then return them back to the iFetch’s ball deposit for an endless cycle of fun.


Puppy Tweets: Puppy Tweets is a fun way to keep track of your dog when you’re at work or elsewhere. A sensor on the dog’s collar sends a signal to a USB receiver attached to your computer. The sensor figures out what the dog is doing and then updates the dog’s personal Twitter account with a clever tweet such as, “You at lunch? Remember the two most beautiful words in the English language: DOGGIE BAG!” Cost: The device is currently selling for about $15 on Amazon.

The Woofer: This little jacket essentially turns your dog into an iPod dock. There are speakers sewn into the fabric, and a pouch with a standard speaker jack for your MP3 player of choice. Between $100 and $120, depending on the size of your woofer.

Petcube: Feeling guilty about leaving your furry friends at home? This is a video-camera system that allows you to remotely tune in to what your pets are up to via Android or iOS app. There’s also a built-in mic so you can talk to your pup or kitty. You can even enable a laser pointer to entertain ’em! So fun. Available for $199.

Tractive: A GPS system that uses cell towers to show you where Fido is at anytime. Its waterproof collar attachment ($130) is smartphone compatible. The app allows users to set a “safe zone” and will alert your device if your pup leaves the area. Tractive’s GPS service ($6 per month) locates your pets and shows you position history.


Say hello to the smart feeder. Petnet ($199) makes sure kitty or pup is well fed. From your smartphone, you can control your pet’s feeding schedule and portion sizes. The Petnet app shows you how much of your pet’s daily intake he or she has consumed that day. You can even add multiple users and decide who is responsible for allotting food.

Rover and DogVacay: Going on vacation can be hard when you have a pet. These sites can connect you with sitters in thousands of cities around the US. All dog sitters are reviewed, and you can choose for them to watch your pup in your own home or theirs. Prices range between $20 to $75 per night — definitely cheaper than a hotel for humans.

Litter-Robot: If you hate cleaning litter boxes, this litter sifting system may be a good investment. It’s a round enclosure your cat enters to do his business. Once he exits, the Litter-Robot waits seven minutes before rotating to drop clumps into a drawer which typically needs to be emptied once or twice a week, depending on how many cats use it. It works with regular kitchen garbage bags and any clumping litter as well as alternative litters such as Litter Pearls, Crystals or World’s Best Cat Litter. One caveat: Small cats or kittens that weigh less than five pounds may not trip Litter-Robot’s sensor. $369 at or Amazon.

Voyce Dog Collar: Activity monitors have helped a lot of humans live healthier lifestyles, get in shape and lose unwanted pounds. So why not give your favorite pets the same benefit? The Voyce dog collar is a wearable fitness device that measures your pooch’s pulse (via radio frequency), respiratory rate, rest patterns and calories burned. These important vitals can be tracked through your phone and shared with your vet, if desired. The app will even warn you if your pet’s activity pattern changes – a potential sign of problems. The battery on the Voyce lasts for seven days, so thankfully there’s no daily recharging requirement. You can purchase the Voyce dog collar directly through the company’s website for $199. You’ll also be required to pay a monthly service charge of $9.50 per month or $95 per year.

Wigzi Tangle Free Dual Dog Leash: The dual dog leash by Wigzi makes it so you won’t have to deal with a tangled leash ever again when walking two dogs at the same time. The solution comes from the way it is designed, so that neither leash can cross over the other, causing the dreaded tangle. Get it for $35 over on Amazon.

Pavlovian Puppy Potty Trainer: This potty trainer uses Pavlovian methods to train your puppy to go outside when they feel the urge. This will help prevent accidents and also strengthen your bond with them because you won’t have to worry about getting upset when they do their business inside on, uh, your favorite rug. $99.

Dog Cooling Bed: Keep your dog cool with this $54 cooling bed, and they’ll definitely be thanking you all summer long. Dogs can overheat pretty easily and it’s important to keep them cool, especially during those warmer months. This bed can really help with that as it diffuses heat when they lay on top of it, hitting those all important paws first.

Wanna get really crazy? Check out this $1,300 shower stall! How about an $1,100 doggie treadmill? They’ve thought of it all!

In the comments below, we’d love to hear what tech items you love using with your pup and how you found out about them. Not currently using anything this fancy? No sweat, let us know which

Go Green with your Dog for Earth Day

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

Going Green with your (1)

It may be a tiny holiday in the grand scheme of a packed year of days to celebrate, but April 22nd is Earth Day, something we can all get behind – no matter where we reside on planet earth. The internet will quickly fill with genius and helpful ways to go eco-friendly in your day to day life in a variety of ways and means, but we wanted to focus on one particular part of your life that could likely use a little eco-magic – that’s right, dog lovers. It’s time to reduce your carbon paw-print. We’ve rounded up some simple and tried-and-true methods for greenifying your life as pet parent, and while none of us can expect perfection or overnight change, taking a few small steps in the right direction can have a huge effect in the overall. We hope you’ll consider giving some of these tricks a go!


  1. Reduce or replace your paper towel use. Most of us are guilty of using copious amounts of paper towels in our day to day life, and especially grab them for help cleaning up after our pets. But those rolls of paper, however endlessly useful, are no bueno for the environment. Consider using regular towels or rags instead of paper towels to clean up after your pet. If you just can’t break the paper towel cycle, consider using reusable personal hand towels that are machine-washable.
  2. Ditch the dumpster. Many items that your pet no longer uses or has grown out of might still be able to be put to use at a shelter. Call your local shelter to see if they need any of the items (old beds, blankets, towels, collars, etc.), or organize a swap with friends and neighbors.
  3. Choose poop bags wisely. Instead of using plastic bags to pick up after your dog or clean the litter box, use biodegradable bags. They typically break down in about 1 month as opposed to an estimated 1,500 years for a plastic bag in a landfill. Cat litter is also available in all-natural and biodegradable forms, and you can even consider making your own pet waste compost container.
  4. Ditch the extra paper. If you are still mailing checks to your favorite animal charity, switch to online or telephone donations or automatic direct debiting from a bank account (and go paperless on statements).
  5. Check the labels. Do your existing products use eco-friendly materials and packaging? Check the labels to see what is inside the product and if the bottle or container is recyclable or made of biodegradable materials. Stuck with plastic? Recycle after use. Purchasing eco-friendly pet products is a simple change, but it can really help lower the environmental impact of your pets. Dog owners, for example, can find many different varieties of shampoo on the market that use natural or sustainably-sourced ingredients. For cat owners, kitty litter can be an environmental concern as it often does not biodegrade. Thankfully there are litter products available made from biodegradable or recycled materials. You can also reduce the chemicals in your home by making your own cleaners and deodorizers. Instead of spraying over a pet smell, you might already have everything you need right in your pantry.
  6. No more plastic bottles, evvvvvver! This is one of the most simple and important moves we humans can make. If you use plastic bottles for your pet’s water or for taking water with you when you go out, install a filter on your tap and use a permanent, washable bottle instead of plastic.
  7. Bring reusable bags to your local pet store. We all remember to do it at the grocery store, but those same reusable totes will work well on your next trip to the vet or pet store. When heading out with your pet, grab one to to carry things back home with you.
  8. Make your own food and treats, when possible. Many animals can live on perfectly healthy diets with meals made at home. Consult your veterinarian for advice. Homemade treats are another way to use ingredients you already have while saving a trip to the store and reducing packaging waste. Otherwise, yet another way to decrease the environmental impact of our pets is to choose pet food from companies with a commitment to the planet. At TerraCycle, they have partnered with pet food brands Open Farm and Wellness TruFood to open free recycling programs for pet food bag waste, allowing anyone to send in their pet food bags for recycling. Family pets are able to have their favorite sustainably produced food, while packaging waste is diverted from the landfill.
  9. Think about storage. Use a washable and reusable container to store food and treats instead of a plastic bag.
  10. Ditch the paper plates. If you feed your pet food, treats or scraps by placing a paper plate on the floor, switch to a plate you can wash to reduce the paper waste. Designate or buy a plate that everyone knows is for the pet. Wash it separately by hand before storing it away from regular dishes.
  11. Reduce driving. Do you drive to a dog park just to walk around? Look for closer parks or nature trails, or arrange walks or play dates with friends and neighbors with their pets.
  12. Wanna get really wild? Compost! Pet waste can be a particularly hazardous pollutant – especially to nearby water sources– and dogs alone are responsible for 10 million tons of it every year. But believe it or not, your pet’s waste can be used as an effective ingredient for compost. There are plenty of tutorials online to help start a compost pile with pet waste. Keep in mind that dog waste compost is not recommended for plants and crops meant for human consumption.
  13. Choose your toys wisely. Playtime can also be eco-friendly with the right products. For the cat owners, this list of eco-friendly toys boasts a wide range of fun things to keep your cat occupied. You will find everything from dye-free toys made with organic materials, to toys created with recycled or upcycled materials. To ensure old toys don’t end up in the trash, be sure to donate or upcycle them instead. You can always make your own toys as well! Cats love balls of aluminum foil, hair ties, and paper towel rolls, while dogs will always be happy with an old ball from the garage.
  14. Spay and neuter your pets. The exact number of strays in the United States may never be pinpointed, but the ASPCA estimates that there are over 70 million stray cats alone. Spaying or neutering your pets is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent further overpopulation. When strays – especially cats – multiply, they can severely disrupt the surrounding ecosystem. Feral cats are even listed on the Invasive Species Specialist Group’s list of worst invasive species on earth, and it is believed that they are responsible for over one billion animal deaths each year.
  15. Lastly – and most importantly – adopt don’t shop. Please, please, adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue instead of buying. This has a cascading effect: Puppy mills will have reduced demand, fewer animals will be bred for profit, and much-needed available space will open up in shelters — where literally millions of pets are being euthanized each year in the U.S. simply because there isn’t enough room for them all.


Want even more tips? Check out a few other stories here, here, and here.


So, earth loving dog parents, what would you add to our list? And what measures have you already been taking in your day to day pet life to keep things kosher with the planet? We’d love to hear more of your tips and findings in the comments below!



5 Tax Breaks Your Dog is Giving You

by DOG for DOG Team 0 Comments

5 tax breaks your dog is giving you this yearDog lovers, it’s April – and you know what that means. Yes, showers for those May flowers but also… taxes. Now just breathe. We know taxes are a big, scary, ugly word for many of us, but there is at least one bright spot this year if you fostered a dog in the last year or were otherwise involved in the dog rescue world. Eligible deductions! Funny to think about, but fostering a dog actually does come with benefits for your tax purposes, and being in-the-know about what exactly you can do to get those write offs is a bonus this time of year. While you can’t claim your pups as dependents (no matter how much money and stress they may cause), there are other ways to get them in on your paperwork.

In 2009, a Michigan senator introduced a bill that would give pet owners up to $3,500 a year in tax refunds for “qualified pet care” costs. It was an ambitious, heavily inclusive piece of lawmaking that would’ve saved pet owners a chunk of money; unfortunately, the HAPPY Act (short for Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years) didn’t pass on Capitol Hill, despite a decent showing of public support. In spite of the HAPPY Act’s demise, there are some examples of tax-deductible pet care for our four-legged friends. We’ve outlined the biggies below:

Fostering: Maybe you and your family want to open up your hearts and become a foster pet parent. If you work with a qualified 501(c)(3) organization, you may be able to deduct your expenses as a charitable contribution. That means that your veterinarian visits, pet supplies, food, and other related expenses could qualify. Don’t forget to keep track of your mileage (provided the trip is for the organization). As always, make sure you keep careful records and receipts of your expenses. If your expenses are over $250, request an acknowledgement from the charitable organization. If you use TurboTax, TurboTax ItsDeductible will value and track your donations so you have them all together when it comes time to file your taxes. As a result of Van Dusen v. Commissioner, animal rescuers nationwide that are fostering dogs and/or cats for approved charities may claim the expenses during tax time. Even a portion of your utilities can be considered expenses as long as a specific area of your home is only used for the care of the animals and nothing else.

Service Animals: Another situation where you may be able to deduct expenses is if your furry friend is a service animal. You must register your pet with a legitimate agency to prove that it is a service animal and not just a pet. Additionally, if you have a guard dog to protect your business you may be able to claim some of the costs as a business expense. You can deduct expenses such as training and veterinarian care, but like service dogs, you need an agency to declare the four legged protector a guard dog.

Moved? According to Kiplinger, If you moved during the tax year, it might be possible to deduct your moving expenses – including those specifically related to moving your dog. For example, if moving your dog requires special expenses, those expenses are treated no differently (in the federal government’s eyes) than any of your personal effects. Making special arrangements to get Fido from your old home to your new one? Save the receipts!

Rescue and Shelter Donations: It would be easy to assume that the costs of adopting a dog from a registered non-profit, 501(c), would be deductible – the assumption would be wrong. The cost to adopt a dog is not deductible. However, any donations made in excess of regular adoption fees most certainly are. According to the law, only those donations made where no goods or services are received in exchange (i.e., your new dog) can be deducted. Should you choose to make donations to your favorite 501c dog charity, make sure to ask for a letter of receipt that states no goods or services were received. Donations of both goods and services to an approved charity are tax deductible. When donating goods or services to an approved charity, ask for a donation receipt – you’ll need it if the value of your donations exceeds $250. To deduct a charitable contribution, you must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A. It may seem small, but every little bit helps! Local animal shelters need your newspaper, old towels, sheets, pet beds, sweaters, crates and blankets. They may also be looking for items such as digital cameras, video recorders, printers, fans, heaters, cleaning supplies, office equipment, printer paper, carpeting, and furniture. You can also purchase and donate new items including food, toys, new litter boxes, dog beds, and cat trees. Even if your donation isn’t useful to the shelter itself, they might be able to use it to raise funds. The value of items donated can be a tax deduction! Again, assuming they are a qualified organization, you can deduct the fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution, so keep track of what you give and when, and be sure to save the receipts of those newly purchased items. Any cash donation you make to a qualified charitable organization is tax deductible for those who itemize deductions. Don’t know if your favorite rescue fits the bill? Check out IRS Publication 78 for more information on qualifying organizations. While you typically cannot deduct the value of your time, you can deduct mileage traveling to and from the shelter or rescue. The IRS allows a deduction of 14 cents per mile driven in service of a charitable organization. Keep a notebook in your car to track mileage, or use an iPhone or Android app such as Mileage Pad.

Walkers and Trainers: If you own and operate a business with dogs, of course your dog-related business expenses are deductible. If you’re a trainer, you may be able to deduct mileage or transportation costs for visiting clients and their dogs. If you’re a dog walker and need to purchase business related items like leashes and poop bags, those expenses can be itemized. As with any job-related expense, just make sure to keep all receipts and be able to prove the items were for job duties, not for your personal pet.  

Fellow dog lovers, what advice do you have for fellow dog owners on what expenses to claim on their taxes? Do you know any key ones we’re missing? Be sure to share and lets tough out this tax season together!