Monthly Archives: January 2014

Does your pet itch, scratch or bite themselves excessively?

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Does your pet itch, scratch or bite themselves excessively? Often times, animals exhibit this behavior due to food allergies. Food allergies are typically indicated by your pet chewing the tops and/or bottoms of their feet as well as chewing at the base of the tail (where the tail meets the body).

We recommend that you visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store and speak to one of our Healthy Pet Care Specialists.  Changing a pet`s diet may help minimize or even eliminate these issues. There are many benefits to feeding your pet a freeze-dried or raw food. Freeze-dried pet food is essentially raw food without water, and is made from fresh ingredients (not processed like kibble).

SPECIAL NOTE: When changing to a new formula, please ensure that you make the change gradually.  In many cases, when you’re transitioning your pet to a healthier food from a brand sold in grocery stores, pet food brands sold in Global Pet Foods stores are much more ingredient rich.  Accordingly, you can feed less of the new food.  Transition slowly, ie a mix of old and new, so as to avoid upset stomach and diarrhea.  Typically, transitioning to a new food can take up to 2 – 3 weeks, depending on how sensitive your pet’s stomach is.  The Healthy Pet Care Specialists can help you determine how to transition your pet to the new food and the length of time needed.

Noted below are three of our recommended brands:

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1. ORIJEN® Biologically Appropriate™ Freeze Dried Foods:

  • Gently freeze-dried to lock in all of the natural goodness of ORIJEN`S fresh ingredients, offering all the benefits of raw.
  • High inclusions of fresh poultry, wild-caught fish and ranch-raised meats in the authentic WILD PREY™ ratios to supply essential vitamins and minerals, naturally reducing the need for synthetics.
  • Prepared from the very best and freshest local ingredients in Canada`s largest freeze-dry kitchens.

2.  PRIMAL Freeze-Dried Formula for Dogs and Cats:

  • Species appropriate diets available in raw frozen and freeze-dried formulas.
  • Produced with only the highest quality raw ingredients, all Primal products offer pets a superior form of highly digestible amino acids, vitamins and minerals, the building blocks of every animal’s biological function.
  • All of Primal`s raw foods and treats are produced using the freshest, human-grade, antibiotic-free and steroid-free meats, poultry and game, certified organic produce, certified organic minerals and unrefined vitamins. The meats are procured from poultry and game from ranchers throughout the United States that take pride in producing wholesome sources of protein through natural, sustainable agriculture.

3. Stella & Chewy`s:

  • Freeze-Dried Dinners for Dogs & Cats
  • 100% Complete & Balanced
  • 90-95% Meat, Organs & Ground Bone
  • No Added Hormones & Antibiotic-Free
  • No Grains & Gluten-Free

Choosing the right pet food can be very confusing.  You want the best for your pet and we do too.  The Healthy Pet Care Specialists in Global Pet Foods stores across Canada can help to simplify the process for you in determining whether you should feed your pet freeze-dried, frozen or kibble food.   Let us help you!  We are Canada`s Healthy Choice for Pets!  To find a Global Pet Foods store near you, visit www.globalpetfoods.com.

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Education, Healthy Pets, Pet Care, Pet Food

Get Out and Be Active!

Get out and be Active!  But be sure to watch for signs of discomfort in your pet.

Just like people, exercise helps to maintain muscle tone and preserves joint flexibility for dogs. But it is important to not overdo it. Pets can easily sustain injuries, especially in deep snow. Our pets sure love to please us and will run with us for miles without complaint. The last thing we want is for our pets to suffer.  Since we don’t speak the same language as dogs, it is important that you read their body language.Image

Pets demonstrate pain differently than humans and are seldom vocal unless the pain is severe. Therefore, it is important to note that even subtle changes in behaviour or movement may signal a problem.

Watch for the following signs:

1. Visible discomfort when lower hips are touched.
2. Irritability or aggression when touched in joint area.
3. A wobbling rear end.
4. Reluctance to walk or play.
5. Stiffness or lameness after rest and difficulty getting up..
6. Difficulty climbing or descending stairs.
7. Loss of appetite.
8. Yelping or whimpering.
9. Depressed or withdrawn.

Supplements containing glucosamine can be very helpful for dogs. Glucosamine is naturally present in animal bones and as a dietary supplement. It can help to promote new cartilage growth, relieve joint and muscle pain, and improve joint mobility. Glucosamine and chondroitin are most commonly used to treat osteoarthritis in aging dogs.

Fish oils are used to treat a wide range of issues from kidney disease and arthritis to high cholesterol.

MSM: Methyl sulfonyl-methane is an antioxidant, cell rejuvenator, and joint healer.

Remember, you can make a difference in the quality of your dog’s life and to help ease their pain and allow them to live comfortably.

Speak with the Healthy Pet Care Specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store about a diet that can help to prevent unnecessary weight gain which adds stress to the joints.  If you`re a new pet parent, start a healthy routine with gentle exercise to get your dog`s joints moving and progressively increase their fitness level.

Try gently massaging your dog’s painful joints to help restore blood flow. Invest in a good orthopaedic bed for your dog; there are many shapes and styles to choose from. Just like us, dogs’ joints may become inflammed in damp or cold weather so a good bed will keep your dog warm, supports its bones, and help your furry friend get a good night’s sleep.

You will find the following recommended products at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store that will assist with your pet`s achy joints:

Flex All: Flex-All is a natural nutraceutical joint supplement for your dog in the form of biscuit formulated to help maintain and repair joints aiding in pain relief.

Omega Alpha Glucosapet: GlucosaPet works to maintain and strengthen ligaments and joints as your
pet ages. Perfect for senior dogs and cats or recovering pets.

Naturvet Arthrisoothe GOLD: This Veterinarian-formulated product aids in supporting healthy hip and joint function for dogs and cats. This supplement supports synovial fluid which aids in lubrication of the joints and helps to maintain cartilage and connective tissue.

Pet-Tek: Pet-Tek offers a wide array of products to assist in joint health. From mild to severe cases the supplement line acts as an anti-inflammatory and aids in reducing pain.

Sashas Blend: Sashas Blend is a natural joint supplement with anti-inflammatory properties. The supplement works by reducing pain and inflammation, cartilage breakdown, and also aids in gastro-intestinal protection.

Global Pet Foods philosophy is that caring for pets must include these four elements: Mind+Body+Soul+Spirit. By offering a unique and wide selection of wholesome pet food, accessories and supplies that encompasses these four elements, we hope to help pet parents make informed decisions for the total health and well-being of their companion pets.

Please visit your neighbourhood store to receive expert advice on how to care for your pet`s joints.  Exercise will help you and your pet live longer.  Let us help you find the right products that will benefit your pets.  To find a Global Pet Foods store near you, visit http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations.

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The Joy of Cats!

The Joy of Cats!

The Joy of Cats!

Cats seem to be creatures of leisure – they certainly don’t run around the yard with wild abandon like their dog counterparts. Most cats are quite content to sit on a windowsill all day long, taking naps and watching the world go by. But that doesn’t mean cats don’t need or enjoy playing games with their owners. Cats love to be mentally and physically stimulated, and they love to spend time playing with you!

When it comes to cats, however, play isn’t just about fun and games. For cats in the wild, the act of play is a serious business that helps kittens learn important survival skills like stalking, chasing, and trapping prey. Even if your cat never ventures out beyond your home, this basic instinct to hunt can remain strong, which is why it is important to give our cats the opportunity to express this natural behavior through play.

Play = Exercise!

Along with satisfying your cat’s natural instinct, play is also important to keep your pet healthy and happy. Play provides important exercise for cats, especially those that are housebound. Regular play can help prolong your cat’s life by keeping her active and helping to maintain a healthy weight. Interactive play between you and your cat may also prevent behavior problems that can arise from boredom or misdirected aggression at other pets or people in the household. Finally, play is simply a great way to interact with your cat and strengthen the loving bond between you.

Exercising your cat’s body as well as her mind is equally important. Of course, cats love movement and they are attracted to it. Global Pet Foods carries many different types of cat toys to help keep your cat busy and occupied.

Tip #1:  It is important to check that the toys selected are safe and appropriate for your particular pet. Be sure that any toy your cat plays with is large enough that it cannot be swallowed. Make sure the toys do not have any small parts, strings, buttons, or bells that a cat might think is a treat and want to eat.

Tip #2:  With a little help from you, your cat will feel like she’s hunting prey. Drag the end of the toy on the floor for your cat to chase, varying the speed and direction. Don’t make catching the toy too easy, but let her win once in awhile to make her feel like a good hunter. Be sure to praise her too!

ImageTip #3:  Many cats love rolling toys that are lightweight and easy to bat around. Feeder toys, which dispense food treats as the cat plays with it, are also great devices that encourage play by rewarding your cat for her hard work. Toys filled with catnip can also keep your kitty occupied for hours.

Tip #4:  To keep your cat interested in play, put her toys away when playtime is over. If a toy is always available, your kitty might become bored with it. Try to set aside some time each day, at least 20 minutes for interactive play with your cat. If she wants to play more, indulge her! If you have more than one cat, ensure that all cats have an equal opportunity to participate in the activity with you!

You’ll find everything you need in Global Pet Foods stores across Canada that will help to keep your cats warm active, happy and healthy!  To find a Global Pet Foods store near you, visit www.globalpetfoods.com.

Encouraging play with your cat is an important part of keeping her healthy and happy. By helping your cat to remain “as playful as a kitten,” you not only help her have fun but also improve her muscle tone, agility, and stamina – and strengthen the bond that you already share.

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Keep your Pets Healthy during the Winter Season

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The key misconception about winter and pets is the belief that pets are able to withstand the cold better than
humans since they are covered in fur. This is not the case. Companion animals are accustomed to the warmth of
indoor shelter and the cold weather can be as hard on your pets as it is on you. Allowing your pets to be outside
for long periods of time during harsh weather can be very hazardous for them.

Tips for Indoor Winter Safety:
1.  If you use a space heater or light a fire, watch your pets closely. They are as attracted to the warmth as you are, so make sure that their tails or paws do not come in contact with flames, heating coils, or hot surfaces that can cause severe burns. Also, if your pet knocks over a heating source, your entire house is in danger of catching fire and going up in flames.

2.  Have your furnace checked for carbon monoxide leakage before you first turn it on, both for your safety and the safety of your pets.  Carbon monoxide is odourless and invisible, but it can cause problems ranging from headaches and fatigue to trouble breathing, and even death.

3.  Provide your pet with a thick, soft bed in a warm room on chilly nights.

Tips for Outdoor Winter Safety
Follow these guidelines to protect your pets in cold weather:

1.  Don’t let winter stop you from heading outside with your pets in the winter.  A brisk walk is great for your health and your pet’s health! Just make sure to bundle up the kids and yourself, so that you can keep warm while outside. Use a reflective leash and collar so that you can spot your pet easily if it’s dark outside or if the snow is deep. Coats and boots should be a must for dogs on really cold days.

2.  Keep pets indoors as much as possible in extremely cold weather.  When they go out, stay with them.  If you are cold enough to go in, your pet is probably ready to return inside too.

3.  Make sure that your pet always has fresh, non-frozen drinking water. When animals don’t have regular access to clean water, they will turn to gutters and puddles where there is a strong likelihood that they will ingest deadly antifreeze, oil and other chemicals.

4.  Your pet’s health can also affect how long he or she can stay outdoors.  Pets with conditions like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and hormonal imbalances can compromise their ability to regulate their own body heat so they should only be outside for a short time.

5.  Puppies and senior pets are especially vulnerable to the cold. The cold can be really hard on the joints of older animals that are stiff and tender. Stay directly behind older pets when they are climbing stairs. Stiff and arthritic pets can experience significant injury if they slip on ice, so beware of conditions when you walk them.

6.  If you live near a pond or lake, be very careful of ice. Animals can easily fall through the ice and can rarely climb out on their own. Keep your pet on a leash and stay with them when outdoors, particularly if you live near water.

7.  Rock salt, ice, and chemical ice can get trapped in a dog’s foot pads. Keep your pet’s pads from getting chapped and raw by putting booties or a balm on their paws before heading outside, and clean them well with a warm washcloth when they come back inside.

8.  Beware of your pet becoming trapped while trying to stay warm. Animals left outdoors can be very resourceful in trying to find shelter. They will dig into snow banks and dive under porches, into window wells, and cellars where they can become stuck. Always provide warm, accessible shelter and watch them closely. Attaching a bell to their collar is also recommended.

Winter Gear: If your dog will tolerate them, use booties to protect their paws from cold, chemicals, and salt. Booties will also keep your dog from licking the salt off his or her feet, which can cause inflammation of the digestive track.  Also, if your dog will tolerate a sweater or coat, use one to provide added warmth. However, please remember that pets lose most of their body heat through the pads of their feet, their ears, and their respiratory tract. Some cats like to venture outside too (even in the winter), so it’s wise to put a coat or sweater on them as well.

Symptoms of Cold. When outdoors with your pet, watch for the following signs:
• Whining   • Shivering   • Appearing anxious   • Slowing down   • Stopping movement   • Looking for places to burrow

If you notice any of these signs, take your pet back inside immediately and wrap them in a warm towel.   TIP: Throw a blanket or a towel in the dryer for one minute before wrapping them up.

Medical Problems:
Keep an eye out for two serious conditions in pets that are caused by cold weather:
Frostbite happens when an animal’s (or person’s) body gets so cold it pulls all the blood from extremities to the body’s core to stay warm. An animal’s ears, paws, and tail can get so cold that ice crystals form in the tissue and damaging it. Frostbite can be tricky because it is not immediately obvious. Sometimes the tissue doesn’t show signs of damage for several days. If you suspect your pet may have frostbite, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Hypothermia is body temperature that is below normal. This condition occurs when an animal is unable to keep its body temperature from falling below normal. This could be due to spending too much time in the cold temperatures, or being exposed to the cold when your pet is in poor health or suffering from poor circulation. In mild cases, the animal will shiver and show signs of depression, lethargy, and weakness. As the condition progresses, muscles will stiffen, the heart and breathing rates slow, and the animal will stop responding to stimuli.

What to Do for Hypothermia:
1.  Get your pet indoors immediately.

2.  Wrap your pet in warm blankets and take him/her to the veterinarian. Your veterinarian, will if necessary, will monitor your pet’s heart rate and blood pressure and give warm fluids through an IV.

TIP:  Do you know where your nearest emergency veterinarian clinic is?  Is there a 24-hour clinic close to where you live? If you don’t know, then now is an excellent time to find out. Post the information on your fridge and add it to your cellphone. Don’t wait until you have an emergency with your pet to look for the nearest services.

How long can should you leave you dog outside in winter?  You should never leave your pet outdoors for long periods of time in below freezing temperatures. Small dogs or those that lack thick, long fur can tolerate less cold than breeds such as Huskies. If you are cold, it is likely that your pet is cold too. Bring them inside the moment you start to feel cold yourself. Also, be sure to provide a warm shelter for your dog to use anytime they are outdoors.

You’ll find everything you need in Global Pet Foods stores across Canada that will help to keep dogs and cats warm this winter.  From clothing to sweaters, boots to paw salves, beds and supplements to assist in keeping their coats lustrous and healthy, we have what you and your pets need.  To find a Global Pet Foods store near you, visit www.globalpetfoods.com.

Don’t let the cold keep you indoors. Both you and your pets need the exercise. Just make sure that you take the proper precautions before heading outside and keep an eye on your pets for signs when it’s time to go back inside.

Stay healthy this winter, and stay safe.

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New Year’s Resolutions for your pet and you!

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New Years Resolutions for 2014

Another new year provides a clean slate and hopefully, the resolve to have more fun, work harder, and love more.  At Global Pet Foods, Canada’s Healthy Choice for Pets, we’re pet parents too. We know how much our pets mean to us and we know that they mean the world to you too. Our pets depend on us wholly for love, food, shelter, medical care, and exercise – both physical and mental – which is why we spend so much time with our pets every day.

What more can we do to help our pets lead a long and healthy life?

1.  Healthy Pet Check-Up:
When you schedule your appointments with your doctor, dentist or optometrist, remember to schedule a veterinarian check-up for your pet. Early detection of illness starts with regular wellness examinations performed by the veterinarian. Catching a problem before there are any obvious symptoms greatly improves the prognosis and may even be reversible. Be sure to discuss any changes in water consumption, appetite, eliminations, and activity levels with the doctor. Commit to scheduling a check-up with the vet a minimum of once per year.

2.  Expand Your Dog’s Horizons:
People are creatures of habit. As pet parents, we know that taking the dog out for a walk must be done daily, but usually it’s the same routine. New experiences are important for you and your  dog’s mental health and social skills. Commit to venturing out of your regular neighbourhood at least once a week.

3.  Go Green:
You can be a green pet owner by buying eco-friendly toys, clothing and beds for your furry children. Try toys made with tough and sustainable hemp, or a bed made out of organic cotton. Your dog can pick up toxic chemicals on his paws which may burn and leading to licking. To avoid this harmful outcome, use organic products to clean your house, fertilize your lawn and control pests, and look for non-toxic ice melting agents at Global Pet Foods stores across Canada. Biodegradable waste bags should also be a key staple for every pet parent. Commit to making a change in your buying habits that takes you one step closer to a greener household.

4.  Variety is the Spice of Life:
Nature did not intend for people or pets to consume one food for their entire lives. Feeding your pet something different on a regular basis helps to ensure that he does not become bored and frustrated with his food, or develop an allergy. Ensure that you’re feeding an all-natural food and commit to spicing up your pet’s diet with something simple like adding canned food, which is an ideal way to ensure that they are consuming enough water.  And don’t forget to reward your pet with a healthy treat!

5.  Time-out to Pamper:
When you look good, you feel good! We all like to be spoiled and in turn spoil our loved ones. Your furry children are no exception.  Whether it’s a trip to the groomer, a trendy new collar, or a new pet, your pets will love the attention.  Commit to pampering yourself after you’ve pampered your pet.

Our pets depend on us to care for them in all aspects.   This means that your health is just as important so that you can take care of them.

May we re-commit to leading a healthy life in 2014. Happy New Year!

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