Monthly Archives: February 2014

Decisions, decisions, decisions. More choices than ever.

Need some help on what to feed your companion pet?

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Choosing the right food for your pet can be very confusing.  There are many different brands of pet foods available in your local grocery stores, in big box stores (like Wal-Mart), and in pet specialty stores, all of which claim to offer a superior source of nutrition.

Whether you have:

  1. Just adopted a new puppy, kitten, dog or cat and aren’t sure what to food them;
  2. A dog who has loose or soft stools;
  3. Noticed that your pet has lost interest in eating their current food;
  4. A pet who is scratching, chewing, has hot spots, watery eyes, or coughing;
  5. A pet who looks underweight or overweight;
  6. A pet who is transitioning from puppy to adulthood, or is over the age of 8 years old;
  7. Your pet is experiencing joint pain or has other health issues;
  8. Questions about the current food you’re currently feeding and whether it’s the right food for your pet.

– we can help to simplify the process of determining which pet foods are best-suited for your pet(s) so that you can be sure that you’re making the right decision.  Our specialty is pet food.  We have been the leaders in sourcing the healthiest and leading brands of pet food in the world, and you’ll find the best ones available on the market in our stores.

There are many types of pet food in our stores, including:

Dry Food (Kibble)  –  Wet Food (Canned)  –  Semi-Moist (Rolls)    –   Dehydrated Food/Freeze Dried Food   –   Raw Food (frozen)

And there are a lot of different brands!

The majority of people feed their pets kibble or canned food.

Pet food in a dehydrated form, or food that has been freeze-dried or frozen (also known as raw), have grown in popularity over the past few years as people continue to seek the best nutrition for their pets.

Similar to freeze dried pet food, dehydrated pet food is raw food minus the water and without the use of chemicals.  Dehydrated raw pet food is created when heat is used to remove most of the water content from the product.  Dehydrated raw pet food can be used as a temporary diet for pets whose food is being changed from dry to raw, or for pet parents who not want to feed raw or canned diets.  The typical methods include adding warm water to the food before serving the meal to your pet.

Most dehydrated, freeze-dried, and frozen pet foods are complete and balanced meals, but it’s important to check the labels.  You need to ensure that your pets are receiving all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they require to live a vibrant and active life, and avoid becoming sick due to being under-nourished.

Freeze dried pet food is essentially raw food without water.  There is no damage to the nutrients in this type of food because freeze drying is done at a low temperature.  The method of freeze drying allows the product to retain its natural composition and structure by removing the moisture while the product is still frozen.  It also preserves the product without the use of chemical, irradiation or heat damage.  The temperature never actually rises above freezing level.   Freeze-dried food doesn’t mean that it is frozen, and there are several brands of freeze-dried food that you’ll find on our store shelves.

There are freezers in all Global Pet Foods stores across Canada where you’ll find frozen pet food, usually in the form of patties, which will need to be thawed before feeding to your pet.

No matter which type of food you decide to feed your pet, it is important to read the ingredient lists, which are always found on the bag or side of the package (or can).  The ingredients are listed in descending order of amount, so make sure that the first five ingredients are high-quality meats or meat meals and grains, ie. Lamb, Salmon Meal, Venison, Brown Rice, Chick Peas or Garbanzo Beans are great examples of what should be in the ingredient lists.   The ingredients on the label must be listed in descending order by weight before cooking.  You’ll also want to ensure that the food provides 100% of the essential nutrients that your pet needs for optimum health.

Ingredients such as: ground yellow corn, chicken (or some other meat) by-product meal (it’s even worse if it’s called “Meat Meal” because you don’t know what the meat is), corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, soy flour, rice flour –  should not be among the first 10 ingredients on any pet food label.  These ingredients do not provide optimum health for your pets and may be the reason for your pet developing allergies, dry and itchy skin, or lacking in energy.

We recommend that you look at the ingredient lists of the pet food that you’re feeding now.  Is it the best food for your pet, based on their age, current activity level, or suitable for any health issues that they may be having?  Is it time for a change?

The brand and type of food that you purchase for your pet is a choice that you’ll have to make for yourself and for the health and wellbeing for your pet(s).  We can educate you about the features and benefits of each type and brand of food, so that you can select the best one for your pet.

Every pet needs daily and interesting activity, fresh air, clean water, fun walks and runs in the park or in the country, lots of love, and food that provides them with superior nutrients to help them grow and live a long and healthy life.

The Healthy Pet Care Specialists in Global Pet foods stores across Canada are ready, willing and able to answer your nutrition questions.  You want the best for your pet.  We do too.  Let us help you find the right food for your companion pet so that they can live their best life.

To find a store near you, visit our website at http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations.

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

2014 Show Us Your Heart Campaign – February 1 – 15, 2014

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Pets are a constant source of inspiration. They motivate us to brave the cold on dark winter mornings and stay active. They fuel our spirits with their unconditional love and trust.

Jim Walker, President of Global Pet Foods, was lucky enough to have Bear and Abby, two rescue dogs that not only did just that, but also inspired him to switch careers and later, start a national fundraiser to help homeless pets.  Jim and his wife found Bear, a long-haired German Shepherd, through an online rescue network called Adopt-A-Dog/Save-A-Life.  At the time Jim was traveling a lot and his wife wanted a big dog that would make her feel more comfortable when she was home alone.  A puppy didn’t fit that bill, so they decided to adopt a rescue.  When they met Bear, they instantly fell in love with him.  He was this big, huge, hairy dog that weighed 120 pounds, but had a sweet, gentle disposition. He was also extremely well behaved, which left them wondering why anyone would ever have abandoned him.

The shelter explained that Bear had inflammatory bowel disease and his pet parents found it too difficult to care for him. That didn’t scare Jim off. They took Bear home and learned everything they could about pet nutrition and eventually found the right diet to manage his condition. They were amazed that through proper nutrition, Bear’s overall health improved significantly, and drastically improve his quality of life.

Bear’s transformation inspired Jim to switch careers and open a Global Pet Foods store in 1992 as a franchisee. Jim moved on to become the President of Global Pet Foods in 1995, and has remained President to this day. But it was his second dog, Abby, who inspired Jim to help shelters give incredible animals, like Bear and Abby, a second chance.  Abby was found in a dumpster on an especially cold fall day along with a litter of puppies. One of only two puppies to survive, Abby, barely a day old, was picked up by the Humane Society.  A friend at the Humane Society knew that Jim was looking for a dog after Bear passed away and called him immediately.

When Jim and his wife brought Abby home, he started thinking about how Global Pet Foods could give back to shelters as a company. He wanted to support smaller, community-based organizations – the local shelters and groups that don’t receive government funding or have their own fundraising departments. These shelters do all the work, often on their own dime and through the blood, sweat and tears of volunteers. So they decided that Global Pet Foods should become their fundraising department.

In 2006 the Global Pet Foods annual fundraiser, Show Us Your Heart, was born. Every February, each Global Pet Foods store selects a local shelter in its community to support. We then ask pet parents to donate a dollar and we match the first dollar of their donation. All proceeds go back to the local shelters.

With the help of our generous customers, Global Pet Foods has now raised over $570,000 for animal shelters across Canada. Those funds have helped shelters pay vet bills, buy supplies and keep their doors open — all in the quest to find forever homes for dogs like Bear and Abby.

Show Us Your Heart isn’t just any ordinary store fundraiser. It’s a chance to directly give back to animal caregivers who give their whole hearts to help homeless pets each day.

This February let’s put our money where our hearts are and show homeless animals ours!

To donate, visit any Global Pet Foods store between February 1st and 15th.  All proceeds will go to local animal shelters or pet related charities.  Donate as little as $1 to our Show Us Your Heart™ fundraiser, and Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ along with Global Pet Foods will match your donation.

Buy a $5 or more paper heart, and Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ along with Global Pet Foods will also donate $1 and give you 10 Bonus AIR MILES® reward miles.  You can also donate online at www.globalpetfoods.com.

Enter our online “Show Us Your Pet” contest and you could win Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ pet food for a year, 1,000 AIR MILES® reward miles, or 1 of 10 Global Pet Foods $150 gift cards! Simply upload your favourite pet photo at http://www.globalpetfoods.com/showusyourheart2014  and tell us what your pet means to your heart, and you could win awesome prizes to share with your prized pets!

Your local pet shelter could use a helping hand!

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Show Us Your Heart Campaign

February is Pet Dental Month

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Oral Care 101: Healthy Teeth, Healthy Pets!

You clearly recognize the importance and benefits of having a mouth full of healthy teeth and gums.  Like oral health problems in humans, a lack of regular and attentive care when it comes to your pets’ teeth can result in serious health implications.

Prevention is the key.  Studies show that approximately 80% of dogs who have received little or no dental care will show signs of oral disease by age 3.  Pets with poor oral health have a higher risk of heart, kidney and liver problems, which can lead to early death.

The signs and symptoms of dental disease in pets are as follows:

  1. Bad breath
  2. Red, swollen and or bleeding gums
  3. Yellow-brown deposits (like cement) along the gum line or on the crowns
  4. Becoming a picky eater
  5. Eating on one side and dropping food
  6. Rubbing their face on the ground, pawing at the mouth and drooling
  7. Personality change, irritability and depression

Pet parents often underestimate the steps that need to be taken with their pet’s teeth in order to help maintain good health. To ensure that oral health problems do not interfere with your pet’s quality of life, pets should have their teeth brushed on a regular basis.

1. Don’t assume that you will know when your pet’s teeth are hurting him or her.  Pets will continue to eat even if they have tooth pain simply due to hunger.

2.   Learn how to brush your pet’s teeth.  We recommend the following:

  • Buy a toothbrush and toothpaste that are specifically designed for pets.  Global Pet Foods carries a few different varieties.
  • Don’t brush your pet’s teeth when they’re stressed or full of energy.  Your dog may be more willing to have his or her teeth brushed after they’ve been running around or after a long walk as they may be more tired and relaxed.
  • Let her lick some toothpaste off your finger so she’ll be more open to the cleaning.  Add some toothpaste to the brush and commence the brushing process slowly.
  • Allow your pet to get used to the feeling of the brush first.  Start with the canine tooth, which is the longest tooth on either side of the four front teeth, as these are the easiest teeth to reach first. Gently lift their lip, insert the toothbrush, and gently brush that one tooth.  Start slowly to ensure that he or she doesn’t resist the toothbrush in their mouth.
  • Brush the gum line around all of the teeth gently.  Be tender and speak quietly to your pet to keep them calm. Slowly brush the front of all of the teeth, including the gums, in a circular motion. If your pet continues to pull away or he’s getting increasingly jumpy and irritated, then stop and calm him down.   Try again later in the day or over the next day or two so that you can ensure that all of the teeth are brushed.
  • If your pet allows you to brush their teeth, 30 seconds per side is an ideal length of time.
  • You do not need to brush on the inside of the dog’s teeth. Your dog’s tongue will take care of plaque there.  It’s more important that you regularly brush the outside of your dog’s teeth.
  • Don’t forget to praise your dog after finishing the teeth cleaning!

If you pets really won’t let you brush their teeth with a toothbrush put some dog toothpaste on a small section of old worn washcloth (the thinner the better) and wrap it around your finger. Then rub the outside of the teeth, concentrating on the largest tooth in the upper and lower jaw. This is better than doing nothing and should help to keep their teeth clean.

If you are stressed about the process or are concerned about whether you’re brushing your pet’s teeth properly, ask one of the specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store to demonstrate the proper technique for daily brushing.

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Please also note the following:

  • Dental care for pets is critical for your pet’s health.  If you are not able to brush your dog’s teeth, there are other options when you’re in between vet visits.  Consider using oral rinses made especially for dogs. You’ll find a good variety of oral care products for cats and dogs at Global Pet Foods stores.
  •  Never use human toothpaste, as the foaming agents can pose health risks to pets.
  •  Do not give your pet any type of candy, ever!  Like chocolate, sorbitol-sweetened candy is toxic to dogs.  Regular candy is as bad for your pet’s teeth (and yours!).
  • While many brands of dry pet food incorporate dental benefits, incorporating special dental treats formulated to reduce tartar, plaque build-up, and stains is another option for pet parents to be proactive in preventing oral health problems.  Many people give their dogs a bone or rawhide as a way to help keep their teeth clean.  While these can help keep your pets’ teeth cleaner, they may also cause tooth fractures, or result in your pet ingesting bone shards.  Ask our Healthy Pet Care Specialists for assistance in selecting the right product and size of bone or chew for your pet.  Also, keep an eye on your pets when they are chewing these products to ensure that they don’t choke on any pieces that may have broken off.
  • Some toys, like nylon tennis balls, can erode the crowns of your dog’s teeth, so look for toys that provide some protection, like durable rubber dog toys.
  •  Contact your vet if you note changes in your pet’s behaviour or health. If your pet stops eating, or they have bad breath, excessive drooling, inflammation, or visibly damaged or missing teeth, this usually indicates an issue that must be addressed by a professional.

Looking after your pet’s teeth and gums is one key factor in keeping them healthy and happy for many years.  You will find a wide variety of new and improved dental products for cats and dogs in neighbourhood Global Pet Foods stores across Canada.  Let our Healthy Pet Care Specialists help you improve and maintain your pets’ dental health.

We want to see your pet’s smile!

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