Category Archives: Eco-Friendly

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

two-dogs-in-winter

Many regions across Canada are now experiencing snow and it’s time to ensure that our driveways and sidewalks are properly cleared to avoid people falling. It’s also time to think about our pets and their paws.

The salt and other ice-melting products used by towns and cities across Canada can cause significant issues for people and your pets.In fact, under the Environment and Climate Change tab on the Government of Canada’s website, it states the following:

A comprehensive five-year scientific assessment by Environment Canada determined that in sufficient concentrations, road salts pose a risk to plants, animals and the aquatic environment. A Risk Management Strategy for Road Salts was subsequently developed to outline the measures that Environment Canada proposes in order to manage the risks associated with road salts.

Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Government of Canada published a Code of Practice for the Environmental Management of Road Salts on April 3, 2004. The Code is designed to help municipalities and other road authorities better manage their use of road salts in a way that reduces their impacts on the environment while maintaining road safety.

The Code of Practice recommends that road authorities prepare salt management plans that identify actions they will take to improve their practices in salt storage, general use on roads and snow disposal.  Environment Canada has completed a 5 year Review of Progress that indicates the Code has been effective in increasing the use of best practices for managing road salts in Canada. The Code and Review were developed in consultation with a Multistakeholder Working Group for Road Salts.

Most road salt is composed of chloride combined with sodium, calcium, magnesium or potassium, they may also contain ferrocyanide salts and, depending on where it’s sourced, may also contain other contaminants such as heavy metals.

In light of the above, we strongly suggest that you take steps to reduce or eliminate using salt on your own driveways and sidewalks. Further, we ask that you be mindful of your pet’s paws when you’re taking your dogs outside in the snow.  Your dogs’ paws can burn and crack when they’re walking on salt-treated sidewalks and road.  Once back in the house, your dog may lick their paws due to the irritation, which means their also ingesting the salt.  This can lead to inflammation of both the mouth and their digestive system, and cause health issues if they’re ingesting salt on a regular basis, due to the toxins in the salt.

We also recommend the following:

  1. Massage an all-natural/human grade paw protector into paw pads before going outside.  This can help protect their paws from salt and chemical agents.
  2. If your pets will tolerate them, another suggestion is to outfit your dog in boots or socks (waterproof).  Both the Paw Protectors and Dog Boots can be found at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.
  3. Avoid roads, sidewalks and other surfaces that have been salted.
  4. Wash your pet’s feet and underbelly with warm water (not hot!) as soon as you are back inside and dry them thoroughly.

If your dog is long-haired, ice balls can also create problems for him. Chunks of ice can develop between the toes and pads of long haired dogs as they walk outside in the snow and cold.  To prevent this, we suggest you keep your dog well groomed during the winter, which means the the hair on their feet is trimmed.

Another wonderful thing that you can do for your pet’s healthy, the health of your family and you is to use pet-friendly ice melts.  Global Pet Foods carries a few different brands, one being Paw Thaw.

Paw Thaw is a safer, biodegradable ice melter that will not harm your pet when used as directed.  The features and benefits of Paw Thaw are noted below:

paw-thaw-melterFast Acting: Paw Thaw combines the most effective de-icing blend components available, creating the desired reaction to initiate deicing and meltdown. Paw Thaw breaks the bond between the ice and the surface area.

Environmentally Formulated: The Non-hygroscopic formula is less harmful to grass, trees or other vegetation. Water soluble and odourless.Non Tracking: Will not harm carpets or floors and will not damage footwear. No slimy sticky residue to clean up.

Non Corrosive: Paw Thaw guards against concrete corrosion by forming a protective coating on the surface. Do not use on precast or concrete less than 1 year old.

Non Slip: Special ‘Dolomite’ formula provides added traction control

Need some help or more information?  Visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.  Our Healthy Pet Care Specialists are more than happy to recommend the products to help your pets be happy, healthy and safe during this winter season!

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Eco-Friendly, Education, Exercise, Grooming, Healthy Pets, love, Pet Care, pet safety, Uncategorized, Winter

Spring is a time for Renewal!

Woman on bench with dog

Spring is a time for renewal. The snow and ice melt away and the birds return to our backyards along with warmer weather, longer daylight hours, budding trees and eventually, beautiful gardens. Spring also brings us sweet puppies and kittens. There’s a spring in the step in everyone around us!

The Spring season also brings about new routines and chores, and as well as a list of “things to do” to ensure that we’re ready for the season. Having a pet (or pets!) means that there are some additional items on the list to make certain that they’ll remain happy and healthy during the season. Below are some of our key recommendations:

Winter weight gain:  Getting flabby over the winter can be just as problematic for our pets as it is for us. Many of us tend to avoid heading outdoors in the winter due to the cold and snow and we tend to eat more and exercise less. This means many of us and our pets may have experienced some weight gain. An increase of as little as two pounds for a cat or a small dog may not seem significant, but imagine if you increased your weight by 20% over the winter! This can lead to severe health problems. About one-half of all pets are overweight or obese, which may be directly linked to several illnesses, including behavioral problems, achy joints and arthritis, heart disease and some types of cancer.

Daylight Savings Time provided us with an extra hour of light in the evening, which is family walking dog in Spring.jpgideal for an after-dinner walk. Use the warmer weather as a great reason to head outside and discover some new routes on a daily walk with your dog. Don’t just make your dog sniff the same old spots, rather take a new route and work up a sweat by alternating your normal pace with a quicker one. From retrieving sticks to the simple toss of your dog’s favourite ball, running, catching, throwing and fetching provides a heart-pumping workout for you both….your heart will thank you! Make sure that you bring a thermos with some fresh water to keep you both hydrated during your walk. Even cats will enjoy being out in the garden, but please ensure that you stay with them lest they run off. Many Global Pet Foods stores have weight scales; we encourage you to take your pets in to be weighed regularly.

Spring grooming: Now that spring has sprung, it’s important to pay attention to your pet’s coat. It’s now time to groom your pet to remove the remains of her winter coat. For those with longhaired pets, you’re probably seeing tufts of pet hair all over the floor in your home. This is a key sign that you need to groom your pet on a daily basis. Your pets will enjoy spending some quiet time with you each day while you groom them. The Healthy Pet Care specialists at your Global Pet Foods can help you select the right grooming tools for your pet’s breed. Slicker brushes and brushes with dual level pins on a cushioned pad with a curved head are ideal (the long and short pins work together to remove the mats and dead hair).

Spring Cleaning: When you are giving your home a spring cleaning, remember to clean your pet’s products too. Worn out or torn products should be discarded and replaced with new ones to prevent your pets from biting and choking on torn pieces.

Ticks, fleas and heartworm – is your pet protected?  April showers bring May flowers as well as bugs! Make sure that your pet is on year-round heartworm preventative medication, as well as a Flea & Tick program. When your dog or cat has fleas, your home is soon to follow. Far from a minor irritation, fleas can wreak havoc on your pet’s life and pose a serious threat to his health. Fleas work around the clock to seek a host, and then they feast on enough of the host’s blood to equal up to 15 times their own body weight every day. Because of the challenges caused by fleas, prevention is always your best protection.

Once fleas establish residence in your home, they have no trouble firmly entrenching themselves. With suitable environmental conditions — warm temperatures, enough humidity, and at least one nourishing host — they can complete their life cycle in as little as 18 days. Flea larvae may develop anywhere your pet wanders: in your carpeting, rugs, furniture, and even in cracks in the floor, making it a challenge to treat the premises thoroughly enough. Moreover, flea pupae can be difficult to kill inside their cocoons so even with proper treatment, it can take weeks to successfully eliminate an infestation.

Prevention is the key! Anyone who has ever dealt with these troublemakers never wants to contend with them again. If you’d rather not fight the flea battle, get proactive and help prevent them from ever setting up residence on your pet in the first place. Simply give your dog or cat a monthly topical flea preventive, such as Zodiac® Spot On® Flea & Tick Control, to protect him from a flea infestation.

ZodiacMain

Fleas are responsible for a variety of problems ranging from simple itching and infestation to allergic skin reactions (Flea Allergy Dermatitis – FAD), the spread of tapeworms and some bacterial infections. Fleas have claimed more human lives than all wars ever fought. Contrary to popular belief, the female flea always lays her eggs on the pet. The adult flea is a blood sucking parasite that feeds only on the host’s blood, ingesting it through its piercing mouthpart. Adult fleas represent only a small percentage of the infestation. The vast majority of the flea population is actually not on your pet but appears in your environment in either the egg, larva or pupa stage (which you cannot see). Therefore, if you have an infestation you will need to treat not only your pets but also the environment your pet is in (home/car, etc.).

The flea life cycle consists of four very distinct developmental stages:

Adult Flea – biting, reproducing, and most annoying

Flea Egg – fall from your pet into your home and yard

Flea Larvae – worm-like, settles deep in carpet fibers, furniture, pet bedding

Flea Pupae – shielded by a cocoon, no treatment can control flea pupae

In as little as 15 days, the flea life cycle is completed. In 30 days, 10 fleas can multiply to thousands. If one pet in the household has fleas, assume that all of your pets have fleas. To get rid of fleas, you have to kill both the adult and their offspring.

Ticks: Are bloodsucking ectoparasites which may transmit various infectious diseases to animals and man (Lyme disease). There are two species; Soft Ticks (Argosidae) and Hard Ticks (Ixodidae), which are the most common. Ticks’ only meal is blood and they can take in up to 600 mg of blood but can survive two years without feeding (adult).

There are four stages in the development of ticks: Eggs, Larva (seed tick), Nymph (yearling tick) and an Adult. Most hard ticks take three hosts to complete all four stages. After feeding and mating on the host, the engorged female drops to the ground, deposits up to 3,000 eggs in a protected place and dies.

 NOTE: The key to a successful elimination of fleas and ticks is to target all of  those areas where the problem is to be found:

STEP 1 – Treat Your Pet: control adult fleas/ticks on your pet

STEP 2 – Treat Your Home: eliminate both pre-adult stages and the newly emerging adult

Need some help keeping your pets happy and healthy this spring?  Visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store and speak to our Healthy Pet Care Specialists for product re recommendations and for receive answers to your questions about caring for your pets.  You can also purchase  Zodiac Flea & Tick products while you’re there.  We wish you a wonderful Spring!!

Zodiac1

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Eco-Friendly, Education, Exercise, Flea & Tick, Flea and Tick, Healthy Pets, love, Pet Care, Skin and Coat, Small Animal, Spring, Uncategorized

A new year and a new opportunity to improve our pets’ health

happy new year cat2016Happy New Year! A new year brings a clean slate and the opportunity to make improvements to key areas of our lives.

For some of us, the word “resolution” makes us cringe. The definitions for the word “resolution” are:

  • A resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something
  • The act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
  • The mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.

A resolution isn’t a bad thing.  Slowly implementing a few changes each day can make a significant different in people’s lives.  As Canada’s Healthy Choice for Pets, we want to help you incorporate some healthy routines into your daily activity for you and your pets.

Most people consider their pets to be family members.  We want to give our children the very best of everything, don’t we?   The most important thing to remember when you bring a pet into your home is that they do not grow up and “leave the nest” so you are responsible for their well-being for the duration of their life.   Your pet trusts you to feed him, keep her warm, healthy and safe, and it’s critical that you spend quality time with your pet every day.

We recommend that you do the following to improve the overall health and wellbeing of your pet in 2016:

Schedule a Wellness Consultation

Schedule a Wellness Consultation with a Global Pet Foods’ Healthy Pet Care Specialist who can provide feedback and product recommendations for the following questions:

  • What’s the right food to feed my pet (dog, cat, rabbit, hamster, etc.)?
  • Is my dog or cat overweight?
  • Is my pet shedding?
  • What can I do if my pet has difficulty with climbing stairs?
  • Is my pet drinking enough water?
  • Is my pet getting enough exercise?
  • There are changes to my pet’s water consumption, appetite, eliminations, or activity levels that concerns me. What steps should I be taking?

Cambridge1

Our Healthy Pet Care Specialists have the expertise to   answer the above noted questions.  They can also recommend the best brand of food, supplement, treat, toy, or any other pet product – along with great pet care tips – so that your companion pets are healthy and happy!

Are you concerned about whether you’re providing your companion pet with the best care?  Schedule a Wellness Consultation with one of our Healthy Pet Care specialists and at your appointment, they’ll do the following:

  1. Evaluate your pet’s diet (food and supplements) to ensure that it’s suitable for their age and activity level, and that it address their special needs, ie. weight, dental, joint, allergies, etc.
  2. Provide you with flea & tick prevention information.
  3. Create a grooming and general care plan for your pet(s).
  4. Provide exercise recommendations and any products needed to maintain your pet’s health.
  5. Answer any other concerns you have based on your pet’s individual situation.

Educate and empower yourself with this valuable pet health consultation which will help you make informed decisions about your pet’s wellness now and in the future.

NOTE: This should not replace an annual check-up with your veterinarian.

Go “Green”

You can be a “green” pet parent by purchasing eco-friendly toys for your furry children. Buy toys made with tough and sustainable hemp, or a bed made out of organic cotton. Avoid cheap plastics or material used in low-quality products which are typically made with harsh chemicals. CIcemelterhemicals inside or outside of the home should be a big no-no, especially if you want to keep your family healthy. This applies to pesticides,   chemical fertilizers and ice-melting agents. Chemicals can stick to pets’  paws which can result in burns, and since they tend to lick their paws, they can become sick. Use organic means to fertilize your lawn and control pests, and look for non-toxic ice melting agents for your drive way and sidewalks during the winter season at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store. Always clean your pet’s paws and under-belly before bringing them back in the house.

Biodegradable waste bags should also be a key staple for every pet parent.  We know that plastic bags are bad for our Earth.  It takes oil to make them, they sit around for over 100 years, they harm fish and wildlife, they plug drainage sewers in cities, and the list goes on. Biodegradable waste bags are made from a combination of corn and other renewable products.  There are no chemical additives to enhance decomposition. The bags degrade naturally when exposed to the earth’s elements and micro-organisms in the soil and usually decompose in a commercial composting environment between 60 and 90 days after use.

Commit to making one change in your buying habits that gets you one step closer to a greener household.

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 helps to ensure that he does not become bored and frustrated with his food. This will not make your dog picky.  We’re talking about periodic changes here, not serving up something different or adding goodies to tempt him every time he doesn’t like his dinner. And most importantly of all, variety helps to avoid the development of allergies. In a few extreme cases, people and pets may be instantly and violently allergic to something. This happens in a few extreme cases only – the vast majority of allergies build up over time and with constant exposure to an ingredient(s).

The best way to develop an allergy to something (chicken, for example) is to consume it daily for an extended period. It is no coincidence that the most common allergens are things that have commonly been used in pet foods for many years. The (modern) advice from nutritionists is that feeding a wide variety of different foods, preferably from a young age, can help your pet from developing allergies in the first place (that’s the advice given for humans too).  Commit to spicing up your pet’s diet by starting with adding a can of food, which is an ideal way to ensure that they are consuming water. Bulldog drinking water from dishBuying a different protein within the food brand that your normally purchase is also ideal.  NOTE: If you do plan on rotating your pet’s food, you should introduce the food gradually by mixing it the current food over a period of a week or two.

Staying warm during a cool fall season or cold winter requires extra calories and your pets may need more food or a change in their diet.  They may need to transition to a food that provides additional nutrients or protein.  Need some assistance?  Bring in the bag of food that you’re currently feeding to Global Pet Foods for a nutritional assessment.

Water, water, everywhere!

The cold weather doesn’t mean that your pets don’t need water.  Water is essential to all living beings and cats and dogs need fresh water and plenty of it.  Dogs depend on proper daily fluid intake to maintain good health.  Water makes up 80% of your dog’s body, and it dissolves natural and unnatural substances.  Water is essential for circulation, digestion, and waste removal.  Provide clean water at all times, and change it frequently to ensure freshness.

Monitor your dog’s water intake. Generally, dogs need at least one ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day.  Monitoring water intake is especially important if your dog is recovering from diarrhea, vomiting or other illnesses.

Cats are very finicky about their water; they like it fresh.   cat water fountainThe longer the water sits out, the more oxygen it loses.  Fall is the most common time of year for male cats to “block” where small “stones” form that block the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra.  Please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately if your cat that seems to be straining “to go to the bathroom”. Decreased fluid intake may cause future episodes of cystitis.

Don’t forget to wash your pet’s water bowl every day to prevent bacteria from forming.  

Daily Exercise

As the mercury drops and the nights grow longer, it negatively impact the moods and mental wellbeing for many people and pets. The natural mood elevator we receive during the long, sunny days tends to wane during the winter months. This makes it extremely important for adults, children and pets to get that endorphin-boost outdoor activity. A brisk walk will do the mind and body good for both you and your pets!

Woman walking dog

While many of us tend to avoid heading outside during the cold, snowy weather, it is important that you take your kids (if you have them!) and dogs outside for walks.  As long as they’re healthy and it’s not too cold outside arctic temperatures), ensure that you aim for a minimum a 30 minute walk outdoors with your dog. Outfit him or her with reflective collars so that you can see them if they break away from you or you let them run free in a park, and put a coat and booties on them to keep them warm if it’s bitterly cold outside and their paws safe from salted walks.

A bored cat may become destructive and aggressive, and result in excessive grooming or inappropriate litter box use, ie. urinate in other areas of your home.  Caring for a cat is a big responsibility as it’s difficult to keep them healthy in the same manner as dogs, who can head outside for walks every day.

Many pet parents keep their cats indoors for safety reasons (it helps to reduce death, injury and disease), which can pose other health risks for them if they’re not receiving enough physical and mental stimulation.  Keep your cats healthy with the following activities:

(a) play hide-and-seek games;

(b) Place bowls of small amounts of food on different levels throughout your home so that your cat has to use their hunting instinct to find them, which also gets them moving;

(c) Play hide `n seek by strategically placing toys such as fuzzy mice, balls, etc. around your home so your cat can “discover” them all over again. Continue to move toys to unexpected places throughout your home. This helps to keep your cat’s brain active as she walks through the house looking for them;

cat playing with green ball

(d) Try using a laser mouse so that your cat chases the red dot up and down walls and furniture;

(e) Your cat will love hunting down mechanical mice which also gets them running across the floor;

(f) Purchase a toy with a crinkle mouse attached to a string and suspended from wand. Dangle it up and down to get your cat jumping.

Not only is exercise beneficial to keeping your pets happy, active, and at their optimal body condition, exercising with your pets can also provide the same benefits to you!

It’s also important that your indoor pets (rabbits, small animals and cats) get regular exercise too using wheels, climbing equipment, etc. that can be purchased at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.

Expand your dog’s horizons

People are creatures of habit.  As a pet parent, we know that taking the dog out for a walk is important but it’s very easy to get into the same Dog in snowroutine of walking the same route.  New experiences are important for you and your dogs’ mental health and social skills.  There are lots of places in every community for dogs to run and play, whether it’s a dog park or a school yard.   Commit to venturing out of your regular neighbourhood at least once a week.  NOTE: Please remember to stop and scoop!

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 pets are no exception.  Grooming your pet regularly (at least once a week) is important.  A good quality brush is a great investment.

Some breeds have a seasonal shedding season in the spring when they lose their winter coats. As the winter rolls around, the dogs shed a second time to remove the summer coat and grow their winter coat.

Some pets shed a lot. What can you do to help get the hair loss under control?  The more hair you remove the less you will see it all over your house.  Brushing your dog once a day will greatly reduce the unwanted hair all over your clothes, carpet and furniture, especially during shedding seasons. Ensure that you complete a full brush-out of your dog’s coat to get rid of any loose fur and bathe the dog prior to the dog’s undercoat for the winter begins to grow in.  Brushing also helps to restore oils to a new coat, stimulates the skin and prevents matting, which can be painful.

It is not normal for your dog’s coat to thin as the dog gets older. If you think your pet is shedding abnormally, it is recommended that you speak to the Healthy Pet Care Specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.  If you see bald spots as a result of your pet’s hair loss is abnormal, take her to your veterinarian immediately.

Setting aside time each day to groom your pet is also a great time to bond with them. Whether it’s time spent brushing their coat, buying them a trendy new collar or a new bed, your furry children will love the attention.  Commit to pampering yourself after you’ve pampered your pet!

Keep your pets safe: Keeping your pet contained is healthier both for him and for the environment. In the case of dogs, who like to chase things like cars, a fence or a leash helps ensure their safety and survival. Domestic cats are also a huge predator of native birds, and can decimate local populations pretty quickly. You may not think of your pet as a natural predator, but he or she is more than capable of killing small animals.

Teach your children to be mindful about not accidentally letting the dog or cat to run out of the house unsupervised.  Keep your pets on a leash when you’re out and about in your neighbourhood.

Take more car rides with your pets

Some pets suffer from travel (motion) sickness or extreme anxiety in a car so dislike car rides. Further, many pets dislike being in carriers. Getting your pets become accustomed to car rides and being in a crate/carrier when they are puppies and kittens is very beneficial for them when you have to take them to the veterinarian or when you want to take them on road trips with them.

We cringe when we see dogs running loose in a vehicle or, even worse, sitting on the driver’s lap! All pets should be restrained in a seat belt harness, backseat barriers, pet kennels or crates, or pet carriers to keep them safe from injury if you are in a car accident.  Ensure that your pet has enough room to comfortably sit and/or lie down in it. All kennels or crates should be secured to the vehicle’s floor.

cat in carrier

Summary

We know that there are great psychological benefits from being a pet parent.  Pets can provide us with excellent social support, stress relief and other health benefits — sometimes more than other people can!

Resolve to be the best pet parent that you can be so that you both you and your pets remain healthy in 2016 and beyond.

Happy New Year!!

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Eco-Friendly, Education, Exercise, Grooming, Healthy Pets, Pet Care, Pet Food, Skin and Coat, Small Animal, Uncategorized, Winter

Spring…it’s the season known as the “Time for Renewal”!

Maine Coon Kitten

Ahhh…the sights and sounds of the Spring season are upon us. Many of us truly appreciate the season – more sunlight, warmer weather, the return of the birds, the new baseball season, long walks, open windows – these things put the “Spring” in our step! Spring also brings a myriad of “things to do” to ensure that we can fully enjoy the season. Having a pet (or pets!) means that there are some additional items on the list to ensure that they’ll remain happy and healthy during the season. Below are a few of our recommendations:

1.  Fleas and Ticks and other Pests!

Warmer temperatures usually signal the flea and tick season, which continues through the summer and peaks in the Fall. It’s imperative that you take preventative measures and check your pets regularly during the season. The key is to be proactive in protecting your pets and your home from an infestation. Fleas can make your life miserable, and they will certainly make your pet’s life miserable too. Fleas can transmit parasites and cause allergic reactions.  One flea bite can potentially cause your pet great pain from the constant rubbing and scratching of the irritated skin, if they are allergic to fleas. Also called “pruritus,” this unpleasant itching can become so intense that pets will actually scratch until the skin bleeds. Global Pet
Foods can recommend some products for flea prevention and treatment.

2.  Beware of Chemicals

Our pets (and our children) will be heading outside to play but the chemicals used to treat grass and gardens could put a damper on their fun and their health. Pets face many of the same health problems from chemical poisoning as people do. Dogs and cats lick themselves and have their noses to the ground, while kids typically have their fingers in their mouths, so they are at risk of chemical poisoning from lawn and garden pesticides. Make sure that you wipe your pets’ paws and bellies prior to bringing them back in the house. Choosing environmentally-friendly products can have many benefits, some of which carry over from the
protection of the environment to protecting the health of you and your pets. Compost material can also be hazardous to your pet’s health, so keep the compost bin and chemicals locked away and out of your pet’s reach.

3.  Set aside time for Spring cleaning!

The last thing you need is to have your pets escape through a hole in the fence, or be injured from a nail that’s sticking out from one of the boards. To prevent this from happening, examine your fencing and gates for any damages incurred during the winter and make the necessary repairs before you allow your pets to go out in the backyard. When you’re giving your home a spring-cleaning, remember to inspect your pet’s bed, food and water dishes, collars and leashes for any cracks, or rips and tears. Worn out or torn products should be discarded and replaced with new ones, as your pets could injure or choke if they bite off a piece. When you’re cleaning your home, remember to wash and clean your pets’ products too. You’ll feel so much better when everything is squeaky clean!

4.  Put a “Spring in your Step”!

Daylight Savings Time brings an extra hour of light in the evening, which is ideal for an after-dinner walk for you and your dog. Why not use the warmer weather as an excuse to take longer walks on new routes? Don’t just make your dog sniff the same spots, rather take a new route and work up a sweat by alternating your normal pace with a quicker one. From retrieving sticks, to the simple toss of your dog’s favourite ball, running, catching, throwing and fetching all mean a heart-pumping workout for you both. Make sure that you
bring a thermos with some fresh water to keep you both hydrated during your walk. Even cats will enjoy being out in the garden with you, but please ensure that you stay with them lest they run off.

The Healthy Pet Care Specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store can help you and your pets enjoy the Spring season with the best pet products and pet care tips.  We look forward to seeing you!

Find a Global Pet Foods store near you via our website, www.globalpetfoods.com.

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Eco-Friendly, Exercise, Flea and Tick, Grooming, Healthy Pets, Pet Care, Spring

New Year’s Resolutions for you and your Pets

happy_new_year_fbook_posting2015-01

A new year brings a clean slate and the opportunity to make improvements to key areas of our lives.  For some of us, the word “resolution” makes us cringe. Some of the definitions for the word “resolution” are:

  • a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something
  • the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
  • the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose

A resolution isn’t a bad thing.  Slowly implementing a few changes each day can make a significant different in people’s lives.  As Canada’s Healthy Choice for Pets, Global Pet Foods wants to ensure that your pets are also incorporated into your New Year’s resolutions. 

Most people consider their pets to be family members.  We want to give our children the very best of everything, don’t we?   The most important thing to remember when you bring a pet into your home is that they do not grow up and “leave the nest” so you are responsible for their well-being for the duration of their life. Your pet trusts you to feed him, keep her warm, healthy and safe, and it’s critical that you spend quality time with your pet every day.

In an effort to assist with improving the overall health and wellbeing of your pet, we recommend that you resolve to do the following on a regular basis this year.

Schedule a Wellness Consultation with a Global Pet Foods’ Healthy Pet Care Specialist:

  • What’s the right food to feed your pet?
  • Is your dog or cat overweight?
  • Is your pet shedding?
  • Does your dog have difficulties with stairs?
  • Is your cat drinking enough water?
  • Is your pet is getting enough exercise?
  • What’s the best food for your hamster?
  • Are there any changes to your pet’s water consumption, appetite, eliminations, or activity levels that concerns you?

While we do recommend that you schedule an annual check-up with a veterinarian, our Global Pet Foods  Healthy Pet Care Specialists have the expertise to answer the above noted questions.  They can also recommend the best brand of food, supplement, treat, toy, or any other pet product – along with great pet care tips – so that your companion pets are healthy and happy!

Are you concerned about whether you’re providing your companion pet with the best care?  Schedule a Wellness Consultation with one of our Healthy Pet Care specialists.  They’ll do the following:

  1. Evaluate your pet’s diet (food and supplements) to ensure that it’s suitable for their age and activity level, and that it address their special needs, ie. weight, dental, joint, allergies, etc.
  2. Provide you with flea & tick prevention information.
  3. Create a grooming and general care plan for your pet(s).
  4. Provide exercise recommendations and any products needed to maintain your pet’s health.
  5. Answer any other concerns you have based on your pet’s individual situation.

Educate and empower yourself with this valuable pet care consultation which will help you make informed decisions about your pet’s wellness now and in the future.

Go “Green”: You can be a “green” pet parent by purchasing eco-friendly toys for your furry children. Buy toys made with tough and sustainable hemp, or a bed made out of organic cotton. Avoid cheap plastics or material used in low-quality products which are typically made with harsh chemicals.

Chemicals inside or outside of the home should be a big no-no, especially if you want to keep your family healthy. This applies to pesticides, chemical fertilizers and ice-melting agents. Chemicals can stick to pets’ paws which can result in burns, and since they tend to lick their paws, they can become sick. Use organic means to fertilize your lawn and control pests, and look for non-toxic ice melting agents at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.  Always clean your pet’s paws and under-belly before bringing them back in the house.

Biodegradable waste bags should also be a key staple for every pet parent.  We know that plastic bags are bad for our Earth.  It takes oil to make them, they sit around for over 100 years, they harm fish and wildlife, they plug drainage sewers in cities, and the list goes on. Biodegradable waste bags are made from a combination of corn and other renewable products.  There are no chemical additives to enhance decomposition. The bags degrade naturally when exposed to the earth’s elements and micro-organisms in the soil and usually decompose in a commercial composting environment between 60 and 90 days after use.

Commit to making one change in your buying habits that gets you one step closer to a greener household.

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 helps to ensure that he does not become bored and frustrated with his food. This will not make your dog picky.  We’re talking about periodic changes here, not serving up something different or adding goodies to tempt him every time he doesn’t like his dinner. And most importantly of all, variety helps to avoid the development of allergies. In a few extreme cases, people and pets may be instantly and violently allergic to something. This happens in a few extreme cases only – the vast majority of allergies build up over time and with constant exposure to an ingredient(s).

The best way to develop an allergy to something (chicken, for example) is to consume it daily for an extended period. It is no coincidence that the most common allergens are things that have commonly been used in pet foods for many years. The (modern) advice from nutritionists is that feeding a wide variety of different foods, preferably from a young age, can help to avoid the development of allergies in the first place (that’s the advice given for humans too).  Commit to spicing up your pet’s diet by starting with adding a can of food, which is an ideal way to ensure that they are consuming water. Buying a different protein within the food brand that your normally purchase is also ideal.  NOTE: If you do plan on rotating your pet’s food, you should introduce the food gradually by mixing it the current food over a period of a week or two.

Staying warm during a cool fall season or cold winter requires extra calories and your pets may need more food or a change in their diet.  They may need to transition to a food that provides additional nutrients or protein.  Need some assistance?  Bring in the bag of food that you’re currently feeding to Global Pet Foods for a nutritional assessment.

Water, water, everywhere!  The cold weather doesn’t mean that your pets don’t need water.  Bulldog drinking water from dishWater is essential to all living beings and cats and dogs need fresh water and plenty of it.  Dogs depend on proper daily fluid intake to maintain good health.  Water makes up 80% of your dog’s body, and it dissolves natural and unnatural substances.  Water is essential for circulation, digestion, and waste removal.  Provide clean water at all times, and change it frequently to ensure freshness.

Monitor your dog’s water intake. Generally, dogs need at least one ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day.  Monitoring water intake is especially important if your dog is recovering from diarrhea, vomiting or other illnesses.

Cats are very finicky about their water; they like it fresh. The longer the water sits out, the more oxygen it loses.  Fall is the most common time of year for male cats to “block” where small “stones” form that block the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra.  Please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately if your cat that seems to be straining “to go to the bathroom”. Decreased fluid intake may cause future episodes of cystitis.

Don’t forget to wash your pet’s water bowl every day to prevent bacteria from forming.  

Set aside at least 30 minutes each day for exercise with your pets: As the mercury drops and the nights grow longer, it negatively impact the moods and mental wellbeing for many people and pets. The natural mood elevator we receive during the long, sunny days tends to wane during the winter months. This makes it extremely important for adults, children and pets to get that endorphin-boost outdoor activity. While many of us tend to avoid heading outside during the cold, snowy weather, it is important that you take your kids (if you have them!) and dogs outside for walks.  It’s also important that your indoor pets (rabbits, small animals and cats) get regular exercise too using wheels, climbing equipment, etc. that can be purchased at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.

A bored cat may become destructive and aggressive, and result in excessive grooming or inappropriate littertwo cats on cat tree box use, ie. urinate in other areas of your home.  Caring for a cat is a big responsibility as it’s difficult to keep them healthy in the same manner as dogs, who can head outside for walks every day. Many pet parents keep their cats indoors for safety reasons (it helps to reduce death, injury and disease), which can pose other health risks for them if they’re not receiving enough physical and mental stimulation.  Keep your cats healthy with the following activities:    (a) play hide-and-seek games; (b) Place bowls of small amounts of food on different levels throughout your home so that your cat has to use their hunting instinct to find them, which also gets them moving; (c) Play hide `n seek by strategically placing toys such as fuzzy mice, balls, etc. around your home so your cat can “discover” them all over again. Continue to move toys to unexpected places throughout your home. This helps to keep your cat’s brain active as she walks through the house looking for them; (d) Try using a laser mouse so that your cat chases the red dot up and down walls and furniture; (e) Your cat will love hunting down mechanical mice which also gets them running across the floor; (f) Purchase a toy with a crinkle mouse attached to a string and suspended from wand. Dangle it up and down to get your cat jumping.

As long as they’re healthy and it’s not too cold outside arctic temperatures), ensure that you aim for a minimum a 30 minute walk outdoors with your dog. Outfit him or her with reflective collars so that you can see them if they break away from you or you’re letting them run free in a park, and put a coat and booties on them to keep them warm if it’s bitterly cold outside and their paws safe from salted walks.

Expand your dog’s horizons! People are creatures of habit.  As a pet parent, we know that taking the dog out for a walk is important but it’s very easy to get into the same routine of walking the same route.  New experiences are important for you and your dogs’ mental health and social skills.  There are lots of places in every community for dogs to run and play, whether it’s a dog park or a school yard.   Commit to venturing out of your regular neighbourhood at least once a week.  NOTE: Please remember to stop and scoop!

A brisk walk will do the mind and body good for both you and your pets!

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.  Grooming your pet regularly (at least once a week) is important.  A good quality brush is a great investment.

Some breeds have a seasonal shedding season in the spring when they lose their winter coats. As the winter rolls around, the dogs shed a second time to remove the summer coat and grow their winter coat.  Some pets shed a lot. What can you do to help get the hair loss under control?  The more hair you remove the less you will see it all over your house.  Brushing your dog once a day will greatly reduce the unwanted hair all over your clothes, carpet and furniture, especially during shedding seasons. Ensure that you complete a full brush-out of your dog’s coat to get rid of any loose fur and bathe the dog prior to the dog’s undercoat for the winter begins to grow in.  Brushing also helps to restore oils to a new coat, stimulates the skin and prevents matting, which can be painful.

It is not normal for your dog’s coat to thin as the dog gets older. If your dog’s hair loss is abnormal you will see bald spots. If you think your dog is shedding abnormally, it is recommended that you speak to the Healthy Pet Care Specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.  In a case where your pet has bald spots, take her to your veterinarian immediately.

Setting aside time each day to groom your pet is also a great time to bond with them. Whether it’s time spent brushing their coat, buying them a trendy new collar or a new bed, your furry children will love the attention.  Commit to pampering yourself after you’ve pampered your pet!

Keep your pets safe: Keeping your pet contained is healthier both for him and for the environment. In the case of dogs, who like to chase things like cars, a fence or a leash helps ensure their safety and survival. Domestic cats are also a huge predator of native birds, and can decimate local populations pretty quickly. You may not think of your pet as a natural predator, but he or she is more than capable of killing small animals.

Kent, UK - Snow falls in Whitstable

Teach your children to be mindful about not accidentally letting the dog or cat to run out of the house unsupervised.  Keep your pets on a leash when you’re out and about in your neighbourhood.

We know that there are great psychological benefits from being a pet parent.  Pets can provide us with excellent social support, stress relief and other health benefits — sometimes more than other people can!  Resolve to be the best pet parent that you can be so that you both you and your pets remain healthy.

Happy New Year!!

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Eco-Friendly, Education, Exercise, Grooming, Healthy Pets, Pet Care, Pet Food, Skin and Coat

How healthy is your pet’s skin and coat?

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Your pet’s skin and coat are good indicators of just how healthy they are.  If your dog’s skin appears to have changed colour, it could be an indication that he or she is getting sick. In addition, if your pet is sick, you’ll be able to know by their skin and coat. The skin is an organ and it helps to protect the body from infection, caustic substances, ultraviolet light, and dehydration. Healthy skin depends on the health and function of other organs in your pet’s body.

The skin of both dogs and cats are sensitive, and a skin disorder can be very unpleasant and painful for them.

Dogs do not sweat like humans.  Their hair follicles open up to release heat and close to conserve heat.   Any foreign particle has the ability to agitate the skin and cause inflammation and redness which is most commonly accompanied by itching, which can lead to lesions and open wounds.

Your pet’s diet and their environment are key factors for maintaining a healthy skin and coat.   Many pets suffer from chronic skin problems which can be attributed to genetics or allergens related to processed foods or other environmental allergens like pollen or weeds.

Do not ignore the following signs:

  • Persistent scratching
  • Excessive licking and grooming
  • Biting at the skin and coat
  • Swelling under the skin
  • Increased shedding/bald patches

If you see any of the above with your pets then they may be suffering from one of the common diseases and conditions noted below:

Allergies            Bacterial infections

Hot spots or acute moist dermatitis

Fungal infections        Food allergies

Contact dermatitis       Autoimmune diseases

Treatment of skin disease may include steroids, antibiotics, antihistamines, topical drugs, anti-fungal drugs, special shampoos, dietary supplements, or even surgery.  Drugs such as steroids and antihistamines may be prescribed to relieve the symptoms of itchiness and inflammation in pets, however, these drugs can come with unwanted side effects and the long-term effects are not known.  A pet that is given steroids for a long period of time can result in infection, diabetes and other conditions because these drugs work by suppressing the immune system.

Avoiding the allergens, treating the symptoms or de-sensitizing your pet can control skin allergies.

To catch health issues early, we recommend that you check your pet’s skin regularly for bumps, rashes, scabs, flakes and foul odours.  Does your pet’s coat look dull or is some of their hair falling out?   If so, please understand that this is not normal and it’s time to investigate further as these are good indicators that your pet has skin problems.   Further, maintaining your pet’s skin and coat will not only make them feel and smell better, it will also help them stay healthier.  Regular skin and coat maintenance is critical to their longevity.

Skin Care for Dogs

There are many things that you can do that can contribute to the health of your dog’s skin and coat and the key ones are noted below.

Inspect:  After your dog has been outdoors and especially if he’s been in heavy brush, inspect his coat. Check for dandruff, which closely resembles human dandruff. Dog dander can be caused by parasites and skin infections that require veterinary care. Fleas, ticks, and other parasites are more common in warmer weather. For more information about treating pets with fleas, read this: https://myglobalpetfoods.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/spring-brings-warmer-weather-april-showers-flowersand-fleas/.

Brush: Brushing your dog’s coat removes dirt and dead hair. Brushing also helps to stimulate the skin and distribute natural oils throughout the coat, and can prevent skin irritation. Hair shed that is not removed can easily form mats which can be painful and in severe instances, affect your dog’s heart.

We recommend that you research how to care for your pet’s coat specific to their breed. For example, some dog breeds have a “double coat” (an outer or guard coat plus an undercoat). You may unintentionally neglect the undercoat, resulting in a painful mats condition that could require professional attention. Minimize potential coat problems by understanding your dog’s needs.  The Healthy Pet Care Specialists at Global Pet Foods stores can assist you with this.

Using the right brushes and combs for your dog’s hair type is also very important.  Brushes and combs that are appropriate for short-haired dogs are different for than those needed for dogs with medium and long coats.  Brushing times will vary as well.  For short- haired dogs, it’s recommended that you brush them at least once a week while daily brushing is recommended for long-haired dogs in order to prevent knotting and matting. If your dog is uncomfortable with brushing, gradually introduce the brush beforehand and let them get used to the brush by smelling it or playing with it.  Start slowly and be gentle.

De-matting is uncomfortable for dogs so we recommend that you visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods stores to learn more about this before you start.  Many Healthy Pet Care Specialists at Global Pet Foods stores are groomers or have groomers on-site who are  professionally trained and know how to minimize the impact of on your pet.

Bathing: Groom your dog prior to bathing.  Your dog’s skin is very sensitive and requires specific skin care products.  Please do NOT use products that are intended for humans. It’s important that you use products that are formulated for dogs as human products may irritate their skin further.  Do not scrub your dog to the point where their body oils are completely removed because these hair oils act as a protective barrier from disease and irritation.  We suggest that you use an eco-friendly dog shampoo.  Bathing your dog  at least once a month, especially if they play outside a lot, will help stave off many health problems and make your dog more pleasant to be around.

NOTE: Groom your dog prior to bathing in order to remove loose hair and mats that can trap shampoo against the skin and cause irritation.

Diet:  Building a healthy coat and skin for your dog begins from the inside out. Diet plays a substantial role in the health, look, and feel of your pet’s fur and skin.   It’s essential for your dog’s good health that you feed a food that is complete with quality protein, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.  A diet that contains essential fatty acids is imperative for your dog’s optimal health.  Both Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are required to help nourish the skin and coat.

Various dog breeds have different types of coats – including single hair coats or double fur coats – made up of multiple types of hair fibres.  Biotin is a natural health product for pets that can help to strengthen keratin in skin and fur.  It is part of the B-Complex vitamins that is essential for many body systems, but has also proven to  help grow healthy and luxurious fur.

We see the benefits and the health improvements firsthand when pets are transitioned to a healthier diet – whether it’s a more natural food,  a limited ingredient food, or freeze-dried and raw food – particularly if these animals suffer from allergies.

There are some other natural health products that will also contribute to a full, healthy, and naturally shiny skin and coat. Treats formulated with skin-nourishing ingredients are also a great way to reward dog and care for his coat at the same time.  TIP: Minimize treats to avoid weight gain!

Supplements or Herbal Remedies:  There are many safe and natural herbal and homeopathic remedies for dog suffering from skin problems.  Supplements are ideal in caring for a dog’s coat or other health problems, such as arthritis. Althaea officinalis root (marshmallow) is an excellent and well-known remedy for soothing the skin. Melaleuca alternifolia can be used externally for promoting good skin health and will also keep the skin clean.  Homeopathic remedies such as Ledum and Apis have excellent soothing properties and are particularly useful in soothing inflamed and irritated skin, or allergic reactions to triggers.  Please speak to our Healthy Pet Care Specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store who can recommend and help you select the appropriate products for your pet.

Skin Care for Cats

Just like dogs, there are many factors that contribute to the health of your cat’s skin and coat. Cats are great at taking care of themselves in so many ways. But they still need your help to stay happy and healthy and we have highlighted some things below that you can do to benefit them:white and black cat

Inspect:  Check your cat’s skin and coat on a weekly basis for wounds, bumps and hidden tangles by running your hands along your cat’s body.  You should also check for ticks and flea dirt, and black specks of dried blood left behind by fleas. For more information about treating pets with fleas, read this: https://myglobalpetfoods.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/spring-brings-warmer-weather-april-showers-flowersand-fleas/.

Look under your cat’s tail to check for feces attached to the fur that may need to be snipped away with scissors. It’s also important to check around your cat’s anus for tan, rice-sized objects as these may indicate the presence of tapeworm.  If you suspect this, please schedule a visit with your veterinarian immediately.

Brush: Brushing your cat removes dirt, grease, and dead hair from her coat.  It also helps to remove skin flakes and stimulates blood circulation which will improve the overall condition of the skin.

Check the condition of your cat’s coat before your start brushing. If your cat is healthy, the hair will have a natural gloss and it will spring back under your hand when you touch it.  There shouldn’t be any bald patches or signs of fleas or ticks, and the skin should be free of wounds and unusual bumps.

One or two brushings each week will to keep your cat’s healthy glow.  As your cat ages and isn’t able to groom themselves as meticulously, they’ll really benefit from these grooming sessions.

If your cat is short-haired, work the brush through your cat’s fur from head to tail to remove dirt and debris. Make sure to work along the lie of your cat’s fur and brush it in the direction that the coat grows.  NOTE: If you brush a cat’s fur in the reverse direction, you’ll lift the hair up and back which is a very uncomfortable feeling for them.  Brush your entire cat’s body (including the chest and abdomen) but remember to brush one section at a time so that you effectively remove dead hair and tangles. A rubber brush is a great tool for removing dead hair on cats with short fur. Long-haired cats need grooming sessions every few days to remove dead hair and prevent tangles. Start with the abdomen and legs, and gently comb the fur upward toward your cat’s head. Comb the neck fur upward, too, toward the chin.  Make a part down the middle of the tail and gently brush out the fur on either side.  TIP: Sprinkle a little bit of talcum powder over the knots, and carefully de-tangle them. If the knots don’t come out by hand, try using a mat-splitter.

Neglecting to brush your cat’s coat can lead to painful tangles and hairballs.  Hairballs in cats are more likely to appear in long-haired breeds, such as Persians and Maine Coons.  Cats that shed a lot or who groom themselves compulsively are also more likely to have hairballs, because they tend to swallow a lot of fur. If your cat coughs hairballs or expels them in their feces, and despite regular brushing your cat continues to suffer from hairballs, there are several remedies available.  Examples are Hairball formulated pet foods or a supplement specially geared towards eliminating hairballs. Please ask our Healthy Pet Care Specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store to recommend a solution.

Healthy cats normally groom themselves and can be quite excessive about it. If your cat obsessively licks certain parts of his body and in turn gives himself bald spots and sores, please speak to our Healthy Pet Care Specialists.  The cause might be fleas, an allergy, or stress that can be resolved by recommending an appropriate product or suggesting a change in your cat’s environment.

Bathing: Most cats will dislike being bathed.  Since many cats, especially those with short coats, are good self-groomers, they rarely require bathing.  If your cat isn`t smelling as clean and fresh, as you’d like, you may want to bathe them.  Keep in mind that healthy cats require less bathing.  Your cat’s type of coat and the length, their self-grooming behaviour, activity level, environment, and their overall health (cats in good health do not require frequent baths) should dictate whether you bathe them and, if so, how often.  Keep in mind that excessive bathing, or use of harsh or drying products can dull your cat`s coat and cause their skin to become dry, flaky and itchy.  In seasons where cats shed a lot, a bath can wash away the dander and loose hair that won’t come out with brushing.  Sometimes bathing older cats is beneficial because as cats age, they find it difficult to reach certain places on their body (especially their behind), and cannot properly clean themselves (which means that they smell or their fur is dirty or matted).  Bathing your cat really depends on your cat’s situation but bathing them too frequently can lead to dry, itchy skin and an unhealthy looking coat.

Diet:  Your cat’s coat may be dull, or its skin is dry and flaky due to poor nutrition or being overweight.  Cats need a diet that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, in order to maintain a healthy body, and healthy hair and skin.  Feeding your cat a low-quality food may result in them losing out on vital minerals and vitamins that are needed to keep them healthy and active.

Keep in mind that cats need much more protein than dogs, as well as complex carbohydrates and healthy fats to help them maintain a healthy body and shiny coat. Cats who are fed a low-fat diet or one that does not contain high quality ingredients generally have poor-quality coats.

If your cat has dandruff down the center of its back or around the base of its tail, this could be a sign that she can’t reach these spots because due to being overweight or obese.  Keep in mind that extra weight also puts your cat at risk for many of the same chronic health problems as an overweight human, including diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and cancer.

Visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store to have your cat weighed and checked.  If your cat is obese (and 1 in 4 cats are!) the Healthy Pet Care specialists can recommend a healthy, lower-calorie diet for your cat.  NOTE: Cats need to lose weight slowly and carefully.   A too-rapid weight loss for an overweight cat can lead to a serious liver disease called hepatic lipidosis.  It is important that you give your cat time to lose weight to ensure that you don’t trigger other health problems.

We see the improvements and benefits firsthand in pets’ health when they are transitioned to a healthier diet – whether it’s a more natural food, a limited ingredient food, or freeze-dried and raw food – particularly if these animals suffer from allergies.

Supplements or Herbal Remedies:  If you are concerned about your cat’s health, you may want to supplement their food with fatty acids like those found in salmon or other fish oils. The result can be a healthier and shinier coat.  Please speak to our Healthy Pet Care Specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store before giving your cats a supplement and following the directions on the package.  They will recommend and help you select the appropriate products for your cat and use them as intended.


Finally, noted below are some other tips to help maintain the health of your pet’s skin:

  1. Read all pet food labels carefully so that you avoid ingredients that your pet is allergic to.  This includes both food and treats as well as supplements.
  2. Check for fleas and implement preventative measures to avoid a reoccurrence of a flea infestation. This will help to keep your pet’s skin healthy.
  3. Do not bathe your pets too often.  Use a natural, gentle shampoo, formulated for pets.  Remember to always dry your pets off properly immediately after their bath.
  4. Never use human perfumes, moisturizers or talc on your pet’s skin.
  5. Visit your vet if you see a rash on your pet and follow through with the treatment.
  6. Avoid dressing your pet in clothing on a regular basis, particularly in the warmer months.  The skin needs to ‘breathe’ and in the case of dermatitis related to allergies, some detergents may be at fault for your pet’s irritated skin.
  7. Keep your pet’s nails short to avoid scratching or rubbing the itchy area.

We know that being a pet parent can be challenging when your furry child isn’t eating or experiencing health issues. Whether they suffer from allergies, dental issues, joint stiffness or a myriad of other health problems, we understand that you just want to help them. We pride ourselves on being pet nutrition and pet care specialists and we will use our knowledge and expertise to help you find the right solutions for your companion pets’ needs.  To find a Global Pet Foods store near you, visit www.globalpetfoods.com.

senior woman with russell terrier

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Eco-Friendly, Education, Flea & Tick, Grooming, Healthy Pets, Pet Care, Pet Food, Skin and Coat

A garden is a beautiful thing but it can be deadly for your pets. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe.

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April showers bring May flowers! Many of us can’t wait to start planting our gardens.  By the time July rolls around, we find it quite satisfying to spend time in our gardens and admire our work.

But a beautiful garden can also be toxic for our pets. Mulch, fertilizers, compost material, and certain types of flowers and plants can result in severe illness and even death for your pets. It’s imperative that you do your research before selecting the products that you will use to grow your garden, and choose the types of flowers and plants.  It’s also recommended that you watch your pets carefully when they are outside while you’re planting your garden because if they accidentally ingest something, you may find yourself spending the rest of the day at the vet.

Mulch:
Cocoa bean mulch is made of discarded hulls or shells of the cocoa bean, which are by-products of chocolate production. Many dogs simply can’t resist the “chocolate-like” smell and will eat it if given the opportunity. Processed cocoa bean hulls can contain theobromine and caffeine, the two toxins found in chocolate that can cause vomiting and diarrhea for pets, and are toxic to the heart and nervous systems. It can be very difficult to determine the amount of toxins in mulch as it will vary from product to product so careful research should be done.

Cedar and other wood mulches contain essential oils and resins that may cause vomiting and excessive drooling. Wood mulch can cause bowel and stomach obstructions while sharp pieces may also tear the bowels, esophagus or stomach lining. Excessive amounts may produce the same reactions as chocolate poisoning, causing diarrhea, increased heart rate and tremors.

Although many varieties of mulch contain very low amounts of the toxins and are not as dangerous to dogs, those brands with higher toxin concentrations can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and in extreme cases, death. Since it can be difficult to determine the amount of toxins in mulch, we recommend that you keep your dog away from it and always supervise your pets while outside. Alternatively, it may be safer to just not use mulch in your garden.

Fertilizers, Soil Additives and Pesticides:
While fertilizers are usually safe for pets, some brands contain blood meal, bone meal, feather meal and iron, which dogs will find very tasty. But these can also be deadly for your four-legged friends. Meal-containing products, when ingested in large quantities, can form a mass in your dog’s stomach and may obstruct the gastrointestinal tract and cause severe pancreatitis. Those products that contain iron may result in iron poisoning. Further, if dogs ingest pesticides and insecticides which contain organophosphates (typically found in systemic rose care products) can be result in death for your dogs. Even a small amount can be very harmful.

Slug and Snail Baits:
Slug and snail baits, available in different varieties – pellets, granular, powder, liquid – contain the active ingredient metaldehyde, which is very poisonous for dogs and cats. Metaldehyde, when ingested, can result in salivation, restlessness, vomiting, tremors, seizures and life-threatening high body temperatures within 1 – 2 hours. It’s imperative that you take your pet to an emergency pet clinic immediately if your pet shows these types of symptoms. Since baits are highly toxic for pets, we recommend that you refrain from using them, particularly, if your pets are outside in your backyard a lot unsupervised.

Compost:
We recognize that composting is a great step in reducing the volume of garbage that is sent to landfills. However, compost can be very toxic to pets and wildlife so it’s important that you keep it secured and fenced off so that they don’t have access to the material. As organic matter decomposes, moulds can grown, some of which produce hazardous tremorgenic mycotoxins. Animals who ingest mouldy food or compost can become very sick. Symptoms include agitation, panting, drooling, vomiting, tremors and seizures. If you suspect that your pets have consumed compost material, it’s imperative that you take them to a licensed veterinarian immediately for treatment.

Flowers and plants:

There are a number of flowers and plants that can be deadly for pets.  We have noted some examples below.

1. Lilies can be deadly to dogs, cats, and rabbits, but lilliesparticularly for cats. While some varieties cause only minor symptoms, other varieties (Tiger, Asiatic, Easter, Japanese Show and Day Lilies) are toxic because they contain a substance called calledoxalic acid, which is poisonous to pets. The most deadly part of this plant is the root. Even ingesting a small amount of the lily, or being exposed to the pollen or the water in a vase that holds lilies, can result in severe kidney failure. If a cat has consumed any part of a lily, you must seek immediately veterinary care.

Daffodils

2. Daffodils are also deadly to pets. It’s the bulb that is the most dangerous, as it contains toxic alkaloids that cause an entire array of problems, including death.

3. Azaleas are deadly to dogs because they contain a substance called grayanotoxin, which can shut down a dog’s central nervous system.

4. Morning Glory contains seeds that can be highly toxic to dogs. The seeds contain a combination of poisonous chemicals that can result in death.

5. ImageCrocuses, the spring variety, can cause gastrointestinal upset (vomiting and diarrhea) in dogs and cats. The fall version of the crocus is highly toxic for pets. It causes severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, and organ failure.

6. Oleander shrubs, if ingested by pets, can slow the heart rate, and result in death.

Tips for keeping your pets safe in your garden:

  • Check the labels of all plants and flowers before purchasing them to ensure that they are safe for pets.
  • Choose pet-friendly plants such as catnip for your garden.
  • Be careful when gardening, particularly if your pets are around. Cats and dogs may play with discarded plant material that is harmful for them.
  • If you suspect that your dogs is chewing some plant material that is potentially harmful, distract them with a toy or treats. Don’t chase them because they will think that you’re playing a game with them.
  • Be careful when using chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers and slug products. Check the labels for warnings related to toxicity for pets. Keep all products locked away, and your pets away from these products if you choose to garden with them.
  • If you spray your lawns, keep your pets off of it for 24 hours after it’s been treated.
  • Always wipe your pet’s underbelly and paws when you head back into the house after playing outside.

SPECIAL NOTE: 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, 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 a clinic close to you.

A garden is a beautiful thing. People find gardening very therapeutic, and spending quiet time in your garden is peaceful and provides great rejuvenation for us, both physically and mentally. But one plant or flower can prove to be life-threatening for your pets, so please ensure that you are aware of any dangers and protect them accordingly.

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