Category Archives: Flea & Tick

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.

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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!!

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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

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.

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

Spring brings warmer weather, “April showers”, flowers…and fleas!

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Flea season begins in April, reaching its peak during the August humidity. A single female flea can lay 25 eggs per day, or 800 in her lifetime. Fleas can survive several weeks without ‘feeding’ on a host animal. Adult fleas can jump up to 20 cm vertically and 40 cm horizontally. Larvae can travel 30 cm per minute.

Be proactive and protect your pets and your home from an infestation.  Fleas can make your life miserable, and they will certainly make your dog and/or cat’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.

The most common flea (there are more than 2,000 species of fleas!) is the cat flea and notwithstanding this name, the cat flea is found on both dogs and cats.  Fleas are small, brown, wingless, parasitic insects that feed on blood.  Fleas can live just about anywhere, but they prefer the warmth of a furry pet and they thrive in humid conditions. How can you tell if your pet has fleas? Watch for ‘flea dirt’ – small black specks in your pet’s coat, which are actually dried blood excreted by the fleas. During regular grooming, collect any debris from your pet’s coat onto a white paper. Moisten the specks with a drop of water and if they turn red or reddish-brown, your pet likely has fleas. Catching fleas early will make treating the problem easier.

The four-stage life cycle of fleas requires a consistent, ongoing approach to effectively prevent infestation. In the pupal stage, fleas are at their hardest to eliminate and they can remain in that stage for up to 6 months.

 

ImageLifecycle of a Flea

1st Stage – Egg: The adult female flea lays eggs only on your pet. As your pet moves around the house, eggs will fall off onto rugs and furniture which then hatch into larvae within 2 – 4 days.

2nd Stage – Larva: These maggot-like creatures feed off of protein sources found in carpets and/or furniture. A larva will feed on crumbs of food or “flea dirt” to sustain life. Within two weeks, the larva spins a cocoon.

3rd Stage – Pupa: The pupa’s cocoon protects it from outside dangers while it becomes an adult. While in this state, it is invulnerable to most flea control products. The flea will stay in this state for as little as 7-10 days, hatching when it senses the vibration and heat of an animal.  Note: Without the right amount of heat and the presence of a host to feed on, a pupa will remain dormant for up to 6 months. This is the reason behind many flea re-infestations.

4th Stage – Adult: The flea seeks out a host, takes a blood meal, mates within 48 hours, and lay eggs within 72 hours to begin the reproductive cycle again.

 

What is the best way to avoid a flea infestation?

Prevention!  You’ll find preventative products  at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store that are easy to use. The best product is a ‘spot’ treatment that you apply once per month for complete protection. Try Zodiac PowerSpot for small or large dogs or Zodiac Spot-On for cats. These products are effective against preventing a flea infestation.  Flea collars are also great for preventing fleas. One collar can usually kill fleas for the whole flea season (up to 5 months).

 

Help!  We have fleas!

It’s important to treat your pets and your house on a regular basis in order to manage an infestation.  A three-step process, done properly, can help you to eliminate fleas once and for all.

1.  Relief for your pet

It’s also important that you provide immediate relief for your pet with products like pet sprays or flea treatment shampoos.  Shampoos, wipes, sponge-ons, and on-animal sprays work fast because they are applied directly to a pet’s entire coat and quickly penetrate to the skin. It takes just a few minutes for the fleas to die when they come in contact with the active ingredients.

NOTE: Please follow the directions on any flea treatment products that you use on your pets. Some products will protect your pet for a longer period of time than others, but all products should be applied only as often as stated on the label.  Please speak to the Healthy Pet Care Specialists at Global Pet Foods stores across Canada as they can assist you with choosing the right product and helping you to understand how to apply it properly.  It is critical that you do not apply a product intended for dogs to your cats and vice versa as this can cause serious health implications. Again, it’s critical that you read the labels, follow directions, and apply the product properly.

2. Treat your Home

Although a flea infestation does affect your pet, the real issue is within the area where your pet stays in your home.  Flea eggs can lay dormant for months, so treating your home is critical.  A female flea may lay as many as 40-50 eggs on your pet each day, which fall off into your pet’s environment. Your pet can deposit a large number of eggs just by being in any area of your home for a brief moment. In addition, the flea larvae that hatch out from these eggs can migrate for several feet into areas your pet may never have actually been.

It’s imperative that you use appropriate products that will eliminate fleas, and treat all of your carpets, upholstered furniture, pet bedding, and favorite pet resting areas.  This is the only way to fully eliminate the adult flea population. It’s also important to treat underneath your furniture and in your closets because the larvae that hatch will seek out dark, hiding places and nest. A premise spray such as Zodiac Premise 2000 will kill adult fleas, stop eggs from hatching and kill the larvae.  This product will also continue to work for up to seven months.

Pets and children can safely re-enter a treated area once the spray is dry.

Treat all pet bedding by washing it in very hot water and then put it in your dryer on the hottest setting possible to kill the fleas.  Alternatively, if you don’t have access to a washing machine or the settings are not hot enough, you should dispose of all pet bedding.

After you vacuum your home, remember to throw away the vacuum bag because it’s an ideal location for a cocoon to form. The protective cocoon of the pupal flea allows it to survive most treatments. In order to be killed, fleas must first emerge from their cocoons and come in direct contact with the spray. It usually takes about one to two weeks for pupal fleas to emerge from cocoons so it’s not unusual to continue to see fleas for approximately 2-3 weeks after treating a pet and home.

3.  Maintenance

Once the infestation is resolved, it’s time to implement preventative measures to avoid an reoccurrence of a flea infestation.   Choose a product such as a topical ‘spot’ treatment or a collar. Products that contain Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) are proven effective at killing adult fleas and also interrupting the growth cycle by killing eggs and larvae.  Zodiac makes a variety of on-animal products with an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) to kill flea eggs. Since fleas lay their eggs on the pet, on-animal flea egg control prevents infestation right at the source.  Zodiac’s premise control products also contain an IGR to kill flea eggs and flea larvae for 7 or 12 months, depending on the product. This will help to prevent pre-adult fleas, that may already be present in the environment, from maturing and jumping back on your pet.

Global Pet Foods carries a wide variety of flea & tick products, including all-natural products.  Keep in mind that some natural products may not eliminate a full flea infestation.   We can assist you with flea & tick prevention and treatment for your pets.  Use our Store Locator to find a store near you.  http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations

Flea Facts (courtesy of Zodiac Pet):

  • Over 2,000 species and subspecies of fleas are known throughout the world.
  • Fleas are a wingless species with a streamlined body to permit running on the skin between hairs.
  • Breaking the flea cycle by following a 3-Step program helps control the flea population in your environment.
  • The most troublesome type of flea to dogs is actually the Cat Flea. The female Cat Flea may produce up to 50 eggs a day and 2,000 eggs in a lifetime.
  • Fleas can transmit tapeworms and can cause severe skin irritation in pets.
  • Dog fleas can cause flea-bitten anemia, flea-bite dermatitis, and tapeworm infestations.
  • Flea Allergy Dermatitis is the most common skin disorder of dogs and a major cause of skin disease in cats.
  • Some pets eat 50 to 90 percent of the fleas off of their body. This is one of the leading causes of tapeworm in pets.
  • Fleas pass through a complete life cycle consisting of egg, larva, pupa and adult.
  • Insect growth regulators, such as S-Methoprene, help prevent flea egg development.
  • Female fleas start producing eggs within 24 to 48 hours after taking their first blood meal and can lay up to 40 to 50 eggs per day.
  • In just 30 days, 10 female fleas can produce under ideal conditions 90,000 eggs.
  • A female flea ingests an average of 15 times her body weight in blood daily
  • Up to 5,000 fleas may live on a dog at one time without treatment.
  • A flea can jump as high as 13 inches.
  • Up to 95 percent of pre-adult fleas and ticks are found in places your pets hang out.
  • Females lay eggs in their hair coat and fall off into the pet�s environment.
  • Flea larvae can be found indoors in floor cracks & crevices, along baseboard, under rugs, and in furniture or beds. Outdoors, flea larvae live in soil (moist sand boxes, dirt crawl space under the house, under shrubs, etc.) or wherever the pet may rest or sleep.
  • Optimum conditions for flea larvae are 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit with shaded and high humidity. For this reason, treating the home is an important step in flea control.

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Education, Flea & Tick, Healthy Pets, Pet Care

It’s time to Spring into Action!

Get your pets ready for Spring with a visit to Global Pet Foods!

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Spring is a time for renewal. The snow and ice melt way, and the birds return to our backyards along with warmer weather, longer daylight hours, budding trees and, eventually, beautiful gardens.

Baseball, long walks, open windows – spring is a favourite season for many people.

Spring also brings new chores, and a list of “things to do” to ensure that we’re ready for the season so that can enjoy it to its fullest. For pet parents, spring can be a challenging time for their furry companions, there are a number of precautions that we should take so that they can enjoy the season in all its glory.

1.  Spring Cleaning:  Now is a great time for a good spring cleaning!  When you’re cleaning your house, don’t forget to wash and clean your pets’ products too. Inspect your pet’s bed, their food and water dishes, clothing, collars and leashes, etc.  Check for tears, rips or items that are worn out.  Worn out or torn products that could injure or choke your pet if swallowed, should be replaced with new ones.

2.  Flea & Tick Season:  The warmer temperatures also signals the start of the flea and tick season, which continues through summer, and peaks in September and October.  It’s imperative that you take preventative measures and check your pet regularly during the season.  Proper application of any treatment that you use is also necessary to keep your pets healthy.  Please speak to our Healthy Pet Care Specialists who can educate about fleas and ticks and how to prevent them, and ensure that you buy the right products and apply them properly.

3.  Become Eco-Friendly:  As you begin to treat your lawns and gardens with fertilizer and pools with chemicals, choose eco-friendly or non-toxic products.  Dogs and cats have their noses close to the ground, where lawn and garden pesticides may linger and if they lick themselves afterwards, they could be at risk or chemical poisoning.  Compost material can also be hazardous to their health so keep the composter and chemicals locked away.  Avoid playing on your lawn for 24 hours after you have sprayed it. Always wipe your pets’ paws and their under-belly before heading back inside.

4.  Grooming:  The shedding of the winter coats for many breeds of dogs and cats takes place in spring, so grooming is critical.  Brushing your pet once a day will greatly reduce the unwanted hair as they begin to lose their undercoat.  The more hair you remove, the less you will see all over your home.  A good quality brush is a great investment as it will help to drastically reduce the shedding.  Brushing also helps to restore oils to the new coat, stimulates the skin and prevents matting, which can be painful.  Setting aside time each day for grooming is also a great time to bond with your pet.

5.  Walk Before you Run:  The exercise levels for many of us and our pets during winter have been minimal or non-existent, which has probably resulted in some weight gain.  If this is the case, start with moderate walks and gradually build up the level of exercise until you can get to a brisk walk or run over a few weeks’ time.  This will help to avoid joint and muscle strains or other major injuries.

Celebrate the arrival of spring!  We have the best products that you’ll need to keep your pets happy and healthy during this wonderful season. Global Pet Foods looks forward to seeing you and your pets in our stores!

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