Category Archives: Spring

Happy Victoria Day!

Fireworks

Keep your pets safe during fireworks!

Holiday fireworks can be terrifying for many pets.  The noise can be too much for them and the loud noise can hurt their sensitive ears.  Frightened pets can have different reactions to noise.  Some tremble, others retreat to a hiding place, some try to run off and can get lost, while others display bizarre behavior. Fireworks and even summer thunderstorms can trigger wild fear in about 20% of dogs and pets that are normally well-behaved may become aggressive, destructive and/or unpredictable.

Below are some tips that you can use to help your pets cope with fireworks or other loud noise:

  • Do not take your pets with you to watch the fireworks because if they become frightened, there’s nowhere for them to go that is familiar for them to feel safe.
  • Do not leave pets outside, even in a fenced yard, anytime when fireworks might be set off in the distance.
  • Ensure that your pets are wearing well-fitted collars and securely fastened ID tags.  This way, if they do run off, it will be easier for you to be reunited with your pet.
  • If there will be fireworks in your neighbourhood or if you’re having guests over for a holiday celebration, find a quiet, secure place to keep your pets. Darkening the room can help.  A Thunder Shirt may also help to calm your pets (these are available at all Global Pet Foods stores across Canada).
  • Crating is also a good idea to keep them calm.  Place the crate in the quietest part of the home. Make sure you put safe chew toys in the crate to occupy and distract the pet during the event.
  • You can close the curtains and turn up the radio, CD player or TV to drown out noise. This could soothe them enough to “tune out” the fireworks going off in the area.
  • Sometimes pets find shelter in the bathroom, near, under or in the bathtub. Do not try to lure them out. If the dog finds comfort there, let them be.
  • Rather than cuddle a frightened dog, try to distract the dog from the disturbing noises with physical activity such as playing ball.  Scolding or coddling a scared dog will not help. Scolding will only scare and confuse him and coddling simply reinforces fearful behaviors. Instead, assume a “pack leader” role and act confident and not bothered by the noise and activity outside. You can give your pet a gentle massage, or just place your hand calmly on the pet’s head.
  • If you are hosting a fireworks party on your property, please ensure that your pet doesn’t have access to any debris from firework packaging. Dispose of all fireworks packaging accordingly when the firework has cooled down. Digesting any of the used debris from firework packaging can be harmful to pets.

There’s no question that special days like Victoria Day, Canada Day and Labour Day are all great reasons to celebrate and fireworks are a wonderful way to do so.  However, if you have pets, it’s important that you plan ahead.  Take precautions to ensure that your celebrations aren’t marred by a pet that has run off, or that you aren’t dealing with the after-effects of a pet having challenges in overcoming a bad experience of a really loud celebration.

Hope that you had a wonderful holiday weekend…cheers!

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Education, fireworks, Healthy Pets, love, Pet Care, pet safety, Spring, Summer, Uncategorized

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

Itching, Biting, Scratching or Licking? Be in the Know About Common Pet Allergy Symptoms.

Many people visit Global Pet Foods stores across the country asking for help with their pets who are itching, biting, scratching, or licking. In most cases, an allergy is the culprit. Just like humans, pets can be allergic to foods (or the ingredients), dust, plants and pollens. Dogs and cats have different reactions to some of the same things we’re allergic to, and reactions can range from minor sniffling, sneezing, itching/biting to life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Grass pollen, for example, can make dogs sneeze, give them watery eyes, and have them biting or licking itchy paws or skin.

Depending on the type of allergy, your pet may exhibit different symptoms. Although pets occasionally will have watery eyes and some sneezing, the most common reaction is scratching. Constant scratching may lead to loss of hair, open sores, and raised and infected welts. Many dogs also suffer from ear infections as a result of allergies.

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Pets affected by allergies may suffer their entire lives and symptoms generally worsen as they age. There are things that you can do to manage your pet’s pain by understanding the signs of allergies and the products that can help to alleviate their suffering.

There are many types of allergies that can affect your pet, as detailed below:

Allergens:  Allergens that are inhaled or come into contact with the skin can cause allergies and common sources are pollens, moulds, and dust mites.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis:  An allergy incurred as a result from flea-bites.

Food Allergies:  Allergies that occur from products your pet ingests, which are typically referred to as food allergies.

Contact Allergies:  These allergies are caused by something your pet comes in direct contact with, such as carpet fibers, plastics, etc. and are referred to as contact allergies.  NOTE: These are far less common than other allergies.

Seasonal Allergies:  Some pets are allergic to ragweed and those symptoms usually occur in the Fall, while pets who are allergic to spring tree pollen will show signs in April and May. An allergy to dust mites typically presents itself in the winter season when pets spend more time in the house.

Signs of seasonal allergies can mirror that of food allergies and can include the following:

  • Chewing at the feet
  • Excessive and constant licking of the flank (side) and groin area
  • Rubbing of the face
  • Inflamed ears or recurrent ear infections
  • Recurrent redness or “hot spots” in dogs and pinpoint facial scabbing in cats
  • Hair loss
  • Asthma-like wheezing and respiratory problems (more likely in cats)

Most cats don’t usually suffer from seasonal allergies but will sneeze more often due to physical irritation from pollen. Hair loss, open sores and scabs, discharge from ears, and excessive scratching are also signs of allergies for cats.

Food allergies are the most common for pets. If your pet is scratching all year long (and not just during the spring season), a food allergy is most likely the source of the problem. Pets can be allergic to grains, proteins and/or preservatives, and the symptoms will resemble those of seasonal allergies. Pets with food allergies commonly have itchy skin, chronic ear infections or sometimes gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting.

To address the problem dog, we recommend a “food trial” which includes limiting the dog to a unique animal protein source such as duck, venison or fish, and a vegetable. A Limited Ingredient Diet will typically include only one meat and one vegetable. You’ll have to restrict all treats and table food until the allergy source can be determined. Over time, you can reintroduce your pet to other proteins, using the process of elimination to determine the allergy source.  Global Pet Foods carries many different Limited Ingredient Diets for both dogs and cats.  Visit a store near you for a consultation and a food and/or supplement recommendation.

There is no cure for allergies in dogs and cats, and identifying and treating the source of an allergy can be tricky. However, the majority of allergies can be effectively controlled with diet change, supplements, or other types of treatments. A licensed veterinarian may need to be consulted for extreme or ongoing cases, while the Healthy Pet Care Specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store can assist with product recommendations in many other cases.  Find a Global Pet Foods store near you at http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Education, Healthy Pets, Pet Care, Pet Food, Skin and Coat, Spring

The Chocolate Dangers for Pets!

chocolate_infograph-01Many of us will be participating in the annual Easter Egg hunts this weekend.  For those of us who love the taste of chocolate, the colourful wrapped chocolate eggs are one of our favourite treats.

If you have a companion pet or multiple pets in your household, you will have to exercise extreme caution during the Easter holiday as chocolate can be very harmful for pets.  Chocolate is made from cocoa, and cocoa beans contain caffeine and a related chemical compound called theobromine, which can be fatal for your pets if ingested.

Theobromine is in the same family as caffeine and is a type of stimulant which stimulates the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and causes a slightly increased blood pressure.  Pets cannot metabolize theobromine as quickly as humans can which is why it has such dangerous and toxic side effects for them.

Darker chocolate contains higher levels of theobromine which means it`s more poisonous for dogs.  Dogs may exhibit the symptoms following within 1 – 4 hours of eating chocolate (particularly dark chocolate) as noted below:

  • Whining
  • Hyperactive behaviour
  • dehydration
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Excessive panting
  • Digestive problems
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty keeping balance
  • Muscle spasms, seizures
  • Rapid heart rate

Chocolate poisoning can even result in death.

Unsweetened baker’s chocolate contains about 390 milligrams of theobromine per ounce, about ten times more than milk chocolate and more than twice as much as semi-sweet chocolate. White chocolate contains very little theobromine.  One ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is potentially lethal.

The real danger lies with dark chocolate.  Just 2.25 ounces of baking chocolate could potentially kill a 22-pound dog, while the danger levels for milk chocolate is 20 ounces, and semi-sweet chocolate can be very toxic at 10 ounces. Serious toxic reactions can occur with ingestion of about 100 to 150 milligrams of theobromine per kilogram of body weight.

When a dog shows signs of hyperactivity and agitation or is having seizures, it’s important that you get him or her to the vet quickly.  While there is no specific remedy for chocolate poisoning, the vet will induce vomiting. Usually, after that`s done, activated charcoal is given to help prevent the absorption of the remaining toxins. Fluids are typically given along with intravenous drugs to limit seizures and protect their hearts.

Most cats don’t have a sweet tooth and won`t usually eat chocolate on their own but may do so if coaxed.  While chocolate isn’t necessarily as lethal for cats as it is for dogs, it should be kept out of reach for them too as it can cause severe health problems.

Keep all candy and sugary foods away from pets.  Sugar isn’t good for them either as it can lead to obesity, dental problems and diabetes mellitus.  Further, if wrappers are swallowed, your pet risks tearing of the esophagus or intestines.

Treat your pet right this Easter!  You’ll find a variety of yummy pet treats that are safe for your pets at Global Pet Foods stores across Canada.  Access our store locator via the Global Pet Foods website here: http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations

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

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

Enjoy the Dog Park!

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Dog Park Etiquette

For most people, going to the dog park is a fun way to let your dog get exercise while socializing with other dogs and lets you socialize with other pet parents (while keeping an eye on your dogs). We all need to be mindful of proper dog park etiquette during our visits in order to keep the park safe and fun for everyone.

Once you and your dog get to the dog park, it may be tempting to just stand back and watch all the activity while your dog runs around. Everyone will have a much more rewarding time if you observe some basic “dog park” etiquette. And while many of the suggestions below are more common sense than anything, it’s often observed that they’re not heeded regularly.

Things not to do:

  1. Bring a dog that is under 4 months of age. They won’t have had all the necessary inoculations that allow them to play safely with other animals.
  2. Take your dog if she is sensitive to other dogs, where the park is enclosed, and if there are more than approximately two dogs per every 180 sq. ft. of space.
  3. Bring or use treats and toys when other dogs are nearby.
  4. Allow dogs to form loose packs.
  5. Allow a dog to bully another.
  6. Ever let your dog off-leash in an unfenced dog park he/she is not responsive to your verbal commands.
  7. Worry if some dogs don’t play with other dogs in a dog park.
  8. Bring your dog if he/she has not be spayed or neutered yet. If your male dog is not neutered, he may constantly try to mount other dogs.
  9. Spend your time talking on a cell phone. It’s important that you supervise your dog at all times and be able to give your dog your full attention.
  10. Don’t scold or touch someone else’s dog. You wouldn’t want them to do that to your dog.

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Things to do:

  1. Keep your dog on-leash until you get to the off-leash area. This is not just respectful to other park users, it’s much safer for your dog.
  2. Close all doors to the dog park after entering or exiting.
  3. Observe the dogs in the dog park to see if there are any potential health or behavior problems before entering.
  4. Clean up after your dog.
  5. Supervise dogs when they are playing and interrupt any rough play.
  6. Be willing to leave the dog park if you feel that your dog is being a bully or being bullied, the play is getting too rough, or your dog is just not having fun.
  7. Check to be sure that there aren’t a large number male dogs who are un-neutered at the park.
  8. Be cautious about taking advice from other park patrons who are not canine care professionals.
  9. Be friendly with other pet parents. It’s more enjoyable everyone is nice to each other.
  10. Always observe all of the rules posted at your local dog park. Each town has its own set of by-laws.
  11. And finally, have fun!!

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Filed under Dogs, Exercise, Healthy Pets, Spring, Summer

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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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Eco-Friendly, Education, Healthy Pets, Spring, Uncategorized