Category Archives: Uncategorized

February is Pet Dental Health Month

February is Dental MonthYou clearly recognize the importance and benefits of having a mouth full of healthy teeth and gums, so why the lack of interest when it comes to pet’s dental health? A lack of regular and attentive care can result in serious health implications for your pet. Studies show that pets that don’t receive regular dental care can suffer from heart, kidney and liver problems.

Pets that struggle with poor dental health exhibit the following signs and symptoms:

  • Bad breath
  • Red, swollen and or bleeding gums
  • Yellow-brown deposits like cement along the gum line or on the crowns
  • Becoming a picky eater
  • Eating on one side and dropping food
  • Rubbing face on the ground, pawing at the mouth and drooling
  • Personality change, irritability and depression

People often underestimate the prevention and maintenance steps required to maintain their pet’s oral health.  Pets should have their teeth brushed on a regular basis.

For the best dental care results, try the following tips and tricks:

  1. Dental care is critical for your pet’s health. If you are not able to brush your dog’s teeth, there are other options when you’re in between vet visits. Consider using oral brushing-dogs-teethrinses that are formulated for dogs and/or cats.
  2. Never use human toothpaste because the foaming agents can pose health risks to pets.
  3. Do not give your pet any type of candy, ever! Like chocolate, sorbitol-sweetened candy is toxic to dogs. Regular candy is bad for your pet’s teeth (and yours!).
  4. Some toys, like nylon tennis balls, can erode the crowns of your dog’s teeth, so look for toys that provide some protection, like durable rubber toys.
  5. While many brands of dry pet food incorporate dental benefits, giving your pet special dental treats formulated to reduce tartar, plaque build-up and stains is another option to help prevent oral health problems. Many people give their dogs a bone or rawhide as a way to help keep their teeth clean. While these can help keep your pets’ teeth clean, they may also cause tooth fractures, or result in your pet ingesting bone shards. Keep an eye on your pets when they are chewing these products to ensure that they don’t choke on any pieces that may have broken off. Ask our Healthy Pet Care Specialists for assistance in selecting the right product and size of bone or chew for your pet.
  6. Contact your veterinarian if you note changes in your pet’s behaviour or health. The following usually indicates an issue that must be addressed by a professional: your pet stops eating, they have bad breath, they are drooling excessively, their gums are inflamed, or their teeth are visibly damaged or they’ve lost a tooth (or teeth).   NOTE: Failure to obtain professional care for your pet’s dental problems can result in serious health problems.

Looking after pets’ teeth and gums is one key factor in keeping them healthy and happy for many years. You’ll find a wide variety of new and improved dental products for cats and dogs in your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store. Our Healthy Pet Care Specialists are happy to provide assistance with managing your pets’ oral health.

We want to see your pet’s smile!cats-teeth-february-2017

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Filed under Cats, Dental Care, Dogs, Education, Grooming, Healthy Pets, love, Pet Care, Pet Food, pet safety, Uncategorized

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

Halloween Can Be Scary For Dogs & Cats

dog-on-front-stoop-with-pumpkinsHalloween can be a wonderful time for both kids and the adults!  But for pets?  The night can become a nightmare. Please ensure that they’re well protected (safe and happy)!

Keep your pets away from the stress and dangers tonight with the tips noted below:

  • Walk your dog before the trick-or-treating starts. Keep a firm grip on the leash because many dogs are frightened by people in costumes.
  • Keep dogs indoors. It’s just not a good idea to leave dogs out in the yard during trick-or treating.   Most dogs are likely to bark and howl at the constant flow of treat-or-treaters.
  • Find a safe and secure place in your home to keep your dogs, especially if you’re giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. Many dogs will try to get loose when they hear the doorbell or when the door opens and the presence of little kids and adults in costumes is scary for many animals, which may result in them running away.
  • Make sure your dog is wearing an up-to-date ID tag to ensure that you can be reunited in the event they do run off.
  • If your dog has a habit of breaking free from a confined space or someone lets them out, place a dog gate in front of your front door to block access to the kids. Many dogs will run after trick-or-treaters.
  • If your dog has any aggressive tendencies, has a fear of loud noises, or a habit of excessive barking, place him in a quiet room as far away from your front door as possible and at least a half-hour the before trick-or-treaters arrive.
  • You may want to consider crating your pet upstairs, downstairs or in the farthest room from the front door, which can make her feel more secure and reduce the chance of an accidental escapes. Provide chew toys, a favorite blanket, a piece of clothing with your scent on it, etc. Play soft music or a recording of soothing sounds.
  • If you feel that your dog is fine to be near the front door to greet the trick-or-treaters, keep him on leash. Some pets will become very stressed by holiday activities and changes in their normal routine. A nervous dog might feel threatened and growl, lunge or bite at the kids and adults at the door, which can damper the fun for everyone.
  • All cats should be kept indoors at all times during Halloween night
  • Ensure that all candles, jack-o-lanterns, decorations or ornaments are put safely out of reach of your pets. If they’re quite curious and tend to gravitate to these items, refrain from decorating with them.
  • Some pets are afraid of wearing Halloween costumes. Further, costumes can present safety and health hazards for dogs, so think twice before dressing them up. Ensure that your pet can breathe, see and hear, and that the costume is flame retardant. Remove any small or dangling pieces that may be chewed and swallowed. Avoid rubber bands, as these may cut off your pet’s circulation or, can burrow and cut into their skin.
  • If your pet is very high-strung, visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store and speak to one of our Healthy Pet Care Specialists to see what products and supplements can help calm them for the night.bowl-of-halloween-candy
  • Keep all pets away from of the candy bowl. Throw away all candy wrappers so that you pets can’t get at them, since the wrappers can cause choking or intestinal obstruction, and make sure that your dog can’t get into the trash. NOTE: Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause nerve damage and even death in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it is — and the smaller the lethal dose.
  • Explain to everyone in your home, especially your children, just how dangerous treats are to pets. Put your children’s candy out of reach of your pets. Remind your children about leaving candy wrappers on the floor.
  • Unfortunately, the sidewalks and grass tend to be littered with pieces of candy or wrappers the day after Halloween. When walking your dog during or after Halloween, be on the look-out for this as this may present a choking hazard for him.

Chocolate can be very harmful for pets.  In fact, chocolate poisoning can even result in death.  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.

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.  Darker chocolate contains higher levels of theobromine which means it`s more poisonous for dogs. 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.

Dogs may exhibit the symptoms following within 1 – 4 hours of eating chocolate (particularly dark chocolate) as noted below:

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

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.dachshund

Treat your pet right this Halloween night!  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 noted here: http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!!

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Filed under Cats, Dental Care, Dogs, Education, Fall, Halloween, Healthy Pets, love, Pet Care, Pet Food, pet safety, Uncategorized

Happy Canada Day! Keep your pets safe during fireworks

Holiday fireworks can be terrifying for many pets. The noise can be too much for them and 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 behaviour. 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 Fireworks2016Awill not help. Scolding will only scare and confuse him and coddling simply reinforces fearful behaviours. 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!

CanadaDay2016

 

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

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.

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