Tag Archives: allergies

Interested in learning more about a Canadian pet food that serves your dog’s nutritional requirements for Probiotics, Enzymes, Antioxidants, Vitamins & Minerals, all made of 100% real food without synthetics of any kind?


Cool and cold weather can wreak havoc with our skin, and the skin and coat of our pets.  This is due to low humidity along with the outside air being cold and windy.  Even in homes with great ventilation, our bodies have to struggle to keep up with the temperature and moisture changes that occur throughout the day.  Skin requires the necessary balance of chemicals, oils and bacteria to stay soft, flexible and comfortable.  If there’s an imbalance, the common result is dry, itchy and flaking skin.

What is true for human skin is often true for animal skin, and many of the same remedies are useful for both prevention and treatment of skin problems for dogs.

Throughout the year, your dog should be eating a nutritionally balanced food so that when winter arrives, her skin is already in the best health possible.  Your dog may still have problems but they should be minimized and easier to treat if they’re a specialty pet food.  Adequate levels of fatty acids are an essential component of healthy, firm and flexible skin.  If your dog suffers from skin problems, yeasty ears, and/or allergy symptoms, we recommend that you transition him to a special diet that provides additional levels of Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids which help to maintain healthy skin.  Carna4 Dog Food and Flora4 Probiotic and nutritional topper are really good solutions for itchy dogs with skin problems, yeasty ears, and allergy symptoms.

One cup of Carna4 has 500 – 535 kcal for the Chicken and Duck formulas.  That’s about 30% more than the typical Limited-Ingredient or Grain Free diet.  To put it into perspective, 3 lbs of Carna4 feeds as much as 4 or 4.5 lbs of those other foods.  For as little as $20 a bag, Carna4 is a bargain if you have an itchy dog.

Carna4 has none of the synthetic vitamins & minerals that make up so much of the ingredient lists of other pet foods.  It is the chemical “pre-mix” that may be the root cause of many of the allergy symptoms in dogs that have become intolerant to the pre-mix that is in almost every other processed dog food.

Why is Carna4 so good for itchy dogs?

  1. Carna4 is low in sugar and has a low glycemic index (48 – 49).  It will not feed the yeast.
  2. Therapeutic levels of live probiotics and enzymes aid digestion and get to the root of the problems.
  3. Bio-available nutrients from food (not synthetics) boost the immune system and help a dog repair itself.
  4. Potent levels of high-quality Omega-3 fatty acids truly feed and protect epithelial cells that make up skin & coat.
  5. Carna4 is made in Canada!

Carna4 Information

Carna4 is available at select Global Pet Foods stores across Canada.  See our website for a list of stores where you’ll find Carna4 and feed it as per the instructions on the bag.  For more information about Carna4, visit their website at http://carna4.com.

Digestive upsets may occur if you abruptly stop feeding your pet’s former food and start a new food, even when transitioning to a much higher quality diet. To prevent this, you should gradually transition your pet to Carna4 and its richer nutrients. For dog food, start by mixing 1 part Carna4 dog food with 4 parts of your current dog food for 2 to 3 days. Then, gradually increase the proportion of Carna4 over the next 5 to 7 days, while reducing that of your current pet food until you are exclusively feeding Carna4. Remember that you will need to feed your dog slightly fewer cups of Carna4 than other dry dog foods.

Some sensitive pets may experience diarrhea or upset stomachs even if you are transitioning to a much healthier food. If this happens, go back to your old food until the diarrhea stops completely. Then start transitioning to Carna4 more slowly, over 2 to 3 weeks. If however the diarrhea or other upsets persist, take your pet to the vet as this may indicate early stages of an infection or a more severe medical issue.  Speak to the Healthy Pet Care Specialists at the Global Pet foods store from where you purchased Carna4 if you have any further questions or concerns regarding transitioning your dog to the new food.

Has Carna4 improved your dog’s health and allergy symptoms?  Let us know by sharing a photo and your story on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/globalpetfoods

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Filed under Dogs, Education, Healthy Pets, Pet Care, Winter

Keep your Pets Safe and Cool This Summer

boy hugging dog with green

Welcome to summer – open windows, outdoor fun in the backyard or at the park, summer camp and vacation,
and simply soaking up the heat and sun and with our families – it’s a favourite time of the year for many of
us! Have fun and enjoy the summer season but remember to take some safety measures and precautions
to ensure that your companion pets remain healthy and happy.

Camping and Barbeques:

Summer is a wonderful time for barbeques and camping, but it can be dangerous for your pets if you don’t take the
necessary provisions to keep them on a very short leash.  Dogs may try to take a burning stick from the campfire and they’ll think that you’re playing if you chase after them. Running with a stick may result in your dog or other people in the vicinity being burned or injured. Dogs may also be tempted to lick the particles of food stuck to the barbecue after cooking, which could cause them to burn their mouths and tongues. Most importantly, remember to keep the lighter fluid out of reach from pets as it is a poison and if ingested, can lead to severe illness or death.

Harmful Chemicals:

Commonly used flea and tick products, mouse and rat baits, citronella candles, oil products, and lawn and garden products (ie. mulch and insecticides) can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so please lock them away. Wipe your pet’s paws and underbelly to remove any chemical residue before heading back in the house.  While many dogs love to swim, chlorine can irritate a dog’s skin and upset their stomach. Rinse your dog with fresh water after swimming in a pool and do not let them drink more than a small amount of pool water. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your pet has ingested a poisonous substance.

Mind the Paws:

Sidewalks, streets, patios, sand and other surfaces can burn your pet’s footpads. We recommend that you walk your dog in the morning and at night when the outdoor surfaces are coolest. If you must take your pets outside during the day, place your hand on the patio or sidewalk for 30 seconds before allowing them to walk on them. If it’s painful or too hot for you, it will be too hot and painful for your pets. A pet foot pad balm is ideal for irritated paws.

Protect Your Pet From the Sun:

Even though your pet’s fur helps to protect their skin from the sun, they can get sunburned, especially those with light skin and hair. Dogs and cats will suffer from sunburn in the same way we do, and they can also be at risk for skin cancer. Try to keep your pets out of the sun between 10 am and 4 pm, and if you have to head outside, rub a bit of sunblock on unprotected areas like the tips of the ears, the skin around the lips, and the tip of their nose.

Water, water, water, everywhere:

Dogs and cats don’t have as many sweat glands as we do, nor can they cool off like we can. Dogs pant and cats can too. The water lost by panting needs to be replaced, so keep fresh cool water available for your pet at all times.


Give your dog a good, thorough brushing and a bath regularly, particularly since they’re outside more, rolling around in the sand and grass, and playing in the water. This will help keep her clean, cool, and comfortable all throughout the summer.

Summer flies by so quickly, so we encourage you to enjoy every moment of it. Global Pet Foods carries the best products that will help your pets enjoy the season too, and keep them safe and healthy. We look forward to seeing you and your pets in our stores!


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Filed under 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.

HPJ Photo

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

New Year’s Resolutions for you and your Pets


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time-out to pamper: When you look good, you feel good!  We all like to be spoiled and in turn spoil our loved ones.  Your furry children are no exception.  Grooming your pet regularly (at least once a week) is important.  A good quality brush is a great investment.

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

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

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

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

Kent, UK - Snow falls in Whitstable

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

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

Happy New Year!!

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

How healthy is your pet’s skin and coat?


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

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

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

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

Do not ignore the following signs:

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

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

Allergies            Bacterial infections

Hot spots or acute moist dermatitis

Fungal infections        Food allergies

Contact dermatitis       Autoimmune diseases

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

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

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

Skin Care for Dogs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skin Care for Cats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

senior woman with russell terrier

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