Tag Archives: care

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

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.

Grooming:

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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Give ’em something to smile about!

smiling black dog

You clearly recognize the importance and benefits of having a mouth full of healthy teeth and gums. A lack of regular and attentive care to your pet’s teeth can result in serious health implications for them.

Prevention is the key. Studies show that approximately 80% of dogs who have received little or no dental care will show signs of oral disease by age 3. Pets with poor oral health have a higher risk of heart, kidney and liver problems, which can lead to early death.

People often underestimate the steps that need to be taken with their pet’s teeth in order to maintain good health. To ensure that oral health problems do not interfere with your pet’s quality of life, pets should have their teeth brushed on a regular basis.

Don’t assume that you will know when your pet’s teeth are hurting him or her.  Pets will continue to eat even if they have tooth pain simply due to hunger.

The signs and symptoms of dental disease are:

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

If you are stressed about the tooth-brushing process or are concerned about whether you’re brushing your pet’s teeth properly, ask one of brushing dog's teeththe Healthy Pet Care specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store to demonstrate the proper technique for daily teeth brushing.

Please also note the following:

  • Dental care for pets 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 rinses formulated especially for dogs. You’ll find a good variety of oral care products for cats and dogs at Global Pet Foods stores across Canada.
  • Never use human toothpaste as the foaming agents can pose health risks to pets.
  • Do not give your pet any type of candy, ever! Like chocolate, sorbitol-sweetened candy is toxic to dogs. Regular candy is as bad for your pet’s teeth (and yours!).
  • 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 dog toys.
  • While many brands of dry pet food incorporate dental benefits, there are pet dental treats that are formulated to reduce tartar, plaque build-up and stains, which can also help to prevent oral health problems.  Many people give their dogs a bone or rawhide as a way to help keep their teeth clean. While these will help to keep your pets’ teeth cleaner, they may also cause tooth fractures, or result in your pet ingesting bone shards. Ask our Healthy Pet Care Specialists for assistance with selecting the right product and size of bone or chew your pet. Also, keep an eye on your pets when they are chewing these products to ensure that they don’t choke any pieces that may have broken off.
  • Contact your vet if you note changes in your pet’s behaviour or health. If your pet stops eating, they have bad breath, they are drooling excessively, you see inflammation of the gums, or there are damaged or missing teeth, these are strong indicators that there’s an oral health issue that must addressed by a professional immediately.

Looking after your pet’s teeth and gums is one key factor in keeping them healthy and happy for many years. You will find a wide variety of new and improved dental products for cats and dogs in neighbourhood Global Pet Foods stores across Canada. Let our Healthy Pet Care Specialists help you improve and maintain your pets’ dental health.  Find a Global Pet Foods store near you at http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations

Pet Dental info

We want to see your pet’s smile!

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Filed under Cats, Dental Care, Dogs, Education, Grooming, Healthy Pets, Pet Care

Great things come in small packages!

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Caring for Small Animals

If your child wants a pet and you’re not sure that your family is ready for a dog or a cat, you may want to start ‘small’ and add a guinea pig, hamster, or a rabbit to your family. Small animals make great companions for both young children and adults. The Healthy Pet Care Specialists at Global Pet Foods stores can help you with adopting a small animal.

While it may seem that small animals are easier to care for than dogs or cats, small animals still need daily care.

It’s important that your small animal gets used to you and other members of the household as soon as you bring them home. They also need to become accustomed to being handled. If your child is going to be the ‘primary’ caregiver, ensure that they are involved with the pet right from the beginning.

Feeding your new pet a small treat is a great way to have them warm up to you. When they’re comfortable with that, you can carefully pick them up with one hand supporting the bottom, the other over the back. Hold him for a short time at first, and then gradually increase your time with him. The best way to safely approach rabbits is to start by stroking the top of their head. Do not offer your hand to a bunny to sniff in the same way that you would to a dog, because most seem to find this gesture offensive and may attack (lightning fast lunge with a snort). Most bunnies don’t like to have the tips of their noses or chins touched. Their feet also tend to be ticklish.

Teach your child to be very gentle with their new pet.

We often overlook the importance of providing daily activity for small animals – guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils and rabbits – because they seem to enjoy the comfort of their cages. But they need companionship and activity for their overall health and wellbeing too. If you have multiple small animals, they will enjoy playing together. Small animals will also provide great entertainment when they start moving outside of their cages.

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All small animals should partake in both physical and mental exercises every day. Most of the activities will relate to their burrowing and chewing instincts. A running wheel is the most important piece of equipment to ensure that hamsters or guinea pigs get daily exercise. Hamsters typically run a distance of about eight miles per night. TIP: Buy a running wheel without an axle if your pet has a long tail.

Another popular toy that provides great exercise, mental stimulation and entertainment is a polycarbonate plastic ball. Your small animal will love the freedom and exercise as their legs give the ball motion to roll around the room. This allows them to be outside of their cage, and ensures they can’t escape! Your pet can overexert itself, so give them a rest after 15 or 20 minutes of being in the ball.

Small animals have natural burrowing and tunneling instincts, so a great option to facilitate this is tunneling equipment. Although cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towels can be used, they will end up being shredded quickly. Buy a cage that is equipped with tunnels. Even ferrets are very curious and will love playing in tunnels (appropriately sized, of course!). Please ensure that the diameter of the components are the right size for your pets. It’s also important that the components are easy to remove and reassemble because you’ll need to clean and disinfect them on a weekly basis.

Some small animals, such as ferrets and rats like to climb. Adding bird perches, bird swings and climbing branches to their cages will encourage this. They may get chewed up, but that’s part of your pet’s play too!

Gnawing is a favourite activity for small animals. To help maintain your small animal’s dental health, ensure that you provide chew toys. There are vegetable flavoured or plain wood chew toys in a variety of shapes, colours and sizes available, as well as hard alfalfa cubes. Some pets, like bunnies, guinea pigs and chinchillas must chew. Their teeth keep growing just like your hair and fingernails do. Gnawing is how they keep their teeth trimmed. With trim teeth, they can keep chewing their food. Without chew toys they will chew on the food bowls and even on their cages. Hamster’s teeth grow continuously, so your pet will need to chew – a lot – to keep their chompers in tip-top condition.

Harnesses and leads work well with ferrets. Even bunnies and guinea pigs can be harness-trained when they are young. Harnesses Imageand leads allow you to take your pet outside and keep them from getting away from you and from getting into things. Most harnesses can be adjusted to fit the size of your small animal.

Be sure to provide the appropriate food for your small animal and water every day. Check the cage for chewed or damaged areas, where your pet could escape. Remove any old food and check the toys to be sure they are still working and in good condition. Your small animal’s cage should be kept in a safe and comfortable area in your home; cages should not be placed in drafty areas or in direct sunlight.

Before bringing a new pet home, it’s important that you and your family are prepared for the responsibility in caring for any animal.  The Healthy Pet Care specialists at Global Pet Foods stores across Canada can provide you with more information and educate you and your family in caring for small animals.   You’ll find a wide variety of products that are suitable for small animals in our stores.  We can help you select the right products that are appropriate for your pet and provide you with guidance on caring for your small companion.

We are Canada’s Healthy Choice for Pets!  Find a Global Pet Foods store near you at http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations.

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Keep your Pets Healthy during the Winter Season

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The key misconception about winter and pets is the belief that pets are able to withstand the cold better than
humans since they are covered in fur. This is not the case. Companion animals are accustomed to the warmth of
indoor shelter and the cold weather can be as hard on your pets as it is on you. Allowing your pets to be outside
for long periods of time during harsh weather can be very hazardous for them.

Tips for Indoor Winter Safety:
1.  If you use a space heater or light a fire, watch your pets closely. They are as attracted to the warmth as you are, so make sure that their tails or paws do not come in contact with flames, heating coils, or hot surfaces that can cause severe burns. Also, if your pet knocks over a heating source, your entire house is in danger of catching fire and going up in flames.

2.  Have your furnace checked for carbon monoxide leakage before you first turn it on, both for your safety and the safety of your pets.  Carbon monoxide is odourless and invisible, but it can cause problems ranging from headaches and fatigue to trouble breathing, and even death.

3.  Provide your pet with a thick, soft bed in a warm room on chilly nights.

Tips for Outdoor Winter Safety
Follow these guidelines to protect your pets in cold weather:

1.  Don’t let winter stop you from heading outside with your pets in the winter.  A brisk walk is great for your health and your pet’s health! Just make sure to bundle up the kids and yourself, so that you can keep warm while outside. Use a reflective leash and collar so that you can spot your pet easily if it’s dark outside or if the snow is deep. Coats and boots should be a must for dogs on really cold days.

2.  Keep pets indoors as much as possible in extremely cold weather.  When they go out, stay with them.  If you are cold enough to go in, your pet is probably ready to return inside too.

3.  Make sure that your pet always has fresh, non-frozen drinking water. When animals don’t have regular access to clean water, they will turn to gutters and puddles where there is a strong likelihood that they will ingest deadly antifreeze, oil and other chemicals.

4.  Your pet’s health can also affect how long he or she can stay outdoors.  Pets with conditions like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and hormonal imbalances can compromise their ability to regulate their own body heat so they should only be outside for a short time.

5.  Puppies and senior pets are especially vulnerable to the cold. The cold can be really hard on the joints of older animals that are stiff and tender. Stay directly behind older pets when they are climbing stairs. Stiff and arthritic pets can experience significant injury if they slip on ice, so beware of conditions when you walk them.

6.  If you live near a pond or lake, be very careful of ice. Animals can easily fall through the ice and can rarely climb out on their own. Keep your pet on a leash and stay with them when outdoors, particularly if you live near water.

7.  Rock salt, ice, and chemical ice can get trapped in a dog’s foot pads. Keep your pet’s pads from getting chapped and raw by putting booties or a balm on their paws before heading outside, and clean them well with a warm washcloth when they come back inside.

8.  Beware of your pet becoming trapped while trying to stay warm. Animals left outdoors can be very resourceful in trying to find shelter. They will dig into snow banks and dive under porches, into window wells, and cellars where they can become stuck. Always provide warm, accessible shelter and watch them closely. Attaching a bell to their collar is also recommended.

Winter Gear: If your dog will tolerate them, use booties to protect their paws from cold, chemicals, and salt. Booties will also keep your dog from licking the salt off his or her feet, which can cause inflammation of the digestive track.  Also, if your dog will tolerate a sweater or coat, use one to provide added warmth. However, please remember that pets lose most of their body heat through the pads of their feet, their ears, and their respiratory tract. Some cats like to venture outside too (even in the winter), so it’s wise to put a coat or sweater on them as well.

Symptoms of Cold. When outdoors with your pet, watch for the following signs:
• Whining   • Shivering   • Appearing anxious   • Slowing down   • Stopping movement   • Looking for places to burrow

If you notice any of these signs, take your pet back inside immediately and wrap them in a warm towel.   TIP: Throw a blanket or a towel in the dryer for one minute before wrapping them up.

Medical Problems:
Keep an eye out for two serious conditions in pets that are caused by cold weather:
Frostbite happens when an animal’s (or person’s) body gets so cold it pulls all the blood from extremities to the body’s core to stay warm. An animal’s ears, paws, and tail can get so cold that ice crystals form in the tissue and damaging it. Frostbite can be tricky because it is not immediately obvious. Sometimes the tissue doesn’t show signs of damage for several days. If you suspect your pet may have frostbite, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Hypothermia is body temperature that is below normal. This condition occurs when an animal is unable to keep its body temperature from falling below normal. This could be due to spending too much time in the cold temperatures, or being exposed to the cold when your pet is in poor health or suffering from poor circulation. In mild cases, the animal will shiver and show signs of depression, lethargy, and weakness. As the condition progresses, muscles will stiffen, the heart and breathing rates slow, and the animal will stop responding to stimuli.

What to Do for Hypothermia:
1.  Get your pet indoors immediately.

2.  Wrap your pet in warm blankets and take him/her to the veterinarian. Your veterinarian, will if necessary, will monitor your pet’s heart rate and blood pressure and give warm fluids through an IV.

TIP:  Do you know where your nearest emergency veterinarian clinic is?  Is there a 24-hour clinic close to where you live? If you don’t know, then now is an excellent time to find out. Post the information on your fridge and add it to your cellphone. Don’t wait until you have an emergency with your pet to look for the nearest services.

How long can should you leave you dog outside in winter?  You should never leave your pet outdoors for long periods of time in below freezing temperatures. Small dogs or those that lack thick, long fur can tolerate less cold than breeds such as Huskies. If you are cold, it is likely that your pet is cold too. Bring them inside the moment you start to feel cold yourself. Also, be sure to provide a warm shelter for your dog to use anytime they are outdoors.

You’ll find everything you need in Global Pet Foods stores across Canada that will help to keep dogs and cats warm this winter.  From clothing to sweaters, boots to paw salves, beds and supplements to assist in keeping their coats lustrous and healthy, we have what you and your pets need.  To find a Global Pet Foods store near you, visit www.globalpetfoods.com.

Don’t let the cold keep you indoors. Both you and your pets need the exercise. Just make sure that you take the proper precautions before heading outside and keep an eye on your pets for signs when it’s time to go back inside.

Stay healthy this winter, and stay safe.

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May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month


Canine Caviar

Are there things that you can do to prevent your companion pet from being diagnosed with cancer?

Important Pet Cancer Facts:

  • Cancer accounts for nearly 50% of all disease-related pet deaths each year.
  • Cancer is the #1 natural cause of death in older pets.
  • Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans.
  • One in four dogs dies of cancer.
  • Over 50% of dogs over the age of 10 will die of cancer.
  • Just like humans, cancer can occur in virtually any part of your dog’s body.
  • Approximately 1 in 4 dogs develop a tumour of some kind during his lifetime.
  • The cause of cancer in pets, just like people, is largely unknown.
  • Common risks of obesity in pets includes many forms of cancer.

Possible Warning Signs of Pet Cancer:

  • Your pet has a lump or sore that won’t go away.
  • Your pet is eating but losing weight.
  • It is hard for your pet to chew or swallow.
  • There is a discharge or bleeding from any body opening.
  • There is a bad smell emanating from your pet.
  • Your pet tires easily and doesn’t want to exercise.
  • Your pet has quit eating for more than a day or two.

Cancer is common in older pets, but there are several steps that you can take while your pet is young to help minimize the chance of them developing cancer.

Have your pet spayed or neutered

Many unspayed female dogs and cats may develop mammary tumors (breast cancer) as they get older. Spaying a female pet before her first heat is recommended.  Neutering a male dog while he is young or as soon as he is retired from breeding prevents many problems.

Feed your pet a high-quality diet

Your pet’s diet should be rich in antioxidants and fatty acids. These chemicals help protect cells from age related deterioration, thus reducing the risk of cancer arising from damaged cells. Pets who are fed premium diets tend to be healthier and live longer.  Nutrition is key and a proper pH balance will improve your pet’s quality of life.  Global Pet Foods carries a line of Dog and Cat food called Canine Caviar that is currently the only alkaline-based pet food sold in North America.  It is specifically designed to reduce the risk of cancer.   Visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store for more information about Canine Caviar.

Don’t Smoke

Cancer is more likely to occur in cats in a household with a person who smokes. Smoke is heavier than air and therefore, our companion pets, who spend most of the time lower to the ground, are more at risk and end up taking a lot of second hand smoke into their lungs. Further, cats not only inhale the smoke, but when they are grooming themselves they lick and swallow ash and particles that settle into their fur. Most respiratory diseases occur in pets with household smokers. Smoking is not only dangerous to you, but to your pets as well.

Keep your pet at a healthy weight

Regular exercise also prevents obesity in dogs. A lean dog is healthier and is better prepared to fight infections and other diseases like cancer than an overweight dog. Those pets who are kept at a healthy weight tend to live longer.  Overweight pets, like overweight people, suffer from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and increased risk for various cancers.

Check for lumps and bumps

Report any lump you find beneath the skin to your veterinarian. Advise your veterinarian if you notice blood in the stool or urine, a persistent cough, difficulty swallowing or chewing. NOTE: Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once each year.

Limit sun exposure

Pink-skinned dogs and cats should have limited sun exposure. White cats are especially prone to getting skin cancer on their ears or nose because of over exposure to sun.

Decrease your pet’s exposure to toxins

There is increasing evidence pointing toward the array of environmental toxins as causes of some cancers.  Avoid getting pesticides on your pet if possible. Avoid using toxic lawn care products and try to clean your house with non-toxic cleaners. As a society, we are exposed to more cancer-causing products than we are even aware of.

Reduce stress

Last, but not least, the emotional wellbeing of your pet is important – try to provide an environment for your pet that is as stress-free as possible.

Holistic nutrition and daily exercise should be a part of your pet’s Healthy lifestyle.  It is exactly what your companion pet needs to resist disease and other major health disorders.  Are you concerned about your whether your pet is at his or her optimum health?  Visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store for a consultation with our Healthy Pet Care specialists.  To find a store near you, visit http://www.globalpetfoods.com

Global Pet Foods is Canada’s Healthy Choice for pets!

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