Tag Archives: children

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

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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Filed under Education, Pet Care, Small Animal