Tag Archives: companion pets

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!



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

The Dog Days of Summer and the Dangers of Heatstroke

Our pets need special attention during the summer months in order to keep them healthy, safe and content.  When the temperatures soar, it’s important that you monitor them for signs of heatstroke.  Below are two charts – one for dogs and one for cats – that can assist you with understanding the symptoms and signs that may require emergency care.



Visit your nieghbourhood Global Pet Foods store for more information and product recommendations that can help keep your pets happy & healthy during the warm summer months. Find a store near you: http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Education, Healthy Pets, Pet Care, Summer

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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April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month!

April is National Pet First Aid Awareness Month.

Are you prepared in the event that there`s an emergency and you need to leave your home? Do you know how to care for your pets during an emergency?  During this month, we’ll post some First Aid tips for pets.

First, we recommend that you build your First Aid kit using the information included in this infograph so that you and your family are properly prepared to care for your pets during a weather or power outage emergency.


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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Education, Healthy Pets, National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, Pet Care, Summer

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

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

Healthy Pet Challenge 2013

Body Condition Score

Pet Obesity: A National Epidemic

Pet obesity has become a national epidemic in North America and is one of the most common disorders affecting companion pets. Over 50% of dogs and cats are either overweight or obese. Approximately 24-40% of pets are classified as overweight while obesity is defined as an increase of over 20% above the optimum body weight.  Why is pet obesity on the rise? The key reasons are that more often, pets are leading a more confined and sedentary lifestyle with little or no significant exercise, availability of highly-palatable, energy-dense pet foods and treats, and a strong human-animal bond that leads to overfeeding and snacking.

Why should you be concerned as to whether your pet is overweight or obese? If your dog or cat is overweight or obese, they face an increased risk of serious illnesses such as:

  • Cancer
  • Respiratory Problems
  • Diabetes
  • Pancreatitis
  • Arthritis/Joint Pain
  • Hypertension
  • Liver Disease
  • Heart Disease

Further, allowing your dog to be overweight can decrease your pet’s lifespan. Obesity has been proven to reduce the lifespan of dogs by almost two years.

Obesity should be dealt with as a medical problem and taken care of immediately when recognized, as the condition is easier to control in its early stage. The first step in identifying whether your pet has a weight issue is to check their Body Condition Score. Above is a photo that will help you determine what your pet’s score is. The Body Condition Score is a system for determining your pet’s weight. Since dogs and cats can vary so much in size, even within a breed, utilizing the Body Condition Scoring system focuses more on shape than weight. Simply weighing your pet doesn’t necessarily let you know if your pet is underweight or overweight. This is why Global Pet Foods recommends using the Body Condition Score System in conjunction with weighing your pet. Once your pet reaches their ideal weight utilizing the Body Condition Score System, monthly monitoring of their weight helps to ensure that your pet’s ideal body condition is being maintained.

The Body Condition system ranges from underweight to ideal to overweight, and is based on a visual and hands-on examination of your pet. The first step in deciding whether your dog is overweight is to know what his ideal body weight looks like.  Compare your dog’s figure to the attached chart to find out whether your dog is overweight, underweight or at the ideal weight.

What’s Your Pet’s Score?

1. Very Thin:
Ribs, spine and bony protrusions are easily seen from a distance.
You won’t feel fat or muscle when you touch the ribs.
The pet looks bony, emaciated and starved.

2. Underweight:
Ribs, spine and bony protrusions are easily felt with little fat or muscle.
The pet has a small tucked stomach, as well as a waist (hourglass shape) when viewed from above.
The pet looks thin, skinny or lean.
It’s recommended that you increase the pet’s calories or balance their nutrition to help them reach an ideal weight.

3. Ideal Weight:
Ribs, spine and other bones are easily felt, but not easily seen.
You can feel some body fat and muscle over the ribs.
These pets have an obvious well-proportioned waist when viewed from above. The abdomen is raised and not sagging.
The pet looks healthy and somewhat muscular.

4. Overweight:
You have difficulty feeling or counting the ribs, spine and other bones underneath the fat. You’ll feel fat on the hips, chest, and base of tail.
These pets have a pear-shaped waist when viewed from above.
The abdomen sags when looking at the pet from the side.
The pet looks overweight, heavy or husky.

5. Obese:
You cannot feel the ribs, spines, or other bones due to the large amounts of fat tissue.  These pets have no waist but have a broad back when viewed from above.
The abdomen significantly sags when looking at the pet from the side.
The pet looks tired, finds it difficult to walk, run or do any other type of exercise due to their heavy weight.

NOTE: If your pet’s score is very thin or obese, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with a certified veterinarian to address the health issues immediately.

 It is also recommended that you weigh your pet. Once you start a program to help your pet reach their ideal weight through exercise and managing their food intake, both the Body Condition Score and ongoing weight tracking can be used in conjunction to track the healthy changes in your pet.  Need more help? Visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store and speak to the Healthy Pet Care Specialists.

As Canada’s Healthy Choice for Pets, Global Pet Foods stores across Canada are committed to helping you and your pet follow a healthy lifestyle. If you know that your pet is not at his or her ideal weight, join our Healthy Pet Challenge!   Visit http://www.globalpetfoods.com/healthypetchallenge for details.  You could win 1 of 5 prizes of FREE Natural Balance pet food for a year or 1 of 50 Global Pet Foods gift cards valued at $150, or other cool prizes!

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Education, Healthy Pet Challenge, Healthy Pets