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Summer Road Trips – they`re good for the Soul!

dog in car

Many of us have great childhood memories of family road trips, don’t we?  Fast forward to 2014. Smartphones and our hectic schedules often make it difficult for us to “unplug”, jump in the car and set out on a road trip.  But summer is a great time to do this and it`s a wonderful way to create some new memories for everyone involved.  

Whether you have kids and pets, or just pets (aka furkids!), there are many great places across Canada that are just waiting for you to explore.  Day trips or venturing out with the family on a 1 or 2 week vacation, no matter which city or province you live in, finding some great camping sites, a beautiful lake, a nice beach, scenic walking trails or a fun park is easy to do!  Use the internet to find some pet-friendly places and get ready to hit the road.

Before you go, there’s some pre-planning required when you’re including the pets in your travel plans, whether it’s a day or cross-country trip.  Here’s a checklist of some items to pack so that your pets will have a great time too!

Buckle up!:  We cringe when we see dogs running loose in the car and even worse, sitting on the driver`s lap!  An unrestrained dog can, at any moment, distract you, interfere with driving, and cause an accident.  Global Pet Foods carries many pet restraining equipment, including harnesses, seat belts, backseat barriers, and pet carriers. 

If you plan on using a kennel or crate, ensure that it is secured to the floor in the vehicle and that it`s large enough for your dog to comfortably sit and lie down in. Not only is this a safe method of transport, but with your pet contained, it will be much easier to keep the vehicle clean. Please visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store well in advance of your travel, so that you select the right product, learn how to install and use them, and familiarize your pets with it before hitting the road.

Pet ID tags: Don`t have identification tags for your pets?  Visit Global Pet Foods to pick them up and attach them to your pet’s collar in advance of your travel just in case you and your pet become separated at any point during your excursion. 

Travel supplies and accessories: You’ll want to make sure that your pets have the comforts of home, and that you have the items you need if you go exploring once you reach your destination.  A comfy bed, interactive toys, collar and leash, portable and collapsible food and water containers, extra towels and pet wipes are some of the key items that you need to pack for the trip.  Remember to pack their pet medications (if needed) and a First Aid Kit for Pets.  You may need this if you`re camping or heading to the cottage, where the terrain is more rugged and there`s a risk that your pet could sustain bug bites or other injuries.

Pack their food:  We recommend that you bring your pet`s food with you, enough to last for the duration of the trip.  You may not find the brand that you`re looking for in other pet stores and having to switch foods during travel will most likely result in upset stomachs which can be stressful and difficult for you and your pet.  Make sure you visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods stores before you hit the road and stock up your pet’s food and favourite treats.

Frequent Stops:  If you are heading out on an extended road trip, ensure that your dogs have 30 minutes of exercise before putting them into your vehicle.  This will tire them out and keep them relaxed while travelling.  If your pets are usually quite active, we recommend that you stop every few hours to let everyone stretch their legs and use the facilities.  Pets, especially dogs that aren’t used to travelling, may need to stop for a quick “tree break” and a quick walk or run before getting back in the car.

TIP: Most places you’ll visit will require your dog to be leashed at all times, even when nature calls. Teach your dog how to relieve himself on command.  If your dog isn`t used to eliminating while on a leash, you will need to teach this skill well in advance of your travel.  Begin in your backyard.  Use a verbal cue like `go potty` to let him know that it`s time to perform.  Once your dog does it, praise him and continue to practice until he masters it.

Travel Anxiety: If your pet is normally anxious, travel may only exacerbate the situation.  Pack your dog’s favourite blanket or stuffed animal, toy, or any other any item that`s familiar to your dog that can provide some comfort and relax him.  We also recommend that you rub some lavender oil between your hands to provide some aromatherapy and give massage him gently before you both get in the car.

Some pets do suffer from travel (motion) sickness or extreme anxiety. Test whether this is the case with your pet by taking them for a car ride for an hour or two well in advance of your planned travel.  If your pet appears to be anxious or gets sick, take them on a few car rides (no more than an hour or so at a time) to help your dog become accustomed to travel motion.  In extreme cases, you may need to give them a natural supplement or use a ThunderShirt to help relax them, which can be found at Global Pet Foods stores across Canada. 

Water Safety: If you’re planning on heading to the cottage or the lake dog swimming in life jacketwhere you will be spending a lot of time in the water or on a boat, a properly fitted lifejacket is a ‘must-have’ for your pet.  We recommend that you visit your neighbourhood Global Pet foods store before your departure to have them properly fitted and get your pet used to wearing it.

Travelling as family can be a great way to bond and create a lifetime of memories. You can include your pets as long as you plan in advance.  Enjoy your road trip!

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

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

How healthy is your pet’s skin and coat?

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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

Does your pet itch, scratch or bite themselves excessively?

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Does your pet itch, scratch or bite themselves excessively? Often times, animals exhibit this behavior due to food allergies. Food allergies are typically indicated by your pet chewing the tops and/or bottoms of their feet as well as chewing at the base of the tail (where the tail meets the body).

We recommend that you visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store and speak to one of our Healthy Pet Care Specialists.  Changing a pet`s diet may help minimize or even eliminate these issues. There are many benefits to feeding your pet a freeze-dried or raw food. Freeze-dried pet food is essentially raw food without water, and is made from fresh ingredients (not processed like kibble).

SPECIAL NOTE: When changing to a new formula, please ensure that you make the change gradually.  In many cases, when you’re transitioning your pet to a healthier food from a brand sold in grocery stores, pet food brands sold in Global Pet Foods stores are much more ingredient rich.  Accordingly, you can feed less of the new food.  Transition slowly, ie a mix of old and new, so as to avoid upset stomach and diarrhea.  Typically, transitioning to a new food can take up to 2 – 3 weeks, depending on how sensitive your pet’s stomach is.  The Healthy Pet Care Specialists can help you determine how to transition your pet to the new food and the length of time needed.

Noted below are three of our recommended brands:

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1. ORIJEN® Biologically Appropriate™ Freeze Dried Foods:

  • Gently freeze-dried to lock in all of the natural goodness of ORIJEN`S fresh ingredients, offering all the benefits of raw.
  • High inclusions of fresh poultry, wild-caught fish and ranch-raised meats in the authentic WILD PREY™ ratios to supply essential vitamins and minerals, naturally reducing the need for synthetics.
  • Prepared from the very best and freshest local ingredients in Canada`s largest freeze-dry kitchens.

2.  PRIMAL Freeze-Dried Formula for Dogs and Cats:

  • Species appropriate diets available in raw frozen and freeze-dried formulas.
  • Produced with only the highest quality raw ingredients, all Primal products offer pets a superior form of highly digestible amino acids, vitamins and minerals, the building blocks of every animal’s biological function.
  • All of Primal`s raw foods and treats are produced using the freshest, human-grade, antibiotic-free and steroid-free meats, poultry and game, certified organic produce, certified organic minerals and unrefined vitamins. The meats are procured from poultry and game from ranchers throughout the United States that take pride in producing wholesome sources of protein through natural, sustainable agriculture.

3. Stella & Chewy`s:

  • Freeze-Dried Dinners for Dogs & Cats
  • 100% Complete & Balanced
  • 90-95% Meat, Organs & Ground Bone
  • No Added Hormones & Antibiotic-Free
  • No Grains & Gluten-Free

Choosing the right pet food can be very confusing.  You want the best for your pet and we do too.  The Healthy Pet Care Specialists in Global Pet Foods stores across Canada can help to simplify the process for you in determining whether you should feed your pet freeze-dried, frozen or kibble food.   Let us help you!  We are Canada`s Healthy Choice for Pets!  To find a Global Pet Foods store near you, visit www.globalpetfoods.com.

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

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

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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Filed under Education, Healthy Pets

Healthy Pets

Global Pet Foods: Celebrating Healthy Pets in 2013

As Canada’s Healthy Choice for Pets, Global Pet Foods is stepping up our efforts in 2013 to provide more education to help pet parents improve the health of their pets.

Global Pet Foods believes that there are four elements that are key to caring for pets – Mind+Body+Soul+Spirit. We celebrate pet parents who are incorporating these elements into the care of their furry children on a daily basis!

We were thrilled to see pet parents post on our Global Pet Foods Facebook page as to what steps that they are taking to keep their companion pets healthy in 2013.  The pet care specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store can provide pet parents with advice related to nutrition, pet care, and selecting the right treats, toys, accessories, etc. so that companion pets are happy and healthy.

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February 10, 2013 · 9:00 am