Tag Archives: fun

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

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

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

Enjoy the Dog Park!

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Dog Park Etiquette

For most people, going to the dog park is a fun way to let your dog get exercise while socializing with other dogs and lets you socialize with other pet parents (while keeping an eye on your dogs). We all need to be mindful of proper dog park etiquette during our visits in order to keep the park safe and fun for everyone.

Once you and your dog get to the dog park, it may be tempting to just stand back and watch all the activity while your dog runs around. Everyone will have a much more rewarding time if you observe some basic “dog park” etiquette. And while many of the suggestions below are more common sense than anything, it’s often observed that they’re not heeded regularly.

Things not to do:

  1. Bring a dog that is under 4 months of age. They won’t have had all the necessary inoculations that allow them to play safely with other animals.
  2. Take your dog if she is sensitive to other dogs, where the park is enclosed, and if there are more than approximately two dogs per every 180 sq. ft. of space.
  3. Bring or use treats and toys when other dogs are nearby.
  4. Allow dogs to form loose packs.
  5. Allow a dog to bully another.
  6. Ever let your dog off-leash in an unfenced dog park he/she is not responsive to your verbal commands.
  7. Worry if some dogs don’t play with other dogs in a dog park.
  8. Bring your dog if he/she has not be spayed or neutered yet. If your male dog is not neutered, he may constantly try to mount other dogs.
  9. Spend your time talking on a cell phone. It’s important that you supervise your dog at all times and be able to give your dog your full attention.
  10. Don’t scold or touch someone else’s dog. You wouldn’t want them to do that to your dog.

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Things to do:

  1. Keep your dog on-leash until you get to the off-leash area. This is not just respectful to other park users, it’s much safer for your dog.
  2. Close all doors to the dog park after entering or exiting.
  3. Observe the dogs in the dog park to see if there are any potential health or behavior problems before entering.
  4. Clean up after your dog.
  5. Supervise dogs when they are playing and interrupt any rough play.
  6. Be willing to leave the dog park if you feel that your dog is being a bully or being bullied, the play is getting too rough, or your dog is just not having fun.
  7. Check to be sure that there aren’t a large number male dogs who are un-neutered at the park.
  8. Be cautious about taking advice from other park patrons who are not canine care professionals.
  9. Be friendly with other pet parents. It’s more enjoyable everyone is nice to each other.
  10. Always observe all of the rules posted at your local dog park. Each town has its own set of by-laws.
  11. And finally, have fun!!

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Filed under Dogs, Exercise, Healthy Pets, Spring, Summer

Summer Fun and Safety

 Stay Cool. Stay Safe.

jumping in lake dog and girl

Welcome to summer – no school, open windows, more time outside, summer vacation, and simply soaking up the sun with our family. Keeping active throughout the summer is important for both people and pets, but there are safety measures that we all need to take to ensure that our companion pets can enjoy the nice weather while staying healthy and happy during the season.

 

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.

Water Safety:

Most dogs enjoy swimming, but some cannot swim while others may hate the water. Be conscious of your dog’s preferences and skills before trying to make him swim. If you’re swimming for the first time with your dog, start in shallow water and coax him in by calling his name. When boating, put a life jacket on your pets as a safety measure in case they fall overboard.

Mind the sun and heat:

Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early morning or evening when the sun’s heat is less intense. When you go for a walk or are heading to the park or the beach, find shady areas to rest. The sunshine can overheat dogs, burn their skin, or just make them extremely uncomfortable. Just as we need to sit under an umbrella or awning to cool down, our pets do too. Take bottles of cold water for your dog and encourage her to drink often. Remember that your dog may become overheated long before you do.

Signs of heatstroke may include hot skin, rapid panting, twitching muscles, salivation, and a dazed expression. Note that short-nosed dogs such as bulldogs and pugs do not pant as efficiently as long-nosed dogs, and therefore have to work harder to cool themselves. If your dog appears to be overly hot, wrap your pet in a towel with cool, NOT cold water. Cool him down by giving him ice cubes to lick (as cold water will upset his stomach worse and hasten dehydration). Let him lie in front of a fan. Go immediately to a local emergency vet if your pet’s condition worsens.

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.

Never leave your pet in the car:

On sunny, warm days never leave your dog in the car – ever.  The air in a parked car doesn’t circulate and the temperature can rise within minutes to a point where it can become life threatening. Even if the windows are cracked open and you park in the shade, cars heat up like ovens and can be unbearable. Please leave your pets at home if you can’t take them to places where they can accompany you.

Your Global Pet Foods’ Healthy Pet Care Specialists can help ensure that both you and your pets are ready for the season. To find a store near you, visit http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations

May you and your pets have a safe and healthy summer! Cheers!

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

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