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New Year’s Resolutions for you and your Pets


A new year brings a clean slate and the opportunity to make improvements to key areas of our lives.  For some of us, the word “resolution” makes us cringe. Some of the definitions for the word “resolution” are:

  • a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something
  • the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
  • the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose

A resolution isn’t a bad thing.  Slowly implementing a few changes each day can make a significant different in people’s lives.  As Canada’s Healthy Choice for Pets, Global Pet Foods wants to ensure that your pets are also incorporated into your New Year’s resolutions. 

Most people consider their pets to be family members.  We want to give our children the very best of everything, don’t we?   The most important thing to remember when you bring a pet into your home is that they do not grow up and “leave the nest” so you are responsible for their well-being for the duration of their life. Your pet trusts you to feed him, keep her warm, healthy and safe, and it’s critical that you spend quality time with your pet every day.

In an effort to assist with improving the overall health and wellbeing of your pet, we recommend that you resolve to do the following on a regular basis this year.

Schedule a Wellness Consultation with a Global Pet Foods’ Healthy Pet Care Specialist:

  • What’s the right food to feed your pet?
  • Is your dog or cat overweight?
  • Is your pet shedding?
  • Does your dog have difficulties with stairs?
  • Is your cat drinking enough water?
  • Is your pet is getting enough exercise?
  • What’s the best food for your hamster?
  • Are there any changes to your pet’s water consumption, appetite, eliminations, or activity levels that concerns you?

While we do recommend that you schedule an annual check-up with a veterinarian, our Global Pet Foods  Healthy Pet Care Specialists have the expertise to answer the above noted questions.  They can also recommend the best brand of food, supplement, treat, toy, or any other pet product – along with great pet care tips – so that your companion pets are healthy and happy!

Are you concerned about whether you’re providing your companion pet with the best care?  Schedule a Wellness Consultation with one of our Healthy Pet Care specialists.  They’ll do the following:

  1. Evaluate your pet’s diet (food and supplements) to ensure that it’s suitable for their age and activity level, and that it address their special needs, ie. weight, dental, joint, allergies, etc.
  2. Provide you with flea & tick prevention information.
  3. Create a grooming and general care plan for your pet(s).
  4. Provide exercise recommendations and any products needed to maintain your pet’s health.
  5. Answer any other concerns you have based on your pet’s individual situation.

Educate and empower yourself with this valuable pet care consultation which will help you make informed decisions about your pet’s wellness now and in the future.

Go “Green”: You can be a “green” pet parent by purchasing eco-friendly toys for your furry children. Buy toys made with tough and sustainable hemp, or a bed made out of organic cotton. Avoid cheap plastics or material used in low-quality products which are typically made with harsh chemicals.

Chemicals inside or outside of the home should be a big no-no, especially if you want to keep your family healthy. This applies to pesticides, chemical fertilizers and ice-melting agents. Chemicals can stick to pets’ paws which can result in burns, and since they tend to lick their paws, they can become sick. Use organic means to fertilize your lawn and control pests, and look for non-toxic ice melting agents at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.  Always clean your pet’s paws and under-belly before bringing them back in the house.

Biodegradable waste bags should also be a key staple for every pet parent.  We know that plastic bags are bad for our Earth.  It takes oil to make them, they sit around for over 100 years, they harm fish and wildlife, they plug drainage sewers in cities, and the list goes on. Biodegradable waste bags are made from a combination of corn and other renewable products.  There are no chemical additives to enhance decomposition. The bags degrade naturally when exposed to the earth’s elements and micro-organisms in the soil and usually decompose in a commercial composting environment between 60 and 90 days after use.

Commit to making one change in your buying habits that gets you one step closer to a greener household.

Variety is the “spice of life”!  Nature did not intend for people or pets to consume one food for their entire lives.  Feeding your pet something different helps to ensure that he does not become bored and frustrated with his food. This will not make your dog picky.  We’re talking about periodic changes here, not serving up something different or adding goodies to tempt him every time he doesn’t like his dinner. And most importantly of all, variety helps to avoid the development of allergies. In a few extreme cases, people and pets may be instantly and violently allergic to something. This happens in a few extreme cases only – the vast majority of allergies build up over time and with constant exposure to an ingredient(s).

The best way to develop an allergy to something (chicken, for example) is to consume it daily for an extended period. It is no coincidence that the most common allergens are things that have commonly been used in pet foods for many years. The (modern) advice from nutritionists is that feeding a wide variety of different foods, preferably from a young age, can help to avoid the development of allergies in the first place (that’s the advice given for humans too).  Commit to spicing up your pet’s diet by starting with adding a can of food, which is an ideal way to ensure that they are consuming water. Buying a different protein within the food brand that your normally purchase is also ideal.  NOTE: If you do plan on rotating your pet’s food, you should introduce the food gradually by mixing it the current food over a period of a week or two.

Staying warm during a cool fall season or cold winter requires extra calories and your pets may need more food or a change in their diet.  They may need to transition to a food that provides additional nutrients or protein.  Need some assistance?  Bring in the bag of food that you’re currently feeding to Global Pet Foods for a nutritional assessment.

Water, water, everywhere!  The cold weather doesn’t mean that your pets don’t need water.  Bulldog drinking water from dishWater is essential to all living beings and cats and dogs need fresh water and plenty of it.  Dogs depend on proper daily fluid intake to maintain good health.  Water makes up 80% of your dog’s body, and it dissolves natural and unnatural substances.  Water is essential for circulation, digestion, and waste removal.  Provide clean water at all times, and change it frequently to ensure freshness.

Monitor your dog’s water intake. Generally, dogs need at least one ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day.  Monitoring water intake is especially important if your dog is recovering from diarrhea, vomiting or other illnesses.

Cats are very finicky about their water; they like it fresh. The longer the water sits out, the more oxygen it loses.  Fall is the most common time of year for male cats to “block” where small “stones” form that block the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra.  Please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately if your cat that seems to be straining “to go to the bathroom”. Decreased fluid intake may cause future episodes of cystitis.

Don’t forget to wash your pet’s water bowl every day to prevent bacteria from forming.  

Set aside at least 30 minutes each day for exercise with your pets: As the mercury drops and the nights grow longer, it negatively impact the moods and mental wellbeing for many people and pets. The natural mood elevator we receive during the long, sunny days tends to wane during the winter months. This makes it extremely important for adults, children and pets to get that endorphin-boost outdoor activity. While many of us tend to avoid heading outside during the cold, snowy weather, it is important that you take your kids (if you have them!) and dogs outside for walks.  It’s also important that your indoor pets (rabbits, small animals and cats) get regular exercise too using wheels, climbing equipment, etc. that can be purchased at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.

A bored cat may become destructive and aggressive, and result in excessive grooming or inappropriate littertwo cats on cat tree box use, ie. urinate in other areas of your home.  Caring for a cat is a big responsibility as it’s difficult to keep them healthy in the same manner as dogs, who can head outside for walks every day. Many pet parents keep their cats indoors for safety reasons (it helps to reduce death, injury and disease), which can pose other health risks for them if they’re not receiving enough physical and mental stimulation.  Keep your cats healthy with the following activities:    (a) play hide-and-seek games; (b) Place bowls of small amounts of food on different levels throughout your home so that your cat has to use their hunting instinct to find them, which also gets them moving; (c) Play hide `n seek by strategically placing toys such as fuzzy mice, balls, etc. around your home so your cat can “discover” them all over again. Continue to move toys to unexpected places throughout your home. This helps to keep your cat’s brain active as she walks through the house looking for them; (d) Try using a laser mouse so that your cat chases the red dot up and down walls and furniture; (e) Your cat will love hunting down mechanical mice which also gets them running across the floor; (f) Purchase a toy with a crinkle mouse attached to a string and suspended from wand. Dangle it up and down to get your cat jumping.

As long as they’re healthy and it’s not too cold outside arctic temperatures), ensure that you aim for a minimum a 30 minute walk outdoors with your dog. Outfit him or her with reflective collars so that you can see them if they break away from you or you’re letting them run free in a park, and put a coat and booties on them to keep them warm if it’s bitterly cold outside and their paws safe from salted walks.

Expand your dog’s horizons! People are creatures of habit.  As a pet parent, we know that taking the dog out for a walk is important but it’s very easy to get into the same routine of walking the same route.  New experiences are important for you and your dogs’ mental health and social skills.  There are lots of places in every community for dogs to run and play, whether it’s a dog park or a school yard.   Commit to venturing out of your regular neighbourhood at least once a week.  NOTE: Please remember to stop and scoop!

A brisk walk will do the mind and body good for both you and your pets!

Time-out to pamper: When you look good, you feel good!  We all like to be spoiled and in turn spoil our loved ones.  Your furry children are no exception.  Grooming your pet regularly (at least once a week) is important.  A good quality brush is a great investment.

Some breeds have a seasonal shedding season in the spring when they lose their winter coats. As the winter rolls around, the dogs shed a second time to remove the summer coat and grow their winter coat.  Some pets shed a lot. What can you do to help get the hair loss under control?  The more hair you remove the less you will see it all over your house.  Brushing your dog once a day will greatly reduce the unwanted hair all over your clothes, carpet and furniture, especially during shedding seasons. Ensure that you complete a full brush-out of your dog’s coat to get rid of any loose fur and bathe the dog prior to the dog’s undercoat for the winter begins to grow in.  Brushing also helps to restore oils to a new coat, stimulates the skin and prevents matting, which can be painful.

It is not normal for your dog’s coat to thin as the dog gets older. If your dog’s hair loss is abnormal you will see bald spots. If you think your dog is shedding abnormally, it is recommended that you speak to the Healthy Pet Care Specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.  In a case where your pet has bald spots, take her to your veterinarian immediately.

Setting aside time each day to groom your pet is also a great time to bond with them. Whether it’s time spent brushing their coat, buying them a trendy new collar or a new bed, your furry children will love the attention.  Commit to pampering yourself after you’ve pampered your pet!

Keep your pets safe: Keeping your pet contained is healthier both for him and for the environment. In the case of dogs, who like to chase things like cars, a fence or a leash helps ensure their safety and survival. Domestic cats are also a huge predator of native birds, and can decimate local populations pretty quickly. You may not think of your pet as a natural predator, but he or she is more than capable of killing small animals.

Kent, UK - Snow falls in Whitstable

Teach your children to be mindful about not accidentally letting the dog or cat to run out of the house unsupervised.  Keep your pets on a leash when you’re out and about in your neighbourhood.

We know that there are great psychological benefits from being a pet parent.  Pets can provide us with excellent social support, stress relief and other health benefits — sometimes more than other people can!  Resolve to be the best pet parent that you can be so that you both you and your pets remain healthy.

Happy New Year!!

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Eco-Friendly, Education, Exercise, Grooming, Healthy Pets, Pet Care, Pet Food, Skin and Coat

Great things come in small packages!


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.


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

Is it time for a Pet Wellness Consultation?


Many pet parents have questions and concerns as follows:

  1. What’s the best food for your pet?
  2. Is your dog or cat overweight?
  3. Is your pet shedding?
  4. Does your dog have difficulties with stairs?
  5. Is your cat or dog drinking enough water?
  6. Is your pet getting enough exercise?
  7. How do you care for your hamster (or other small animal or bird)?

Our Healthy Pet Care Specialists can answer these questions and more. We have the expertise to recommend the best brand of pet food, supplement, treat, toy, or any other pet product – along with great pet care tips – so that your companion pets are healthy and happy!

If you have any concerns about whether you are providing your companion pet with the best care and feeding them the best food, please schedule a Wellness Consultation with the Healthy Pet Care specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store. The Consultation takes approximately 30 minutes to complete, which allows us to get acquainted with you and your pet. We recommend that you bring your pet with you to the store so that our Healthy Pet Care Specialists can see your pet, which will help them to identify any obvious issues, such as dry skin, issues with their teeth, or other problems.  We will discuss all of your pet care needs and offer you the following:

  • Evaluate your pet’s diet (food and supplements) to ensure that it’s suitable for their age, activity level, and that it address any special needs such as their weight (ie. overweight or underweight), dental health, joint issues, where they have allergies, etc.
  • Information related to vaccination concerns.
  • Parasite and Flea and Tick prevention information.
  • A grooming and general care plan
  • Exercise recommendations.

Discuss any other concerns based your pet’s individual situation.  We may recommend  a food change, adding a supplement to their food or water, or recommend a topical treatment that can clear up any health issues quickly which will help to improve your pet’s quality of life.

You want the best for your pet.  We do too.  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.

While we recommend that you visit a licensed veterinarian on an annual basis, there are many issues that can be cleared up with a visit to a pet specialty retailer such as Global Pet Foods.

Educate and empower yourself with this valuable pet care consultation and receive product and pet care recommendations to help you make better informed decisions for your pet’s health now and in the future.  And the best part about this is it’s free!

To find a Global Pet Foods store near you, visit http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations.

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