Tag Archives: safety

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

Spring is a time for Renewal!

Woman on bench with dog

Spring is a time for renewal. The snow and ice melt away and the birds return to our backyards along with warmer weather, longer daylight hours, budding trees and eventually, beautiful gardens. Spring also brings us sweet puppies and kittens. There’s a spring in the step in everyone around us!

The Spring season also brings about new routines and chores, and as well as a list of “things to do” to ensure that we’re ready for the season. Having a pet (or pets!) means that there are some additional items on the list to make certain that they’ll remain happy and healthy during the season. Below are some of our key recommendations:

Winter weight gain:  Getting flabby over the winter can be just as problematic for our pets as it is for us. Many of us tend to avoid heading outdoors in the winter due to the cold and snow and we tend to eat more and exercise less. This means many of us and our pets may have experienced some weight gain. An increase of as little as two pounds for a cat or a small dog may not seem significant, but imagine if you increased your weight by 20% over the winter! This can lead to severe health problems. About one-half of all pets are overweight or obese, which may be directly linked to several illnesses, including behavioral problems, achy joints and arthritis, heart disease and some types of cancer.

Daylight Savings Time provided us with an extra hour of light in the evening, which is family walking dog in Spring.jpgideal for an after-dinner walk. Use the warmer weather as a great reason to head outside and discover some new routes on a daily walk with your dog. Don’t just make your dog sniff the same old spots, rather take a new route and work up a sweat by alternating your normal pace with a quicker one. From retrieving sticks to the simple toss of your dog’s favourite ball, running, catching, throwing and fetching provides a heart-pumping workout for you both….your heart will thank you! Make sure that you bring a thermos with some fresh water to keep you both hydrated during your walk. Even cats will enjoy being out in the garden, but please ensure that you stay with them lest they run off. Many Global Pet Foods stores have weight scales; we encourage you to take your pets in to be weighed regularly.

Spring grooming: Now that spring has sprung, it’s important to pay attention to your pet’s coat. It’s now time to groom your pet to remove the remains of her winter coat. For those with longhaired pets, you’re probably seeing tufts of pet hair all over the floor in your home. This is a key sign that you need to groom your pet on a daily basis. Your pets will enjoy spending some quiet time with you each day while you groom them. The Healthy Pet Care specialists at your Global Pet Foods can help you select the right grooming tools for your pet’s breed. Slicker brushes and brushes with dual level pins on a cushioned pad with a curved head are ideal (the long and short pins work together to remove the mats and dead hair).

Spring Cleaning: When you are giving your home a spring cleaning, remember to clean your pet’s products too. Worn out or torn products should be discarded and replaced with new ones to prevent your pets from biting and choking on torn pieces.

Ticks, fleas and heartworm – is your pet protected?  April showers bring May flowers as well as bugs! Make sure that your pet is on year-round heartworm preventative medication, as well as a Flea & Tick program. When your dog or cat has fleas, your home is soon to follow. Far from a minor irritation, fleas can wreak havoc on your pet’s life and pose a serious threat to his health. Fleas work around the clock to seek a host, and then they feast on enough of the host’s blood to equal up to 15 times their own body weight every day. Because of the challenges caused by fleas, prevention is always your best protection.

Once fleas establish residence in your home, they have no trouble firmly entrenching themselves. With suitable environmental conditions — warm temperatures, enough humidity, and at least one nourishing host — they can complete their life cycle in as little as 18 days. Flea larvae may develop anywhere your pet wanders: in your carpeting, rugs, furniture, and even in cracks in the floor, making it a challenge to treat the premises thoroughly enough. Moreover, flea pupae can be difficult to kill inside their cocoons so even with proper treatment, it can take weeks to successfully eliminate an infestation.

Prevention is the key! Anyone who has ever dealt with these troublemakers never wants to contend with them again. If you’d rather not fight the flea battle, get proactive and help prevent them from ever setting up residence on your pet in the first place. Simply give your dog or cat a monthly topical flea preventive, such as Zodiac® Spot On® Flea & Tick Control, to protect him from a flea infestation.

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Fleas are responsible for a variety of problems ranging from simple itching and infestation to allergic skin reactions (Flea Allergy Dermatitis – FAD), the spread of tapeworms and some bacterial infections. Fleas have claimed more human lives than all wars ever fought. Contrary to popular belief, the female flea always lays her eggs on the pet. The adult flea is a blood sucking parasite that feeds only on the host’s blood, ingesting it through its piercing mouthpart. Adult fleas represent only a small percentage of the infestation. The vast majority of the flea population is actually not on your pet but appears in your environment in either the egg, larva or pupa stage (which you cannot see). Therefore, if you have an infestation you will need to treat not only your pets but also the environment your pet is in (home/car, etc.).

The flea life cycle consists of four very distinct developmental stages:

Adult Flea – biting, reproducing, and most annoying

Flea Egg – fall from your pet into your home and yard

Flea Larvae – worm-like, settles deep in carpet fibers, furniture, pet bedding

Flea Pupae – shielded by a cocoon, no treatment can control flea pupae

In as little as 15 days, the flea life cycle is completed. In 30 days, 10 fleas can multiply to thousands. If one pet in the household has fleas, assume that all of your pets have fleas. To get rid of fleas, you have to kill both the adult and their offspring.

Ticks: Are bloodsucking ectoparasites which may transmit various infectious diseases to animals and man (Lyme disease). There are two species; Soft Ticks (Argosidae) and Hard Ticks (Ixodidae), which are the most common. Ticks’ only meal is blood and they can take in up to 600 mg of blood but can survive two years without feeding (adult).

There are four stages in the development of ticks: Eggs, Larva (seed tick), Nymph (yearling tick) and an Adult. Most hard ticks take three hosts to complete all four stages. After feeding and mating on the host, the engorged female drops to the ground, deposits up to 3,000 eggs in a protected place and dies.

 NOTE: The key to a successful elimination of fleas and ticks is to target all of  those areas where the problem is to be found:

STEP 1 – Treat Your Pet: control adult fleas/ticks on your pet

STEP 2 – Treat Your Home: eliminate both pre-adult stages and the newly emerging adult

Need some help keeping your pets happy and healthy this spring?  Visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store and speak to our Healthy Pet Care Specialists for product re recommendations and for receive answers to your questions about caring for your pets.  You can also purchase  Zodiac Flea & Tick products while you’re there.  We wish you a wonderful Spring!!

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Eco-Friendly, Education, Exercise, Flea & Tick, Flea and Tick, Healthy Pets, love, Pet Care, Skin and Coat, Small Animal, Spring, 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.

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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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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.

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.

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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New Year’s Resolutions for you and your Pets

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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

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