Tag Archives: spring

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

Spring…it’s the season known as the “Time for Renewal”!

Maine Coon Kitten

Ahhh…the sights and sounds of the Spring season are upon us. Many of us truly appreciate the season – more sunlight, warmer weather, the return of the birds, the new baseball season, long walks, open windows – these things put the “Spring” in our step! Spring also brings a myriad of “things to do” to ensure that we can fully enjoy the season. Having a pet (or pets!) means that there are some additional items on the list to ensure that they’ll remain happy and healthy during the season. Below are a few of our recommendations:

1.  Fleas and Ticks and other Pests!

Warmer temperatures usually signal the flea and tick season, which continues through the summer and peaks in the Fall. It’s imperative that you take preventative measures and check your pets regularly during the season. The key is to be proactive in protecting your pets and your home from an infestation. Fleas can make your life miserable, and they will certainly make your pet’s life miserable too. Fleas can transmit parasites and cause allergic reactions.  One flea bite can potentially cause your pet great pain from the constant rubbing and scratching of the irritated skin, if they are allergic to fleas. Also called “pruritus,” this unpleasant itching can become so intense that pets will actually scratch until the skin bleeds. Global Pet
Foods can recommend some products for flea prevention and treatment.

2.  Beware of Chemicals

Our pets (and our children) will be heading outside to play but the chemicals used to treat grass and gardens could put a damper on their fun and their health. Pets face many of the same health problems from chemical poisoning as people do. Dogs and cats lick themselves and have their noses to the ground, while kids typically have their fingers in their mouths, so they are at risk of chemical poisoning from lawn and garden pesticides. Make sure that you wipe your pets’ paws and bellies prior to bringing them back in the house. Choosing environmentally-friendly products can have many benefits, some of which carry over from the
protection of the environment to protecting the health of you and your pets. Compost material can also be hazardous to your pet’s health, so keep the compost bin and chemicals locked away and out of your pet’s reach.

3.  Set aside time for Spring cleaning!

The last thing you need is to have your pets escape through a hole in the fence, or be injured from a nail that’s sticking out from one of the boards. To prevent this from happening, examine your fencing and gates for any damages incurred during the winter and make the necessary repairs before you allow your pets to go out in the backyard. When you’re giving your home a spring-cleaning, remember to inspect your pet’s bed, food and water dishes, collars and leashes for any cracks, or rips and tears. Worn out or torn products should be discarded and replaced with new ones, as your pets could injure or choke if they bite off a piece. When you’re cleaning your home, remember to wash and clean your pets’ products too. You’ll feel so much better when everything is squeaky clean!

4.  Put a “Spring in your Step”!

Daylight Savings Time brings an extra hour of light in the evening, which is ideal for an after-dinner walk for you and your dog. Why not use the warmer weather as an excuse to take longer walks on new routes? Don’t just make your dog sniff the same 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 all mean a heart-pumping workout for you both. 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 with you, but please ensure that you stay with them lest they run off.

The Healthy Pet Care Specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store can help you and your pets enjoy the Spring season with the best pet products and pet care tips.  We look forward to seeing you!

Find a Global Pet Foods store near you via our website, www.globalpetfoods.com.

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Filed under Cats, Dogs, Eco-Friendly, Exercise, Flea and Tick, Grooming, Healthy Pets, Pet Care, Spring

Spring brings warmer weather, “April showers”, flowers…and fleas!

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Flea season begins in April, reaching its peak during the August humidity. A single female flea can lay 25 eggs per day, or 800 in her lifetime. Fleas can survive several weeks without ‘feeding’ on a host animal. Adult fleas can jump up to 20 cm vertically and 40 cm horizontally. Larvae can travel 30 cm per minute.

Be proactive and protect your pets and your home from an infestation.  Fleas can make your life miserable, and they will certainly make your dog and/or cat’s life miserable too.  Fleas can transmit parasites and cause allergic reactions.  One flea bite can potentially cause your pet great pain from the constant rubbing and scratching of the irritated skin, if they are allergic to fleas. Also called “pruritus,” this unpleasant itching can become so intense that pets will actually scratch until the skin bleeds.

The most common flea (there are more than 2,000 species of fleas!) is the cat flea and notwithstanding this name, the cat flea is found on both dogs and cats.  Fleas are small, brown, wingless, parasitic insects that feed on blood.  Fleas can live just about anywhere, but they prefer the warmth of a furry pet and they thrive in humid conditions. How can you tell if your pet has fleas? Watch for ‘flea dirt’ – small black specks in your pet’s coat, which are actually dried blood excreted by the fleas. During regular grooming, collect any debris from your pet’s coat onto a white paper. Moisten the specks with a drop of water and if they turn red or reddish-brown, your pet likely has fleas. Catching fleas early will make treating the problem easier.

The four-stage life cycle of fleas requires a consistent, ongoing approach to effectively prevent infestation. In the pupal stage, fleas are at their hardest to eliminate and they can remain in that stage for up to 6 months.

 

ImageLifecycle of a Flea

1st Stage – Egg: The adult female flea lays eggs only on your pet. As your pet moves around the house, eggs will fall off onto rugs and furniture which then hatch into larvae within 2 – 4 days.

2nd Stage – Larva: These maggot-like creatures feed off of protein sources found in carpets and/or furniture. A larva will feed on crumbs of food or “flea dirt” to sustain life. Within two weeks, the larva spins a cocoon.

3rd Stage – Pupa: The pupa’s cocoon protects it from outside dangers while it becomes an adult. While in this state, it is invulnerable to most flea control products. The flea will stay in this state for as little as 7-10 days, hatching when it senses the vibration and heat of an animal.  Note: Without the right amount of heat and the presence of a host to feed on, a pupa will remain dormant for up to 6 months. This is the reason behind many flea re-infestations.

4th Stage – Adult: The flea seeks out a host, takes a blood meal, mates within 48 hours, and lay eggs within 72 hours to begin the reproductive cycle again.

 

What is the best way to avoid a flea infestation?

Prevention!  You’ll find preventative products  at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store that are easy to use. The best product is a ‘spot’ treatment that you apply once per month for complete protection. Try Zodiac PowerSpot for small or large dogs or Zodiac Spot-On for cats. These products are effective against preventing a flea infestation.  Flea collars are also great for preventing fleas. One collar can usually kill fleas for the whole flea season (up to 5 months).

 

Help!  We have fleas!

It’s important to treat your pets and your house on a regular basis in order to manage an infestation.  A three-step process, done properly, can help you to eliminate fleas once and for all.

1.  Relief for your pet

It’s also important that you provide immediate relief for your pet with products like pet sprays or flea treatment shampoos.  Shampoos, wipes, sponge-ons, and on-animal sprays work fast because they are applied directly to a pet’s entire coat and quickly penetrate to the skin. It takes just a few minutes for the fleas to die when they come in contact with the active ingredients.

NOTE: Please follow the directions on any flea treatment products that you use on your pets. Some products will protect your pet for a longer period of time than others, but all products should be applied only as often as stated on the label.  Please speak to the Healthy Pet Care Specialists at Global Pet Foods stores across Canada as they can assist you with choosing the right product and helping you to understand how to apply it properly.  It is critical that you do not apply a product intended for dogs to your cats and vice versa as this can cause serious health implications. Again, it’s critical that you read the labels, follow directions, and apply the product properly.

2. Treat your Home

Although a flea infestation does affect your pet, the real issue is within the area where your pet stays in your home.  Flea eggs can lay dormant for months, so treating your home is critical.  A female flea may lay as many as 40-50 eggs on your pet each day, which fall off into your pet’s environment. Your pet can deposit a large number of eggs just by being in any area of your home for a brief moment. In addition, the flea larvae that hatch out from these eggs can migrate for several feet into areas your pet may never have actually been.

It’s imperative that you use appropriate products that will eliminate fleas, and treat all of your carpets, upholstered furniture, pet bedding, and favorite pet resting areas.  This is the only way to fully eliminate the adult flea population. It’s also important to treat underneath your furniture and in your closets because the larvae that hatch will seek out dark, hiding places and nest. A premise spray such as Zodiac Premise 2000 will kill adult fleas, stop eggs from hatching and kill the larvae.  This product will also continue to work for up to seven months.

Pets and children can safely re-enter a treated area once the spray is dry.

Treat all pet bedding by washing it in very hot water and then put it in your dryer on the hottest setting possible to kill the fleas.  Alternatively, if you don’t have access to a washing machine or the settings are not hot enough, you should dispose of all pet bedding.

After you vacuum your home, remember to throw away the vacuum bag because it’s an ideal location for a cocoon to form. The protective cocoon of the pupal flea allows it to survive most treatments. In order to be killed, fleas must first emerge from their cocoons and come in direct contact with the spray. It usually takes about one to two weeks for pupal fleas to emerge from cocoons so it’s not unusual to continue to see fleas for approximately 2-3 weeks after treating a pet and home.

3.  Maintenance

Once the infestation is resolved, it’s time to implement preventative measures to avoid an reoccurrence of a flea infestation.   Choose a product such as a topical ‘spot’ treatment or a collar. Products that contain Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) are proven effective at killing adult fleas and also interrupting the growth cycle by killing eggs and larvae.  Zodiac makes a variety of on-animal products with an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) to kill flea eggs. Since fleas lay their eggs on the pet, on-animal flea egg control prevents infestation right at the source.  Zodiac’s premise control products also contain an IGR to kill flea eggs and flea larvae for 7 or 12 months, depending on the product. This will help to prevent pre-adult fleas, that may already be present in the environment, from maturing and jumping back on your pet.

Global Pet Foods carries a wide variety of flea & tick products, including all-natural products.  Keep in mind that some natural products may not eliminate a full flea infestation.   We can assist you with flea & tick prevention and treatment for your pets.  Use our Store Locator to find a store near you.  http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations

Flea Facts (courtesy of Zodiac Pet):

  • Over 2,000 species and subspecies of fleas are known throughout the world.
  • Fleas are a wingless species with a streamlined body to permit running on the skin between hairs.
  • Breaking the flea cycle by following a 3-Step program helps control the flea population in your environment.
  • The most troublesome type of flea to dogs is actually the Cat Flea. The female Cat Flea may produce up to 50 eggs a day and 2,000 eggs in a lifetime.
  • Fleas can transmit tapeworms and can cause severe skin irritation in pets.
  • Dog fleas can cause flea-bitten anemia, flea-bite dermatitis, and tapeworm infestations.
  • Flea Allergy Dermatitis is the most common skin disorder of dogs and a major cause of skin disease in cats.
  • Some pets eat 50 to 90 percent of the fleas off of their body. This is one of the leading causes of tapeworm in pets.
  • Fleas pass through a complete life cycle consisting of egg, larva, pupa and adult.
  • Insect growth regulators, such as S-Methoprene, help prevent flea egg development.
  • Female fleas start producing eggs within 24 to 48 hours after taking their first blood meal and can lay up to 40 to 50 eggs per day.
  • In just 30 days, 10 female fleas can produce under ideal conditions 90,000 eggs.
  • A female flea ingests an average of 15 times her body weight in blood daily
  • Up to 5,000 fleas may live on a dog at one time without treatment.
  • A flea can jump as high as 13 inches.
  • Up to 95 percent of pre-adult fleas and ticks are found in places your pets hang out.
  • Females lay eggs in their hair coat and fall off into the pet�s environment.
  • Flea larvae can be found indoors in floor cracks & crevices, along baseboard, under rugs, and in furniture or beds. Outdoors, flea larvae live in soil (moist sand boxes, dirt crawl space under the house, under shrubs, etc.) or wherever the pet may rest or sleep.
  • Optimum conditions for flea larvae are 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit with shaded and high humidity. For this reason, treating the home is an important step in flea control.

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It’s time to Spring into Action!

Get your pets ready for Spring with a visit to Global Pet Foods!

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Spring is a time for renewal. The snow and ice melt way, and the birds return to our backyards along with warmer weather, longer daylight hours, budding trees and, eventually, beautiful gardens.

Baseball, long walks, open windows – spring is a favourite season for many people.

Spring also brings new chores, and a list of “things to do” to ensure that we’re ready for the season so that can enjoy it to its fullest. For pet parents, spring can be a challenging time for their furry companions, there are a number of precautions that we should take so that they can enjoy the season in all its glory.

1.  Spring Cleaning:  Now is a great time for a good spring cleaning!  When you’re cleaning your house, don’t forget to wash and clean your pets’ products too. Inspect your pet’s bed, their food and water dishes, clothing, collars and leashes, etc.  Check for tears, rips or items that are worn out.  Worn out or torn products that could injure or choke your pet if swallowed, should be replaced with new ones.

2.  Flea & Tick Season:  The warmer temperatures also signals the start of the flea and tick season, which continues through summer, and peaks in September and October.  It’s imperative that you take preventative measures and check your pet regularly during the season.  Proper application of any treatment that you use is also necessary to keep your pets healthy.  Please speak to our Healthy Pet Care Specialists who can educate about fleas and ticks and how to prevent them, and ensure that you buy the right products and apply them properly.

3.  Become Eco-Friendly:  As you begin to treat your lawns and gardens with fertilizer and pools with chemicals, choose eco-friendly or non-toxic products.  Dogs and cats have their noses close to the ground, where lawn and garden pesticides may linger and if they lick themselves afterwards, they could be at risk or chemical poisoning.  Compost material can also be hazardous to their health so keep the composter and chemicals locked away.  Avoid playing on your lawn for 24 hours after you have sprayed it. Always wipe your pets’ paws and their under-belly before heading back inside.

4.  Grooming:  The shedding of the winter coats for many breeds of dogs and cats takes place in spring, so grooming is critical.  Brushing your pet once a day will greatly reduce the unwanted hair as they begin to lose their undercoat.  The more hair you remove, the less you will see all over your home.  A good quality brush is a great investment as it will help to drastically reduce the shedding.  Brushing also helps to restore oils to the new coat, stimulates the skin and prevents matting, which can be painful.  Setting aside time each day for grooming is also a great time to bond with your pet.

5.  Walk Before you Run:  The exercise levels for many of us and our pets during winter have been minimal or non-existent, which has probably resulted in some weight gain.  If this is the case, start with moderate walks and gradually build up the level of exercise until you can get to a brisk walk or run over a few weeks’ time.  This will help to avoid joint and muscle strains or other major injuries.

Celebrate the arrival of spring!  We have the best products that you’ll need to keep your pets happy and healthy during this wonderful season. Global Pet Foods looks forward to seeing you and your pets in our stores!

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