Tag Archives: Winter

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

two-dogs-in-winter

Many regions across Canada are now experiencing snow and it’s time to ensure that our driveways and sidewalks are properly cleared to avoid people falling. It’s also time to think about our pets and their paws.

The salt and other ice-melting products used by towns and cities across Canada can cause significant issues for people and your pets.In fact, under the Environment and Climate Change tab on the Government of Canada’s website, it states the following:

A comprehensive five-year scientific assessment by Environment Canada determined that in sufficient concentrations, road salts pose a risk to plants, animals and the aquatic environment. A Risk Management Strategy for Road Salts was subsequently developed to outline the measures that Environment Canada proposes in order to manage the risks associated with road salts.

Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Government of Canada published a Code of Practice for the Environmental Management of Road Salts on April 3, 2004. The Code is designed to help municipalities and other road authorities better manage their use of road salts in a way that reduces their impacts on the environment while maintaining road safety.

The Code of Practice recommends that road authorities prepare salt management plans that identify actions they will take to improve their practices in salt storage, general use on roads and snow disposal.  Environment Canada has completed a 5 year Review of Progress that indicates the Code has been effective in increasing the use of best practices for managing road salts in Canada. The Code and Review were developed in consultation with a Multistakeholder Working Group for Road Salts.

Most road salt is composed of chloride combined with sodium, calcium, magnesium or potassium, they may also contain ferrocyanide salts and, depending on where it’s sourced, may also contain other contaminants such as heavy metals.

In light of the above, we strongly suggest that you take steps to reduce or eliminate using salt on your own driveways and sidewalks. Further, we ask that you be mindful of your pet’s paws when you’re taking your dogs outside in the snow.  Your dogs’ paws can burn and crack when they’re walking on salt-treated sidewalks and road.  Once back in the house, your dog may lick their paws due to the irritation, which means their also ingesting the salt.  This can lead to inflammation of both the mouth and their digestive system, and cause health issues if they’re ingesting salt on a regular basis, due to the toxins in the salt.

We also recommend the following:

  1. Massage an all-natural/human grade paw protector into paw pads before going outside.  This can help protect their paws from salt and chemical agents.
  2. If your pets will tolerate them, another suggestion is to outfit your dog in boots or socks (waterproof).  Both the Paw Protectors and Dog Boots can be found at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.
  3. Avoid roads, sidewalks and other surfaces that have been salted.
  4. Wash your pet’s feet and underbelly with warm water (not hot!) as soon as you are back inside and dry them thoroughly.

If your dog is long-haired, ice balls can also create problems for him. Chunks of ice can develop between the toes and pads of long haired dogs as they walk outside in the snow and cold.  To prevent this, we suggest you keep your dog well groomed during the winter, which means the the hair on their feet is trimmed.

Another wonderful thing that you can do for your pet’s healthy, the health of your family and you is to use pet-friendly ice melts.  Global Pet Foods carries a few different brands, one being Paw Thaw.

Paw Thaw is a safer, biodegradable ice melter that will not harm your pet when used as directed.  The features and benefits of Paw Thaw are noted below:

paw-thaw-melterFast Acting: Paw Thaw combines the most effective de-icing blend components available, creating the desired reaction to initiate deicing and meltdown. Paw Thaw breaks the bond between the ice and the surface area.

Environmentally Formulated: The Non-hygroscopic formula is less harmful to grass, trees or other vegetation. Water soluble and odourless.Non Tracking: Will not harm carpets or floors and will not damage footwear. No slimy sticky residue to clean up.

Non Corrosive: Paw Thaw guards against concrete corrosion by forming a protective coating on the surface. Do not use on precast or concrete less than 1 year old.

Non Slip: Special ‘Dolomite’ formula provides added traction control

Need some help or more information?  Visit your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.  Our Healthy Pet Care Specialists are more than happy to recommend the products to help your pets be happy, healthy and safe during this winter season!

Comments Off on Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Filed under Cats, Dogs, Eco-Friendly, Education, Exercise, Grooming, Healthy Pets, love, Pet Care, pet safety, Uncategorized, Winter

Interested in learning more about a Canadian pet food that serves your dog’s nutritional requirements for Probiotics, Enzymes, Antioxidants, Vitamins & Minerals, all made of 100% real food without synthetics of any kind?

CARNA4_Current_Promo

Cool and cold weather can wreak havoc with our skin, and the skin and coat of our pets.  This is due to low humidity along with the outside air being cold and windy.  Even in homes with great ventilation, our bodies have to struggle to keep up with the temperature and moisture changes that occur throughout the day.  Skin requires the necessary balance of chemicals, oils and bacteria to stay soft, flexible and comfortable.  If there’s an imbalance, the common result is dry, itchy and flaking skin.

What is true for human skin is often true for animal skin, and many of the same remedies are useful for both prevention and treatment of skin problems for dogs.

Throughout the year, your dog should be eating a nutritionally balanced food so that when winter arrives, her skin is already in the best health possible.  Your dog may still have problems but they should be minimized and easier to treat if they’re a specialty pet food.  Adequate levels of fatty acids are an essential component of healthy, firm and flexible skin.  If your dog suffers from skin problems, yeasty ears, and/or allergy symptoms, we recommend that you transition him to a special diet that provides additional levels of Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids which help to maintain healthy skin.  Carna4 Dog Food and Flora4 Probiotic and nutritional topper are really good solutions for itchy dogs with skin problems, yeasty ears, and allergy symptoms.

One cup of Carna4 has 500 – 535 kcal for the Chicken and Duck formulas.  That’s about 30% more than the typical Limited-Ingredient or Grain Free diet.  To put it into perspective, 3 lbs of Carna4 feeds as much as 4 or 4.5 lbs of those other foods.  For as little as $20 a bag, Carna4 is a bargain if you have an itchy dog.

Carna4 has none of the synthetic vitamins & minerals that make up so much of the ingredient lists of other pet foods.  It is the chemical “pre-mix” that may be the root cause of many of the allergy symptoms in dogs that have become intolerant to the pre-mix that is in almost every other processed dog food.

Why is Carna4 so good for itchy dogs?

  1. Carna4 is low in sugar and has a low glycemic index (48 – 49).  It will not feed the yeast.
  2. Therapeutic levels of live probiotics and enzymes aid digestion and get to the root of the problems.
  3. Bio-available nutrients from food (not synthetics) boost the immune system and help a dog repair itself.
  4. Potent levels of high-quality Omega-3 fatty acids truly feed and protect epithelial cells that make up skin & coat.
  5. Carna4 is made in Canada!

Carna4 Information

Carna4 is available at select Global Pet Foods stores across Canada.  See our website for a list of stores where you’ll find Carna4 and feed it as per the instructions on the bag.  For more information about Carna4, visit their website at http://carna4.com.

Digestive upsets may occur if you abruptly stop feeding your pet’s former food and start a new food, even when transitioning to a much higher quality diet. To prevent this, you should gradually transition your pet to Carna4 and its richer nutrients. For dog food, start by mixing 1 part Carna4 dog food with 4 parts of your current dog food for 2 to 3 days. Then, gradually increase the proportion of Carna4 over the next 5 to 7 days, while reducing that of your current pet food until you are exclusively feeding Carna4. Remember that you will need to feed your dog slightly fewer cups of Carna4 than other dry dog foods.

Some sensitive pets may experience diarrhea or upset stomachs even if you are transitioning to a much healthier food. If this happens, go back to your old food until the diarrhea stops completely. Then start transitioning to Carna4 more slowly, over 2 to 3 weeks. If however the diarrhea or other upsets persist, take your pet to the vet as this may indicate early stages of an infection or a more severe medical issue.  Speak to the Healthy Pet Care Specialists at the Global Pet foods store from where you purchased Carna4 if you have any further questions or concerns regarding transitioning your dog to the new food.

Has Carna4 improved your dog’s health and allergy symptoms?  Let us know by sharing a photo and your story on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/globalpetfoods

Comments Off on Interested in learning more about a Canadian pet food that serves your dog’s nutritional requirements for Probiotics, Enzymes, Antioxidants, Vitamins & Minerals, all made of 100% real food without synthetics of any kind?

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

Baby, it’s cold outside! Enjoy the outdoors with your pets this winter.

woman and dog in winter

Snow, ice, blowing winds, bone-chilling cold, parkas, boots, mittens and hats are the hallmarks of the winter season, especially in most regions of Canada this year.  The bitter cold temperatures, regular snowfalls and long nights tend to negatively impact some people’s moods and mental wellbeing, which in turn affects their pets.  For those of us who prefer warmth, shorts, sandals, and playing at the beach, we have a tendency to hibernate during the winter months.

Notwithstanding how we feel about winter, it’s important for people and pets to maintain our physical and mental health through daily exercise all throughout the year, not just during the warmer months.  It raises the heartbeat and generates those “feel-good” brain chemicals.

Regardless of how you feel about exercise, all dogs must be taken for a brisk walk and/or run each and every day.  Fish need to swim, birds need to fly, and dogs need to walk and run.

Playing with your dog in the backyard or heading to a dog park provides your canine with fresh air and the opportunity to mingle with other canines but it still isn’t a great substitute for a brisk 30 – 60 minute walk/run.

Exercise provides great benefits such as:

  • It tones your dog’s muscles and helps the body and metabolic system to function properly.
  • Prevents obesity.  Dogs will become overweight, and even obese, if they are not allowed to burn off the calories they take in during the day.  If you give your dog a lot of treats to compensate for lack of attention, the additional calories also contributes to weight gain.
  • Just as in people, exercise helps our pets maintain muscle tone and preserves joint flexibility.  Obesity puts a lot of stress on joints, ligaments, and tendons.
  • Overweight pets have a shorter lifespan and a lower quality of life.
  • Dogs that get daily walks are usually have better behaviour, are less destructive, obsessive or have separation/dominance issues.
  • The mental stimulation gained from investigating every smell, sight, and sound which they get when they’re on a walk/run.

family in park in winterExercise also provides the opportunity to practice obedience skills with her and reinforce your bond with her while you’re on a walk and the time for socialization and to practice social skills through encounters with other dogs or people on your route.

Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise every day for your dog, although Large and Giant Breed dogs, who are more prone to joint issues, should be out for at least 60 minutes every day.  Even senior dogs can be out for 60 or more minutes every day if they’re in good health, but start slowly with a light and short jog, and gradually build up to a quicker pace over a few weeks so that they don’t get injured.

If your dog is very active, she may need longer, more vigorous walks, perhaps even two or more times a day.

It is important not to overdo exercise because pets can easily sustain injuries, especially in deep snow. The last thing we want is for our pets to suffer.  Since we don’t speak the same language as dogs, it is important that you read their body language because they demonstrate pain differently than humans and are seldom vocal unless the pain is severe. Therefore, it is important to note that even subtle changes in behaviour or movement may signal a problem and watch for signs of discomfort in your pet such as:

  • Yelping, whining or whimpering.
  • Visible discomfort when lower hips are touched.
  • Irritability or aggression when touched in the joint area.
  • Wobbling rear end.
  • Reluctance to walk or play.
  • Stiffness or lameness after rest.
  • Difficulty getting up after resting.
  • Difficulty climbing or descending stairs.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Depressed or withdrawn.

Try gently massaging your dog’s painful joints to help restore blood flow. Just like us, dogs’ joints may become inflamed in damp or cold weather so a good bed will keep your dog warm, supports its bones, and help your furry friend get a good night’s sleep.  Invest in a good orthopaedic bed for your dog; there are many shapes and styles to choose from at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.

Supplements containing glucosamine can be very helpful for dogs. Glucosamine is naturally present in animal bones and as a dietary supplement. It can help to promote new cartilage growth, relieve joint and muscle pain, and improve joint mobility.  Glucosamine and chondroitin are most commonly used to treat osteoarthritis in aging dogs.   Fish oils are also used to treat a wide range of issues from kidney disease and arthritis to high cholesterol.   Methyl sulfonyl-methane (MSM) is an antioxidant, cell rejuvenator, and joint healer.

Speak with the local Healthy Pet Care specialists at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods about the right supplements(s) that can provide joint relief for your pets.

Since your walks with your dogs may take place when it’s dark outside, it’s recommended that you outfit your dog with dog with boots in snow accessories to make sure your dog is easy to spot by people driving their cars.   Further, pets lose most of their body heat through the pads of their feet, their ears, and their respiratory tract, so sweaters, coats ad booties can provide them with additional warmth particularly for short-haired or small breed dogs. Global Pet Foods offers a broad range of reflective collars, coats, leashes and leg bands, in exactly the right size and style to ensure your dog is safe and fashionable.

The other consideration during winter is the health of our dogs’ paws when walking on salted sidewalks or roads. Salt can irritate our pets’ paws which can be toxic if licked/or ingested, and even burn and dry them out. You can find sturdy dog boots or paw balm, for those dogs that like to go al fresco. Salt, sand and ice are no match for these paw protectors!

If you live near a pond or a lake, be very careful of ice.  Animals can easily fall through the ice and can rarely climb out on their own.  Keep your pet on a leash and stay with them when outdoors, especially if you live near water.

No matter what the temperature is, the wind chill can threaten a pet’s life.  Exposed skin on noses, ear and paw pads can quickly freeze and cause permanent damage.  When you’re outdoors with your pet, watch for the following signs: whining, shivering, appearing anxious, slowing down, stopping movement, looking for places to burrow.  If you notice these signs, take your pet back inside immediately and wrap them in a warm towel.

TIP: Throw a blanket or towel in the dryer for a minute or two before wrapping them up.

Remember the mantra, ‘Wintertime is Fun Time’.  Don’t let the cold keep you indoors.  Just take the proper precautions, for both you and your pets, before heading outside.  Maintain your dog’s physical health and mental wellbeing – and yours – by embracing the winter.

You’ll find all of the products, and expert advice, that you’ll need to keep your pets warm, happy and healthy during the winter season at your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store.  Yes, it’s cold outside, but the right steps can help you to enjoy the season!  Use our Store Locator to find a Global Pet Foods store across Canada near you:  http://www.globalpetfoods.com/store-locations

Head out that front door with your best friend at your side, and walk away those “winter blues”!

Comments Off on Baby, it’s cold outside! Enjoy the outdoors with your pets this winter.

Filed under Dogs, Education, Exercise, Healthy Pets, Pet Care, Winter

New Year’s Resolutions for you and your Pets

happy_new_year_fbook_posting2015-01

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!!

Comments Off on New Year’s Resolutions for you and your Pets

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

Keep your Pets Healthy during the Winter Season

Image

The key misconception about winter and pets is the belief that pets are able to withstand the cold better than
humans since they are covered in fur. This is not the case. Companion animals are accustomed to the warmth of
indoor shelter and the cold weather can be as hard on your pets as it is on you. Allowing your pets to be outside
for long periods of time during harsh weather can be very hazardous for them.

Tips for Indoor Winter Safety:
1.  If you use a space heater or light a fire, watch your pets closely. They are as attracted to the warmth as you are, so make sure that their tails or paws do not come in contact with flames, heating coils, or hot surfaces that can cause severe burns. Also, if your pet knocks over a heating source, your entire house is in danger of catching fire and going up in flames.

2.  Have your furnace checked for carbon monoxide leakage before you first turn it on, both for your safety and the safety of your pets.  Carbon monoxide is odourless and invisible, but it can cause problems ranging from headaches and fatigue to trouble breathing, and even death.

3.  Provide your pet with a thick, soft bed in a warm room on chilly nights.

Tips for Outdoor Winter Safety
Follow these guidelines to protect your pets in cold weather:

1.  Don’t let winter stop you from heading outside with your pets in the winter.  A brisk walk is great for your health and your pet’s health! Just make sure to bundle up the kids and yourself, so that you can keep warm while outside. Use a reflective leash and collar so that you can spot your pet easily if it’s dark outside or if the snow is deep. Coats and boots should be a must for dogs on really cold days.

2.  Keep pets indoors as much as possible in extremely cold weather.  When they go out, stay with them.  If you are cold enough to go in, your pet is probably ready to return inside too.

3.  Make sure that your pet always has fresh, non-frozen drinking water. When animals don’t have regular access to clean water, they will turn to gutters and puddles where there is a strong likelihood that they will ingest deadly antifreeze, oil and other chemicals.

4.  Your pet’s health can also affect how long he or she can stay outdoors.  Pets with conditions like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and hormonal imbalances can compromise their ability to regulate their own body heat so they should only be outside for a short time.

5.  Puppies and senior pets are especially vulnerable to the cold. The cold can be really hard on the joints of older animals that are stiff and tender. Stay directly behind older pets when they are climbing stairs. Stiff and arthritic pets can experience significant injury if they slip on ice, so beware of conditions when you walk them.

6.  If you live near a pond or lake, be very careful of ice. Animals can easily fall through the ice and can rarely climb out on their own. Keep your pet on a leash and stay with them when outdoors, particularly if you live near water.

7.  Rock salt, ice, and chemical ice can get trapped in a dog’s foot pads. Keep your pet’s pads from getting chapped and raw by putting booties or a balm on their paws before heading outside, and clean them well with a warm washcloth when they come back inside.

8.  Beware of your pet becoming trapped while trying to stay warm. Animals left outdoors can be very resourceful in trying to find shelter. They will dig into snow banks and dive under porches, into window wells, and cellars where they can become stuck. Always provide warm, accessible shelter and watch them closely. Attaching a bell to their collar is also recommended.

Winter Gear: If your dog will tolerate them, use booties to protect their paws from cold, chemicals, and salt. Booties will also keep your dog from licking the salt off his or her feet, which can cause inflammation of the digestive track.  Also, if your dog will tolerate a sweater or coat, use one to provide added warmth. However, please remember that pets lose most of their body heat through the pads of their feet, their ears, and their respiratory tract. Some cats like to venture outside too (even in the winter), so it’s wise to put a coat or sweater on them as well.

Symptoms of Cold. When outdoors with your pet, watch for the following signs:
• Whining   • Shivering   • Appearing anxious   • Slowing down   • Stopping movement   • Looking for places to burrow

If you notice any of these signs, take your pet back inside immediately and wrap them in a warm towel.   TIP: Throw a blanket or a towel in the dryer for one minute before wrapping them up.

Medical Problems:
Keep an eye out for two serious conditions in pets that are caused by cold weather:
Frostbite happens when an animal’s (or person’s) body gets so cold it pulls all the blood from extremities to the body’s core to stay warm. An animal’s ears, paws, and tail can get so cold that ice crystals form in the tissue and damaging it. Frostbite can be tricky because it is not immediately obvious. Sometimes the tissue doesn’t show signs of damage for several days. If you suspect your pet may have frostbite, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Hypothermia is body temperature that is below normal. This condition occurs when an animal is unable to keep its body temperature from falling below normal. This could be due to spending too much time in the cold temperatures, or being exposed to the cold when your pet is in poor health or suffering from poor circulation. In mild cases, the animal will shiver and show signs of depression, lethargy, and weakness. As the condition progresses, muscles will stiffen, the heart and breathing rates slow, and the animal will stop responding to stimuli.

What to Do for Hypothermia:
1.  Get your pet indoors immediately.

2.  Wrap your pet in warm blankets and take him/her to the veterinarian. Your veterinarian, will if necessary, will monitor your pet’s heart rate and blood pressure and give warm fluids through an IV.

TIP:  Do you know where your nearest emergency veterinarian clinic is?  Is there a 24-hour clinic close to where you live? If you don’t know, then now is an excellent time to find out. Post the information on your fridge and add it to your cellphone. Don’t wait until you have an emergency with your pet to look for the nearest services.

How long can should you leave you dog outside in winter?  You should never leave your pet outdoors for long periods of time in below freezing temperatures. Small dogs or those that lack thick, long fur can tolerate less cold than breeds such as Huskies. If you are cold, it is likely that your pet is cold too. Bring them inside the moment you start to feel cold yourself. Also, be sure to provide a warm shelter for your dog to use anytime they are outdoors.

You’ll find everything you need in Global Pet Foods stores across Canada that will help to keep dogs and cats warm this winter.  From clothing to sweaters, boots to paw salves, beds and supplements to assist in keeping their coats lustrous and healthy, we have what you and your pets need.  To find a Global Pet Foods store near you, visit www.globalpetfoods.com.

Don’t let the cold keep you indoors. Both you and your pets need the exercise. Just make sure that you take the proper precautions before heading outside and keep an eye on your pets for signs when it’s time to go back inside.

Stay healthy this winter, and stay safe.

Comments Off on Keep your Pets Healthy during the Winter Season

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