There’s a New Dog in Town!

Have you heard? Global Pet Foods in North Vancouver, BC is NOW OPEN! They are located in the Capilano Village at 801 Marine Drive, Unit 200 North Vancouver, British Columbia.

Owner, Anthony, is very excited to be in North Vancouver and has already had a very warm welcome from the community. He is eager to meet you (and your pets)!  Anthony himself has three beautiful Golden Retrievers that are a part of his family.

Specializing in natural, holistic, and wholesome pet foods & supplements for every type of pet from dogs and cats, to birds, and small animals.  They have the best selection of healthy pet food, toys, and accessories.  Anthony, Noorhan, and the rest of his friendly staff will ensure that you get the right pet product for your specific needs!

 

 

To find a location near you, use our Location Finder.

High-Rise Syndrome

Many pet parents live in condos and apartment buildings and for those of us without the luxury of air conditioning, we rely on open windows and balcony doors to help keep us cool during the hot summer nights.  You may, however, be putting your pets at risk.  Unscreened windows and doors pose a real danger to dogs and, more often, cats, as they can fall out of them.  There is a term that has been recently associated with this: High-Rise Syndrome.  It’s more common than you think.  Veterinarians see cases on a weekly basis whereby the family pets have fallen from an open window or from the balcony.   Falls can result in shattered jaws, punctured lungs, broken limbs and pelvises, and even death.

 

Cats have excellent survival instincts, and they don’t deliberately “jump” from high places that would be dangerous.  Cats have an incredible ability to focus their attention on whatever interests them.  However, they can become so distracted by a bird or another animal that they lose their balance and fall.  And that’s where the “High-Rise Syndrome” applies – when cats fall accidentally from high-rise windows, terraces or fire escapes.

 

  1. People often assume that cats can take care of themselves since they seem to have little fear of heights and enjoy perching in high places. However, even though cats can cling to the bark of trees with their claws, it`s much more difficult for them to cling to surfaces like window ledges, concrete or brick.

 

  1. Cats don’t land squarely on their feet when they fall from a high place. They land with their feet slightly splayed apart, which can cause severe head and pelvis injuries.

 

  1. It’s a misconception that cats can’t be injured when they fall from one- or two-story buildings. Cats may actually be at greater risk for injury when falling a shorter distance than falling a longer distance. Shorter distances do not give them enough time to adjust their body posture to fall

 

  1. When cats fall from high-rise buildings, they may end up on sidewalks or streets that are dangerous and unfamiliar to them. Never assume that the animal has not survived the fall; immediately rush the animal to the nearest animal hospital or to your veterinarian. There is a 90% survival rate for cats who are high-rise victims if they receive immediate and proper medical attention.

 

High-Rise Syndrome is 100-Percent Preventable.  We recommend that you do the following to keep your pets safe this summer:

 

  1. Install snug and sturdy screens in all of your windows.

 

  1. Make sure that adjustable screens are tightly wedged into window frames.

 

  1. Cats can slip through childproof window guards so please do not assume that they provide adequate protection.

 

And finally, if you have a cat (or multiple cats) you may want to keep them indoors to protect them from additional dangers such as cars, other animals and disease.  Purchase full-screen enclosures for backyards and terraces if you want to provide your cats with outdoor stimulation.

Always know where your pets are in the house when you’re home.  Just as you would do when you have children in your home, know where your pets are at all times so that you can keep them safe.

Emergency Planning for Your Cat

A flood, a tornado, loss of electricity. Disasters do happen and they can strike when we least expect them. Planning ahead is the key to keeping you, your family and your pets safe when a disaster happens. Here are some tips to create your Emergency Plan so that you are prepared:

 

 

Ideally, you should have 2 emergency kits for your household – one for everyone in your family, and the second for your pet(s). Keep in mind that when an emergency strikes, you won’t have time to gather everything together. Having the kits ready to go means that you’ll have the essentials you need to keep your family safe and together over a period of time. As anyone who has been through this before knows, being prepared provides you with some peace of mind to know that you’ll be able to weather the storm.

 

Dogs VS Cats

  1. Dogs can be trained quickly, some in a matter of minutes, to obey basic commands like ‘come’ and ‘sit.’
    Most cats are difficult if not impossible to train to respond to directives.
  2. Most dogs take considerably longer to housebreak, and some just never get all the way there. Unlike with Fluffy, housebreaking a pup is usually a hands-on, time intensive project.
    Cats can be house-trained in an instant as long as they have access to a litter box. There’s really no training to it, in fact. It’s instinct.
  3. Dogs are social beings. They want to be with their pack, wherever their pack may be.
    Cats are solitary by comparison and their primary attachment (when forced to choose) is to their territory rather than other two or four-legged animals.
  4. Dogs have 42 teeth. Cats have 30.
  5. Cats can jump and climb, giving them more options when they need to hunt for food, or when they feel threatened.
    Dogs are  earthbound, so they need their pack to hunt effectively.  And when a threat triggers their fight-or-flight response, they are more likely to react with aggression because their ability to flee from a predator is limited.
  6. Dogs are scavenging carnivores, which means although they are primarily meat-eaters, if necessary they can survive on plant material alone (remember, surviving is different than thriving).
    Cats are obligate or strict carnivores. Cats cannot sustain life without eating meat in some form.

  7. Dogs in the wild catch their prey by running it down. They are long distance runners, not sprinters.
    Cats creep up on their prey and catch it by surprise. They are sprinters, not distance runners.

  8. Cats cannot be fasted and should not be dieted down too quickly. Cats don’t efficiently burn fat reserves as an energy source. Instead, without food, their bodies break down non-fatty tissues for energy. This can lead to a life-threatening liver condition called hepatic lipidosis.
    Dogs are much better at using their fat reserves and can tolerate a lack of food for much longer than cats.
  1. Cats have retractable claws that stay sharp because they are protected inside the toes.
    Dogs claws are always extended and become blunt from constant contact with the ground when they walk.

 

  1. Cats can remember up to 16 hours.
    A dog’s memory is only about five minutes long.

Say Cheese!

You clearly recognize the importance and benefits of having a mouth full of healthy teeth and gums. Did you know a lack of regular and attentive care to your cat’s teeth can result in serious health implications? Prevention is the key. Studies show that cats with poor oral health also have a higher risk of heart, kidney and liver problems, which can lead to an early death.

 

People often underestimate the steps that need to be taken with their cat’s teeth in order to maintain good health. To ensure that oral health problems do not interfere with your cat’s quality of life, cats should have their teeth brushed on a regular basis.  Don’t assume that you will know when your cat’s teeth are hurting him or her. Cats will continue to eat even if they have tooth pain simply due to hunger. If you are stressed about the process or are concerned about whether you are brushing your cat’s teeth properly, ask one of our Healthy Pet Care specialists at your neighborhood
Global Pet Foods store to demonstrate the proper technique for daily brushing.

 

Signs and symptoms of Dental Diseases:

 

Please also note the following:

  1. Dental care is critical for your cat’s health. If you are not able to brush your cat’s teeth, there are other options when you’re in between vet visits. Consider using oral rinses made especially for cats. You’ll find a wide variety of oral care products for cats at Global Pet Foods stores.
  2. Never use human toothpaste because the foaming agents can pose health risks to cats.
  3. Do not give your cat any type of candy, ever!
  4. While many brands of dry cat food incorporate dental benefits, giving your cat special dental treats formulated to reduce tartar, plaque build-up and stains is another option to help prevent oral health problems.
  5. Contact your veterinarian if you note changes in your cat’s behaviour or health. The following usually indicates an issue that must be addressed by a professional: your cat stops eating, they have bad breath, their gums are inflamed, or their teeth are visibily demaged or they’ve lost a tooth (or teeth). Failure to obtain professional care for dental problems can result in serious health problems.

 

SLURP’N’FRESH:

From toothbrushes to rinses. Slurp N’ Fresh, a dental care product, is made in Canada. Slurp N’ Fresh uses a unique blend of natural plant extracts to eliminated odour causing compounds in the mouth which cause bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. This all-natural product will eliminate bad breath, reduce plaque & tartar, and protect your cat’s natural oral environment. Clear, unscented, with NO alcohol, artificial flavors, coloring, dyes, or harmful chemicals. Economical to use each time you change your cat’s water.

 

Looking after your cat’s teeth and gums is one key factor in keeping them healthy and happy for many years. You’ll find a wide variety of new and improved dental products for cat in your neighbourhood Global Pet Foods store. Let our Healthy Pet Care Specialists help you improve and maintain your cat’s dental health. We want to see your cat smile!

Think Outside the Litterbox

For those of you who have recently adopted a kitten or a cat, among the list of items to buy is a litter box and cat litter.  Our Healthy Pet Care Specialists can assist you with choosing a litter that is the best option – one that does the best job in reducing the “litter box odour” in your home.

 

There are many litter options for cats and we urge you not to pick the cheapest option, but look for the best option.  Cheaper in many cases does not mean better – you need to choose a litter that works and that your cat likes.  Quite frankly, your cat will be the one who will determine which litter will be used and if you have a finicky cat, you may have to try a couple of different options before you find the one!

 

Cat litter comes in various textures and scents.  There are a number of different varieties of litter that are available on the market and you’ll find a good brand assortment at Global Pet Foods stores across Canada.

 

Clay:  When we opened our first store over 35 years ago, the only available litter was clay based.  Clay litter is typically the cheapest type of litter available.  There’s no question that cats like the texture of clay.  It’s absorbent, they can dig in it, they can bury their droppings, and the clean-up is easy.  Some people may not like using clay litter because they find some brands dusty and irritating.  It produces a lot of waste, and clay does not decompose which means it’s not environmentally-friendly.

 

Over the past number of years, companies have provided other litter options that are more environmentally healthy.  You can purchase a premium clumping cat litter that is 100% natural, biological, organic and holistic, and is 100% chemical free.  These companies have also found a way to ensure the litter stays odour free for a lot longer than the non-premium litters.

 

Silica: Litter made up of silica crystals is a low-maintenance solution because the bag usually lasts one month (based on one cat using it). The silica pellets will absorb the urine and the pellets change color when they’ve absorbed all that they can and then turn yellow.  This makes it easy to know when you have to change the litter.  The heavy silica crystals will stay in the box although some cats don’t like the larger pieces or the texture, as it is harder for them to dig in.

 

Natural and Biodegradable Litters – Pine, Corn, Wheat or Walnut: These litters are considered more natural than clay. They’re usually non-toxic, they decompose naturally ie. biodegradable, some are flushable (depends on your sewage system), they’re quite absorbent, and they provide great odour control, many better than clay litters. While the natural litters are generally more expensive than clay, they are worth their value since they tend to last much longer due to their absorbency. For those who are contemplating switching to an alternative litter, most cats will transition fairly easily to an alternative litter such as pine, corn or wheat.

 

Newspaper based Litter: Recycled newsprint litter is a great eco-friendly litter. This type of litter is made up of pellets of recycled newspaper. The pellets are larger, so it won’t stick to your cat’s feet and end up all over the place. Newsprint litter works like sponges to absorb urine odors, and a scoop with larger holes will let you remove waste easily. Unfortunately, the size of the litter makes it a more difficult transition from clay, but if you take your time, your cat will likely adjust to it.

 

When choosing a litter for a kitten, we recommend that you select a basic, unscented kind.  Some kittens dislike scented litters and may refuse to use them.

 

Litter pans come in many shapes, sizes, and materials. When selecting one for your kitten, look for one that is:

 

 

 

 

NOTE: If you’re thinking about transitioning to a different litter, ie. one that’s more eco-friendly, you may have to make the transition slowly. Start with the old litter mixed with some of the new litter. Gradually increase the amount of the new litter over the next couple of weeks until you’re only using the new litter.

 

More Litter Box Tips:

 

And finally, if your cat is avoiding the litter box or you find that they’re urinating outside of the litter box, this can be a sign that your cat is stressed (for example, there’s a new cat in the house, too many cats in the house, recent vacation, etc.) or that there’s a physical problem such as a bladder infection or something more serious, i.e. FUS (feline urological syndrome).  If this happens for more than a few days, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with a licensed veterinarian to rule out any medical concerns.

Avoiding Urinary Stones

When I was a kid we had a cat with urinary crystals. I didn’t know it, but that was why he peed in our bathtub all the time. I just thought the poor thing had become senile. As my mind turns to spring cleaning, I remember old Boo Boo Kitty and the regular mess he made for my Mom. I’m sure other pet owners have similar stories, so let’s talk about this a bit.

 

One of our customers recently told us how her dog’s urinary crystal issue cleared up after transitioning to Carna4. Delighted with the results, she wanted to know exactly what urine pH level Carna4 produced.

 

The answer is not a definitive number but speaks more to the holistic way an animal’s body functions. A pH level is defined as the concentration of hydrogen ions in solution, which determines the measure of acidity or alkalinity of that solution. A low pH (under 7) is acidic, and a high pH (over 7) is considered alkaline.

 

A healthy urine pH for a dog is a slightly acidic range of  5.5 – 7 , and for cats a healthy pH level is within 6.0-6.4  But here is the rub: there are two main types of crystals, one forms in a more acid pH and the other forms in more alkaline. It has been shown that the potential for struvite crystal formation is reduced if urine pH is lower than 6.6 whereas calcium oxalate crystal formation is less likely to occur at a higher urinary pH. Urine acidification together with a low magnesium intake increases the risk of calcium oxalate formation in domestic cats but decreases the chance of struvites.

So what do we do?

 

First understand that urine pH is influenced by multiple factors and is the sum of all the body’s metabolic processes, from digestion to elimination, each working together to determine the acidity or alkalinity of the waste product.  The body does not have one single pH level, however. Instead, different systems within the body maintain ideal pH levels for what is needed for those functions. For example, the pH of the mucous membrane in the mouth will be different than the pH of the blood.  Body systems are designed to function at ideal levels of acidity or alkalinity, and when the pH is off in one area it is often struggling in another. Urine pH is a handy measure for assessing whether the uro-genital and digestive systems are functioning at an acid/alkaline level conducive to discouraging crystal formation. It is important to note that struvite crystals are present in many, many animals without causing any problem at all.  It is only when a urinary tract infection is present, causing those struvites to become urolithic crystals that the dog or cat suffers. It is actually the presence of a UTI + struvite cystals that  precipitates the presence of these painful bladder stones.

 

Diet is the key to prevention, and not just the low-protein diet you may have heard about. While low-protein will help resolve a stones issue in the short term, it is NOT a long-term solution, and can in fact backfire by robbing the body of important protein needed to repair the immune system! Preventing a UTI, or any infection for that matter, by following a healthy whole foods diet is actually the way to preventing stones because certain ingredients have a big impact on the pH.  A diet containing a lot of highly processed ingredients such as meat or vegetable meals and additives such as lactose, sucrose or fructose elevates and creates an unbalanced concentration of calcium in an animal’s urine.  Too much magnesium will do that too, as well as a low level or poor source of phosphorus, which also raises the calcium concentration – creating oxalate crystals and potentially kidney stones. Vitamin imbalances and formulation errors that can occur with synthetic premixes or sub-standard ingredients, can also wreak havoc. A diet too low or too high in Vitamin D can increase urine calcium – leading to crystals or urinary disease over time. Similarly, a Vitamin B6 deficiency can increase blood oxalate levels and also form crystals.

 

Although the ingredients in your animal’s food are key, the pH resulting from dietary choices is still very important for overall health. In practical terms, meats, fats and sugars creates acidic ash, whereas plant foods and whole grains create alkaline, neutralizing ash. Animals need mostly meat to be healthy, but an over-acidic pH body environment can cause inflammation and allow diseases to thrive. We know that cancer cells require an acidic environment, so a more over-all neutral to alkaline body system encouraged by a balanced whole food diet will help deter this scourge.

 

In the end, knowing specific urine pH levels are less important than knowing how to feed your animal properly with whole, minimally processed foods with no synthetics because bladder health is the result of a variety of the dietary factors explained above. Keeping the whole animal in a healthy state so as to avoid infection is the top strategy for avoiding crystals. Check out the new Carna4 Cat Food containing only well-selected whole foods required to maintain naturally good health in every cat so none of them end up wanting to pee in the bathtub!