Pet First Aid Tips

First aid is extremely important in emergency situations with pets. First aid is required to ease pain and prevent further injury until professional veterinary care can be obtained. Our pets (and our neighbours’ pets) are just as excited about the nice weather as we are, and they may become a bit more adventurous this season. Wildlife is also more active and potentially more aggressive if there are babies near by. There is more traffic on the road, more yard work on the go and spring cleaning is well underway. This time of the year is beautiful and also presents some dangers including wildlife, traffic, sharp tools, scary noises and garbage to get into! It is important to be prepared in case your pet, or a pet you come across, has become injured. The following information is only a sample of the kinds of things we should know as pet owners and lovers. Pet first aid training covers all of this and so much more, and we highly encourage all pet owners to invest in formal training.

Emergency Approach

In an emergency situation, your first priority needs to be safety! If you are put in danger or injured, you are of no help to the pet and you also may require medical attention. Ensure you are safe before attempting to administer first aid.

Animals need to be restrained before administering first aid as injured or scared animals can be unpredictable or dangerous.

You need to stay calm and focused in order to provide the best care for an injured animal. You also should get help. Another person can restrain the animal or provide transportation to a veterinarian.

Assess the condition of the animal and prioritize what needs attention first. Tend to the most threatening issue first.

Check if the animal is responsive to voice and touch. Check respiration and pulse.

Your goal is to stabilize the animal and transport to a veterinary clinic.

Vital Signs

Checking and recording vital signs is an important indicator of the severity of an animal’s condition and can be a valuable tool for the veterinarian. It is also extremely helpful to record your pet’s normal vital signs at rest so you are able to identify changes in these vital signs, which would indicate injury or illness.

To check pulse, place your hand on the animal’s chest behind its elbow to feel the heartbeat, or place fingers on the inside of the back leg where it joins the body to feel the pulse in the femoral artery. Do not use your thumb to find the pulse. Count beats per minute.

Respirations can be checked visibly by watching for chest movements or holding a hand or tissue in front of the nose to feel or see breaths or by placing a hand on the animal’s chest to feel for movement. Count breaths per minute.

Check the mucous membrane colour by looking at the gums, and measure capillary refill time by pressing a finger firmly onto the gums above the canine tooth until the gums turn white under your finger and then release, counting the time it takes for colour to return.

Use the forms below to record your pet’s normal vital signs as a baseline reference.

Shock

Shock occurs when there is not enough oxygen circulating to meet the needs of vital organs.

Signs of shock:

Remember to always restrain an animal before attempting first aid. If an animal appears to be in shock, handle gently and keep the animal quiet. First control any bleeding and then check the airway, breathing and circulation. Keep the animal warm and transport immediately to a veterinarian. Do not give the animal anything to eat or drink.

Bleeding

Bleeding from minor cuts will stop within a few minutes. Severe bleeding requires immediate first aid as it can lead to shock and eventually death.

Restrain the animal first. Cover the wound with clean gauze and secure with a bandage. Reinforce dressing as needed if bleeding continues. Transport to a veterinarian.

Injuries

There are many types of injuries and the action you take will vary depending on what type of injury the animal has sustained. Always transport to a veterinarian once the animal is stabilized.

If an animal has a broken bone, first control any bleeding, move the animal as little as possible and support the animal during transportation. If splinting a broken limb, do not attempt to bend the limb; splint in the position found.

In the case of an injury directly to the eyeball, use a cold compress and do not apply direct pressure.

For minor burns, apply a cold compress or submerge in water and apply sterile dressing and bandage. If burns are severe, transport immediately to a veterinarian and monitor vital signs.

Foreign objects

Common foreign object injuries this time of year include porcupine quills, fishhooks and grass seed.

Porcupine quills can be removed without sedation if there are only a few; grasp the quill close to the skin with needle nose pliers and slowly pull straight out. If there are many quills or they are inside the mouth or near the eyes, they should be removed by a veterinarian.

To remove a fishhook when the barbed portion has not penetrated the skin, simply withdraw the hook from the skin. If the barb has penetrated the skin, push the hook forward until the barb sticks out. Cut the shank of the hook and remove it.

Many pet owners are unaware that grass seeds can become lodged in an animal’s nose, ears, feet, between toes or in the throat. If the object is visible, try removing it gently. Do not use tools in an animal’s nose or throat. If they cannot be removed, contact a veterinarian.

Choking

If an animal is having difficulty breathing, is gagging, rubbing their face on the ground or pawing at their mouth, they may be choking. Restrain the animal, open the mouth and pull the tongue forward to inspect the throat. If the object is visible, grasp it with your fingers and remove it. If this is not possible, a version of a Heimlich maneuver can be performed.

For small pets, place them against your stomach with their head up and feet hanging down. Put your first two fingers in the hollow space just below the rib cage and push inward toward your belly and upwards towards your chin at the same time.

For large pets, lay them on their side on the floor and kneel behind them, with your knees touching their back. Lean over them and place your closed fist in the hollow below the rib cage and press sharply upward and inward towards their head and your knees.

These maneuvers should only be done in severe emergency situations and your pet will require veterinary attention even after the object has been removed.

 

Always be conscious of potential dangers in your pet’s environment!

 

*The information provided here is intended as a guide only and does not replace formal first aid training.

It is important for at least one person in your household to have pet first aid training. If you experience a pet emergency, always phone your veterinarian or animal emergency clinic so they can give you guidance and/or prepare for your arrival.

Prevention of illness and injury is the primary objective of all pet owners and animal lovers. Pet first aid courses provide training that is essential for prevention in addition to emergency first aid training. We encourage all pet owners to receive animal first aid training.

THC and Pets

With the legalization of marijuana, it is becoming more common in households. It may not be in your household, but it could be in your neighbour’s, your friend’s or family’s household. People may not be concealing it in the same way, so it could become more accessible to curious pets. Dogs and cats are crafty and are more capable of accessing seemingly inaccessible areas that we might think.

It is important for everyone to understand the dangers of THC when it comes to pets and how to recognize when they have been exposed.

Exposure to the toxin is most commonly through ingestion but second-hand smoke can also expose your pet to harmful levels of THC.

THC is a very fat-soluble substance, so it is metabolized by the liver and can be stored in the fatty tissue there or in the brain and kidneys before being eliminated. The majority of THC is eliminated in the feces (up to 90%) and the rest is excreted through the kidneys. The effects of the drug will wear off only after it has been metabolized and eliminated.

Symptoms of THC toxicity may be present very shortly after ingestion or many hours after and can last anywhere from approximately 30 minutes to several days. These factors are dependent on the dose ingested as well as the individual animal.

Dogs in particular have more cannabinoid receptors in their brain than people do, so THC can affect them significantly. Most symptoms appear neurological, such as wobbly, uncoordinated movements, dilated pupils, disorientation and vocalization. They may drool excessively or vomit as well as dribble urine. Tremors, seizures or coma are potential in severe cases.

There are tests available that can be done by your veterinarian to confirm the pet has ingested marijuana. Not all clinics have the test available, and it is important to always be honest with clinic staff about the potential for THC exposure. Your veterinarian’s priority is helping your pet, and no one in the clinic is there to judge, so there is no reason to hide anything.

Treatment options will vary depending on the situation. In cases where ingestion is witnessed or confirmed shortly after, your veterinarian may induce vomiting to prevent absorption of the toxin. This is not possible in cases where the symptoms are not present until after the drug has been absorbed. Your vet may choose to administer IV fluids to prevent dehydration and maintain blood pressure and organ function. In some cases, the pet may be sent home to be monitored by the owner until the drug is metabolized and symptoms subside. When the pet is home, it is important to keep stimuli to a minimum. Keep your pet in a dark, quiet place where they feel comfortable but are confined enough to prevent them from injuring themselves.

After your pet has come out of the toxicity, they will likely be very hungry and thirsty. Allow them to eat and drink, but in small amounts at a time so they do not over-do it and make themselves feel sick or bloat. Most pets will be visibly back to normal once the drug has been metabolized and eliminated. It is possible that there will be lingering digestive affects from the ingestion of a toxin, especially if it was a large dose. Monitor your pet’s body condition in the following weeks and if they experience weight loss, consider digestive support supplements for a short time until they are back to ideal body condition.

Prevention is key; keep all potentially toxic substances inaccessible to pets and remove pets from the area while smoking. If you suspect your pet has ingested or been exposed to a toxin, call your veterinarian or local emergency vet clinic.

K9 Choice Foods Premium Raw Pet Food

Feeding a raw food diet can have serious health benefits for pets. High in protein and fat, low in carbohydrates and high in moisture, a raw diet is built for carnivorous pets like dogs and cats. Not only is the nutrient balance ideal, the way the nutrients are incorporated ensures optimal benefit. When nutrients are consumed as part of a whole food, in their natural state – the food matrix – they are more bioavailable and have greater impact on the body. In a raw diet, the food matrix is unaltered by heat or other processing, which ensures pets are able to get what they need from their food and are not exposed to any harmful chemicals that may be generated by refining or cooking processes.

When it comes to choosing a raw diet to feed, it is important to know about the manufacturer – their processes, their formulas and their values. Every manufacturer has a unique way of doing things; depending on what your values are as a consumer, you will align with manufacturers differently.

Here we are highlighting a company with one of the most unique processes in the industry.

K9 Choice Foods Premium Raw Pet Food is a family company in Alberta, Canada. The most interesting thing about this company is that they raise many of the livestock that are used in their recipes. This offers a high degree of control over the quality of their products. Not only that, it provides them with control over how the animals are raised; which is free range without the use of hormones or steroids. In addition to this, the age at which animals are processed, specifically cattle, can be controlled. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has much stricter regulations in place for facilities processing cattle of 30 months of age or older. Typically, cattle that are processed for the human food chain are less than 2 years old. The folks at K9 Choice just feel like this isn’t a long enough life to give the animals that give our pets sustenance, so they are allowed to graze and roam for much longer. What this means for consumers is that their processing facility goes through a more rigorous inspection process even than many of the facilities that supply beef to the human food industry.

Every part of the animal is available for the pet food recipes, even the most prime cuts of meat. In addition, the meat is not aged, and therefore retains all the moisture that is so important for hydration. The time from pasture to package is less than 24 hours – it does not get any fresher than that. Fresh, high quality protein is the foundation of a premium raw diet. This foundation is built upon with fresh produce to create balanced recipes.

From the company:

A Raw Dog food company built uniquely by design and philosophy.

Almost 20 years ago the idea of K9 Choice was born. Designed unlike any other we are the only raw dog food company that raises, processes and packages as many of our own naturally raised proteins as possible. We have shaped everything we do around the simple premise that we can and should feed our beloved pets the very best, real, and truly natural whole foods possible.  When we started we made small, hand-crafted batches of a few hundred pounds maybe a few times a month, 20 years later we use the same small-batch, handcrafted, minimally processed techniques…..only we now make several batches an hour! 

 Pasture to Package isn’t just our tag line, it’s the philosophy we live every day.

https://k9choicefoods.com/

K9 Choice Foods is now available at Global Pet Foods stores nationwide! Call your local store to inquire.

 

Maintaining Microbial Balance in the Gut

A healthy gut is part of our pets’ overall well-being. Gut health has been linked not only to digestion but to immune system function, skin and coat condition and even behaviour. There is a large microbial population in the gut that is key to the health of this body system.

There is always a balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the large intestine, and a healthy gut has a significantly larger population of “good” or beneficial bacteria than “bad” or undesirable bacteria. In order to maintain a healthy balance, the beneficial bacteria need to be supported and nourished and the intestinal environment needs to be effectively cleared of waste.

Fibre is important more maintaining a healthy gut, but it is not the amount of fibre that is most important, it is the type of fibre that is important. Quality pre-biotic fibre is readily fermentable by beneficial bacteria. A few sources of fermentable fibre are chicory root, beet pulp, flaxseed, lentils, oatmeal and apples. Insoluble fibre is not fermentable and does not support the microbial population in the gut. Some insoluble fibre is beneficial for gut health because it helps to clean dead cells and waste from the intestines.

While the right kind of fibre is essential for maintaining the gut microbiome, there are aspects of other nutrients that are important as well. Protein, fat and starch, while not typically related directly to gut health, are important to consider. Unlike fibre, these are nutrient we do not want in the large intestine since they can have a negative impact on gut health. These nutrients need to be highly digestible so that they are almost entirely broken down and absorbed in the small intestine, and all that is left is waste to be excreted. When high levels of these nutrients wind up passing through into the large intestine, they can inhibit beneficial bacteria or support undesirable bacteria.

Undigested fat that passes into the large intestine can interfere with the function of beneficial microbes by coating their cell membrane, essentially smothering them so they cannot function properly.

When starch passes into the large intestine, it becomes food for lactic acid bacteria, which, you guessed it, release lactic acid. This disrupts the pH of the gut and negatively impact beneficial bacteria populations, allowing undesirable bacteria to begin to take over.

Protein that is not fully digested is consumed by proteolytic bacteria in the gut. These bacteria can become pathogenic, migrating up the digestive tract into the small intestine where they could cause a lot of damage. These types of bacteria also have the potential to produce and release toxins that may be absorbed into the blood stream or cause damage to the intestinal lining.

While fibre is very important for maintaining a healthy microbial population in the gut, it won’t matter if you are feeding the best fibre source possible if the other nutrients in the diet are not digestible enough.

Caring for your pet’s pearly whites!

February is dental month and there are many different oral care products that can help you maintain your pet’s pearly whites!

Brushing Teeth:

Still considered the gold standard of oral care, brushing your pet’s teeth gives them the best chance at fighting plaque and tartar build-up and the development of periodontal disease. Brushing the teeth is the most effective way to remove food debris from the teeth, limiting the build-up of plaque and bacteria. The other benefit of brushing is the action of the bristles stimulating the gums, or gingivae. This stimulation increases circulation and delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the gums, helping to keep the structure healthy and strong and able to fight inflammation.

If you begin brushing your pet’s teeth right away when they are young, consistently brushing the teeth three times per week can sufficiently clean the teeth and stimulate circulation for healthy gums. However, if your pet has not had consistent brushing, as is the case with most rescues, brushing must be conducted daily to have a significant impact.

Dental diets:

It is popular opinion that kibble diets will clean dogs’ and cats’ teeth. This simply is not the case. If you consider the metal tools that your vet needs to use to clean plaque and tartar off your pet’s teeth, there is no way any kibble is going to be abrasive enough to clean plaque and tartar off your pet’s teeth.

Many “dental diets” incorporate ingredients that increase the density of the kibble or that allow for the kibble to be extruded with lots of air bubbles to create a large kibble that requires a lot of chewing. These ingredients are usually insoluble fibre. Not only are these insoluble fibres not digestible by our pets, they can reduce digestibility of other important nutrients in the diet, meaning your pet may not be able to extract the necessary nutrients from their meals.

One thing that dry food does do for oral health is encourage saliva production. Anything dry that your pet eats will stimulate production of saliva which contains antibacterial proteins that keep the mouth clean.

It is more effective and less detrimental to digestion to offer dental solutions separate from regular meals.

Dental chews (edible):

Edible dental chews are an easy, delicious way to support oral health. However, not all dental chews are created equal, some being more effective than others.

The texture of a dental chew is very important in determining its effectiveness. Chews should be malleable and not brittle, while remaining dense enough to last while being chewed. The texture and size should allow for the teeth to sink deep into the chew causing it to push on the gums, stimulating the gingivae. This is what keeps the structures of the mouth healthy to fight against periodontal disease. Hard, brittle chews do not offer this benefit, only offering the benefit of saliva production like dry kibble. It is recommended to offer edible dental chews separate from regular meals (a few hours apart) to ensure they do not alter digestion of essential nutrients.

Raw bones are also beneficial for oral health. Raw bones are softer than smokes bones, so they offer more gingival stimulation, plus they have natural enzymes and probiotics that help to clean the mouth and support the healthy microflora population.

Dental toys:

Non-edible dental toys are an alternative to edible dental chews. These products do not contribute calories, so they are a good choice for pets on a weight management program. They also last much longer so may provide more benefits. Soft rubber that teeth can sink into or bristle-like protrusions on the toy can provide adequate stimulation of the gums.

Dental supplements:

Food and water additives are also available to help maintain oral health for your pets. For best results with these products, they should be used in addition to one or more of the other methods for teeth cleaning since they do not provide any mechanical stimulation of gingivae or physical scrubbing of teeth.

Food and water additives work better than a dental diet because the active ingredients do not interfere with the delivery of essential nutrients while they serve their purpose. Active ingredients could include anti-inflammatories, antibacterial or antifungal substances, enzymes, probiotics or immune boosting and wound healing ingredients.

Find out what is best for your pet:

There are many oral care products and a variety of strategies can be developed. To help you decide which strategy and products are the right choice for your pet, visit your local Global Pet Foods store and speak with the knowledgeable staff.

Get a great selfie with your pet this New Year’s Eve!

A new decade is rolling out and there’s no better way to celebrate than spending the night with friends and family. Laugh, play games, eat snacks and take pictures! It’s not easy to get the perfect selfie with another human being; it’s even harder to get a perfect selfie with your pet!

We’ve come up with a few tricks to help you keep your pets attention and get them looking at the camera!

  1. Hold a treat! Grab one of your pet’s favourite treats and hold it in your hand with your phone so they look in the right direction.
  2. Stick a squeaker! Tape a squeaker to the holder on the back of your phone (if you have one) and squeak it just before you take the photo.
  3. Wrap a wire! Attach a wire cat toy to your phone holder (or wrap it on your hand) so it bounces around above your phone to get the big eye stare from your cat; you might even get a cute paw reaching up in your photo!
  4. Play a sound! Choose a sound your pet is interested in and play it through your phone to get their attention
  5. Sneak a selfie! Wait until your pet is asleep and then sneak up slowly, crouch next to them and snap a photo!
  6. Hold tight! If your pet will let you, hold them in position by their collar or if they are small enough, pick them right up so they can’t run from the camera!

Have you figured out any tricks to getting the perfect selfie with your pet? Do you have any selfie fails? Share them with us on Facebook!

 

EW! Why does my dog do that?!

If you have a dog and have not observed this behavior, consider yourself lucky! It is unpleasant. It is repulsive. It is downright nasty. Coprophagia – the consumption of feces. That’s right, dogs eat poop! Sometimes their own poop; sometimes the poop of another.

It is not always easy to discern exactly why your dog is doing this, but there are a few reasons it could be happening.

Scavenging

When a dog consumes the feces of another animal, such as eating from the cat litter box, it could simply be the result of their exploratory, scavenging nature. Dogs are adaptive carnivores and they have an instinct to scavenge for food. They tend to eat what they find, whether that may be fresh prey, leftover carcass, compost or feces. These diet choices may seem gross to us, but to a dog, these things are delicious.

Cleaning

If a dog consumes the feces of another dog, this may be due to the maternal instinct to consume the excrement of young puppies, as a “cleaning” behavior. This behavior may also occur in some hunting breeds as they have a strong instinct to cover up their scent (this instinct also leads to rolling around in feces). Some rescue dogs that have been confined to small, unclean spaces develop the habit of cleaning up after themselves as they prefer a clean “den” to sleep in; they may continue this habit in their new home, even though they have a clean space to sleep.

Nutritional

There are a couple of nutritional causes of coprophagic behavior in dogs.

Nutritional deficiency:

If a dog’s diet does not contain enough nutrients to meet their requirements, the instinct to scavenge is heightened and dogs will attempt to acquire nutrition from any source they can, including feces and garbage. Even if minimum nutrient requirements are fulfilled, a dog may not feel full if the nutrient balance isn’t right for them. Higher protein and fat will help a dog feel more satiated than fiber or other carbohydrates.

Gut microflora imbalance:

Probiotic bacteria must come from the environment. If a dog has an unhealthy gut or an imbalance in the microbial population of the gut (not enough good bacteria or too much bad bacteria), the dog may be driven to consume grass, dirt or feces to acquire beneficial gut microbes. In the winter months, the environment is mostly frozen and so there are limited sources of probiotics, prompting dogs to munch on poopsicles!

The microbial balance may be disrupted for several reasons. Poorly digested food has a negative impact on gut health – undigested protein and starch feed problematic bacteria strains in the gut while undigested fat inhibits the function of helpful bacteria. Poor quality food, improper nutrient balances or damage to the gut can reduce digestion of nutrients. Beneficial microbes can also be disrupted by antibiotics or parasite infections, as well as environmental irritants that dogs ingest unintentionally.

What can be done?!

When it comes to scavenging or cleaning, the solution is training, supervision and timely pick-ups. Dogs can be trained out of this behavior, but the most effective solution is keeping a close watch and preventing access. Cat litter boxes should be kept away from the dog and feces in the yard should be picked up immediately.

In the case of a nutritional deficiency and problems digesting food, a diet change might be the solution. Choose nutrient dense formulas made with high quality ingredients that do not require a high feeding volume. Feed only what is required to maintain ideal body weight and avoid over-feeding.

Probiotic supplements are a great way to quickly replenish healthy microflora populations. These supplements can be used in conjunction with a diet change or can be added to the current food.

If you are experiencing this issue and need more information or guidance, visit your local Global Pet Foods and speak to the knowledgeable staff!

A New Philosophy of Feeding Pets

Choosing how to feed our pets can be a difficult decision to make. We want to choose the food that is best for them, since we will be feeding it to them every day for every meal. But what if we choose to not choose? A new philosophy of feeding pets is here – combination feeding.

What is it? Feeding a variety; including a multitude of ingredients and types of food as well as different nutrient balances.

How is it different? The most common way to feed pets is to feed one food, or a few formulas from the same brand. Most pet owners also only feed one type of food (kibble only/raw only) or maybe two (kibble and cans).

What is it beneficial for? Weight management, digestive health, preventing sensitivities, hydration, overall health, budget.

Weight management:

The benefit for weight management comes down to metabolic flexibility. By feeding a variety of foods with different nutrient balances, digestive and metabolic processes need to be very active and very adaptable, allowing the body to switch between different fuel sources (protein, fat, carbs) efficiently, resulting in less energy deposition (fat deposition). It is still important not to over-feed. Total calories should not exceed maintenance requirements and daily calorie intake should not differ when feeding different foods. Feed to the ideal body condition and pay close attention to any changes in body condition or muscle condition.

Digestive health:

As previously mentioned, varying the nutrient balance of meals results in active and flexible digestive processes (enzyme activity). This not only ensures pets get the most out of their food by absorbing as many nutrients as possible, it also limits the amount of undigested nutrients that end up in the large intestine. Undigested fat, protein and starch is detrimental to the microbial population in the gut. Feeding different formulas also provides a variable balance of fibre. there are many species of beneficial microorganisms in the gut, the balance of which is unknown. It is beneficial to provide a variety of prebiotic fibre sources to ensure all beneficial bacteria are supported.

Preventing sensitivities:

Adverse food reactions could be related to over-exposure to certain proteins along with damage to the gut. Feeding the same protein source every single day means the body is exposed to that same protein every day. Some damage to the gut lining is inevitable, whether it be from infection, environmental irritants or poor-quality food. Damaged areas of the gut lining can allow large particles of undigested nutrients to pass through when they are not supposed to, eventually leading to a reaction from the immune system. The first benefit to combination feeding is limiting gut damage. By including raw or raw alternative foods, we decrease the amount of processed food we are feeding. On top of this, we are not constantly feeding the same exact ingredients, and this limits the chance of over-exposure to the immune system.

Hydration:

The average dog must consume approximately 1oz of water per lb of body weight to remain hydrated, and the average cat requires about 0.8 oz of water per lb of body weight. These requirements increase in warmer temperatures or with higher activity. If animals are consuming a primarily dry diet, it is very easy for them to become dehydrated by not drinking enough. Hydration is essential for every process in the body. Incorporating moist foods into the diet is an easy way to hydrate pets. Canned food, rehydrated freeze dried/dehydrated, wet toppers or raw food are all very hydrating and palatable.

Overall health:

There are so many ingredients used in pet foods and many philosophies surrounding the feeding of pets. Grain free, grain friendly, novel proteins, raw diets, low carb … it seems impossible to navigate; how do we know which foods to choose and philosophies to follow? The great thing is that we do not have to choose just one. Every ingredient has nutritional value and every type of food has benefits. We can offer our pets the benefits of everything by feeding many different formulas. Sometimes, ingredients have potential downsides for certain pets. It may not be clear which ingredients are not tolerated as well by our pets until much later in life. We may only see a negative impact when an ingredient is fed every day for many years and by feeding a variety of ingredients, any potential negative effects would be diluted immensely.

Budget:

We all want to purchase the absolute best food for our pets that we can afford. Sometimes though, our budget changes. Unexpected expenses come up, holidays strain the budget, lifestyles change. When budgets change and a less expensive formula is needed, or maybe there is more money available to be spent, it is much easier to transition diets when our pets are already flexible.

Combination feeding allows us to see which types of diets our pets do best on so we can more specifically tailor their feeding plan for their individual needs. It also allows them to obtain the benefits of different types of foods and ingredients and offers them a variety of flavours to enjoy.

There are many ways to start combination feeding. Different formulas can be rotated on a monthly, weekly or daily basis, different types of food can be mixed together in various combinations, or more simply, nutritious food toppers can be added to your pet’s current diet.

Visit your local Global Pet Foods store and speak to the educated staff about how to start introducing combination feeding to your pet.

The Science of Scratching: Why it happens and how to control it

Scratching is natural and cats have a strong instinctual motivation to engage in this behaviour. It is impossible to prevent.

Why do cats need to scratch?

Scratching serves a few purposes, the most basic of which is to maintain a cat’s claws. Another benefit of scratching is the full body stretch it provides to felines.

Cats are territorial and primarily more solitary than social, so they use scratching to mark their territory. Marking helps them feel confident in their environment and reduces stress.

Scratching is beneficial for a cat’s well-being, and we should never try to hinder this behaviour, but since our cats live in our homes, this behaviour can become destructive. It is very important for us to provide a desirable and appropriate place for our cats to scratch, so that they do not decide to scratch our furniture.

Surfaces:

There are a variety of surfaces available that are appealing to cats. Sisal rope, corrugated cardboard, carpet or wood are all appropriate surfaces. Cats may have different preferences or choose different surfaces at different times. Giving them multiple options limits the chance they will choose your couch.

Location:

Scratchers should be located close to where your cat likes to rest. Rest areas are where cats need to feel the most comfortable and where they tend to mark their territory the most, since resting is a vulnerable state.

Now, let’s get even more scientific about scratching.

Cats leave behind pheromones as they scratch.

Pheromones are natural, chemical signals that act as a form of communication between animals of the same species. Territorial pheromones send messages that reassure cats they are in a safe, familiar place, or indicate “this is mine” and act as a sign to other cats that there is a cat living in the territory. These reassurances relieve stress for cats. These pheromones are released from a few spots on the body including their face and between their toes (released when scratching).

When cats scratch, they leave a visual sign of their territory (scratch marks) as well as the pheromone message. The visual and pheromone messages encourage cats to continue revisiting the same scratching area. This becomes problematic when the favourite scratching area is a piece of your furniture, but these messages can be used to teach cats where to scratch as well.

FELISCRATCH by FELIWAY® is a product that contains territory pheromones and is applied to a scratching post to draw cats to scratch there instead of on furniture. FELISCRATCH also contains catnip as an attractant and is blue in colour to imitate the visual signal of scratch marks.

Appropriate scratching surfaces in the right location, along with FELISCRATCH by FELIWAY®, can help reduce destructive scratching, or prevent it all together, while also improving the well-being of your cat.

Visit your local Global Pet Foods to learn more about scratching, and find all the products you need for your cat.

Also visit FELIWAY® online to learn more about FELISCRATCH and other pheromone products that can help your cat.

https://www.feliway.com/ca_en

The SKINNY on Omega-3 FATS!

Omega oils are a popular supplement for both people and pets. Most of us are aware of some of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, but the extent of the support they offer is much greater than what is typically known. Omega-3 fatty acids offer a variety of benefits to the body including:

Omega-3 fats are a family of essential fatty acids; there are 3 main types that are necessary for health and must come from the diet, as they cannot be synthesized within the body. These three fatty acids are ALA, EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are the active forms of omega-3.

Because ALA is not converted very well to EPA and DHA, dogs and cats should be supplemented with a marine source of omega-3 fatty acids for the greatest impact. Oils with the highest concentration of omega-3 come from sources that are further down the food chain. Algae oil, krill oil and oil from small fish, such as herring or anchovy, have higher concentrations of omega-3 than larger fish, like salmon.

When choosing an omega-3 supplement, it is important to ensure you choose a product that is fresh and pure. Guaranteed quality oils and third-party lab testing are sure-fire indicators of a superior product.

Baie Run Pet Products Inc. creates canine and feline marine sourced omega-3 supplements that are human grade – 100% fit for human consumption – and each batch is tested for purity at a third-party lab – every test result is available for viewing online.

Learn more about Baie Run Pet Products Inc. here.

Visit your local Global Pet Foods to find the ideal omega-3 supplement for your pet.