Issuu on Google+

}Three Dog Bakery-Cookies, Beg-als & more! P.6

Rats - as great as dogs? See p.18

Pet Valu Tm

Fall I 2011

Your Pet. Your Life. Your Store


Gift Preview Great toys for under the tree

All New Canine Nutrition


What's a

holidays... Stop your dog from begging


Why will you be thrilled to find out? See p.3



Passion for

Fashion? Functional fashion options for the stylish dogs

Pets Going Green

Hire the right trainer Aquarium Basics - What fish need Backyard Bird Feeding



Pet Valu


hat’s top-of-mind for you when shopping for your pet? Are you looking for great quality products? Maybe you want exciting new stuff that you’ve not seen before? Or is an earth-conscious company more likely to win your hard-earned dollars? No matter what your priorities are, this issue of Companion introduces some exciting new solutions. Look for squeaker toys that humans can’t hear, dog food that’s baked (like you'd bake at home), grain-free dog food with no chicken protein and eco-conscious choices too. You’ll also find a wide range of adorable toys with Santa hats – just in time for the holidays! We’ve covered what you might be thinking, but what’s on your pet’s mind these days? On page 15 you can read up on how to interpret your cat’s ‘language.’ Of course it’s clear what your dog is thinking when he’s begging at YOUR dinner table. Learn to deter that bad habit in this issue. Read up on wild birds, rats and starting your own aquarium, too. This issue has something for everyone. Here’s a secret I have to share: Eddie and Awesome are pictured on page 3, enjoying the new line of cat furniture! Awesome is the black cat. These now 18-month old kitties of mine spent a day at the office, alternating between mugging for the camera and sleeping. They seem to enjoy the spotlight! Other models in this issue are our Production Manager’s dogs Eddie and Mickey, modeling fall/winter apparel on page 10. As 2011 wraps up, I hope your pets continue to bring you as much joy as ours do. Pets make the world a better place.



Lets talk!

Libbi Hood editor

Your Pet. Your Life. Your Store

Editor Libbi Hood dESiGN Daniel Cullen CoNtributorS Lora Kee David Summers, Ph.D. Candace Eberts Nica Davis

CoNtaCt uS at: Pet Valu Companion 130 Royal Crest Court, Markham, ON L3R 0A1


Product availability will vary by store location. Products may not be exactly as shown. Not responsible for typographical errors. Prices listed are in effect until Dec 24, 2011 and thereafter are subject to change without notice. Please note that the suggested retail prices referenced in Companion magazine are merely suggestions and may differ in stores. ©2011 PET VALU

CaNadiaN EditioN

3 4 6 8 10 11 12



Stop Begging

22 p18

It's that time of year



2 Companion - Fall 2011

15 17 18 19 20 22

In this issue New in Store Squeakers you can’t hear!

Performatrin ultra Grain-Free A new option in dog food without grains

three dog bakery Dog food and treats that are oven-baked

Pets Going Green Earth-friendly products and practices

Fall and Winter apparel Style and function for the colder weather

How to Hire a trainer Sometimes you need professional help

Stop Your dog From begging We’re begging you to read this one!

is Your Cat talking to You? Deciphering the many cat noises

aquarium basics Thinking fish? Here’s what you need to know

rats! Make Great Pets! Rats are smart and social. Who knew?

backyard bird Feeding The DOs and DON’Ts

Wordsearch Cuddle up by the fire and find some words

Christmas Preview It’s time to start thinking about Santa Claws!

®™ Trademarks used under license.


Innovative New Solutions Hear Doggy

• 52873, 53132 › $9.99

& more • 52871, 53131 › $9.99 - $12.99

A breakthrough in squeaker toys that dogs LOVE and people LOVE even more! Hear Doggy toys feature a squeaker that sounds in an ultrasonic range that humans can’t hear, but dogs can. Finally, your dog can squeak all day without the need for ear plugs. Sounds up to 20 kilohertz (KHz) are audible to people, but dogs can hear up all the way up to 45 KHz. Hear Doggy squeakers sound in the 28 KHz range, making them a fantastic indoor toy. the plush toys are available in both stuffed and flat formats. the stuffed toys include a Penguin, Blowfish and Whale in two sizes. the flat toys are one-size only, a Deer, Rabbit or Skunk. • 53138 › $9.99


• 53136 › $9.99



Cat furniture blends seamlessly into your décor, yet gives your cats their own territory for scratching and hiding. We’ve got fun options in cat furniture, with new trees and posts arriving regularly. Check out our triple Step, perfect to help old cats onto higher surfaces, like couches and beds. Its three carpet-covered levels and real-wood posts provide choices in scratchable surfaces – great for finicky cats. the two Story Cat Condo is an excellent hideaway with a great spot on top for naps. the two openings are connected inside, so don’t be surprised when kitties run in the bottom and emerge from the top!

Confin = safet ed space a den, a y. Cats love nd a re c o n t h e s e t w o nected.

y onl dog r youn hear ca hem ! t eak squ

Have you

• Two Story Cat Condo 75338 › $44.99

Zogoflexed? Our stores offer a wide range of Westpaw toys made from Zogoflex – an amazingly tough material that is buoyant, pliable, and designed to be recyclable, to create virtually no waste during the manufacturing process. Non-toxic and FDA compliant, Zogoflex material is made in the USA. the he newest in the Zogoflex line is the twiz! twiz wiz is excellent for a game of fetch. twist wist the legs together for maximum flight distance. Plus, the ‘head’ is hollow, so you can place treats inside and twist the legs back together to create a game for your dog. twiz wiz is • Zogoflex Twiz! 52629, 52631, 52635 available in blue, red or orange.

• Triple Step 75349 › $69.99

› $16.99

Fall 2011 - Companion 3



Grain-Free = Diversity

Newly available, Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free dog food is a great new option for your dog’s daily nutrition. I developed this formula for the Pet Valu family of stores, including Bosley’s in British Columbia and select Paulmac’s stores in Ontario. Let me tell you all about this great new food. by dave summers, Ph.d.

MADE IN CANADA Available in three convenient sizes 26.5 lb bag - $69.99 • 13.2 lb bag - $39.99 • 5 lb bag - $17.99 4 Companion - Fall 2011

There is one unifying factor in the very diverse grain-free segment of the pet food market – none of the foods contain any grain. After that feature, the brands and formulas vary widely. Each is sold on its own merits, and what is true about one grain-free brand is not necessarily true of other brands. One differentiating factor about Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free is our three-meat blend: turkey, salmon and duck. We deliberately blended significant amounts of these three meats to give the food its own unique taste, which dogs love. How do I know this?

Home palatability testing showed Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free to be very appealing to dogs. Notably, the three-meat blend in Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free does not include chicken. This also sets it apart from other grain-free formulas as many include chicken as part of their meat blend, even if it's a small quantity. Don’t get me wrong, chicken is an excellent ingredient and is used in many Performatrin and Performatrin Ultra formulas. However, for dogs that are sensitive to chicken protein, Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free is a good option.

More Meat Please! Grain-free foods are often marketed as ‘wild’ diets – closer to what dogs ate in the wild. Eating a combination of meats is definitely similar to how dogs evolved, where they hunted and ate a variety of animals. It’s not surprising that these ‘wild’ grain-free foods tend to contain more meat and less plant ingredients than grain-based dog foods. Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free can certainly be called a meat-based food with 85% of its protein coming from its three meats, turkey, salmon and duck. The overall result is that grain-free foods in general have higher protein and fat levels than foods that contain grains and Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free is no exception providing 37% protein and 16% fat. The average protein and fat level in grain-free foods is around 34% and 16% respectively whereas a typical holistic dog food with grain has around 22% protein and 12% fat. The grain-free foods are more nutrient-dense, meaning they have more energy, more protein, more minerals and more vitamins – more of the nutrition that a dog needs – in every bite. And this is reflected in the feeding guides which recommend lower quantities than most foods with grains.

While grain-free foods do tend to have higher protein levels, it is really the lower carbohydrate levels that make grain-free foods nutritionally different. Interestingly, protein and carbohydrate have an inverse relationship. As the protein level goes up, the carbohydrate level comes down, and vice versa. It makes sense that the wild dog eating a “natural” diet would have consumed a lot less carbohydrate than found in a typical dry dog food. There is some research that suggests that a lower carbohydrate level helps decrease appetite and also the deposition of fat in the body. So even though grain-free foods are more nutrient-dense, they don’t automatically result in your dog gaining excess weight. However, you should still monitor your dog’s consumption of highercalorie grain-free foods to avoid weight gain. I have been asked if the higher protein content is detrimental to the pet over the long term. The answer is no. It is the minerals sodium and phosphorus that can cause kidneys to wear out, not protein. High protein is harmful to pets with kidney failure, but protein doesn’t cause the kidney failure.

All Life Stages Most grain-free foods are often marketed by their different meat sources (salmon, duck, bison, chicken, rabbit, and venison, for example) as opposed to life stage. The vast majority are All Life Stages foods, and that’s also true of Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free. Why is Performatrin Ultra GrainFree a good option for puppies? Well, one of the most distinguishing features of a puppy food is its higher protein and fat content, making it a more nutrient-dense food. Grain-free foods are already nutrient-dense. Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free is also made with salmon, and from

the salmon comes salmon oil, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. DHA is required by puppies for proper brain development. Omega-3 fatty acids are also great anti-inflammatories, and along with the glucosamine included in Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free, they can help maintain bone cartilage particularly beneficial in large breed dogs and puppies. This formula is also appropriate for senior dogs, unless they have a kidney issue. Older dogs need fewer calories so simply feed them less kibble to avoid weight gain.

What about Allergies Are grain-free foods hypoallergenic? Not necessarily. Most are better than average and some are very good options. A hypoallergenic food has two basic features: fewer ingredients that contain protein (because food allergies are to the protein in a particular ingredient), and unique protein-containing ingredients that are different from those in previously-fed foods. Grain-free foods excel at having unique ingredients. They start with not having any of the common grains (all of which contain some protein) and many continue by having exotic or uncommon meat sources. But just because a food has an exotic meat

source at the top of its ingredient list, it does not mean it is a hypoallergenic food. Although most grain-free foods are not true hypoallergenic foods they do have that intangible benefit of being different, and different is always helpful when dealing with a dog that has problems from unknown causes. If you are dealing with a more severe food allergy, a true limited ingredient, hypoallergenic food would be a better option, but with less severe sensitivities, grain-free foods offer an alternative. Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free is formulated to be a good alternative choice with no grains and no chicken protein.

When to Choose Grain-Free Grain-free diets are a great choice if you are unhappy with your dog’s current food. If your pet is not thriving, whether he has a dull coat or is less energetic, a switch to a grain-free food may be enough of a dietary change to see positive results. this is because grain-free foods are different from grain-based holistic and super-premium dry foods. A food with a unique formulation gives your pet a new start.


th? l a e H f or o l o C e h at is t

Red, orange, yellow, blue and green. These are more than just colors. In many fruits and vegetables, these colors reflect the antioxidants they contain. The bright yellow of marigolds comes from lutein. The red color of tomatoes comes from lycopene. The orange of beta-carotene is what gives carrots and sweet potatoes their rich color, and even the blue color of blueberries comes from a combination of their proanthocyanins. Many colors denote many antioxidants. So what is the benefit to you and your dog from consuming many different antioxidants? You and your dog have a life time battle with the harmful effects of oxidation. Millions of chemical reactions occur in the body every day, and not all go perfectly. Sometimes a particle called a free radical is released, and it will look for something to oxidize. Oxidize the eyes and you get cataracts or glaucoma. Oxidize the cartilage in a bone joint and you get arthritis. Oxidize the wall of blood vessels and you get heart disease. Oxidize the DNA in a cell and you could get cancer. The effects of aging are really the accumulated effects of oxidization throughout your body over a lifetime. Antioxidants are the natural defense mechanism against free radicals. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals to limit their damage. In Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free, the Color of Health shows the wide range of antioxidant sources - a rainbow of brightlycolored fruits, vegetables and botanicals - included in the formula. Also included are spirulina and alfalfa, concentrated sources of chlorophyll which also acts like an antioxidant to further enhance health through the immune system. A term that is used to describe all plant attributes that enhance health is phytonutrients. So it would to be true to say Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free is full of health-enhancing phytonutrients. As in all Performatrin Ultra foods, the Grain-Free formula contains pre and probiotics. Probiotics are the good micro-organisms that live in the digestive tract including Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Bifidobacterium. Prebiotics, the ‘foods’ that feed the good micro-organisms, include chicory root, dried yeast and Yucca Schidigera. Fall 2011 - Companion 5


Baked Goods A New Option in All Natural Dog Food by libbi hood

Bakery In 1989, three dogs, two guys, and one 59¢ Goodness Oven-baked dog food and treats biscuit cutter joined provide an exciting new twist on feeding your pet. forces to create Kibble is die-cut and literally Three Dog Bakery. oven-baked, which is different from Quality the cooking process of other pet As a result, furry foods. By cutting the dough and then Ingredients baking the food, the kibble is solid, At Three Dog Bakery, they started friends everywhere rather than the lighter kibble that is out with three dogs as part of the created when the shapes are ‘extrudcan enjoy premium, family, they named the company ed’ or pushed out of machines. after them, and they continue to treat oven baked, all natural The slow-baking of this food them like family. They use only top helps to maintain nutrients, ensuring quality ingredients that are ‘good dog food and treats! the food is healthy for your dog. enough’ for family. • Bake to Nature Dog Food Chicken Adult formula › 4 lb $14.99

 This describes the beginning of Three Dog Bakery, as stated in the company’s marketing materials. The company was created from a love of dogs, especially their dog Gracie whose health issues and eating disorder required a healthier, more appealing food. This humble beginning is evidence of their drive to create something appealing and different in dog food, and they’ve succeeded.

The process also ensures the food tastes great, with plenty of ‘homebaked’ flavor. Once the kibble is baked, the company again ensures top quality by screening the food, to ensure only the best is packaged. Their commitment is evident in the clear plastic window on their bags. You can see how great this food is long before you pay for it and take it home to your dog. It has the look of baked goods you’ve been eating all your life.

Amazing Aroma Slow-baked kibble makes a different pet food, and the biggest difference is the delicious aroma. Just as it’s delightful to walk into a bakery, it’s equally appealing to open a bag of Three Dog Bakery dog food or treats. The amazing aroma makes you want to eat the food yourself, rather than giving it to your dog. But perhaps your reward will be more dog kisses than ever before! • Bake to Nature Dog Food Lamb Adult formula › 4 lb $15.99 Chicken Puppy formula › 4 lb $15.49 6 Companion - Fall 2011

Three Dog Bakery’s dog food begins with premium, human-grade chicken or lamb to provide highquality protein for your dog. The company chooses to use only the human-grade portions of the meat sources, which means no meat byproducts are in the food. The company does not add artificial colors, additives or preservatives to any products. Three Dog Bakery does not include any soy, corn or wheat in the “Bake to Nature” dog food, though some treats use whole wheat flour. There is no added salt or refined sugar either – only natural sweeteners such as honey or molasses are used. Maintaining the integrity of the ingredients is also important to the dog-lovers at Three Dog Bakery. They ensure proper storage of all ingredients from the time they are acquired until they are baked into the food and treats. All meat is stored at 36 degrees and only transported in refrigerated trucks.


Cookies, "Bagels" & More "Bake to Nature" dog food is available in chicken or

lamb. There is an adult lamb formula, plus chicken formulas in puppy, adult and healthy weight.

Classic Crèmes treats look just like cookies you would eat yourself, and they smell just as good. They are available in ‘golden’ cookies with peanut butter filling, or healthy ‘carob’ cookies with either peanut butter or vanilla filling. Carob is a natural chocolate substitute that is safe for dogs. Classic Wafers are crunchy treats that are just soft enough for senior dogs too. Choose from apple oatmeal, peanut butter or wheat-free sweet potato flavors. Biscuits are classic bone-shaped cookies in apple oatmeal or peanut butter flavor.

Roll-Over Rewards are small-sized treats that are perfect as training rewards. Also great for puppies and small-breeds, choose from apple oatmeal or every dog’s favorite… cheese!

Beg-als are mini-bagels baked with natural peanut butter for irresistible aroma and taste.

Gracie’s Garden Treats are named for the dog who

started it all. They're 100% dehydrated sweet potato slices, a healthy alternative to dog cookies with a taste that dogs love.

Gracie’s Gourmet Entree for Dogs are pouches of wet food, perfect as meals on their own or delicious toppers for dry food. Each vacuum-packed pouch contains lean meat, vegetables and whole-grain rice.

Solutions pet travel

to protect your whole pack

Keeps Fido in his place

Prevents driver distraction

Universal fit

Rugged construction

Wander Hammock

Skybox Booster Seat

Tru-Fit Smart Harness


Visit your local Pet Valu to see the complete Kurgo line


Earth Friendly Pets by libbi hood

The Friendly Choice Adopt from a Shelter Cut down the overpopulation problem. The huge quantities of companion animals on the planet already use vast resources in food, landfill, and more. Plus saving a pet from a shelter just feels good. Spay or neuter your pet. Spaying or neutering can help keep your pet healthy by lowering or eliminating chances of reproductive cancers like uterine, ovarian and testicular cancer. In addition, it will help contain the growing overpopulation problem. Indoor Cats It’s much safer for your cat, and much safer for the dwindling population of song birds, for felines to be raised indoors. Indoor cats live much longer, healthier lives than outdoor cats. Outdoor hazards include cars, predators, disease and fights with other cats. Remember, birds are our friends. Some people believe insects would take over the world if wild birds were no longer around to eat them. Better Pet Food As we avoid chemicals in our cleaning products, we should also avoid them in our pet foods. Artificial colors, artificial flavors and chemical preservatives are non-natural components that do not need to be in your pet’s food. There is a wide variety of pet foods in all types and all price ranges that don’t contain any of the artificial or chemical ingredients, and are preserved naturally. To travel even further down the eco road, look for foods made with organic ingredients. Organic prod-

• PoopEase Clean-up Bags. 49276 › $5.99 80 pc

8 Companion - Fall 2011

ucts are subject to specific and rigor-ous standards, as are organic farms for fruits, vegetables and livestock. There are no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics or genetically-modified seeds in organic farming. When it comes to eco-friendly pet food, be sure to read the labels carefully. Remember that organic claims are subject to specific standards but claims of ‘natural’ or ‘all-natural’ are not regulated. Ask questions at your local store – we’re here to help.

• Tug This - Hemp Rope Antler Pull. 56301, 5, 7 › $12.99 - $24.99

• Cheez-e-Scratcher. Made from cardboard, recycle when you're done! 75368 › $12.99

THE FUTURE OF POOP Millions of pounds of dog poop sounds scary, but not to everybody! In Massachusetts last autumn, a conceptual artist named Matthew Mazzotta built a ‘methane digester’ that converts freshly scooped dog feces into methane. The methane was then burned to create energy which fueled a lamppost in the park! This kind of ingenuity is a clear sign that innovative, green solutions really could help save our planet.


• Tropiclean shampoo. 44013-6, 8 › $12.99

try this

• PawGanics. Shampoo, Conditioners & Cleaning products 44512-5, 44402-4, 44414-5 › $7.99 - $12.99

A Smart Choice

Non-toxic cleaners are safer for ourselves and our pets. EarthPawz offer a range of natu-rally-derived cleaners including floor cleaner and stain remover. earthpawz

Green or Just Smart?

44395-9 › $9.99

Sustainable Pet Products Green Poop – Dealing with poop is a fact of life for every pet owner. Cats need a litter box and dogs need picking up after. To be more earth-friendly, choose biodegradable pick-up bags for your dog’s poop. Most biodegradable bags will breakdown in one or two years, rather than the 10-25 years it takes for a regular plastic bag. Of course, for anything to biodegrade it requires moisture and oxygen, and many experts claim that nothing really breaks down in a landfill site because it’s designed to be air tight. Still, choosing biodegradable is a step in the right direction. You can also look into whether your town offers a ‘green-bin’ or local composting program, and if so, whether they accept animal waste. For cats, clay cat litter is considered a non-green choice because it’s stripmined from the earth, which can lead to erosion and other issues. Clay litter is not biodegradable either, but many alternative litters are. Try corn or wheat-based litters, which clump and control odor as well as clay. Some say they actually do a better job than clay because the ingre-

dients are more absorbent. Most importantly, corn and wheat-based litters are made from by-products of the farming industry, meaning the corn and wheat that is judged not fit for human consumption. It would usually be used to feed livestock, rather than people. Other alternative litters include those made from wood and paper products. These can be made from the waste products of the pulp and paper industry, and from recycled newspapers. Ice-Melter – Salt-based ice-melting products can hurt your pet’s paws. Also, the salt shouldn’t be ingested, which could easily happen when your dog licks his paws after a walk. Pet-safe ice melter like Safe Paws costs a little more than rock salt, but for the safety of your pets, it’s worth it.

• Safe Paw Ice Melt. 53996 › $16.99

Natural Materials Dog chews are very ‘green’ when they’re made of 100%, naturally-shed deer antlers. Try the latest innovation that includes a 100% hemp rope as well. Chilly

Dog sweaters are handknit by indigenous Indians in South America using 100% wool. Only natural plant dyes are used, and the company avoids all plastic packaging.

• Eco-Cuddlers. Made from Bio-foam, the most bio-degradable foam on the market 58714-5, 58726 › $24.99 - $49.99

Recyclable or Recycled materials Plenty of products are now made partially or entirely of recycled or recyclable materials. A cardboard cat scratcher is recyclable when your cat is done scratching and gnawing on it. Zogoflex products from WestPaw (see page 3) are 100% recyclable rubber. Many pet beds are now filled with soft, pliable materials that are made from recycled products, such as plastic pop bottles. Clean-up – Stain and odor products are going green. There are non-toxic products available that are safe for people, pets and the planet, but that still work! Try Earthpawz or PawGanics. Grooming – Being earth-friendly is a priority for several dog shampoo manufacturers. PawGanics shampoo products are formulated with plant-based ingredients which are non-toxic. Tropiclean shampoo is soap and detergent free, and the bottles are made of recycled materials. The sleeve label on their bottles is made from corn, which makes them natural, renewable, biodegradable and 100% recyclable.

There isn’t a strong connection between ‘being green’ and microchipping your dog or cat, but it is just plain smart. Microchips can help you reconnect with your pets if they get lost, sometimes in seemingly miraculous ways. Earlier this year a microchipped cat was found in New York City and taken to a shelter. The shelter scanned the chip and called the family at home in Colorado! It had been five years since Willow the cat had disappeared in Colorado, and nobody knows how she travelled 1,600 miles to New York or what she did for five years, but she’s been reconnected with a family that loves her, which is amazing. Willow’s human mom, Jamie, said that all her pets are microchipped – and that she’d microchip her kids if she could! Regular dog tags can also help identify your lost pet, and they’re often available at your local store while you wait. Tags are required by law in many places.

Microchip Actual size! not much bigger than a grain of rice!

Fall 2011 - Companion 9


Make a

• PJs 61833-7 › $17.99


Fashion Statement Add Color!

The perfect accessory to any outfit, our fun & colorful RC Collars & Leashes! FroM $12.99

What To Wear


eaters, both wool and acr ylic, help keep dogs warm wh en the weather gets bitterly cold. Older do gs, sm dogs and smooth-coa all and ‘toy’ sized ted dogs are all mo re susceptible to the col d than large, shaggy dogs. But large or sm all able in this season’s , all dogs look adorfashion choices. Pajamas keep do gs warm when they’r on cold floors in win ter. Pajamas also he e lp contain hair that’s sh ed, cleaner. Fleece hood keeping your home ies can both contain shed hair and keep dogs warm, indoors and out.

Selection will vary

• Chilly Dog sweaters are 100% wool and colored with natural plant dyes. They are hand-knit by indigenous Indians in South America. Maple-leaf Sweater › 62353-9, 62361 › $39.99

Bag Style The Petaggon from Teafco Carriers is available in pink or blue. 65405-6 › $74.99

by store.

• Fleece-lined parka with matching hood is available in red (shown) or gray. 61822-6 › $34.99

• Cable-knit sweater in red. 61871-5 › $24.99

10 Companion - Fall 2011


➳ How to

Hire a Dog


Do you need professional help training your dog? by libbi hood


t’s up to you to find a trainer that will work with you, your dog and your situation. Whether you are planning puppy training before you adopt your new puppy (a great idea!) or searching for a trainer to solve a specific behavioral issue such as separation anxiety, you need the right trainer for the job. When you are compiling your list of candidates, ask your local store if they work with any local trainers. You’ll also find names online and in the yellow pages, or on bulletin boards at your veterinarian’s office or dog park. Ask for references from friends, neighbors, colleagues and more. If somebody has a dog that you believe is well-behaved and well-adjusted (not behaving out of complete fear, for example), then ask them if they went for professional training. Once you have your list, contact the trainers for more information. If you simply sign up for the cheapest class available, you may not achieve the results you want.

Finally, homework your dog CAN eat!

 Group vs. Private Do you have a preference for group classes or individual instruction? The benefits of group instruction include socialization with other dogs, learning to overcome distractions and usually more economical fees. Classes can be extremely effective for basic training of new puppies. With private instruction, it may cost a little more but you get the full attention of your chosen trainer. For this reason, you and your dog may progress faster than in a group setting. In addition, individual instruction better replicates the at-home interactions you have with your dog.

COSTS The cost of dog training can vary widely based on type of training, trainer, and even geographical location. Group classes can be $50 to $200, usually for 5-8 classes. One-on-one sessions can start around $50 per hour and go up from there.

 Experience Counts You also need to ask about the credentials of your candidates. Dog training is an unregulated industry, so it’s up to you to ensure your trainer is qualified and competent to achieve the goals you have for your dog. There are training programs for dog trainers that vary from appren apprenticeships with practising trainers to multi-year college programs. Some try trainers will be ‘certified’, but certi certi- this fications can mean different things. It’s more important that the trainer Tiny Rewards has experience and a successful Small-size treats like these from Three Dog track-record with a wide variety of Bakery are ideal for dogs. Ask about formal education, training rewards. how your candidate became a prac pracrollover rewards 30472 › $7.49 ticing dog trainer, and how much experience they have. Does their experience match your goals? Do they mainly run puppy classes when you need one-on-one behavioral breakthroughs? Ask for references too, and follow-up with them.

 Types of Training There are basically two approaches to dog training, positive and negative. Positive training rewards good behaviors to encourage your dog to repeat the action (to receive the reward). Positive reinforcement also involves deterring bad behavior by withholding any type of reward. For example, if your dog barks for attention, you ‘withhold the reward’ by completely ignoring her when she displays this behavior. Negative training can involve physical corrections, deterring bad behaviors through discomfort or fear. Positive reinforcement can be done using treats as training rewards, or sounds (such as clicker training), or with praise. There are as many styles of training as there are dog trainers. It’s most important that you feel comfortable with the approach your trainer takes, so ask for detailed descriptions. If you don’t feel comfortable with physical corrections and choke collars, discuss those techniques with your trainer to ensure your approaches are in sync. Finally, ask to observe a class the trainer is teaching. A good trainer will encourage this, because they want to ensure the right fit between trainer and client. Watch to see if the people and dogs are enjoying themselves. Is the session under control? Do the training techniques match what has been described to you? Is it an environment in which you can picture yourself? These are important questions. Fall 2011 - Companion 11


Please Stop

Begging Is your dog a little beggar? There’s hope! by CandaCe eberts


egging is a nuisance. We have all encountered that dog. You know, the one who stares at you while you’re eating? Whose huge starving eyes watch as your fork reaches your mouth and wills food to drop on the floor? Begging is a behavior that can embarrass as well as frustrate not only the pet owner, but friends and family who come for a visit. If your dog shows these behaviors while you are sitting down to dinner, entertaining guests or even preparing a meal, there’s hope! There are some tactics that can help train this behavior out of your dog. But first we need to learn and understand what begging is and where it comes from. Begging is a learned behavior that is taught to the pet by the pet owner. When we share our food with our pets while preparing or eating a meal, we are teaching them to expect food whenever we eat. As humans, it is part of our nature to provide for others by offering food just as it is your pet’s nature to seek out different foods to eat. Dogs and cats alike will exploit human behaviors to get what they want so it is pretty important to set limits. Establishing rules around food is a great way to teach your dog when and what he is allowed to eat. So how do you stop your dog from begging once he’s developed the habit? Here are some tips to improve canine manners.

 Reward Only Behaviors You Like To help train the begging out of your dog you must learn to ignore the bad behavior. Dogs will complain about being ignored and they will do everything they can to get your attention. Barking is a dog’s most common tool for attention. Whining, jumping and even howling are other attention-seeking behaviors that dogs will use to their advantage. Ignore them! Stand your ground and do not give in. This can be quite difficult to do as dogs can be very persistent. Everyone in the household must adhere to ignoring begging behavior. It can take days or even weeks of ignoring bad behavior before your dog begins to understand that he won’t get any results. Only reward the behaviors you approve of and remember that one slip could undo any progress you make. 12 Companion - Fall 2011

 Set Limits If your dog's begging behavior occurs during meal time, it is important that you set and maintain some rules. It is recommended to feed your pet after your meal is finished. Maintaining this order of meal times will teach your dog that his food will come, but only after you have finished yours.

 Use a Specific Command Some popular commands where food is present are ‘Out’ or ‘Down’. These are commands you can use at meal times. ‘Out’ is a command for your dog to leave the room. It teaches him that during mealtime, his place is not at the dinner table. It also keeps your dog out from underfoot, creating a safer and more inviting kitchen environment. She can spend meal times outdoors or enjoying a chew toy in another area of your home. Teaching your dog ‘Down’ is another command you can use if you’d prefer having your dog in the same room throughout your meal. Since this command grants your dog permission to join you while you eat, it is helpful if your dog has first learned when it is his time to eat. Remember, when training your pet it is very important to be consistent. One simple slip can undo weeks of training. Don’t hesitate to tell your family and friends when they come over that you and your dog have set meal times and ask them to be respectful of your training. Encourage them to participate by not feeding snacks or handouts while they enjoy your dog’s company. Rewarding your dog with pats and scratches behind the ears will grow and deepen the bond between you in ways more satisfying than a simple snack.

try this Stop Begging The Pet Corrector interrupts a bad behavior with a loud hissing noise. Try it as part of your dog’s training to stop begging. Pet CorreCtor 59471 › $12.99

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One Of the keys tO yOur cat’s heart Is a great DIet!

– Fiona Wallace, Pet Nutrition Expert, Nestlé Purina PetCare Canada

“You are what you eat” holds true for cats as much as it does for you! The food you feed your cat is like fuel. It provides them with the energy they need to function and allows them to be at their best. Cats can have unique nutritional requirements, and proper feeding helps optimize health and longevity. There are so many cat food options out there, and it is sometimes hard to navigate your way around the cat food aisle. Here are some key considerations when choosing a food for your feline companion.

Why does your cat need protein? Cats are natural carnivores and their bodies are designed to run on protein. Research has shown that cats require a diet that is high in protein for optimum growth and development.1 A protein-rich diet is required to maintain lean body mass, support energy requirements, promote a great-looking cat, a healthy heart, and a strong immune system. Not only does PRO PLAN® dry cat food contain 40% or more protein*, but PRO PLAN® cat dry and wet foods exceed the AAFCO minimum requirement for protein, and contain real poultry, lamb or salmon.2

Is the formula tailored to your cat’s lifestyle? The nutritional requirements of cats with an indoor lifestyle may differ from those that go outside. Indoor cats are more likely to be overweight, as they are generally less active and may have slower metabolisms. They may also spend more time grooming, so hairballs may be a problem. PRO PLAN® INDOOR dry cat food contains all of the nutritional benefits of PRO PLAN® adult dry cat foods, plus moderate calories and high protein, tailored specifically to indoor cats to help maintain an ideal body condition and provide natural fibres to help with hairball management.

Does your cat have special dietary needs? • If your cat is experiencing weight gain, encourage exercise through play and consider PRO PLAN® WEIGHT MANAGEMENT dry cat food, specially formulated for the nutritional needs of overweight cats. It contains 20% less fat and fewer calories than PRO PLAN® dry cat food original formulas. • If your cat is finicky, she may have a sensitive stomach. PRO PLAN® SENSITIVE SKIN & STOMACH dry cat food is made with real lamb for excellent palatability, and is specially formulated to help promote your cat’s digestive health. • For urinary tract health, consider PRO PLAN® URINARY TRACT HEALTH dry cat food. It is specially formulated to help maintain feline urinary tract health by reducing urinary pH and providing low dietary magnesium. Also, encourage water intake - fresh clean water should always be available for your cat. Lastly, if you choose to incorporate a wet food in your cat’s diet, it’s important to select a product specially formulated to promote urinary tract health such as PRO PLAN® Urinary Tract Health Formula wet cat food.

“PRO PLAN dry and wet cat food is formulated to be highly palatable for cats and offers a variety of diets to meet your cat’s individual needs.” ®

Does it taste good? PRO PLAN® dry and wet cat food not only offers a variety of diets to meet your cat’s individual needs but it has also been formulated to be highly palatable to cats. Not only will your feline friend love it, he will let you know.

Always discuss your cat’s individual health needs with your veterinarian.

For more information visit

Save $5.00 on one (1) bag of Purina® PRO PLAN® Kitten or Cat Food (1.59 kg or larger dry formulations)

tO the retaILer: Upon presentation of this coupon by your customer toward the purchase of the specified product, nestlé Purina Petcare will reimburse you the face value of the coupon plus regular handling. Other applications may constitute fraud. Proof of the purchase of sufficient stock within the previous 90 days to cover coupons submitted may be required. Reimbursement will be made only to the retailer who redeems this coupon. Coupons submitted become our property. Cash value 1/10¢. Mail to: nestlé Purina Petcare, P.O. Box 3000, Saint John, New Brunswick E2L 4L3. Valid only in Canada. Not valid with any other offer. Sold exclusively at pet specialty retailers. PURINA TRADEMARKS OWNED BY SOCIÉTÉ DES PRODUITS NESTLÉ S.A., VEVEY, SWITZERLAND. EXPIRY DATE: February 1, 2012 *REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF PET VALU CANADA INC.


1. Association of American Feed Control Officials Cat Nutrient Profiles, 2011. 2. On a dry matter basis. ® * Except PRO PLAN Urinary Tract Health Formula for Adult Cats.

Conversing with

Sometimes you just know they’re trying to tell you something by lora kee


o your cats talk to you? Many cat owners find that some of their cats are chatty, others are quiet, and some only make noise when provoked. But what does it all mean? Cats don’t usually talk to each other. The most common vocal communication occurs between a mother cat and her kittens. The mother and kittens all purr during nursing, and the mother will make a chirping noise to let her kittens know she has food for them when she returns from hunting. Kittens also make noises to signal their mother. Outside the mother-kitten relationship, cats don’t usually talk to each other unless they’re fighting or mating. So why do our cats cry and purr for our attention? Because it works! Many cat owners are familiar with the ‘feed me!’ meow, and are accustomed to hearing it every morning. Many cats have their own variations of this meow, whether it’s insistent, pathetic sounding, or just plain loud. It’s your cat’s way of getting your attention and alerting you to the fact that he needs to be fed. Many cat conversationalists can tell the difference between the “I want food” meow, the “I want to be on the couch” meow, the “I hate being in the car!” meow, even the “I’m on the wrong side of this door!” meow. This is a language that cats have learned and, in turn, taught to their humans.

Body language When using body language to communicate with cats, you need to speak their language. For example, why do cats always go to the one person in the room who isn’t fond of cats? Cat lovers will look right at the cat hoping he’ll come over to say hi, which the cat might feel is threatening. The person who doesn’t like cats will try to look anywhere but at the cat, which makes him or her the least threatening person in the room, and therefore the best lap to sit on.

try this Let's Talk Active play will help avoid boredom ‘chatter.’ CosmiC CatniP red PePPer 51779 › $5.99

C O n V eRS i n g Wi T H CAT S

Purring is another method that cats use to communicate. It generally means a cat is comfortable and happy, but it can also be a way that cats calm themselves when they’re feeling stressed or anxious. Some cats even purr at the vet's office! Some cats make a happy noise when they have a favorite toy. Cats make a chirping noise when they’re very interested in prey (or a toy), and others will carry around their ‘prey’ while making noises – some sound like they’re moaning, others crying or chirping. This is usually to alert you to the fact that they’ve caught something awesome, and they want to share so you know all about their hunting prowess. The open-mouthed hissing noise cats make usually signals that they’re unhappy, afraid, aggressive, or in pain. It’s meant to be a warning noise that tells you to back off or risk being attacked. If two cats are fighting, you’ll often hear snarling and growling. These are obviously sounds of aggression. If a cat’s hissing, growling or snarling, it’s best to get out of his way. Because of the loud noises cats make when fighting, a cat fight often sounds worse than it is. There might be a lot of nipping and scratching, but a portion of the fight is just posturing, and a lot of that comes from the noises they make.

 My Cat Talks Too Much! For some cats, talking can become a problem. Excessive vocalization can be extremely frustrating for owners when they’re trying to watch TV, talk on the phone or sleep. How do you get your cat to stop? Cats learn to talk to us because they want our attention, and noise usually works. If your cat blesses you with excessive noise, the situation is not hopeless! You just need to re-train him to communicate with you a little more quietly. Never reward a cat for excessive noise. He wants your attention, and if you respond by picking him up, talking back, even yelling at him, he’s succeeded! If you’re trying to get your cat to stop meowing incessantly, ignore him. This can take a long time to sink in, but if you’re patient and consistent (and all of your family members are too), your cat will eventually learn that noise will get him nowhere. Boredom is one reason cats will seek out your attention. Make sure your cat has toys to play with, places to go, and gets enough attention that he doesn’t feel neglected. Give your cat positive attention when he’s quiet and calm. Stress can be another reason why cats are excessively noisy. Your cat may meow more than usual if you’ve just experienced a stressful life event, such as a move. Patience is key in these situations. Make sure kitty feels secure in his home and has places to hide out and manage his anxiety. Over time, he should be back to normal. If your cat starts making noise for no reason, a trip to the vet might be in order. She might be sick or have an injury that you can’t see. It’s always best to get unusual and unexplained behavior checked out. Cats can’t tell us exactly what’s wrong, but if they’re telling you that something is wrong, you need to investigate. Fall 2011 - Companion 15

DAY 30


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Mobility problems can have a significant impact on your dog’s quality of life. According to clinical studies, one in five dogs has joint health issues or mobility problems. And it’s the third most common complaint that dog owners report to their veterinarians. So how can you tell if your dog might be experiencing the early signs of joint health issues? Look for the following behaviours:

• Slower to get up or down

• Lagging behind while walking

• Longer recovery time after play or exercise

• Less playful, running less or less active in general

— Nina, pet owner, Burnaby, British Columbia

“Nothing could have prepared us for the fantastic results we have seen in our senior dogs since we introduced them to Healthy Mobility. You have got to try this product!”

The truth is that all dogs can experience mobility issues at different stages of life. Unfortunately, pet parents often think of these early signs as a normal part of the aging process.

— John & Carolyn Stevens, pet owners and CKC registered breeders of Labrador Retrievers, Lindsay, Ontario

The good news is that now there is a food that can help you make a difference. Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Mobility dog food contains high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and pain. Plus, it’s enriched with Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate, the key building blocks of healthy cartilage. Science Diet® Healthy MobilityTM is a revolutionary, tested formula designed to improve your dog’s mobility and joint flexibility in just 30 days. ®


“My dog is her chipper old self again and has no problems climbing stairs or getting up. I am very impressed with this dog food.”

“My 9-year-old furry “daughter” loved her new food! She is showing more of what I would call puppy behaviours. And she does seem more stable getting up quickly and is better on the stairs.“


— Elaine, pet owner, Toronto, Ontario

Vets’ #1 Choice Worldwide to Feed Their Own Pets


*Among small animal practitioners for healthy pets. Science Diet is available as Science Plan in Europe. ©2011 Hill’s Pet Nutrition Canada, Inc. ®/TM Hill’s, Science Diet and Healthy Mobility are trademarks owned by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.

T H e L i F e AQUAT i C

The Life


➳ Beginners Shopping List

The Basics of Aquariums These aquarium supplies will make life much more comfortable for your new pets. Filters: Filters are critical as they maintain water quality which is necessary for the survival of the fish. There are three types of filtration:


Mechanical Removes floating particles such as fish waste and uneaten food. Chemical Activated carbon removes odors, gases and water discoloration. Biological Provides a surface for the beneficial bacteria to grow. Beneficial bacteria are needed to remove harmful toxins such as ammonia from the water.

 Common Problems

 Get Started

Common problems for a beginner aquarium hobbyist include ‘new tank syndrome.’ This can occur when many fish are added quickly, throwing off the natural chemical and biological balance of the environment and killing most of the fish. Avoid this problem as it can be very discouraging when you’ve just started your aquarium. Take your time and add fish a few weeks apart, allowing the water and the fish to adjust before introducing new species. It’s also important to not overcrowd your aquarium. Most fish may appear small, but they require a bare minimum of 1 gallon of water per fish. For ideal conditions, fish need much more space than that. Make sure your chosen species are compatible as well.

You’ve got your aquarium – now what? Choose a place for your aquarium, fill it with water, use your water conditioner and let the tank ‘cycle’ or run for at least 24 hours before adding your fish. Remember, aquariums are heavy! Water weighs 8.5 lbs (4 kg) per U.S. gallon. A 20 gallon aquarium filled with water weighs about 170 lbs. Consider the weight when choosing a place for your fish. Aquariums should also be kept away from direct sunlight to inhibit algae growth. Once your tank has cycled, go and choose fish that you love, and take them to their new home.

Heaters: Heaters maintain a steady water temperature which is crucial for healthy fish. Fish are ectotherms (cold blooded). Their body temperature is determined by their environment. Warmer water increases their metabolism and disease resistance as well as improves their appetite. Ideal temperatures can vary based on the type of fish you have, but for most species the ideal is in the range of 78-84° F (25-29° C). Determine the proper heater size by providing 3-5 watts of power per gallon of water. For example, a 30 gallon tank needs a minimum 90 watt heater.

by niCa daVis

Air Pumps: Since fish extract oxygen from the water, the main function of an air pump is to create water movement that will increase the available oxygen. Air stones are attached to the air pump via airline hosing and a check valve. The check valve ensures that the air travels in the right direction and stops the water from backing up should the pump stop working. Hoods & Lighting: Aquarium hoods slow the water evaporation process, prevent active fish from jumping out of the aquarium and prevent dust particles from contaminating the water. In addition to the hood, some form of supplemental lighting is needed to view your fish. Room lighting does not penetrate water easily. Plants & Décor: Plants and décor provide hiding places for the fish and add to the beauty of the tank. Plastic plants are a common decorative choice, available in many different colors and sizes. Plastic plants are a good choice for goldfish and many freshwater fish as they tend to uproot and consume more expensive live plants. You need 1-2 lbs of gravel per gallon of water. Gravel is essential to help hide waste at the bottom of the tank, and it’s available in multiple colors to help you personalize your aquarium’s look. Food: The majority of fish are omnivores; this means that they eat both plant and animal matter. The most popular types of food are flakes and pellets. They come in a variety of colors, compositions, textures and sizes. Feed your fish 2-3 times per day - but just a small amount. It’s very easy to overfeed your fish, which only leads to a messy tank when uneaten food is floating around.

ish offer a solution to the space and time constraints of your average pet lover. Fish don’t need to be walked or housebroken, and they can be left home alone for a few days. They don’t need annual vaccinations at the vet and they don’t get diarrhea! Finally, watching an aquarium is very soothing. Freshwater aquariums are the place to begin your life as a fish hobbyist. You can use regular tap water to fill your tanks, as long as you condition the water properly.

SICK FISH? Watch for these signs of an unhealthy fish. several medicines are available to help bring your fish back to health. • Inflamed gills • Lying on the bottom of the aquarium • Fins clamped to its sides • Scraping its body on rocks •Spotted scales

Conditioners: Your basic water conditioner neutralizes harmful chlorine, chloramines and heavy metals in tap water and adds a protective slime coating to the fish. Use water conditioner whenever you change water in your tank. Replace about 25% of the water monthly.

• Tetra 10 cl Deluxe Aquarium Kit 70255 › $69.99 Fall 2011 - Companion 17

g r e at pets


Rats! King of the rodent pets? Maybe… by lorA kee


hen I was young, we always had a variety of pets in the house – cats, dogs, birds, and so on. My mother loved dogs, my dad favored birds and I liked cats best, but the one pet that united us was a little hooded rat named Suds. Though she was only with us for three years, we missed her more than any other pet after she died. Rats make amazing pets. There are lots of reasons why a rat makes a great pet. If they are properly socialized when young, they will be friendly. Rats are often very affectionate and will like to cuddle on their humans, or just sit on shoulders watching. They keep themselves very clean, spending as much as a third of their waking hours grooming themselves. There are several varieties of rats that you might see in a pet store or at a breeder. The most common is the hooded rat, which has a brown or fawncoloured head with a white body. Other types include all-white rats, Himalayan coloring (similar to Himalayan cats), hairless rats and more.

 Social Animals Rats are clever animals and can learn to do tricks. They are social, and many rat enthusiasts compare the bond they have with their rats to the bond between people and dogs. Rats like interacting with their people, and if you’re thinking of adopting rats, you should be prepared to spend some time with them every day. Rats like to have a friend, so it’s usually recommended that you get two rats instead of just one, especially if you’re only able to take your rat out of his cage for an hour or less every day. Just be careful that you get two of the same gender. Rats have large litters, as many as 12 at a time. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a lot of rats! Male rats can be aggressive with each other, but won’t usually be a problem if they’re introduced when young. Female rats tend to get along and will be happy for the companionship when you’re not around to play with them. Rats get a bad rap for being destructive. Like many small animals, rats 18 Companion - Fall 2011

have front teeth that never stop growing so they need to chew all the time. Domestic rats can use chew toys to keep their teeth from growing. However, wild rats can cause a lot of damage to property with their constant chewing. That’s why the province of Alberta is ‘rat free.’ It’s illegal to own any breed of rat. Anyone found with a pet rat in Alberta faces a $5000 fine and having their rats put to sleep!

 Rat Habitat Rats are relatively easy to care for. They need a large enclosure – an aquarium or large cage makes a good home for a rat. Make sure the bottom is solid so that your rat’s feet don’t get caught in it. They will like a place to hide and sleep during the day, like a small animal igloo. Rats require bedding to absorb waste and to burrow in. Opt for absorbent small animal bedding like CAREFresh, or wood shavings, and keep it clean – change it at least once a week. Despite their reputation for being dirty creatures, they actually don’t like a messy home at all.

out of the gutter Although Domestic rats, (also called Fancy Rats), are a cousin of the wild rats you might see in cities, they are very different. Domestic rats are friendly pets if handled well and they don’t carry disease. A wild rat can carry disease, but they don’t actually carry the plague. Plague epidemics are caused by fleas – often fleas that catch rides on rats.

Rats like to climb and will enjoy a playground in their cages. Ramps, ladders and rat-sized jungle gyms will help your rat stay entertained and get some extra exercise when he’s in his home. They also like digging and making nests, so make sure he’s got lots of bedding to curl up in.

 A Meal Fit for a Rat Rats are omnivores, like people, which means they eat both meat and vegetable content. This is one of the reasons that the wild rats survive so well living off garbage in cities. Your domestic rat will be healthier, however, with a balanced diet. A formulated rat food will meet their dietary needs, but if you feed a mixed food, make sure they eat all the pieces, not just their favorites. Treats for a rat can include just about anything, but try to keep it healthy. Fatty and sugary treats aren’t good for rats. They’ll enjoy healthy vegetables, grains, bits of meat and store-bought rat treats. Make sure your rat stays slim. Rats with extra weight are more likely to develop health problems like tumors. Overall, if you keep an open mind about ‘rodents,’ a rat could be your next, and favorite, pet.

T ' N O D & DOs


The Best Eats

in Town!

DO attract a variety of birds by offering a variety of seeds in different types of feeders. Smaller birds such as chickadees and finches can be seen at most types of feeders, including tubes with ‘perches.’ Larger birds such as blue jays prefer platform feeders.

by libbi hood

DON't worry about migration. Birds that head south for the winter will go whether your feeders are full or empty. In fact, keeping feeders full in spring and autumn will provide a hearty meal for migrating birds. Many birds will follow the same path each year and stop at your feeders annually.

Introducing Solesca Woods A new line of bird seed, available at Pet Valu and Paulmac’s stores, offers four seed blends to customize your bird feeding experience.

 Solesca Woods Shell-Free Shell-free bird seed blends are fantastic. This blend contains sunflower seeds, millet and peanuts, all with the hulls removed. There are no unsightly shells to fall to the ground, making this bird seed ideal for patio areas or feeders above your gardens. Best of all, seeds with the hull removed will not germinate, so your garden won't have surprise bird seed weeds next Spring! Attracts: American Goldfinches, Cardinals, Dark Eyed Juncos, Evening Grosbeaks, Red Breasted Nuthatches….and more.

DO deter squirrels by placing • Shell-Free 12195-6 › 10 lb $17.99 - 20 lb $31.99

 Solesca Woods Waste-Free What’s the difference between shell-free and waste-free? While Solesca Woods shell-free has all hulls removed, the waste-free blend contains both dehulled sunflower seeds and peanuts, along with whole millet (with its thin hull intact) and some cut corn. What it really means is waste-free provides some of the benefits of shell-free, at a more economical retail price. Attracts: Buntings, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Dark-Eyed Juncos, Sparrows, Towhees….and more.

 Solesca Woods Woodland

• Woodland 12193-4 › 13 lb $19.99 - 24 lb $32.99

The woodland blend contains the top 3 preferred seeds and nuts by the majority of wild birds: black oil sunflower seed, striped sunflower seed and shelled peanuts. It also contains a small amount of safflower seed which is particularly attractive to cardinals, but generally disliked by squirrels. Attracts: American Goldfinches, Chickadees, Grosbeaks, Pine Siskins, Finches, Nuthatches, Tufted Titmice, Woodpeckers….and more.

 Solesca Woods Finch Blend This mixture attracts and nourishes finches and oth-er similar birds – many of which will frequent your bird feeder all winter long. Finches will eat from most types of feeder, but the seed mix contains all fine-textured seeds which work best with tubular finch feeders that have small feeder ports. Attracts: American Goldfinches, Dark Eyed Juncos, House Finches, Purple Finches, Pine Siskins….and more.

• Finch 12174-5 › 10 lb $14.99 - 20 lb $27.99


feeders at least six feet away from any jumping-off point. This means six feet above the ground, and six feet from trees, buildings and other structures. Use squirrel ‘baffles’ on your bird feeder poles for even better results.

DON't let your feeders get mouldy or dirty, which will deter birds. Clean feeders between refills to maintain a healthy buffet for your feathered friends. • Waste-Free 12172-3 › 10 lb $13.99 - 20 lb $25.99

ALL ABout squirreLs These squirrel facts explain why it’s hard to keep them out of bird feeders: • Squirrels, like all rodents, have incisors that never stop growing so they must chew constantly to keep them worn down. • Squirrels can eat their body weight (approximately one and a half pounds) in food each week. That’s a lot of food. • Squirrels can climb almost anything, jump six feet (or more!), and their tails give them excellent balance.

DO add beverages! Birds need water throughout the year, though it can be difficult to keep it from freezing in the winter. (Never add antifreeze, which is poisonous to all animals, including humans). Purchase or create a bird bath that is very shallow, and clean it often. Birds bath, drink and poop in the bath.

DON't forget to feed. Birds will consistently visit your feeder and come to rely on the food you provide. While they will have multiple sources of food, consistent supply will help them survive the cold winter months. DO enjoy the natural beauty of songbirds in your backyard.

Fall 2011 - Companion 19

f w inter un


spirit santa hat snowflake turkey cranber r y treat

toys stocking rawhide candy cane holiday poinse t tia

chocolate homebaked tinsel begging

a y h O l I I D a y s t O l I D h p c r a O q s N N O w f l a K E b O t u j p c a p y u N c h O c w I s v c t r c a I I N N E s K u I c N N t u r K K E y t r m a r E v h N s E O I N N s E l O O O r a O u h t I E v y h c x N p l K u t s h b c K O b c h r a N O O E E O t E s r j K t r a w s t I v E E D p h p m g l I l I s r Z l N y r K K a l E g a a b r t y E w N g l r t h b I t r a w h I I D D E c a N N D y c a N N E K g K c j E u r g D K b s D m g K m b c t r E a t v l g O h E E N E s r t a K O y u l m I s r D D E v find the answers at 20 Companion - Fall 2011

t H e H O L I DaY s here!

The holidays are just around the corner!

Are you ready for the holidays? There’s shopping to be done, decorating to start, and the all important decision of what to give your furry and feathered friends. For ideas, see the following page of fun, fabulous holiday toys. Plus, there are hundreds of great gift ideas in our stores that do not feature a Santa hat! Ask for recommendations – you may be happily surprised at the range of solutions available. Have fun this holiday season, and give your pet an extra hug from us.

Is Christmas Toxic for Pets? Many of the things we love about celebrating the holidays are actually a little dangerous for cats and dogs. Sharing our own treats with pets is almost never a good idea. At best, giving people food to pets provides them with too much salt and fat. At worst, certain people foods can be harmful to health or even, potentially deadly. And many of those harmful foods are staples at holiday celebrations.

Artificial Sweetener –

10% of Christmas gifts are broken by the New Year. We’re not sure if this has anything to do with the dogs and cats!

If you’re watching your caloric intake this Christmas, you may be sticking to artificially-sweetened treats. Beware, the sweetener xylitol is suspected of causing a sudden drop in blood pressure in dogs, as well as depression, loss of coordination and seizures. Other sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame are not proven to cause the same problems, but why take a chance? It's safest for pets to avoid sweeteners.

What else should you watch out for this season?

Raisins – Found in baked goods and party mix, raiAbout 25% of sins are one of the most serious problem foods for pet parents have Ribbon & tinsel can be irresistible to cats, dogs. It’s been widely reported that ingesting large their dog or cat and dangerous if swallowed, amounts of grapes or raisins can lead to renal failure take pictures potentially causing intestinal problems. in dogs – but there is no consensus on how much is with Santa Candles can look and smell beautiful, a large amount. With the wide range of dog sizes and and start fires if knocked over by pets. breeds, different amounts may be dangerous for different Toothpicks, a common way to serve appetizers and party dogs. Macadamia nuts are also thought to cause issues for pets. food, can puncture intestines if swallowed. Chocolate – Everyone’s favorite treat, including your dog, but Plants are beautiful at Christmas, but a bad idea if your pet likes chocolate is another potentially dangerous food. to chew them. Some plants, such as lilies, are more toxic than most. Again, the level of danger is dependent upon But poinsettia plants are not the dangerous decoration of popular the amount ingested, the size of the dog 70% of dog legend. Poinsettias may cause mild to moderate and the potency of the chocolate. While owners buy stomach irritation if your dog or cat ingests the white and milk chocolate are less likely to Christmas plant, with symptoms of drooling, vomiting and be harmful than dark chocolate, unsweetgifts for diarrhea, but that is true of most plants. ened baker’s chocolate and 100% cocoa. their pooch


Fall 2011 - Companion 21

s y a d i l o H a ppy H ble! ra o d a re o m le t t li ta Christmas just goe perfect Christmas gift for yoemursedolvesg oron caCht.ristmas

to open it th go looking fo r th the othe r Every year you w ra p it, an d try to entice them-legged frie nds, as we spen d So metimes you obably co nfuses ou r poor four things open! rthe r morning. T his prthe year te lling them not to riply sa ys Christmas, look no fu snip al n re of toy th at ay, you ca 364.5 days re looking fo r a y New Y ea r’s D T his year, if you’ se lectio n of season al toys. B Ja nu ary! r th an this excitingt off fo r a ne w fa vo rite toy fo the Sa nta ha

Adorable is in season

• rEinDEEr 49034-5 › $12.99 - $19.99

The hedgehog and gingerbread man are two of the cutest holiday toys available. All trim is embroidered for safety, and each toy rattles to keep dogs amused without the volume of squeakers. The hedgehog is available in two sizes.

• GinGErbrEaD man 76164 › $6.99

Knotties are Nice Be a different kind of naughty this Christmas! Knotties by Hugglehound are strong plush toys with layers of durable material to stand up to rough play, but still remain soft and light. The plush snowman and the corduroy reindeer are each available in two sizes. They have multiple squeakers to keep your dog amused for hours.

• pEnGuin FlOppEr 76177 › $8.99

floppy holiday This unstuffed penguin and dog are fun holiday floppers. Your dog can shake them all he wants, no stuffing will come out. • HEDGEHOG 76165, 76171 › $5.99 - $9.99

• ballOOn animalS 52912 › $3.99 - $4.99

A Classic–with hat

• puppy FlOppEr 76177 › $8.99 22 Companion - Fall 2011

Latex Balloon Animals with squeakers are adorable all year, but the monkey and the blue dog with Santa hats add a whole new level of funny. Available in two sizes.

hung with Ca

seasonal twist

The Kyjen snake is an Invincibles toy – it has multiple squeakers that keep squeaking even after they are punctured. This longlasting toy is perfect for dogs who love squeakers, but lose interest when the squeaking stops. Plus, the hat is easily removable for a snake that really will last all year. Available in two sizes.

• StOckinGS 59589 › $8.99

re Nothing says lo stocking. Ha ve like their very own ng then fill with by the chimney with care … de celebrate the licious treats and toys to season. • SnOW babiES 76176 › $3.99

ttle the Liy u g bies

no w b a Fuz z y s ble stocking o d ra make a f fers. stu

• kyjEn SnakE 76163-4 › $12.99 - $19.99

• SnOWman 76175 › $6.99


Jingle Bells

Squeeze the shaggy dog and he’ll bark out a rendition of Jingle Bells, just for you.

like Sc If you don’ rooge? t exude ho liday sick of Chr istmas caro spirit, and you’re then this is ls by Nov. 2, th (and your do e perfect toy for yo u Bah Humbu g). The Sherpa-st yle g Christmas snowman has a sass at y rather than titude and a subtle rattle a boistero us Happy Hol squeak. idays!

• SHaGGy DOG 76172 › $7.99

t f ire withouto your holidays e l k c a r ’ g C ottle ‘cracklin

e rb Add som e adorable wate dorable and a s with the . The penguin is classic. te rs lu le o k s c b a ra c n deer is a the rein at face! th t a k L oo

• rEinDEEr 76168 › $9.99

• SnOWman 49036-7 › $12.99 - $19.99

Like Candy The Yeowww! catnip candy cane is stuffed with organic catnip for a holiday cats will love (but might not remember!). The plush green stripes alternating with the red cotton give your cat different options for licking and chewing.

• canDy canE 52469 › $9.99

for Cats Mice and balls in colorful Christmas strips will keep your kitty amused come December 25th.

• pEnGuin 76169 › $9.99

• Selection may vary by store.

Fall 2011 - Companion 23


Looking for an alternative? Developed by Dr. Dave Summers, Pet Valu’s nutritionist, Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free boasts a unique blend of three meat sources – Turkey, Salmon and Duck.

Why Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free?

• Balanced nutrition for all life stages - from puppy to senior • Unique tastse of 3-meat blend is ideal for picky eaters • No chicken protein and no grains eliminate related food sensitivities • Omega-3 from salmon oil helps ease itchy skin and hot spots • Required protein levels to support improved muscle development and maintenance • No meat by-products, soya, artificial preservatives, artificial colours or flavours

Available in three convenient sizes › 26.5 lb bag - $69.99 › 13.2 lb bag - $39.99 › 5 lb bag - $17.99

Companion - Fall 2011