Page 1

} Classrooms with Pets p.18

Poop & Etiquette

Be top dog at the park p.12

Pet Valu

Your Pet. Your Life. Your Store

» Fall 2010

»Myth or Real

Can you tell? p.10


Bizarre Cat Behaviors

Send us yours via

Exclusive Pet Valu canine fashions offer function & style this season

Heroic Pets Dog Park Etiquette Feline Fun in Kid’Zone

Cats & Water?

Tips to bring them together

Why do Cats Purr? Find out why + other fun facts



Pet Valu

Your Pet. Your Life. Your Store

As I write this, I’m half watching the charming movie Must Love Dogs on TV. Although it’s really a romantic comedy about men and women, I’m struck by how being a pet person can bring people together. There are dog people, cat people, and all-around animal lovers. It’s nice to know that you have something in common with people all around you – people who understand the joy we feel at the funniest little pet quirks. My kittens, Eddie and Awesome, are water babies. Unlike my last cat, who hated the water, these two are in the sink every time I wash my hands or brush my teeth. I thought this was bizarre behavior until I asked around. It turns out other cats are right in the sink too. Some only drink water they lick off their paws, and some love nothing more than drinking out of the toilet! For more on bizarre (and sometimes frustrating) cat behaviors, see page 4. On the other hand, if your cats don’t take to the water like fish, turn to Doc’s article on page 6 for tips to get your finicky feline drinking. And don’t worry canine parents, this is still a dog-friendly zone! Whether your pooch is more likely to be sitting pretty in the latest fashions this fall, or getting dirty at the dog park, we’ve got you covered. Cat or dog, wet or dry – we’ll see you in your Pet Valu store.

CONTACT US AT: Pet Valu Companion 130 Royal Crest Court Markham, ON L3R 0A1

Email: 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 October 31, 2010 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. ©2010 PET VALU

In this issue 3 4 6 8 10 12 16 16 17

18 1

Small is Beautiful


Libbi Hood

EDITOR Libbi Hood DESIGN Daniel Cullen CONTRIBUTORS Leah Piltz Dave Summers, Ph.D. Julie Johnston Emily Richardson




Chocolate, Dogs & Myths


2 Pet Valu Companion - Fall 2010



Bizarre Cats?

20 22 23

New in Store Dog biscuits worth barking about

Top 5 Bizarre Cat Behaviors We take a crack at explaining your cat

Cats and Water Doc asks: Do your cats have a drinking problem?

Fall Fashion Preview Canine fashions, coming soon only to Pet Valu stores

Myth or Real Do you know which ‘facts’ are actually fiction?

Dog Park Etiquette Brush up on canine manners fit for the park

Newly Recognized Dog Breeds The American Kennel Club has expanded its list

A New Look for Pet Valu Check out our new logo and fresh new store look

“Life Saver” Products You may not even know these exist, until you need them

Small Animals in the Classroom

What can be learned from hamsters may surprise you

Kid’Zone Fetch that Word – Feline edition

The Lighter Side Fun pet stories

Enter to Win! One lucky reader will win.

®Registered Trademark used under license.


New Choices in

Dog Biscuits

Buddy Biscuits

Tasty AND Healthy? Now that's something to bark about! by JULie JOhNStON

These days, we’re all trying to make healthy choices for ourselves and our families – and that includes our four-legged ‘kids’, too. To make it easier, you’ve now got two new choices in biscuits with flavors your dog will love, but without potential allergens and other unnecessary ingredients you wouldn’t eat yourself!

Wagatha’s Gourmet Organic Dog Treats These gourmet dog treats are one of our favorite healthy picks. They’re 100% certified organic, made with human-grade ingredients in Vermont. They contain recognizable ingredients such as brown flax seed, extra virgin olive oil, non-fat dry milk, honey and garlic. The folks at Wagatha’s have chosen easily-digested grains, whole spelt, millet, oats, barley and brown rice flour to name a few, making these biscuits high in protein and full of essential vitamins and minerals. Does your dog need a wheat free diet? You’re in luck! All but the Original Recipe Wagatha’s treats are made with nutritious wheat-free flour. Now, sometimes healthy doesn’t mean tasty, but that’s not the case with Wagatha’s. What pup will be able to resist flavors like Tuscan, Cranberry Cheddar and Super Berry? The lactose-free Breakfast Biscuits with maple oats, bananas and apples are a great way to start the day. And chamomile, green tea and rosemary in the Bedtime Biscuits are the perfect ending!


PiCK! PRICE & INFO WAGATHA’S ORGANIC BISCUITS $9.99 for 9 oz #30495-9, 30501

For more ‘free’ biscuits – as in corn-free and sugar-free – try Buddy Biscuits. They also contain no soy, salt or egg. Many are wheat-free, and all but the Bacon and Cheese flavor are dairy-free. They’re perfect for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies.

PRICE & INFO BUDDY BISCUITS $7.99 for 16 oz #30454-9

But with all the ingredients that aren’t in Buddy Biscuits, you may wonder if they actually taste good? Quite simply, yes they do. Choose from three of the most popular dog treat flavors – Roasted Chicken, Peanut Butter or Sweet Potato. Each one is bursting with enough flavor to keep your dog coming back for more. The original Buddy Biscuits are a great training reward or everyday treat. Their crunchy texture also helps to clean your dog’s teeth. Soft & Chewy Buddy Biscuits are one of the healthiest options for soft treats in the market. They’re corn-free and contain only natural ingredients – and they’re available in the same great flavors as the original Buddy Biscuits. All Buddy Biscuits are made in the U.S.A. and are sold in recyclable packaging. Fall 2010 - Pet Valu Companion 3

TO P 5

Top 5 Bizarre Cat Behaviors –

Explained? Cats do their own thing – everyone knows that. But most cats do some of these ‘things’ below, and often there’s a plausible explanation. by LiBBi hOOD


You Kneaded Me

Kneading is when your cat presses his paws, often extending and retracting his claws, against you. This is a biological behavior that kittens use while suckling to stimulate milk flow. Since eating in the safety and warmth of their mother’s presence would usually have been a happy time in a kitten’s life, the kneading motion usually indicates a content cat.


The 5-second Rule?

We’ve all heard variations of the 5-second rule, which suggests it’s OK to eat food dropped on the floor if it’s picked up within 5 seconds. (For the record, this rule is a myth and germs from the floor can transfer instantly). Cats aren’t bothered with the 5-second rule because some cats will only eat their kibble off the floor! Has your cat ever reached his paw into his food dish and pulled out some kibble, only to eat it off the floor? The likely reason for this behavior is that cats don’t like their whiskers to touch the sides of their bowl when they eat. A wider, shallower bowl may eliminate this behavior, but if it’s become a habit, your cat may eat off the floor for life.


Any Water is the Cat’s Water

Does your cat prefer to drink from the sink, the toilet or your water glass, rather than her own bowl? The reason for that is explained in Doc’s nutrition article on page 6. The good news is: it’s healthy for cats to consume water, no matter the source. The bad news is: if your cat drank first from the toilet and then your glass, you may want to get a fresh glass of water for yourself! 4 Pet Valu Companion - Fall 2010



Working on their Night Moves Every cat owner has been awoken in the middle of the night by a feline hello. Whether the cat is tearing around the living room like a herd of elephants, or meowing in your ear, cats like to prowl at night. Unfortunately this is another instinctive behavior for your cat, and not one you can likely correct. Historically, cats did prowl at night and sleep hidden away during daylight. Unless you’re on permanent night shift, the schedules of cats and humans are hopelessly at odds. One approach that might work is ensuring your kitties have plenty of stimulating play in the evening. Basically, you have to tire them out before bed in order to have a more peaceful night. Try catnip toys or interactive activities like the “Plume Crazy” feather wand from Petlinks.


Knocking Heads

Cats are also known to “head butt” their pet parents on a regular basis. This is a greeting thought to stem from the way cats greet each other and show affection – by rubbing faces. It’s also likely your cat is marking you with the scent glands on her face. She’s declaring to the rest of the feline world that you are her property!

The Truly Unique While most cats will display some of the behaviors listed at left, there are also many cat behaviors that are unique to only a handful of felines. Do your cats do something you’ve never heard of? Tell us about it at in the discussion about Strange Cat Behaviors. If your cat’s behavior is truly unique, we’ll include it in the next Companion Magazine! > One of our cats never laps water out of a bowl like a normal feline. She dips her paw in the bowl and licks off the water. ~ Denis M. > My cat LOVES to be vacuumed! We have central vac and when Marley hears us bring out the hose, she appears from nowhere and flops in front of the brush, waiting to be vacuumed like it’s her personal spa treatment. ~ Leslie K. > When I walk upstairs, one of my cats will race past me, beating me to the landing, then “collapse” onto her side, hoping that I’ll rub her belly. Of course, I always do! ~ Aaron B. > My cat Cid communicates with me very clearly. If she wants to bring something odd to my attention, she’ll sit in front of it and look at me, then look at it, then look back at me. Usually, it’s an object that is out of place. She’s a very neat cat! ~ Bernadette M. > My cat prefers bananas over all other foods. Peeling a banana introduces him to the smell, then he goes nuts. He licks away at it (almost in a trance) until whatever portion we have left for him is gone. ~ Aaron J. > My two young cats, Sleeman and Muskoka, follow the lead of their ‘big sister,’ my Labrador Retriever. All three run to the door to greet us when we arrive home, then plop right onto their back for belly rubs. ~ Cathy D. Is YOUR cat even cuter (or stranger?) than these adorable felines? Tell us your story at in the Strange Cat Behaviors discussion thread.

Fall 2010 - Pet Valu Companion 5


Do Your Cats Have a

Drinking Problem They wouldn’t be unusual if they did. by DR. DaVe SUMMeRS

6 Pet Valu Companion - Fall 2010



ats evolved in a desert-like environment, where they adapted to the conditions by conserving water and obtained most of their water intake from the food they consumed. Even today cats eating canned or raw food will consume up to twice as much water as cats eating only dry foods. The decreased water consumption by cats fed dry foods puts them at higher risk for developing urinary crystals which can lead to a syndrome called Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), which in extreme cases can lead to a blockage of the urinary tract. To help prevent the formation of the most common type of urinary crystals, many dry cat foods are formulated with a low magnesium level, and also to create urine which is slightly acidic. You can further help your cats avoid urinary crystals by ensuring they consume as much water as possible, thus diluting their urine. Maintaining a higher level of water consumption helps reduce the chances of FLUTD. The more water that is consumed, the less concentrated are the minerals in the urine and therefore crystals are less likely to form. Not all cats have the same drinking habits. Try to become familiar with your cat's drinking habits, as well as her eating habits. That way you’ll be better equipped to identify if her water consumption suddenly decreases or increases – either of which could be a cause for concern. //////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Dr. Dave Summers, Pet Valu Nutritionist, holds a Ph.D. in Animal Nutrition from the University of Edmonton. “Doc” has worked in the pet industry for 25 years, developing innovative pet foods and consulting about pet nutrition. As a Nutritionist and also as a pet parent to 2-year-old Pug-Tzsu “Bailey,” pets come first to Doc.

Now Available!

Weruva Pet Foods by LiBBi hOOD

The moisture in a canned cat food helps to increase your cat’s total intake of water. This makes it a healthy choice for all cats, but especially for cats who tend to not drink enough from their water bowl. As described in the Summer issue of Companion magazine (read it online at, Weruva foods are cuts of meat or fish that settle into gravy or aspic. The high moisture content mimics the cat’s natural diet, which when eating mostly prey animals would have been 70-80% moisture. Varieties like Funky Chunky or Mideast Feast will delight your cat with flavor, while helping keep them well hydrated. My cats Eddie and Awesome love this food – Eddie even cries with joy when he catches the scent of a freshly opened can! Weruva dog foods will also delight your canine connoisseurs.

PRICE & INFO WERUVA CAT FOOD $1.59 for a 3 oz can

There are many ways you can encourage your cats to drink more: 〉〉 Provide fresh, clean water everyday (as I am sure you already do).

〉〉 Try moving the water dish away from the food dish. Place it across the room, or in a completely different room.

〉〉 Provide multiple water dishes, especially if your cat spends time on more than one floor of your home. Have a water dish on two different floors. In multi-cat households, the general rule is one dish for each cat, plus one. (The same rule applies for litter boxes).

〉〉 Offer moving water. Most cats are attracted to moving water. This may be another adapted trait, because standing water in an arid environment is more likely to be contaminated. There are cat fountains and other cat drinking systems that use the cat’s attraction to running water to encourage higher consumption.

〉〉 Add water to food. If you’re feeding some wet or canned food, try adding additional water. Or, try adding a bit of raw or canned food to your cat’s current kibble. How much water should you add? The answer is as much as your cat will allow. Some cats will let you add none, but most will let you add a little.

〉〉 Buy new dishes. Some cats do not like plastic dishes and some do not like crockery like ceramic or stoneware. There is no rhyme-or-reason as to why, but if your cat doesn’t drink much from their current dish, try a different type. In addition, ensure that his water dish is big enough so his whiskers don’t touch the edges of the bowl.

〉〉 Bait the water. Adding some of the gravy from a stew canned cat food, some milk replacer or water from a can of tuna can help encourage your cat to consume more water. This method is more often used in extreme cases for cats who won’t drink at all. Fall 2010 - Pet Valu Companion 7



it'S NOt ONLY aBOUt LOOKiNG CUte - BUt that SURe iS a

Fashion Preview



Coming this


Fashion for dogs isn’t only about looking Introducing adorable, it’s about functionality as well. Sam & Coco For the fall season, human fashion has Exclusive to the Pet Valu family of stores, Sam & Coco brand dog shifted to practical, functional apparel is high-quality and fashion clothing. Pet fashion has taken the forward. These eight great Sam and Coco styles will arrive in stores same approach, providing pets with by late September, just in time stylish outfits that fit with their active, for cooler weather. high-energy lifestyles. Puppies and dogs alike are always on the move. With this in mind, fall fashion at Pet Valu is multifunctional, allowing your pet to walk or play in all types of environments, and in all types of weather. Sweaters are a popular item for the fall, as the summer heat fades and your pup’s hair coat is just starting to thicken up! Brands such as Sam & Coco have a variety of sweater styles and designs, in hot fall colors like red and black. As the season continues and gets chillier, many pet owners opt for heavier jackets to make sure their pets stay warm. Sam & Coco offers jackets in a variety of colors and styles. Many of the jackets are water resistant for when you get caught in an unexpected snow or rain shower, or when your puppy decides to leap into a snow-bank for the first time. Also, select styles feature light-reflective fabrics, which are an essential safety feature for nighttime walks. Not sure whether to choose a sweater or jacket this fall? Well actually, layering has become a popular trend on both the human and pet runways. So why not try both? Another benefit of this year’s fall fashion is its versatile color scheme and design. Your dog can wear these outfits from fall through spring, and will always be in style. 8 Pet Valu Companion - Fall 2010

How to Size Your Pet STEP 1

Start off with the Neck:

Measure around the neck as you would for a collar, allowing room for a comfortable fit.


Move onto the Chest: Measure the chest at its widest point, all the way around, which is typically right behind the front legs.


Finally, measure your dog’s Length: Measure along the backbone from the base of the neck to the base of the tail.

TIPS > Use a fabric or cloth measuring tape when determining your pet’s measurements. Don't have one? Use a piece of yarn or string and measure it up against a ruler. > If your pet’s measurements fall in between two sizes, choose the larger size of the two. That way your pet will have more room to grow, and still feel comfortable.


Cover model Jack sports the Sam and Coco Grey Herringbone Coat with Black Fur Collar. This outfit is appropriate for walks in the park or nights on the town. available in XS to XL (60225-9). $34.99

Your pooch is guaranteed to steal hearts in the Black and White Heart Sweater. The pink button and heart motif tell the world that your dog has style. available in XS to XL (60574-8) for only $19.99

The classic yet whimsical Black and White Chunky Bone Sweater is a functional way to say “I’m a fun-loving pooch!” available in XS to XL (60545-9). $24.99

Lounging in the dappled sunlight, Stella looks great in this fall’s Brown Nordic Sweater. available in XS to XL (59086-90) for only $19.99

The ladies can’t stay away when Jack sports his Black Nylon Coat! This wardrobe staple says ‘practical’ and ‘cool.’ available in XS to XXL (60654-9). $34.99

Modeling the Blue Nylon Vest with Brown Fur Collar from Sam & Coco is adorable Stella. This sporty, rugged vest will take your pooch right through the winter. available in XS to XL (60645-9). $34.99

LeFt: A fur-trimmed hood and toggle buttons mean Stella is looking pretty in the Sam and Coco Teal Hoody with Brown Fur Trim. Sizes XS to XL (59103-7) for only $19.99 RiGht: Our cover look is fabulous on Jack. This Brown Knit Coat is warm and comfortable, while details like the wooden toggle buttons make it fashion fabulous! Sizes XS to XL (60425-9). $29.99

MYTH o r R EAL ?

Myth or Real? Just like the Mythbusters television show, there are a lot of ‘truths’ about cats and dogs that are more myth than real. There are also some that are 100% true. Do you know which is which? by LiBBi hOOD

Wagging Tails = Happy Dogs True or false? Your dog’s wagging tail is indeed usually a sign of happiness or excitement. Dogs communicate their happiness to people or other animals by wagging their tails. Research has even shown that dogs don’t wag their tails when they are alone, even if they are content. Wagging is truly a communication meant for others. It’s important to know the difference between a true wagging tail and other tail movements. Some dogs will move their tails when they are anxious or nervous, and it will be a different type of movement from their genuine wag. It’s usually easy to tell the difference with your own dog, whose non-verbal communications you know very well. As always, with strange dogs you must use common sense and caution, to make sure the wag is a wag, and not a warning.

Shhhh, i'M PURRiNG

Chocolate Will Kill Your Dog Chocolate is indeed very bad for your dog. If your dog ingests a large quantity of strong chocolate, it could be fatal. But don’t panic! In most cases, eating some chocolate will make your dog a bit ill, but won’t kill them. The level of danger is dependent upon the amount ingested, the size of your dog and the potency of the chocolate. White and milk chocolate are less likely to be harmful than dark chocolate. Unsweetened baker’s chocolate and 100% cocoa are the most harmful. If your dog eats a quantity of unsweetened baker’s chocolate, consult your veterinarian.




Purring Cats = Happy Cats This is one myth that is not always true. If you read the first issue of Companion magazine closely, you’ll know that cats also purr when they are in pain or distress, and when they’re scared. The purring sound (or action, for your cat) is thought to be comforting to the cat. It’s also hypothesized that the frequency of purring, between 25 and 150 Hertz, can promote healing. This could be another reason cats purr when they are injured. Although a purring cat is not always a happy cat, you’ll probably find that the vast majority of time that is exactly why your cat purrs.

DOGS eat GRaSS tO SettLe theiR StOMaCh

Cats Can See in the Dark

This is likely false. The reason I say likely, is that there is no consensus as to why dogs (or cats for that matter) sometimes eat grass. Maybe it does settle an upset stomach. Or maybe it just tastes good. To further dispel this myth, see "Why Do Dogs Eat Grass? (p.11) by Doc, the Pet Valu animal nutritionist.

Not true! Or at least it’s not completely true. Your cat, assuming he has normal, healthy eyesight, can see in one-sixth of the amount of light you require. Cat pupils can dilate to 90 per cent of the eye area, allowing in every scrap of light available and enhancing the sense of vision. So really, it can seem that your cat

the aLL

10 Pet Valu Companion - Fall 2010

SeeiNG Cat!

M Y T H o r R E AL ?

can see in the dark, but the fact is she’s not really in the dark! Cats can also see in bright light since their pupil can close almost entirely as well. The typical ‘Cat’s Eye’ that is a mere slit is the reason cats don’t need sunglasses! Your feline’s eyes are also very sensitive to movement, which ‘helps’ his vision by alerting him to the presence of objects and animals. Cat eyes protrude more than human eyes as well, giving your cat superior peripheral vision.

Poinsettias are Poisonous


LiCKeD What?

Cats Love a Saucer of Milk This is probably actually true… cats LOVE a saucer of milk. However, it doesn’t always ‘love’ them back and is not a necessary or desirable part of their diet. Your cat doesn’t need milk if he’s eating a proper diet, which he is if you’re feeding dry or wet food (or a combination of both) that is formulated to be complete and balanced. Many adult cats are also sensitive to milk, and drinking it can cause stomach upset or diarrhea. This is likely due to lactose intolerance. It’s almost sad that the classic image of a cat lapping a saucer of milk should be avoided. Luckily, there are plenty of other treats your cat will love just as much.


Get SOMe PaPeR tOWeL!!

Christmas is coming – will you have a poinsettia plant in your home? It is a myth that they are poisonous to pets. Poinsettias may cause mild to moderate stomach irritation if your dog or cat eats the plant, with symptoms of drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, but that is true of most plants. If your pet is a plant-eater, ensure you can place all plants, including poinsettias, out of their reach for everyone’s safety. However, most pets are more likely to upset their stomach stealing ‘people’ foods around holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass? by DR. DaVe SUMMeRS

A Dog’s Mouth is “Cleaner” than a Human’s Have your heard this one? Maybe even repeated it yourself? Well, sorry, not true. The myth that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a person’s mouth is thought to stem from a few different ideas. First, it used to be thought that dog bites were much less likely to become infected than human bites, suggesting more germs in the human’s mouth. Further medical research and proper measurement has debunked that myth as well. Second, it was assumed that because dogs lick their wounds, and those wounds rarely get infected, the dog’s mouth must be ‘clean’ or perhaps even have healing properties. This is also false. It’s now recognized that when dogs lick their wounds, they remove dead tissue which does ‘clean’ the wound, helping to avoid infection. But it has nothing to do with overall cleanliness. Finally, common sense prevails when you consider that a dog’s mouth is rarely cleaned, it will eat just about anything (including garbage and poop!) and it licks itself everywhere. How could it be cleaner than your own mouth?

While there are many theories on why dogs eat grass, there has never been any proof as to why dogs practice this behavior. A 2008 * study of dogs that had eaten plants in the past showed the following results.

〉〉 75% of dogs frequently consumed grass 〉〉 22% of the dogs vomited 〉〉 8% showed signs of illness before eating grass, and 〉〉

were therefore more likely to vomit afterwards Younger dogs tended to eat more grass than older dogs.

Multi-dog households reported a higher incidence rate of dogs eating plants, which could mean that it’s a learned behavior that one dog teaches the others. In addition, no correlation was found between plant eating and the type of food fed, including raw diets, suggesting dogs do not consume plants due to a deficiency in their diet. Plant eating was also found to have no correlation with sex, breed, illness, parasites, medication, eating of other foreign objects or behavioral problems. In another study observing wild wolves, grass was often found in their scat. This was long stem grass, not the short pieces of grass found in the digestive systems of the animals they were consuming. This should help dispel another myth that wild Canids eat the grass from in the stomach of their prey. While the visceral organs are the prime dish at the banquet, the visceral contents are usually avoided if possible. The research suggests that grass eating is a natural behavior for dogs and wolves. We do not know why they eat grass or other plants, but it is unlikely due to the existing myths given for this behavior. *SUEDA 2008

Fall 2010 - Pet Valu Companion 11


Dog Park

Etiquette What to know before you go! by Leah PiLtz




f you were a dog, would there be any more magical place to be than the dog park? You have all the benefits of being well cared for by your humans: a steady supply of food, love, and companionship, and yet you still have this place where you can let your natural instincts take over. A place where you can run free and play with other dogs... sounds great! If you live in a city, there is probably a dog park near you. If you don’t know of one, check your municipality’s website – they are usually listed. Some of these parks are free, some are pay-per-use, and some offer memberships. Almost all of them are wonderful places to go that your dog will love. But before you take your dog to the dog park, there are some things you should know. Each park usually has a list of rules and regulations that are applicable to all attendees, so look for these (usually found online or posted at the park) and follow them. Here are some general guidelines that you and your dog need to follow too.

My owner called some Apparently he guy named Cesar, said sit! anyone heard of him.? I heard different, it was a mess!


PRICE & INFO WATER ROVER $10.99 #52487

Let's be honest, I look I ate all of last My owner will need Fantastic! night's leftovers... that poop bag Anyone catch it's why I'm in the very soon 'So You Think You park today Can Dance' last night? I'm thinking trip to I like CATS! the Spa, who's in?

12 Pet Valu Companion - Fall 2010


General Guidelines that you & your dog need to follow. Poop & Scoop – Picking up your dog’s waste should already be part of your daily routine, and the dog park should be no exception! You wouldn’t want you or your dog stepping in another dog’s poop, and others feel the same way. By picking up your own dog’s waste, you also help keep the park much more sanitary – and of course, you also reduce maintenance fees by ensuring that no one else has to come pick it up. You can easily carry a refillable poo-bag dispenser attached to your dog’s leash. Try the one by Bags on Board – they are refillable and the bags are biodegradable, which helps the environment.

> Be Aware, Play With Care – Dogs usually run around and have lots of fun in the dog park, but once in a while even well-behaved dogs can get into fights – whether provoking another dog or being provoked. Just like people, all dogs will not get along all the time. Always be attentive to your dog when she is in the dog park, so that you can stop fights before they go too far. Your dog should never be out of sight.

> Only Bring a WellTrained Dog – No matter how much you watch your dog, if your dog is well-trained, it is easier to stop fights before they require physical interference. Basic commands of SIT, STAY, COME and more are essential in the park. Your dog may be extra-excited in the dog park and as a result, may not listen as well as usual. Bring treats to reinforce good behavior!

> Make Sure Your Dog is Old Enough – While socializing puppies is an essential part of their training, if your puppy is under six months old, a dog park is probably not the best place for him. To avoid catching communicable dog diseases, a puppy requires their full set of vaccinations, which will not be completed until they are six months of age. After they have their full puppy vaccines, the dog park awaits!

> Speaking of Diseases… – Even if your dog is over six months of age, do not bring him to the dog park if he is sick. It will not be a pleasant experience for him, and other dogs do not want to get sick either. Rabies & other vaccinations should be up to date, and you may be required to provide proof of this, depending on the park.

> ID, Please – Dog parks come in fenced and unfenced varieties. If your park is unfenced, you probably know that it’s best to make sure your dog has an ID tag and/ or a microchip, up to date with your current address, in case she runs away. But in fenced parks, it is just as necessary. Your dog might easily jump the fence (depending on how high it is). Or, more likely, she could slip out the gate as others enter or exit.

> Water, Water… Nowhere? – What will your dog do a lot of at the dog park? Running! Playing! Jumping! Working up a powerful thirst! To ensure your dog doesn’t become dehydrated, make sure you bring water to the park. Some parks have fountains, but they’re not always in good working order. Other parks will have nothing, making a bottle of water and a portable dish your best friend’s best friend.

> No Cats Allowed! – Maybe it’s obvious, but really, you should only bring dogs to the dog park! No matter how well trained your cat, rabbit, ferret, or other pet is, the dog park is not for them! Even if your dog is used to your other critters, other dogs aren’t, and will likely see them as prey. On the off chance that every dog there loves your other pets and will not cause them harm, it would still be a stressful situation for those other pets (their natural instinct would likely be to run, hide, or even attack). So, for the sake of all involved, and we can’t stress this enough – dogs only at the dog park! Fall 2010 - Pet Valu Companion 13



Pet Valu stores are changing for the better. Like any other 30+ year old company, we’ve got a rich history of logos that look a bit dated now. Our evolution is as plain as these logos – Discounter to Pet Supply to Better Pet Nutrition. And now we’re introducing not only a new logo, but a new store look as well. Watch for our friendly new logo in the near future – plus this great new store look.

New Dog


The American Kennel Club (AKC) has just added three new dogs to its list of 167 recognized breeds: Cane Corso, Icelandic Sheepdog, and Leonberger. “These three diverse breeds all share rich and unique histories and a dedicated group of fanciers in the United States,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “We are delighted to grant them full AKC recognition and watch as each breed continues to thrive and grow.”

Meet the new breeds! > Cane Corso The Cane Corso is an Italian molosser (mastiff) that has been around for centuries. These large dogs were traditionally bred for protecting, guarding, and hunting large game.

< Leonberger

. The Leonberger originated from south-west Germany and is named after the city of Leonberg. They are giant dogs, bred to look like lions. They are known as “Gentle Giants” due to their even, tolerant temperament.

Icelandic Sheepdog >

16 Pet Valu Companion - Fall 2010

Icelandic Sheepdogs are small spitz-type dogs that were brought to Iceland by the Vikings. True to their name, they excel at herding sheep. They are high-energy, friendly dogs.



The products you wish had been invented to make your life easier… actually exist! You can get all of them at your Pet Valu store.

Pill Pockets Has your pet ever been sick? Needed a daily or (yikes!) four-times daily pill? That scenario is the real-life nightmare of many pet parents. If you find yourself facing this nightmare in the future – simply pick up Greenies Pill Pockets. These delicious ‘pockets’ are designed to hold a pill or capsule, masking the taste of the medication. The terrible pills instead become a tasty treat your pet actually wants to eat. Even better, Pill Pockets are a source of vitamins C & E to help promote a healthy immune system for your pet. Two sizes of beef flavored pockets are available for dogs; chicken flavor for cats.

PRICE & INFO DOG: ESBILAC MILK REPLACER From $7.99 for 8 oz #78934

CAT: KMR MILK REPLACER From $7.99 for 8 oz #76214

CATSURE MEAL REPLACER $9.99 for 11 oz #53736

DOGSURE MEAL REPLACER $8.99 for 11 oz #53737

Liquid Nutrition

Milk replacers are food sources for abandoned or orphaned kittens and puppies. Is it likely you’ll find some abandoned kittens in your garage? Maybe. But it’s more likely your young puppy or kitten could need extra nutrition when you first bring them home, or if they’re stressed. Milk replacers are designed to do just that – replace mother’s milk. They are highly digestible sources of nutrition. For pets that need nutrition that’s both easy to ingest and digest, both milk replacers and specifically-designed meal replacements are life savers. When your pet is ill, or recovering from illness or even surgery, they need nutrients to keep up their strength and aid their healing, but they probably aren’t up to a bowl full of kibble. In that case, DogSure or CatSure meal replacements, or Esbilac Milk Replacer for dogs or KMR Milk Replacer for cats will get you and your pet through the rough patches.

PRICE & INFO DOG: BEEF (SMALL) $7.99 #64425

DOG: BEEF (LARGE) $11.99 #64427




$9.99 #64428

Puppy Pads Whether you’re housetraining a new pup, or providing insurance for an older dog, puppy pads are life savers. Puppy pads take the place of plain old newspaper in the ‘paper-training’ scenario of puppy housetraining. Puppy pads are designed to be incredibly absorbent, with a plastic bottom to keep messes off the floor. They usually have a fresh scent that attracts your dog and odor-control properties for after the pad has been used. Though it’s far from ideal, most of us experience days when the dog is home alone all day and there is nobody available to provide a pee break. Training your dog to puppy pads will give him somewhere to do his business that is acceptable to both of you. No messes on the carpet? Life saver.

PRICE & INFO SIMPLE SOLUTIONS PUPPY PADS From $9.99 for a 10 pk #45701

Fall 2010 - Pet Valu Companion 17


Back to

• The Gerbil

Pets can make learning fun! by Leah Piltz


ids are getting back in the classroom for another school year. You might be surprised to find that this also means that your son or daughter is now a part-time pet owner! Plenty of teachers choose to have pets like Guinea pigs, hamsters, lizards and fish in their classroom. With proper care they can be an exciting and educational learning tool, as well as a source of happiness and inspiration for the students.

Why have Classroom Pets? In short, pets make learning fun! As a pet owner, you already know the benefits and joy of having a pet. Classroom pets let your children share that feeling with a group, and also give kids who may not have pets at home the opportunity to interact with animals and learn responsibility through their care (always with the supervision of their teacher). The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association website offers research that pets are beneficial to children in many ways. They reference a study that revealed children with pets are better at understanding non-verbal communications, such as those you experience with pets. Children also talk to their pets, stimulating oral communication skills. Children with pets are also more likely to be social, and have better self-esteem. The OVMA website quotes: “A US study of 394 university students revealed that those who had owned dogs or cats as childhood pets were more self-confident than those who did not.” While a classroom Guinea Pig may not have identical effects on 20+ children that a family dog has on one or two kids, the benefits and learning opportunities are real. Classroom pets provide real-world examples to spur learning about different habitats and eco systems, and what adaptations animals must have to live there, enriching science and geography lessons. Learning from pets can also extend into creative writing, math, and more – giving an interesting face to almost every subject. Other benefits for the students include:

> Increased interest in coming to school, to see and interact with the classroom pet.

> Gaining a sense of responsibility and respect for life from observing and caring for the pet.

> Increased sensitivity and awareness of the feelings and needs of others: both animals and humans.

> Development of an understanding that all living things need more than just food and water for survival.

> Seeing how their behavior and actions affect others. > Less tension in the classroom.

18 Pet Valu Companion - Fall 2010

• The Guinea Pig


PRICE & INFO DEER ANTLER NIBBLERS $6.99 #50585 These chews from This & That Canine Co. are made from naturally-shed deer antlers. They won’t splinter or crack, so your small pet will love them. And they’re odorless, so you’ll love them too!

• The Rat

i SO WaNt that DeeR aNtLeR NiBBLeR!

• The Hamster

• The Rabbit

Pet on Vacation If your son or daughter has a pet in their classroom, it may mean that you will end up with an unexpected guest in your house during vacation. If this happens, don’t worry! Just make sure that proper care instructions have been sent home and that the directions are followed. Most pets will need daily food and water. Ask your child about your temporary addition: you’ll probably find they know a lot about their classroom pet, and you could even find yourself learning something new!

Bring the Learning Home If your child’s classroom doesn’t have a pet, consider the benefits of bringing a small animal into your house as a pet for your child. They’ll learn responsibility in a new way, being the primary caregiver to a hamster or gerbil. Even if you already have a cat or dog, it’s probably your pet or a family pet, with shared responsibility.

PRICE & INFO MY FIRST HOME Guinea Pig/Dwarf Rabbit Cage $44.99 #59102

Alternative Opportunities Most classrooms don’t have pets, but there are still ways that students can have the benefits of interacting with animals. There are several rescue and wildlife groups who will bring animals in for the day, giving students a hands-on opportunity to interact and learn about them. Zoos are also good places to see a wide variety of animals and learn about their care. Talk to your child’s teacher about opportunities to use animals as conduits to learning.

There are a range of small animal cages available at Pet Valu stores. Choose from classic cages like the one pictured, or get a little more funky with multi-colored homes with add-on features.

• The Ferret

HOW LONG!! If you’re considering a small pet for your child, here are some basic facts and figures to help you choose. hamsters & rats live an average of 2-4 years. Guinea pigs live an average of 5-7 years. Rabbits & ferrets live an average of 7-10 years. See the Summer issue of Companion magazine for descriptions of these five popular small pets. If you don’t have a copy, you can find it online at

• The Mouse Fall 2010 - Pet Valu Companion 19



t a h t

Hiding Place Bell Fish Chase Climb

Catnap Lit ter Kit ten Whiskers Jump

Pur r Scratch Claws Pounce Catnip


























F K L F O W O R D J A A A O T K I T T E N T P W T C S R A S M J P E W L S C O E S T H I B E R T Z W H L P O K N L D S C A T N A P find the answers at 20 Pet Valu Companion - Fall 2010



s t e P c i o Her

the ur pet a member of Do you consider yo ? ’re your best friend family? Maybe they ore their pet is even m For some people, ts are heroes! than that. Some pe e are inducted into th Each year, animal s actions. of Fame for heroic Purina Animal Hall Alberta from Wetaskiwin, For example, a cat s filling that their house wa aler ted his owner por that ide, an odorless va with carbon monox nse the t how did the cat se can kill a person. Bu ed? en, smelled or tast gas that can’t be se hnauzer, rio, a Miniature Sc ta On in t pe r he ot An ing route of f their usual walk dr agged his owner lling for hear somebody ca because he could It turned r could not hear it. help and his owne ezing had fallen into a fre out an elderly man

himself and could not pull cold pool in spring g, Corey. due to the hero do out. He was saved ve their ught of f bears to sa Other dogs have fo fir e es and eir families to hous owners, aler ted th ried in the snow. found neighbors bu day! He or she So hug your pet to eday! might be hero som

To read the actual stories of the pets in the Purina Animal Hall of Fame, go to http: //


if your dog doesn’t already do the “Shake Paw” trick, visit and click on the Discussions tab for the steps to teach that trick first. then, let us know on Facebook if it works for your dog!

raise his paw. To wave, your dog has to sit and ke hands or sha He should already know how to e. wav the “shake paw” before teaching mand com r you First, have your dog sit and give are you if as for “shake paw.” Raise your hand touch your dog. going to shake, but don’t actually h of her paw, As you raise your hand out of reac ion you’re mot the say “wave” as the command for r you say afte t trying to teach. Drop your hand righ this at tice Prac t. “wave,” and give your dog a trea least twice a day. r dog and ask Next, take one step back from you ing his without rais for the paw. Reward your dog for moving towards you. as your dog’s Keep practicing and saying “wave” stop saying can paw swipes the air, and soon you will have dog r ‘shake paw’ first. At that point, you learned a new trick! as a greeting can help TIP: Using this trickping up on people. keep your dog from jum

AV E '

Fall 2010 - Pet Valu Companion 21


The Lighter

Side of Pets From local cats to dogs ‘across the pond,’ pets are having all the fun these days!

English Pet Care

Fascinating Feline On page 4 we talked about

Dogs in England had a great summer!

An ice cream truck specifically for dogs was launched in July. With a choice of Ham & Chicken, or Canine Cookie Crunch (dog biscuits in ice cream), dogs in the U.K. couldn’t be happier. The temperature, taste and texture of the ‘ice creams’ were carefully researched and tested to ensure the treats are delicious and safe. And with a reported 10.5 million dogs in the country, there must have been a really long line!

• Creamy goodness!

Baby Pets

When kittens are born, they all have blue eyes. Of course, they don’t even open their eyes for the first week or two! Dalmation puppies are born without spots. Their traditional markings are visible on their skin when first born, but once they are dry they appear all white. The spots usually develop within their haircoat between 2 and 4 weeks old.

By the Numbers

Guinness Book of World Records includes a • The measurement for the Longest Ears on a Dog. The entry

• Almost spotty!

is from 2004, when Tigger, a bloodhound living in Illinois, had his ears measured at 13.75” and 13.5”. Amazing! shows that 28 per •centResearch of pet-owning heart patients

survived serious heart attacks, compared with only 6 per cent of those without pets.

Eighty days after a 1999 earthquake in Taiwan, a cat was discovered alive in a collapsed building. 22 Pet Valu Companion - Fall 2010

questionable cat behavior, but Pet Valu customer Caleb Hodgson simply has the question-mark cat! Named Enigma for her distinct markings, Caleb’s cat acts more like a puppy. She meets him at the door when he arrives home and follows him around the house. There’s no question here – Enigma (or Enny for short) is one cute cat cat.

• Those are some long ears!

W I N ! W I N ! WI N !

Email for a chance to win this gift basket full of our favorites that are truly the best for your dog. The luxurious 100 percent cotton velvet bed from Bowser is filled with a selection of all-natural and organic products perfect for pampering the most discriminating of pooches: Simply Fido organic cotton toys, cotton rope bones, This and That Canine Co. naturally shed deer antlers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a healthy and long-lasting chew, organic gourmet Wagathaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; treats, a fully recyclable West Paw Zogoflex flying disc and our own Performatrin Natural Lamb & Rice formula dog food, ideal for pets with food sensitivities.


225 VALUE!


Contest opens August 26, 2010 and closes September 30, 2010. One winner will be randomly drawn. Must be a Canadian or U.S. resident over the age of majority in their province or state of residence, excluding residents of Quebec, to enter. One entry per person. To enter, email your name, address and daytime telephone number to with "Win" in the subject line. Email this address for full rules. Mathematical skill-testing question to be correctly answered to win. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. No purchase necessary.

Fall 2010 - Pet Valu Companion 23

Discover & Receive a


can of

Go! Natural dog food or Now! dog treats *


with purchase of any bag of Go! Natural or Now! dog food!

* Up to a $3.19 value. Limit one free can per customer. ** Up to a $3.79 value. Limit one free treat per customer. Offers valid September 1-30, 2010.

Made in


Pet Valu Companion - Fall 2010  

Issue 3 of Pet Valu Companion magazine.

Pet Valu Companion - Fall 2010  

Issue 3 of Pet Valu Companion magazine.