} Meet Our Nutritionist p.11
Nothing fishy here!
Surf blend dog food p.10
February I March 2011
Month Brush up on Oral Care 〉〉MUST TRY PRODUCT
ThundershirT Calms dogs immediately
Your Pet. Your Life. Your Store
real life sTory: Kitten rescue
Is your pet
overweight? It's time to do something about it!
Dog Whisperer proDucts NoW iN our stores!
Plus - win a Collapsible Tandem Feeder 〉 PAGE 23
grain-free pet foods PAGE 9
My Furry Valentine Reptiles Make Great Pets
E D ITOR ' S L ETTER Pet Valu
Did you make a New Year’s resolution while you rang in 2011? Most years I resolve to live a healthier, more balanced life, and 2011 is no different. More exercise, less junk food and a more balanced lifestyle are my plan for this year. Most of us could make the same resolution for our pets. At least one in four pets is overweight, and the percentage is growing! Our nutritionist, Dr. Dave Summers, tackles Pet Obesity in his article this month. It takes more than a great weight control pet food to get your pet back in the healthy zone. Find out what you need to do on page 12. It doesn’t matter how amazing your pet’s food is – if he has a sore mouth, he won’t enjoy it! February is Pet Dental Month – 28 days devoted to educating you about the products and practices that will help keep your pet healthy, starting with her teeth and gums. Another strong proponent of a balanced lifestyle – for dogs and people too – is Cesar Millan! As TV’s Dog Whisperer he has helped countless families and entertained the masses with his instinctual approach to ‘training people and rehabilitating dogs.’ While not everyone agrees with Cesar’s methods, he is undeniably devoted to helping all dogs live a balanced, happy life. Pet Valu is thrilled to bring you Cesar Millan dog products that promote the balanced lifestyle Cesar models. And the products are all tested by his pack! Let’s all aim for balance and better health in 2011. And let’s achieve that goal right alongside our pets!
Your Pet. Your Life. Your Store
eDitor Libbi Hood DesigN Daniel Cullen coNtributors Lora Kee Dave Summers, Ph.D. Julie Johnston Nica Davis coNtact us at: Pet Valu Companion 130 Royal Crest Court Markham, ON L3R 0A1
email: email@example.com 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 March 15, 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
Libbi Hood eDitor
Helping Big Pets
〉〉 CorreCTion: In our Winter 2010 issue, the Pet Adoption article did not provide a clear picture of the choice between pure breed and mixed breed dogs. The ‘genetic health problems’ associated with pure breeds (p.25, Winter 2010 Pet Valu Companion Magazine) are usually a problem with puppy mills and amateur breeders. Reputable, professional breeders conduct genetic testing to avoid these health problems. It is one of the many reasons new pet parents need to do complete research, find reputable breeders, see their facilities and meet your new dog or pup before adopting. We regret the error. 2 Pet Valu Companion - February • March 2011
6 8 9 10 11 12 17 18 20 21 22 23
in this issue New in store
Indoor potties and fruit-based treats
February is Dental Month. Find out why that matters!
cesar Millan: pack Leader
Introducing his products and magazine
anxious No More
Thundershirt is getting rave reviews
Now! Fresh pet Foods
Grain-free foods for dogs and cats
Wholesome blend surf
Fish-based, grain-free pet foods
interview with Dr. summers
Get to know our Nutritionist, and his family dog
Fat pets aren't cute - they're unhealthy
My Furry Valentine
Valentine's safety and fun products too
reptiles for beginners
Cold-blooded reptiles make great pets
Find the words from our pet weight-loss tips
amazing rescue story
How a kitten alerted a family to a health crisis
How and why to feed the birds
Win! cesar Millan bowls Three readers will win a raised tandem feeder
®™ Trademarks used under license.
N E w I N S TOR E
Innovative New Products
〉〉 Fruitables Dog Treats These new fruit-based treats allow you to reward your dog with great taste and healthy ingredients without overloading them with calories. Fruitables are made with pumpkin, which is rich in antioxidants like Vitamins A, C and E, plus healthy dietary fiber. Vetscience, the maker of Fruitables, share this fun fact: a pumpkin is classified as a fruit in botany, but is often referred to as a vegetable in culinary terms. it’s Fruitable – and that’s where the name of these treats comes from. Best of all, Fruitables are “CalorieSmart." They are made using a “patent pending concept in advanced nutrition [using] nature’s gifts of fruits and vegetables to balance palatability, calorie control and satiety in foods that your pet will love,” states the product website. Fruitables are even “proven in university studies to reduce hunger between meals.” This makes them a great tool in helping your dog achieve any necessary weight loss for optimum health. But if your dog is already at a healthy weight, she’ll just love these unique treats for their taste, texture and aroma. Fruitables are available in four flavors: Pumpkin & Apple, Pumpkin & Banana, Pumpkin & Blueberry, or Pumpkin & Cranberry. 29662-5, $5.99 • Potty Park Small 59535 - $199.99 Large 59545 - $249.99 *Special order in many stores.
your dog won'T Care iT'S noT real!
• Four tasty (and healthy!) flavors.
Every dog owner knows their dogs need regular access to the great outdoors - for exercise and of course, to relieve themselves. But what happens when you can’t be there to let your dog out for a wee? There are several options for indoor relief, and the newest is Potty Park. Potty Park is a toilet for dogs. It’s available in two sizes, accommodating most breeds of dog. Its pheromone-enhanced artificial grass surface naturally attracts your dog, telling her where to pee. (It comes with an attractant spray that you mist on the Potty Park, letting your dog know ‘where to go.’) The Potty Park is made from anti-microbial materials, which ensure it remains safe for your pet. The anti-microbial technology penetrates the cell wall of micro-organisms when they touch,
disrupting cell functions and neutralizing the micro-organism so it can’t grow or reproduce. This means no odors! Microbes on an untreated surface can double every twenty minutes. All you have to do is empty the reservoir daily and remove solid waste at your earliest convenience (just like you would at the park). The North-American-made Potty Park is great for small spaces like boats and RVs, and convenient for travel too. please note, this high-quality product may be available only by special order at some pet Valu stores. Pet Valu Companion 3
P E T DENTaL
Dental Care An astounding 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age three, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. As February is Pet Dental Month, this is a great time to make a change. by niCa daViS
• Pet Dental Dental Kit for Dogs 43896 $13.99
• Wysong DentaTreat 29962 - 3 oz $15.99
ental care may not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think of our pet’s health. Maybe it should be. When a dog or cat develops gum disease, it can affect his whole body. Infections in the mouth can travel into the bloodstream, through to vital organs, such as the heart and kidneys. Ongoing dental infections can also weaken the immune system, lowering resistance to non-dental health issues. Just like in your own mouth, regular dental care from a young age can help keep your pet’s breath fresh, teeth clean and reduce, eliminate or even prevent gum disease and tooth loss. It can also save you vet bills. Daily teeth-brushing is the most effective treatment, but for pets (or pet parents) who are not receptive to this, there are other options that can help!
1. When oral hygiene goes bad plaque
Plaque is the first stage of dental problems. It’s like a thin, sticky coating on the teeth. Bacteria from food particles and cells that are sloughed off in the mouth form plaque. It takes as little as a day for plaque to start to form and within three to four days, there is a noticeable layer on the teeth. The good thing about plaque is that it’s fairly soft and usually easy to remove with a little scrubbing. Unfortunately, the presence of sticky plaque allows more bacteria to adhere to the teeth.
The next step in dental disease is the formation of tartar, sometimes called calculus. The harmful bacteria in the plaque on the teeth form very hard deposits on the teeth using minerals – mostly calcium. This tartar is difficult to remove and its presence on the teeth leads to more and more build-up. It’s the proverbial ‘vicious circle.’ Worse than the unsightly look of black tartar on the teeth, the bacteria forming the tartar produces many nasty toxins.
gingivitis These toxins eat away at the gums causing them to turn red and bleed. This is called gingivitis. If left untreated, the gums can recede to the point that the teeth will fall out. The toxins produced can also attack other organs in the body – most notably the heart – by travelling through the blood. Another noticeable side effect of the toxins is their smell, which causes bad breath.
4 Pet Valu Companion - February • March 2011
P E T D E N Ta L
2. Fixing the problem
KiBBle or sTeW
brush & scrape
eliminate the source
The most effective way to remove plaque is physical brushing/abrasion. This needs to be done frequently enough to prevent the formation of tartar. Once tartar begins to form, brushing alone is not going to remove it all. Ideally a pet’s teeth should be brushed at least every other day. If the plaque is removed, the bacteria have nothing to adhere to and are washed away with saliva.
Another solution is to eliminate bacteria from the mouth, preventing the whole process of plaque and tartar build-up from starting. Most dental aids designed for pets rely on eliminating bacteria by using an ingredient that has antimicrobial activity. Mouthwashes, rinses and sprays usually have an antimicrobial ingredient. The limitation of most antimicrobial ingredients is that they work only while they are present in the mouth. One reason Wysong DentaTreat works well is the fat in the cheese helps give it a longer residence time in the mouth. It’s also easy to use, as it can be sprinkled on food or mixed with water to form a paste for direct application to a pet’s teeth.
Weaken the structure The structure of tartar can be weakened if the calcium is replaced by another mineral, such as phosphorus. Basically, the phosphorus replaces calcium in the structure of the tartar, causing the tartar to weaken and crumble. Ingredients such as Hexametaphosphate and Sodium Tripolyphosphate are used in pet foods, and treats, to help reduce tartar build up. The “trona minerals” in Wysong DentaTreat function in a similar manner as phosphorus, weakening tartar for easier removal, which in turn reduces bacteria. • Tropiclean Fresh Breath Water Additive 44905 - 16 oz bottle > $12.99 • Tropiclean Fresh Breath Teeth Gel 44903 - 4 oz bottle > $17.99
eaSy "TouCH-Free" aPPliCaTor
3. Solutions teeth-brushing
Dogs and cats that are fed a soft food diet (rather than kibble) often suffer from greater tartar build-up. This is because kibble scrapes the teeth – but dry kibble alone is not enough to maintain good oral health for most cats and dogs.
How to Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
TiMe for a TriM
Dogs with a lot of muzzle hair (such as Poodles & Schnauzers) seem prone to more oral health issues, possibly because the hair around the mouth harbors bacteria that migrates into the mouth.
Choose a time when you and your dog are both relaxed.
Gently massage the outside of his mouth with your finger and then let him taste the toothpaste.
Add a small amount of toothpaste on the brush, then brush the front of one or two teeth, including the gums, in a circular motion. Brush slowly and gently.
Over several days, increase the number of teeth brushed each time. Brushing 30 seconds per side is recommended. It is important to brush the outside of the teeth (facing the cheek) because most plaque and tartar builds up there. Don’t forget to brush the back teeth.
Always stop brushing before your dog starts getting irritated – you don’t want him to think his bad behavior will get you to stop. Reward him with praise when the brushing is over. Cleaning teeth doesn’t have to be tough!
Dogs and cats rarely get cavities. The main reason is the type of bacteria that live in their mouths is different than the bacteria in human mouths, and their bacteria do not secrete the acids that cause cavities.
One of the best ways to keep your pet’s mouth clean and healthy is by brushing her teeth each day. With toothpaste in dog-friendly flavors and toothbrushes (from extra-soft traditional-styles to finger brushes), our pet dental kits have what you need to get started. Never use human toothpaste for pets, as it contains chemicals that can make them sick.
pastes, gels & Water additives These time-saving dental products work wonders cleaning pets’ teeth. They are easy to apply to your pets' teeth, or simply to add to their water, and they are effective.
toys Many toys provide dental benefits plus fun. From rope toys to specialized cat toys, benefits range from cleaning and massaging gums to flossing and removing tartar.
Dental treats Reward your pet’s good behavior with a treat that also improves oral health! From bite-sized chews to edible bones in all shapes and sizes, these treats can contrib contribute to reduced tartar build-up, fresher breath and healthy gums.
Pet Valu Companion 5
C E SaR MIL L aN
Leader of the
Cesar Millan has whispered his way into our hearts with his love of animals and his ability to reach and help hardcase dogs. For anyone who has seen the Dog Whisperer television show, you know that Cesar doesnâ€™t train dogs, he rehabilitates them and trains people!
by libbi Hood
C E S aR MI L L a N
y the turnout we saw at several Cesar Millan events hosted across Canada recently at Pet Valu and Bosley’s stores, quite a few of you have seen the Dog Whisperer television show! Cesar visited stores in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Victoria and Richmond to meet and greet fans and their dogs. In every case there were more people than Cesar could possibly meet, but with his signature calm, assertive energy, he sure tried to get to every fan. Cesar is passionate about reaching all of his fans, and all of their dogs. He’s built a dogcentered empire from a humble beginning as a Mexican immigrant with a few clients in California. It’s well known that one of his best breaks came from Jada Pinkett Smith, actress and wife of Will Smith, when Cesar helped rehabilitate their dogs. He became friends with Jada, who in turn sent more well-connected clients his way and also helped him learn English. Cesar became successful enough to open his Dog Rehabilitation Center and from there, he branched out into being the Dog Whisperer on television. Even with several successful seasons of television under his belt, Cesar knows he can’t reach all his fans a single dog at a time. That’s one of the reasons he started a line of dog products accessible to all. He’s published five books, he’s toured the U.S., Canada and Europe to take his message straight to his fans, and he endorses products from bowls to toys to collars. “The books, the products, everything is an extension of what I practice,” said Cesar in a recent telephone interview. “If I can be in your house with a specific product and also tell you
Cesar's pet Valu events were a hit with fans and the media.
how your dog would enjoy it, then I’m keeping you focused on what is best for your dog. To me, it’s not about the product as much as it’s about the information, because you can grab any toy and make your dog obsessive about it, but that’s not healthy.” For Cesar, it’s about having a quality product and knowing the best way to use it. It’s about remembering why it’s important for your dog to be calm before you begin a play session. It’s about knowing 〉〉 Send your dog a clear message – be consistent when enforcing the rules! That tip is straight from Cesar’s collapsible, silicone bowls - the first of the Cesar Millan products available at Pet Valu stores. The tandemfeeders are bright blue or green. The easy-to-clean bowls are raised off the ground for easy feeding and better digestion. Plus, the bowls collapse and the legs fold in for convenient storage. Also available, individual, collapsible travel bowls in the same fun colors. And how does the Dog Whisperer ensure the products with his name on them are high quality? “My pack tests them first!” he explains. “There is no better consumer to evaluate products than a dog. He’s going to tell you durability in a second.” All Cesar products are pack-tested and approved before they go to market for anyone else's dogs. When it comes to products, Cesar emphasizes: “My customer is a dog. The human pays for his bills, but the dog is my customer. So I honor my customer.”
• Tandem Feeders 75011-4 • $24.99-$32.99 < Note the handy fold away feet & collapsible bowls!
< Collapsible for easy travel storage!
• Travel Bowls 75015-75018 $7.99-$14.99
Cesar ProduCts Watch for more Cesar products arriving in your Pet Valu store this spring. Toys, leads and collars, and Cesar’s books will join the Dog Whisperer DVDs and Cesar’s Way magazine already in-store.
Cesar in Print Cesar Millan has a product for you too: Cesar’s Way magazine. Published eight times each year and available at Pet Valu stores, Cesar’s Way embodies the lifestyle that Cesar himself lives. In addition to great stories of dogs and families Cesar helps on his TV show, there are inspirational tales of dogs, product features and advice on how to live your best life with your dog. “To me, it’s about instinct, intelligence, emotions and spirituality,” he explained. “It’s about communication, and to show people I’m not just a dog guy.” Cesar’s lessons for life with dogs really can translate to living a better life with humans too. Sound crazy? Pick up a magazine to see for yourself. Our dogs make us happy. In return, we give them boundaries and limitations so they get to be happy too. Cesar Millan is here to help us do just that. Pet Valu Companion 7
F EaTUR E STO RY
Anxious No More
Anxiety is common for modern dogs – you may know from experience! Thundershirt is a drug free, all natural & easy-to-use solution that could help bring more peace to your home. by libbi Hood
What is thundershirt? hundershirt?
Thundershirt is a shirt that wraps around your dog, applying gentle pressure in strategic areas to calm and soothe his anxieties. Surveys by the makers of Thundershirt show that more than 80% of dogs show significant improvement when wearing a Thundershirt. And they offer a money-back guarantee if it doesn’t work for your dog.
how ow Does it Work? Why is touch soothing to people and animals? Experts believe pressure has a soothing effect on the central nervous system. It’s an example of a holistic approach to wellness, where all the systems of the body are thought to work together. It’s also similar to swaddling an infant – a well-known technique used to calm and soothe human babies. An example of touch or pressure as an anxiety solution is the Tellington TTouch Method, developed by Linda Tellington-Jones. According to the official website, www.ttouch.com, “The Tellington Method was first created four decades ago as a system of animal training, healing and communication… The Tellington Method utilizes a variety of techniques of touch, movement and body language to affect behavior, performance, and health, and to increase an animal’s willingness and ability to learn in a painless and anxiety-free environment.” Another example of this anxiety solution was developed by Dr. Temple Grandin, the famous animal advocate and autism researcher. Dr. Grandin developed the ‘Squeeze Machine’ as a method to calm her own anxieties. The idea was inspired by a squeeze chute used to calm cattle when giving them injections. In her article,
• Thundershirt 44032-8 Sizes XXS to XXL $39.99
“Calming Effects of Deep Touch Pressure in Patients with Autistic Disorder, College Students, and Animals,*” Dr. Grandin states that “animal trainers have learned that a firm touch calms and a very light touch tends to excite.”
In most cases, simply placing the Thundershirt on your dog should calm her anxieties. Symptoms such as barking, shaking or exces excessive panting are usually reduced or eliminated immediately. Some dogs require a few uses of the shirt before they begin to show improvement. Also, if a training program is required in addition to the Thundershirt, recommenda recommendations are made by the company at www.thundershirt.com.
The Thundershirt is easy to put on your dog. the four steps are: 〉〉
What Does it treat? Thundershirt is recommended for almost all situations that cause anxiety in your dog. These include noise anxiety (such as thunder), and everything from travel anxiety to separation anxiety, plus crating, walking on a lead and other activities that can create overexcitement or anxiety in your dog. The Thundershirt helps calm your dog so that he is more open to behavioral training. Visit the Thundershirt website for more insight, including testimonials from customers. A simple, non-invasive solution like Thundershirt might be just what you need to improve quality of life for both you and your dog.
*JOURNAL OF CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY. Volume 2, Number 1, 1992 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers 8 Pet Valu Companion - February • March 2011
How Do I Use it?
Place the Thundershirt on your dog’s back and wrap the Short Flap under the torso. Wrap the Long Flap under the torso and secure with Velcro onto the short flap to create a snug but comfortable fit. Wrap the Top Flap down onto the Long Flap and secure with Velcro. Wrap the Chest Straps around the front of the dog and secure with Velcro. You should be able to easily slide your fingers under the Chest Straps. Be careful not to restrict your dog’s neck.
P E T N U T R I T I ON
Dog & Cat Food Here’s a super premium grain-free pet food which features 100% fresh meats and oils with moderate protein and fat levels, helping to ensure your cat or dog receives maximum nutrition while maintaining a healthy weight. by julie joHnSTon
ow! FreshTM dog and cat foods, by Canadian-based, family-owned Petcurean Pet Nutrition, are made using the philosophy of minimizing the processing of the food and maximize the nutrient profile. Now! Fresh formulas are made using only fresh, hormone free and deboned meats, farm fresh fruits and vegetables, vitamins, minerals and healthy bacteria for digestion (much like the healthy bacteria in yogurt). Now! Fresh’s unique formulations include “absolutely no rendered meats or oils.” * What are rendered meats and oils, you might wonder? Rendering is a cooking process. For example, many pet foods contain chicken meal which is chicken with all the moisture removed, making it an ideal ingredient for dry kibble foods as it’s an excellent source of protein. Chicken meal and other protein-specific meat meals (turkey meal, salmon meal, etc.) are considered safe, high-quality ingredients in the pet food industry and are even used by Petcurean Pet Nutrition in their other product lines. However, many pet owners are looking for a food made with the least processing possible, while remaining healthy and balanced for their pets and convenient to feed. For these reasons and more, Now! Fresh formulas are a great choice.
Why grain-free? Grain-free foods are a strong trend right now and Now! Fresh formulas are completely grain-free. Petcurean’s philosophy behind grain-free is: “common grain allergies have escalated to an all time high and have become a serious problem for pet parents.”* Instead of using grains for energy, Now! Fresh pet foods include fresh vegetables and farm fresh fruits to provide great taste, a wide range of nutrients, natural antioxidants and plenty of energy for your pets. For instance, the ingredient panel on a bag of Now! Fresh reads like a produce aisle at the grocery store.
*Statements sourced from Now! Fresh website: www.petcurean.com
HealTHy Food Consider the wide variety of healthy fruits and vegetables included in the Adult dog food formula:
Peas Apples Tomato Potato Carrots Pumpkin Bananas Blueberries Cranberries Raspberries Blackberries Papaya Pineapple Grapefruit Broccoli Spinach Alfalfa sprouts
Papaya and pineapple provide many nutrients and are both recognized as aiding in healthy digestion. Brightly-colored berries, such as blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries in the adult formula provide natural antioxidants to fight against cell damage caused by free radicals. Carrots and pumpkin provide beta carotene, another antioxidant. And the list of fruits and vegetables (and their benefits) clearly goes on! The animal protein in the Adult dog formula comes from de-boned turkey, salmon and de-boned duck. All Now! Fresh formulas are created specifically to ensure the protein levels remain moderate, as some other grain-free pet foods contain higher protein levels which can lead to greater caloric intake and therefore weight gain for your pet. “Now! Fresh pet foods provide protein levels that are ideal for 99% of pets today.”* Petcurean’s holistic approach to making these foods, using real meat, minimized processing and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to provide an equally wide variety of nutrients, makes these foods a great option for your pets. Now! Fresh is available in Puppy, Adult and Senior/Weight Management formulas for dogs, and Kitten, Adult and Senior/ Weight Management formulas for cats. Cat and dog treats are available as well!
February • March 2011 - Pet Valu Companion 9
P E T NUTR ITION
Four Fishes= Fantastic Food
Wholesome Blend Surf formula dog and cat foods provide you with a grain-free option made with only fish protein. No chicken, no eggs, no dairy. Read on to decide if Wholesome Blend Surf is what your pet needs. by libbi Hood
he first three ingredients in the Surf formulas are fish. Fresh deboned salmon is the number one ingredient, followed by salmon meal and Menhaden fish meal. Also included is whitefish meal. In fact, 90% of the total protein is from these fresh and salt water caught fish. Fresh, deboned salmon is the clean tissue of whole salmon or salmon cuttings. Salmon, Menhaden and whitefish meals are dried, ground tissue from whole fish. As a grain-free food, Wholesome Blend Surf contains no corn, wheat, rice or oats. It also contains no potato, a common carbohydrate source in other grain-free pet foods. The main carbohydrate source used is peas. “Peas contain more than 20% crude protein in a highly digestible form, and they’re also gluten free,” explains Dean Schofield, National Sales Manager for Nutreco Canada (St Marys, ON), the makers of Wholesome Blend.
great reat for pets with protein sensitivities Remember the Food Allergy vs. Food Sensitivity article by Dr. Dave Summers in the Winter Issue of Companion magazine? (View it online at www.issuu.com for a refresher.) Wholesome Blend Surf formula is a great choice for dogs and cats suffering from the symptoms of a food sensitivity (including loose stools or chronic diarrhea, inflammation of the skin causing itching, hair loss, hot spots or chewing between the toes, runny eyes, or ear infections). Wholesome Blend Surf includes only fish or vegetable-based proteins. Pets with the more common sensitivities to chicken or lamb, or other mammalbased proteins, should find relief with the Surf formula. It’s also ideal for pets with a sensitivity to potato, any grain, eggs or dairy.
Low glycemic Peas have a low glycemic index – lower than potatoes and other common vegetables used to make grain-free pet foods. Peas are more slowly digested, and therefore produce a smaller increase in blood glucose. Too much glucose makes the pancreas work harder to produce more insulin, which is needed to regulate blood sugar. The benefit of a low glycemic index is moderate, consistent energy for your pet, since blood sugar levels remain more consistent.
botanicals Along with a wide range of fruits and vegetables, (pumpkin, carrots, apples, tomatoes, peas, cranberries, spinach, blueberries, raspberries, pomegranate), these formulas make use of healthy 'botanicals’ such as aniseed, cassia, thyme, chamomile, horseradish and juniper berry oil. Each botanical has beneficial properties to contribute to the overall health of your pet. • Aniseed 10 Pet Valu Companion - February • March 2011
Calling all Vegetarians! Wholesome Blend Surf formula is a great food choice for pescetarian pet parents!
What’s a pescetarian?
Try iT for only $3.99!
It’s a “newish” word created around the mid-1990s to distinguish vegetarians who eat fish (pescetarians) from vegetarians who don’t. If you avoid meat for personal reasons, you can now feed your pets a completely balanced grain free formula with the same philosophy.
The makers of Wholesome Blend have made it easy for you and your pet to try their product. The 400 gram trial size gives you enough kibble to determine that your pet loves this food. Of course, you’ll need to feed it for at least 4-8 weeks before you see the benefits of the grain-free, 100% fish meat protein food that’s rich in Omega Fatty Acids.
• Juniper Berry
• Aniseed helps to calm digestion & reduces gas. • Cassia offers anti-inflammatory properties and boosts the immune system. • Thyme is a source of iron that also • • •
expels intestinal gas and has anti-microbial properties. Chamomile is anti-inflammatory & calming. Horseradish is a natural digestive stimulant and antiseptic. Juniper Berry Oil aids kidney function.
T H E I N T E RVI E w
// The Interview *
Dr. Dave Summers As the nutrition expert for Pet Valu, Dr. Dave Summers educates customers through his articles in Companion magazine. As a Nutritionist and also as a pet parent to 2-year-old Bailey, a Shih-Tzu/Pug, pets come first to Dave. by libbi Hood
Q. How long have you been working in Animal nutrition? I graduated in 1985 with my Ph.D. in Poultry Nutrition, and have been working as a nutritionist ever since. Currently I develop pet foods for Pet Valu stores and consult on animal nutrition issues. Q. What process do you recommend for pet parents to choose the right dog or cat food for their unique pet? With the many very good cat and dog foods available it is hard to make the wrong choice. There is no one food or brand of foods that is right for all pets. I believe in starting with a good food that has health enhancing ingredients and looking at your pets to see how they respond to the food. If you notice something in your pet that could be improved, like a shinier coat for example, ask about other foods that may be more effective in meeting your pet’s needs.
* Note: Dr. Dave Summers not shown actual size!
Q. What’s the #1 nutritional concern facing pets today? The same as with us, being overweight. We have foods to help with; joint health, skin and coat, dental, kidney, heart, allergies and food sensitivities, if you add up all the cats and dogs with these health problems they will not come close to the number of pets that are overweight. [See Dave’s article on the following pages for an in-depth look at pet obesity and what you can do for your pet.] Q. How do you keep Bailey, your Shih-Tzu/Pug, fit? Easy! Bailey stands about 25 cm tall, so a one kilometer walk probably equals four for most dogs. Bailey is also one of those dogs who doesn’t naturally overeat. If she’s not hungry, she will leave the food in her bowl. She loves treats, but 95% of her treats could fit on your fingertip. Treats should be an interaction event, not a food event. Your pet needs (and loves!) the attention, not the extra calories.
〉〉 For more information on keeping your own dog and cat fit, or helping them lose weight this year, read Dave’s article on p.12. February • March 2011 - Pet Valu Companion 11
F EaTUR E STO RY
It's Time to Worry about
overweight Pets The number of overweight pets is skyrocketing. It’s not cute and it’s not an issue to be ignored anymore. In this feature, Dr. Dave Summers breaks down why pets are overweight, why you should be concerned and how you can fix the problem. by daVe SummerS, Ph.d.
If losing weight was easy, we would all do it, and the same applies to our pets. Like humans, dogs and cats used to spend a lot of energy finding and catching their food. Now that food is constantly available with very little effort, it is easy for the body’s energy equation to shift to more energy consumed than energy used. In strict nutritional terms, all you have to do to lose weight is consume less energy (food) than the energy you expend (exercise). Then why is this so difficult? Consuming less sounds simple, but the desire to eat is complex and involves many of the bodies’ hormones as well as many ingrained habits. We all know increasing exercise is a very effective way to help lose weight, but it is also easier said than done. The one difference between pets and humans is pets have humans to control what and how they eat.
Why lose weight? Thin is healthier. Leaner dogs and cats live longer than overweight dogs and cats and have fewer cases of the following health problems: Diabetes Lameness Skin Disease Grooming Difficulties (mainly cats) Digestive Disorders Difficulty Breathing Heart Disease Pancreatitis Heat Intolerance Decreased Liver Function Decreased Immune Function
Basically, your pet’s quality of life is better if he or she is at a healthy weight.
how much is your pet eating? A good place to start in helping your pet lose weight is to know how much you are feeding him. Measure his daily food consumption in cups, cans, or by weight. It is very important that you include all the treats you are giving your pet in the measurement. This includes biscuits, chews, bread, and stuff off of the table. If the amount of treats fed varies from day to day estimate them on a weekly basis and divide by seven. Measuring food consumption by weight is best because it is easier to include all the treats given. It is helpful if you can convert the amount of food given into calories, but if most of the food given to your pet is a prepared food, this is not necessary.
how to Feed Your pet Switching foods to achieve weight loss is not always necessary. There are cases where changing foods is not practical, especially if the pet is on a special diet for a reason, or particularly in the case of cats, your pet may not let you 12 Pet Valu Companion - February • March 2011
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Is your pet at risk? Most of us can recognize when animals are really overweight, but it is important to try and make changes before the signs are too obvious and the problem becomes really big (no pun intended!). Remember, 5 extra pounds on a small dog or cat can be equivalent to 50 extra pounds on you or me! 〉〉 Check the ribs. In short-haired dogs and cats you should see some outline of the ribs. In long-haired pets you should be able to feel the ribs under their coat. Or bring your pet to one of our knowledgable staff at Pet Valu. 〉〉 Check the waist. Like humans, the waist is the first thing to disappear when a pet gains too much weight. Both dogs and cats should have a narrowing between the ribs and the hind legs when seen from above, and a noticeable tuck when seen from the side. 〉〉 Does your pet jiggle when they walk or run? The layer of fat under the skin allows the skin to move more when they are moving, or when you are petting them. Cats often deposit more fat in the upper chest, so look and feel between their front legs.
Especially with small dogs and cats, it’s best to measure in grams or ounces because they consume only fractions of cups. The difference between 1/2 and 5/8 of a cup is 20% more food. If you ate 20% more food you would blow up too! If using cups, at least measure all the food for the day into another container and feed meals from it, to limit the chances of mis-measuring multiple times.
First Steps Decide if you are going to change to a weight loss food or stay on the current food. Switch to low fat, smallsized treats. Our staff can help you with this.
〉〉 Weigh your pet. 〉〉 Increase his or her daily activity.
〉〉 Add up how much food your
pet is eating by weight, cups or cans. Feed for 2 weeks, then weigh your pet again.
UNDERWEIGHT: RIBS AND WAIST OVERLY PROMINENT.
The goal is for your pet to lose 2% of body weight (but not more than 5%) in a 2 week period. For example, a 16 lb pet should lose 1/3 lb in 2 weeks. If your pet is not losing weight fast enough, reduce the amount fed by approximately 10% and maintain feeding that amount for a 2 week period. For example, if you have been feeding 100 grams a day, reduce it to 90 grams. Continue to reduce your pet’s food intake by a further 10% every 2 weeks, until your pet is losing 2% body weight in a 2 week period. Most pets will require a 20-30% reduction in food intake to achieve this rate of weight loss; some will need up to 50%, but seek veterinary advice if reducing consumption by over 30%. At the start of their weight loss program, weigh your pet every 2 weeks. Once you have established
* Body Condition System artwork is owed by Nestle Purina Petcare Company and used with permission. www.projectpetslimdown.com
THE SMALLER PET!
TOO THIN: RIBS & BACKBONE VISIBLE FROM A DISTANCE. NO VISIBLE FAT.
THE PERFECT SIZE & WEIGHT
change her food. Feeding a weight loss food usually makes it easier for you to manage your pet’s weight loss. Make sure treats are less than 15% fat. If you don’t know the fat level in a treat, then you probably shouldn’t be feeding it – especially not while your pet is overweight. With most pets, the interaction with you is usually more important than the size of the treat. Ideally treats are small enough and offered in limited quantities that they make an insignificant contribution (less than 10%) to the total daily calorie intake. Dogs that are given large treats or biscuits need to have an equal weight removed from their usual intake. More important than measuring calories consumed by your pet is to measure his or her weight. The importance of being able to track weight can’t be emphasized enough. Here is how I recommend you feed your pet to get sustainable weight loss.
BODY CONDITION SYSTEM*
OPTIMAL: RIBS CAN BE SEEN OR EASILY FELT BENEATH COAT.
OVERWEIGHT: RIBS AND WAIST DISAPPEAR.
OBESE: VISIBLE ROUNDNESS AND BELLY.
February • March 2011 - Pet Valu Companion 13
•PV Companion #5 Canada.indd 13
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they are losing weight at the proper rate you can weigh once a month. It helps to keep a weight loss chart to monitor progress. Be patient, if the pet is 25% to 30% overweight it may take 6-10 months to achieve a healthy weight. Once the weight is lost, the last thing you want is for your pet to regain it. When your pet’s target body condition has been achieved, increase the amount of food fed by 10% every 2 weeks until desired weight is maintained. DON’T LOOK AT THE FEEDING CHART to judge how much to feed – look at your pet’s body condition and weight. Exercise should continue after the weight is lost.
Helping to Decrease Appetite Simply taking food away often has negative side effects. Your pet may show her displeasure in a number of ways, such as begging, chewing, or missing the litter box. Helping to curb appetite by working with the body’s hormonal system can help reduce unwanted negative side effects.
The consumption of food helps control appetite, which is why feeding two meals a day is better than one. Feed the evening meal before 6:00 pm. High protein has been shown to help curb appetite in humans. There is some evidence that higher protein levels also help decrease appetite in dogs. However, with cats it is still unknown if higher protein has similar effects. Blended carbohydrate sources and blended fiber sources help reduce the glucose peak after eating. This helps reduce a peak in insulin production, which in turn helps to curb appetite. Fiber also acts to help fill the gut, which curbs appetite. If your dog or cat eats their dry food too quickly, slow him down with a larger bowl. He will pick up fewer pieces at a time. This will help give the body’s hormonal system more time to work on curbing appetite. In other words, providing time for his stomach to tell his brain he feels full.
14 Pet Valu Companion - February • March 2011
Causes of Weight Gain
Food availability. If the food is available free-choice and the pet finds it very palatable she can easily over eat. Even though some dogs, and a larger percentage of cats, can be fed free-choice without overeating, if your pet is overweight she is not one of these pets. NO FREE CHOICE FEEDING! You have to start meal feeding her twice a day. Spaying and neutering.
This important step causes about a 25% decrease in an animal's calorie requirement, so it is very important to reduce your adult pet’s food consumption by a similar amount after spaying or neutering. Age. The body’s metabolism slows down as we age – for both pets and people – so the amount of food you or your pet consumes should decrease as well. Pets vary greatly at the stage of their life where their metabolism starts to slow down. Their activity level will also decrease with age. Watch your pet as he gets older and be ready to decrease his food intake if his body starts to fill out. Stress. Like us, pets that are stressed will have a tendency to gain weight. Stress causes the adrenals to secrete more glucocorticoids, which ultimately leads to more accumulation of body fat. Activity level. Activity not only helps burn calories, but in dogs especially it can help relieve boredom, which can lead to over eating. Disease. Diseases account for only a very small percent of obese pets. With a disease like diabetes it is difficult to know which came first, the disease or the excess weight. Other diseases which cause obesity are Cushing’s, insulinoma, pituitary disease and hypothyroidism.
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increasing activity is key to losing weight
Increasing Energy Expenditure More physical activity is the best way to increase energy expenditure. It is important to choose activities which are appropriate for your pet. Dogs may have the desire to run and fetch, but their physical condition may only be suitable for walking to begin with. Start slow and increase their activity as they become more fit. After exercise the body’s metabolism will stay elevated for a period of time, which is why having two 15 minute walks or play time is better then one 30 minute event. Cats can be exercise resistant; you will need to be a little more imaginative. There are an array of toys which use the cat’s natural hunting instinct. Change them up so your cat doesn’t become bored. Let your cat set the pace; you can’t force a cat to play. Ask our store staff about toys that will suit your cat.
Beneficial Ingredients Weight loss foods used to be characterized by only high levels of fiber and low levels of fat. To help decrease weight, we are now starting to see additional ingredients in some food products to help curb appetite and burn more energy.
〉〉 〉〉 〉〉 〉〉 〉〉
Hepatic Lipidosis in Cats
Obese cats are at an increased risk of developing Hepatic Lipidosis (fatty liver disease) if they stop eating completely for more than two days. In Hepatic Lipidosis, the fat broken down by the body goes to the liver. If too much fat arrives all at once it creates a traffic jam. The liver starts to accumulate fat, and if it accumulates too much it impairs liver function, creating a serious, life threatening problem. Unlike most animals, cats can’t be allowed to simply not eat, especially if they are overweight. This is one reason you may not be able to change a cat to a weight loss food, because if he rejects the food, you have to go back to a food he will eat.
Carnitine is a vitamin-like compound that helps to burn more stored body fat. Green Tea Extract contains a powerful antioxidant that helps increase metabolism. Chromium Picolinate has been demonstrated to promote the activity of insulin. Coenzyme Q10 is also known as ubiquinone, and is essential for energy production at the cellular level. Conjugated Linolenic Acid (CLA) helps divert energy from the formation of fat to the formation of muscle.
It’s important to look at weight loss as a long-term project. If a pet loses weight too fast, the body will metabolize protein (muscle) instead of using stored fat for energy. When the dieting stops, the body will quickly replace the lost muscle, and the lost weight quickly rebounds. High protein foods help prevent muscle loss during weight loss. It is the amino acid Leucine within protein that has the greatest effect on maintaining muscle mass. A good source of leucine is whey protein, which is you may find both a source of whey protein and/or leucine in a weight loss food. For cats, it’s particularly important to keep weight loss slow. See “Hepatic Lipidosis” for the reason why. Another reason to avoid fast weight loss is that it will lead to the pet’s metabolism slowing down, which means less food is required. This makes it even more difficult to lose weight. Slow, steady weight loss is the best way to ensure permanent results. Remember you and your pet do not need to stress about a weight loss program, we have many foods, treats, toys, and suggestions to make it easier for everyone. February • March 2011 - Pet Valu Companion 15
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FE AT U R E S TORY
Who better to be your Valentine this year than the one who gives you unconditional love every day of the year? Your pet will be happy to cuddle up on February 14th! Celebrate Valentine’s Day with gifts that won’t pack on the pounds. Present your pet with a healthy Valentine’s treat and a food-dispensing toy that makes him work for it.
You wouldn’t think Valentine’s Day would be a risk for pets, but some of the things that make Valentine’s Day romantic can be hazardous to your furry valentine.
〉〉 Flowers are a wonderful gift
Some Pet Greens, a new line of all-natural dog and cat treats, are shaped like little valentines. The treats include wheat grass which contains healthy levels of chlorophyll, which contributes to a healthy blood stream.
• Pet Greens 30475-9, 30502-5 $4.99 - $12.99
for your valentine, but if she has a pet, make sure the token of your affection is non-toxic. Orchids, asters and jasmine are all good choices. Avoid azaleas, baby’s breath, daisies and lilies, among others. A florist may be able to help you choose a petfriendly bouquet.
〉〉 Candles. The flickering light of a candle can add ambience to your evening and also attract a playful animal if he’s not used to them. Candles may look like toys to pets, so make sure you don’t leave them unattended, or opt for artificial candles that light up without fire.
The feline version of working for your supper is the SlimCat by PetSafe. Simply place food or treats in the ball, and let your cat bat it around until they fall out. The pink version is perfect for February 14th, but SlimCat is also available in blue, orange and green. Selection will vary by store.
〉〉 Wine is a staple of a romantic meal. Keep an eye on your glass if you have pets that like to share beverages with you (even if you don’t mean to share with them). The grapes and alcohol content of wine isn’t good for animals.
• SlimCat 52087 $8.99
〉〉 Chocolate. What would the day be without a box of chocolates? It would be safer for your pet, that’s what. Be sure to keep chocolate, including cake, truffles and anything else with a high cocoa content, safely out of reach of your pets.
From the makers of the classic KONG chew comes the treat-dispensing Wobbler. Your dog can rock it with her paw or nose to dispense the treats. Use low-calorie treats or even your regular kibble to keep the exercise waist-line friendly. The classic KONG red color is perfect for Valentine’s too.
• Wobbler 52925 $22.99
*Men, take note; don't end up in the dog house on the 14 th. Remember to purchase all or at least one of the above and act romantic!
Pet Valu Companion 17
Cold-Blooded There’s more to the pet world than ‘man’s best friend!’ Have you considered the reptilian world for your next family member?
by lora kee
hen most people think of animals that make great pets, cats, dogs, bunnies and hamsters come to mind. But not all animal friends need to be furry. Reptiles may not be cuddly, but they can be excellent pets. If they don’t give you the heebie-jeebies, lizards and snakes can be fascinating, with personalities and habits all their own. Reptile species cover a wide range of animals, many of which are well-suited to being kept as pets. In fact, there are lots of advantages to reptiles over hairy animals. For one, they won’t claw or shed on your furniture or bother people with allergies. They are also relatively low-maintenance – they certainly don’t need to be walked and most species only need to be fed one to four times per week! These unique pets can be great learning opportunities for children. There’s nothing like seeing a snake shed its skin entirely or watching a lizard catch and eat some crickets! The experience is different from having a cat or dog, but some lizards will perch on a shoulder the way a bird would and snakes may curl up with their owners for some quiet time. There are many types of reptiles that make good starter pets. Things to consider when choosing are how big it will grow, what type of food it will eat and the environment it needs. It’s a common myth that keeping reptiles such as turtles in small enclosures and feeding them a minimal amount will keep them small. In fact, turtles and all other reptiles will grow to their full size, even if it means outgrowing the space they’re in. Many reptiles have the potential to grow extremely large – think of an anaconda that can grow to 28 feet long! This is just one reason that you should give a lot of thought to what type of reptile you want to keep in your home. Many people enjoy feeding their reptiles a diet similar to what they would eat in the wild – insects or rodents! Some snakes will only eat if they kill their own prey, so a steady supply of live rodents is necessary. Fortunately, some species do just as well with pre-killed rodents. Most lizards 18 Pet Valu Companion - February • March 2011
require insects as part or all of their diet, and they tend to prefer it if their meal of crickets is still chirping, although some will eat them whether they’re living or not. Fruits and vegetables also play a part in the diets of some reptiles, and many reptiles adjust to a dry-food format, specifically formulated to meet their dietary needs. In the wild, reptiles spend a lot of their time basking in the sun. Since they’re cold-blooded, they need the sun’s heat to warm their bodies. In your reptile enclosure, you must give your pet a place where he can warm up, such as a basking spot lamp. On the other hand, if he’s kept too warm, he may become dehydrated or overheat. Fortunately, reptiles know their own heat needs, so they will lie in a warm place until they have reached a high enough temperature, then move to a cooler place. Your terrarium should include a thermometer though, so you can monitor the temperature as well. Many reptiles have relatively simple needs and do very well as pets (see our starter list). They need food and water, a terrarium (their home) and a substrate material that absorbs waste and stimulates natural burrowing and digging. Many other reptiles have very complex needs and require more complex care, such as UV lights. These include iguanas and monitors. Some are very delicate and will react poorly to any type of stress, such as chameleons. So, as with any decision you make about a new pet, it’s important to think about what type of animal will fit in best with you and your family, rather than choosing one based on looks. One last thing to remember: always get a reptile that has been bred in captivity. Reptiles are common in the wild, but catching one yourself isn’t a good idea. Wild animals are more likely to have diseases or parasites, and they often won’t adapt well to being kept as pets. Many wildcaught reptiles have difficulty feeding, especially if they are switched from live to pre-killed food. When you adopt a reptile, make sure it comes from a reputable breeder or pet distributor.
rePtile necessities These are the bare necessities for your new pet reptile: Terrarium Heat Source Light Source Thermometer Food-Water Dish Substrate
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Where to Start Some reptiles are easier to care for than others. Here are a few that are best if you’re new to cold-blooded pets.
• The Bearded Dragon. Awesome!
Leopard Geckos. Their spotted appearance gives these reptiles their name. They are low-maintenance and will only require an aquarium with a good amount of floor space and a heat source. Insects such as crickets and mealworms make up their diet, but be warned, they like live food, so be ready to deal with some bugs!
Corn Snakes. These docile snakes are easy to care for and can be found in a variety of beautiful colors and patterns. An aquarium with a heat source and a dark place to hide will make a good home for a corn snake, but make sure you have a secure lid – they like to escape! They usually will eat pre-killed rodents and grow up to six feet long.
Bearded Dragon. Bearded Dragons make good pets because they are tame and are easy to handle. They are a good starter reptile for children because they are hardy animals, but they do require some special considerations in their environ environment. They will need a UV lamp and a fairly large aquarium with a heat source. Their diet consists of live insects and vegetables.
What to Avoid! Some reptiles are hard to manage or even dangerous as pets. These creatures are exciting and magnificent to see, but they are best kept in zoos where profes professional handlers can keep the reptiles and themselves safe. In addition, many cities have laws against keeping potentially dangerous animals as pets. If you do end up with a reptile that you can can’t care for, make sure you find a suitable new home for it. Never release a reptile into the wild. It It’s unlikely an exotic pet would survive outside its natural habitat, and if it does, it can wreak havoc on the local ecosystem.
Venomous Reptiles. Many snakes and lizards
• Reptiles like this Leopard Gecko make beautiful and fascinating pets.
have venomous bites and do not take well to being handled, or even approached, by humans. Even if it appears docile, a venomous reptile is too dangerous for anybody but the experts. Since these are exotic pets from far away places, it it’s unlikely that your local hospital would have anti-venom on hand in the event that something goes wrong.
Large Snakes. A Burmese python or boa
not a good Pet!
constrictor might seem like a cool pet, but when it’s more than ten feet long and unfriendly, you will probably find yourself unable to manage it. And just imagine how your neighbors would feel if it got loose!
Alligators and Crocodiles. Every few years, you’ll hear a story about a crocodile living in the sewers of New York City. Most of these are urban legends, but occasionally an alligator or crocodile does show up in a city, possibly because a pet owner released it after it became too large to care for. These animals are simply not suitable to be kept as pets – even dwarf species need more space and special care than most pet owners can provide. February • March 2011 - Pet Valu Companion 19
Hey Kids! It might be time for your family dog or cat to get health y. Overweight pets aren’t cute - they’re just more likely to have sore hips, itchy skin or a hard time breathing. Help your pet by using these tips. FIND THE
bold WORD IN THE REFRIGERATOR WORD SEARCH. Measure your pet’s food every day. Feed in two meals, not all at once.
exercise! Play fetch with your dog. Go for walks. Throw a ball for your cat. See if he’ll chase it! Feed less treats. Give hugs instead of treats. Go slow. It is best to take a long time to get healthy. Don’t give your dog or cat any of your people food.
20 Pet Valu Companion - February • March 2011
find the answers at www.facebook.com/petvalu
Rescue Story This customer had a heck of a week last October. She rescued a kitten that immediately returned the favor! by libbi hood
ometimes all the high-tech gadgetry in the world can’t measure up to a friendly, knowledgeable ear and a furry guardian angel. Long-time Pet Valu customer Sharon King was alerted to a carbon monoxide leak by her sick kitten, and very lucky to run into an assistant manager who could recognize the messages being sent by the 3-week old cat. Sharon King is a true animal-lover who rescues cats when she can - and finds them good homes. Late last year she rescued two young kittens, only three weeks old, no doubt saving their lives. But with four cats of her own, Sharon planned to find a new home for the sweetly named Sonny and Cher. Sharon visited her local Pet Valu store, in Keswick, Ontario, for some de-wormer for the kittens and carefully treated them, but Cher became wobbly. Out of concern, Sharon kept the cats with her in her bedroom that night. “I had the window open, which looking back, probably saved Cher’s life,” said Sharon. The next day, Sharon took Cher straight to the vet. The kitten ran around like absolutely nothing was wrong. The vet called the Pet Valu store to ask questions about the de-worming product, thinking it might be the cause, but the kitten was fine. Cher continued to seem fine when they stopped by the store on the way home. Given a clean bill of health, Cher returned home to her littermate Sonny, but immediately took ill. Wobbling around and falling over, Sharon was rightly concerned. Then Sonny began to show signs of illness. He was unable to keep his food down. Sharon brought Cher back to the Pet Valu store, hoping for some insight. Miraculously, Cher seemed fine at the store! It was then the quick thinking of assistant manager Michele Yake that saved the day. Michele’s own unfortunate experience with a gas leak and carbon monoxide poisoning allowed her to recognize Cher’s symptoms, including the mysterious disappearance of symptoms when they left the house.
Keswick Assistant store Manager Michele Yake (right) provided the insight that helped save Sharon’s sick kittens. Below: The Keswick, Ontario store front and Michele being interviewed by A-Channel news in her Halloween costume.
the amazing story was Picked uP by a regional news station
“I asked Sharon if anyone in her family was experiencing headaches, and she was surprised. Her husband had been suffering with headaches and dizziness at home for more than two years!” said Michele. Luckily, Sharon didn’t suffer any symptoms, a blessing she attributes to her habit of opening windows whenever she’s home. “Michele told us to get our furnace checked, as the symptoms were consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning,” explained Sharon. “We called immediately and sure enough, we had a cracked hose in the furnace.” Both Sharon and Michele were interviewed later that week - appearing in A-Channel news’ opening story. Michele was even interviewed in her Halloween costume! Did the cats recover? Within 24 hours they were much better, walking tall and keeping food down. Since then, Sharon has managed to place the thriving kittens in a new home.
sonny (right) & cher are adorable little heroes!
Does that mean Sharon’s family could have been saved by a carbon monoxide detector? Apparently not - as one was 'the leak' plugged in only a few feet from the leak! She learned during the ordeal that carbon monoxide detectors are great for catching drastic changes in CO levels, but they don’t always detect a slight change. The technology is not perfect, so regular checks of furnaces are necessary. Pet Valu Companion 21
Backyard Birding 〉〉
Feeding the birds is a great way to add some live art to your backyard. Watching for new species of birds and keeping a list can be rewarding for children and adults alike. An easy place to start is a tube or platform feeder. You can fill these with a wild bird feed to attract a variety of birds. The bag of seed will usually tell you what type of birds it will attract. Choose from mixtures, sunflower seeds and even pre-shelled seeds that help keep your yard free of unsightly shells. Feeders should be placed in areas where predators can’t easily hide. Try hanging a feeder from a tree in an open area free from bushes. For your own enjoyment, you may want to put the feeder in front of a window so that you can watch the birds eat, but make sure you put cutouts on your windows or put the feeder in front of a small window rather than a large one. Many birds are injured or killed when they fly into windows.
Squirrels are the bane of the bird enthusiast and will drain your feeder just to find their favorite seeds. They like sunflower seeds best but tend to leave millet alone. There are many squirrel-proof feeders available that will keep larger squirrels away from your feed, but the feeders are sometimes ineffective against small squirrels.
Wild birds will come to rely on your feeders for their food needs. Once you start a feeder, keep it clean and free from mould, and make sure it stays full, especially through the winter. Though birds will find other food sources than just your feeder, a consistent supply of seed from you could increase their overall chances of survival.
22 Pet Valu Companion - February • March 2011
Pet Valu had several booths at the “Winter Woofstock” show in Toronto, Ontario, the weekend of November 27-28. We met with thousands of current and future customers, showcasing our range of unique supplies and toys, along with our wide range of pet foods. We held draws at our booth for thousands of dollars in Pet Valu Gift Certificates, made possible by our vendor sponsors. Congratulations to all our winners, and thanks especially to our Grand-Prize Sponsors:
running the iditarod The Iditarod Dog Sled Race is run in Alaska starting the first Sunday in March of every year. 〉〉 〉〉
Teams of about 16 dogs run the trail, which is usually 1,161 miles (1,868 km), although the route changes year to year. The race can take up to 20 days. The record was set by Martin Buser and his lead dog Bronson in 2002 with a time of 8 days, 22 hours and 46 minutes. Sled dogs burn about 10,000 calories a day during the race! A typical 50 lb dog needs only about 700-800 calories a day! Siberian Huskies are the most popular sled dogs, but many other breeds compete – one man completed the Iditarod four years in a row with a team of poodles!
• When you feed the birds, squirrels are inevitable.
ut o b A All s show Pet e re ! th See yowuill be at the
w Pet Valu T PETS ShO n U o bO ario All A sissauga, Ont 22-24. in Mis ekend, April e Easter W
We have a new look in our stores, so it just makes sense that our website is updated to match. Visit us at www.petvalu.com in February to see our new and improved look. And check back regularly as we launch additional features throughout 2011, including a full product catalogue and a “My Pet” section you can personalize with photos of your own.
a DOG WHISPERER
At the Winter Woofstock show we also previewed our new line of Cesar Millan Dog Whisperer products, including leads & collars, toys, and these great double-feeders. The feeders are the first products to arrive, available now in Pet Valu stores, and we’re giving three away to Companion readers. Three lucky readers will win a Dog Whisperer double-feeder. Email firstname.lastname@example.org by February 28, 2011 for your chance to win!
• Contest opens January 17, 2011 & closes February 28, 2011. Three winners will be randomly drawn. Must be a Canadian or U.S. resident over the age of majority in their province of state of residence, excluding residents of Quebec, to enter. One entry per person. To enter, email your name, address and daytime telephone number to companion@petvalu. com with “Win” in the subject line. Email this address for full contest rules. Mathematical skill-testing question to be correctly answered to win. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. No purchase necessary.
// Win a brightly colored tandem feeder in blue or green. Collapsible bowls and legs make the feeder easy to store. Plus the bowls are dishwasher safe for easy clean-up.
February • March 2011 - Pet Valu Companion 23
What’s the #1 nutritional problem for pets? Too much nutrition!
A growing number of pets face both serious health problems and a general lack of energy due to their extra weight – most often because we’re overfeeding them.
Pick up a bag of Performatrin Ultra Slim Care Formula with Salmon dog or cat food and get your pet on the road to his/her slim best.
ULTRA ULTR TRA TM
} Made with Salmon for protein without the saturated fat } Includes Carnitine and Green Tea to support fat burning } Blended fiber from multiple sources contribute to digestive health } Perfect for a maintenance diet too!