} Raising Your Rabbit p.20
Sniff it. Kick it. Lick it. Catnip heaven!
Your Pet. Your Life. Your Store
Spring I 2011
〉〉 Spring is in the Air!
Puppies & Kittens
MILLaN BOOkS 〉 paGe 23
Woof Woof NuisaNce BarkiNg!
Your Comprehensive Pet Valu "Cut-Out & Keep" Guide 〉 paGe 13
Is there anything you can do?
to relief from pet allergies 〉 paGe 22
Pet Apps, Top 10 Dog Breeds, Eco-cleaners and more
〉〉what's in your pet's food?
PET FOOD INGREDIENTS •PV Companion #6 Canada_V2.indd 1
Brushy, Bathy, Clippy, Happy! Good grooming is essential 〉 PAGE 6 11-03-01 12:41 PM
E D ITOR ' S L ETTER
On April 9 & 10, Pet Valu is hosting its first ever PAW Event – the Pet Appreciation Weekend. We’re saying thanks to you – our customers – with online contests, great flyer deals and in-store festivities. We’re also calling on you to help us raise $250,000 for shelters and rescue organizations, supporting all the great pets waiting for their forever homes. Simply buy a PAW to support local pet organizations when you’re picking up your own pet’s necessities. We’ll be selling them throughout the month of April. We'll also collect product donations and deliver them to your local shelter. Along with our exciting chain-wide event, this spring we’ve launched our new website. Try some pre-shopping by browsing our best pet products at www.petvalu.com before heading to the store. Or, sign up for our upcoming email program, where you’ll be the first to hear about new products, special deals and pet information tailored to your own pet. What else happens in spring? Puppies and kittens, of course! We’ve got a four-page guide to help you raise your new pet right. It’s also mud season, flea season and allergy season. You’ll find info and tips about all that and more in this issue. So come on out April 9 and 10 to help us celebrate and make a difference too. We’ll see you there. What's in your pet's food?
Libbi Hood editor
So Cute! Puppy & Kitten Guide
CORRECTION: Many of you let us know that the animal we labeled as a Bearded Dragon (p.19) in the Feb/Mar issue of Companion Magazine is not one. (We're still not 100% sure what the reptile in the photo is… we've heard everything from green iguana to Indian water dragon.) We regret the error and thank you for letting us know. To learn more about Bearded Dragons and see some pictures of them, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogona_vitticeps.
•PV Companion #6 Canada_V2.indd 2
Editor Libbi Hood dESiGN Daniel Cullen CoNtributorS Lora Kee Dave Summers, Ph.D. Julie Johnston Ed Gogol Leslie Kagawa
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 May 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
2 Pet Valu Companion - Spring 2011
Your Pet. Your Life. Your Store
This is NOT a Bearded Dragon!
in this issue New in Store
Cleaning and grooming – it must be spring!
Easy solutions for a flea-free season
Your intro to caring for nails, coat and more
AKC top 10 list remains almost the same
Understanding pet food ingredient lists
Flea Season returns Grooming Made Easy top 10 dog breeds What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Patience and training required
Everything you need to get started
Catnip is entertainment for your cat, and you!
Pet Valu on Facebook, new website and more
Everything you need to know about rabbits
Nuisance barking Puppy & Kitten Guide drugging Your Cat the online Pet Experience Planning for a bunny?
allergic to Your Pet?
Win Cesar’s book Set
Tips on coping Five books by Cesar Millan could be yours!
®™ Trademarks used under license.
11-03-01 12:41 PM
N E w I N S TOR E
Innovative New Solutions Earthpawz
G GROOMiNG witH wit the Dog Whisperer Earthpawz
44395-9 if you’ve ever been concerned about $9.99 what your dog ingests when he sniffs the floor, licks the window or drinks from the toilet bowl – you’ll want to try Earthpawz. this line of 100% toxin free cleaning products for your home was developed by a family whose dog had a negative reaction to the toxins in their ‘natural’ cleaning products. And because these Earthpawz products are safe for you and your dog, they’re safe for your cat, your bunny and your ferret too! Dirty Dog floor cleaner and mud remover leaves floors sparkling, easily taking care of mud left by your dog. Like all Earthpawz products, it’s naturally derived, cruelty free, non-toxic and biodegradable. there are no sulphates or preservatives either. Basically, there’s nothing that your dog shouldn’t ingest. Doggie Doo Doo is an oxy stain remover that uses the power of oxygen to remove the toughest stains from carpet and fabric. it deodorizes too, so it’s great for doo doo accidents and every other kind of mess. Does your dog leave smears on the windows and glass doors? Now you can clean them with Doggie slobber, a non-toxic, naturally derived glass cleaner that is safe for your pet. Since you know he’s going to sniff and lick those glass doors again, choose a pet safe product for your clean-up. Also available in some Pet Valu stores, Doggie grime wall & baseboard cleaner, a rinse-free cleaner that removes dirt from walls and woodwork, and thirsty Dog, an effective toilet bowl cleaner made from food grade ingredients!
Now Now available, a range of Cesar Millan dog of Whisperer grooming Whisperer tools. Cesar started out as a groomtools. Cesar started er when he first came to the u.S.a. so he knows the importance of having the right tools. this complete line of solid oak-handled brushes and combs will get the grooming jobs done in style, and facillitate bonding time with your dog, too. the oval Slicker will remove dead hair, helping to prevent mats. the Pin brush can help detangle a matted coat, making it a musthave grooming tool for longhaired dogs like Shih tzus. the Natural bristle brush is a great finishing brush, after de-matting. Smooth-coated dogs like Chihuahua’s or bulldogs may only need a natural bristle brush for removing dirt and spreading natural oils. the Cesar Millan grooming tools also include a Grooming finishing, a Comb for finishing, a Grooming rush and a Combination brush and a Combination bristle/ Pin brush. Pin brush.
• LitterLocker ii 52705 - From $22.99
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You’ve seen the commercials on TV, now try your own LitterLocker II, available at your local Pet Valu store. In three easy steps, you can lock away odor and bacteria when you scoop your cat’s litter. The multi-layer barrier film keeps the LitterLocker completely odorless. Soiled litter can be left for up to two weeks, but can also be emptied as often as you like. The refill cartridge, which holds the barrier film, lasts up to two months for a single cat.
Combo Bristle/Pin Brush
• Dog whisperer Brushes 63411-63420 From $19.99-$21.99
Spring 2011 - Pet Valu Companion 3
11-03-01 12:41 PM
F L EAS!
No Time for
Are you prepared?
As the weather warms up again, it’s time to start watching your pet for fleas – and proactively avoiding infestation.
lthough there are more than 2000 species of fleas, the most commonly encountered today is the cat flea. Despite its name, it is adaptable and is found on both cats and dogs. Fleas are small, brown, wingless, parasitic insects that feed on blood. Fleas can live just about anywhere, but they prefer the warmth of a furry pet and they thrive in humid conditions. How can you tell if your pet has fleas? Watch for ‘flea dirt’ – small black specks in your pet’s coat, which are actually dried blood excreted by the fleas. During regular grooming, collect any debris from your pet’s coat onto a white paper. Moisten the specks with a drop of water and if they turn red or reddish-brown, your pet likely has fleas. The only good news? Catching fleas early will make treating the problem easier. The four-stage life cycle of fleas requires a consistent, ongoing approach to effectively prevent infestation. In the pupal stage, fleas are at their hardest to eliminate and they can remain in that stage for up to six months!
Powerspot for Dogs 45373-4 $17.99
what is the best way to avoid a flea infestation? Preventative measures that are easy to use and available at your local Pet Valu store. the easiest is a ‘spot’ treatment that you apply once per month for complete protection. try Zodiac PowerSpot for small or large dogs, Zodiac Spot-on for cats, or Hartz ultraGuard for dogs and cats. these products are proven effective against fleas, and best of all, you can enjoy the convenience of picking them up at your local store without an appointment. Another tried-and-true prevention product is a flea collar. Often one collar can kill fleas for the whole flea season (up to five months).
Lifecycle of a Flea Stage 1 - EGG > the adult female flea will lay eggs only on your pet. As your pet moves around the house, eggs will fall off onto rugs and furniture. there, they hatch into larvae in 2-4 days.
Stage 2 - Larva > these hese maggot-like creatures feed off of protein sources found in carpets or furniture. A larva will feed on crumbs of food or “flea dirt” to sustain life. within two weeks, the larva spins a cocoon.
Spot On ii 45386 $17.99
Stage 3 - PuPa > the he pupa’s cocoon protects it from outside dangers while it becomes an adult. while hile in this state, it is invulnerable to most flea control products. the he flea will stay in this state for as little as 7-10 days, hatching when it senses the vibration and heat of an animal. note: without ithout the right amount of heat and the presence of a host to feed on, a pupa will remain dormant for up to 6 months. this his accounts for many re-infestations.
Stage 4 - aduLt > they hey seek out a host, take a blood meal, mate within 48 hours, and lay eggs within 72 hours to begin the reproductive cycle again.
Ultra Guard 45281-2 From $11.99
4 Pet Valu Companion - Spring 2011
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F L E AS !
Fleas are more than just a nuisance to pets. They can transmit parasites, cause allergic reactions, and they can also bite you and your family!
We’ve Got Fleas
Do you know what to do if you miss the ‘prevention’ boat? A three-step process will get you back on track. Step 1 - Treat the Home Treating all the carpeting, upholstered furniture, pet bedding, and favorite pet resting areas will wipe out the adult flea population. It’s important to treat areas like underneath furniture and in closets, even if a pet has not been in the exact spot as the larvae that hatch will seek out dark, hidden places. Use a premise spray such as Zodiac Premise 2000, which will kill adult fleas, stop eggs from hatching and kill larvae, continuing to work for up to seven months. Pets and children can safely re-enter a treated area once the spray is dry. Replace any pet bedding (or wash in HOT water and dry on a hot setting if possible). Remember to throw away your vacuum bag. Just sucking up a flea doesn’t necessarily kill it, and the bag is an ideal location to form a cocoon. The protective cocoon of the pupal flea allows it to survive most treatments. In order to be killed, fleas must first emerge from their cocoons and come in direct contact with the spray. It usually takes about one to two weeks for pupal fleas to emerge from cocoons so it’s not unusual to continue to see fleas for approximately 2-3 weeks after treating a pet and home.
DID YOU KNOW Flea season begins in April, reaching its peak during the August humidity. A single female flea can lay 25 eggs per day, or 800 in her lifetime.
Premise 2000 45326 $32.99
Fleas can survive several weeks without ‘feeding’ on a host animal. Adult fleas can jump up to 20 cm vertically and 40 cm horizontally. Larvae can travel 30 cm per minute.
Step 2 - Treat the Pet Provide immediate relief for your pet with products like pet sprays or flea treatment shampoos. Follow the directions on the treatment products you choose. Some will protect your pet for longer than others, but all products should be applied only as often as suggested on the label.
Step 3 - Protect the Pet Once the infestation is resolved, it’s time to implement preventative measures to avoid reoccurrence. See “Are You Prepared” (at left) for recommendations to protect your pet.
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Grooming Tips on grooming, from head to tail. by JULIE JOHNSTON
Bath time Rubber Ducky Optional Bathe your dog at least once every few months, but more often is also perfectly healthy. Shampoo and conditioning products like the Everyday Isle of Dogs line are even safe for daily use – in case your dog falls in the mud several days in a row. Most cats don’t require a bath unless they get themselves into a sticky (or dirty) situation. Cats are designed to bathe themselves.
toy Dog 63151-2 $39.99
he best way to introduce grooming to your dogs and cats is gently, gradually and ideally when they are already relaxed. whether you’re clipping kitty’s nails or washing mud off your pooch in the bath, patience and a sense of humor are key. introduce grooming sessions gradually, for as little as a few minutes at a time. Offer plenty of praise during grooming and provide favorite treats afterwards to make it a positive experience. Spend some time every day stroking your pet; gently touch her ears and play with her feet too. this will help get her used to being ‘handled’ for grooming sessions.
FURminator These "deShedding" tools have long been the most effective on the market. Now they’ve been re-developed specifically for short hair and long hair, so the patented de-shedding edges can better remove the undercoat and loose hair beneath the topcoat. FURminator de-shedding tools can effectively reduce shedding and help prevent hairballs. Watch the videos at www.furminator.com to really see the difference they make. In addition to the tools, a line-up of shampoos, conditioners and sprays also help you target the needs of your pet. However, availability will vary by store.
1. brush up for Health Regular brushing sessions will help to keep your pet’s coat sleek and free of mats, loosen and remove dirt and also distribute his natural oils throughout his skin and coat, promoting a healthy look. Short-haired cats should be brushed once per week or more. Choose a comb or brush that suits both you and your pet, and gently brush her all over in the direction her hair grows. Short-hairs don’t suffer from many mats or tangles. You’re simply helping to remove the loose or dead hair to make grooming easier for your cat and end up with less hair around the house. Long-haired cats should be brushed at least twice per week, but brushing more often will help to avoid tangles and mats. Small Cat 63161-2 $44.99
My FURSt Groomer - Puppy 63166 - $36.99
The type(s) of brushes and combs you need for your dog will depend on her coat type. For a smooth, short coat (like a Boxer), you may need only a bristle brush. For the dense fur on your Golden Retriever, remove tangles first using a slicker brush, followed by a bristle brush to remove dead hair. Long-haired dogs such as Yorkshire Terriers will benefit from daily brushing. Again you’re best to start with a slicker brush, followed by a bristle brush, but finish with a comb-through and a trim of the hair when necessary. All cats and most dogs will benefit from a de-shedding tool like the FURminator. These remove the most dead hair from your pet, cutting down on shedding (and often hairballs).
Large Dog 63157-8 $69.99
Before the bath, brush your dog thoroughly to remove as much dead hair as possible.
Use lukewarm water, only a few inches deep in your bathtub, and if possible place a non-slip mat in the tub to keep your pooch safe.
down your dog from her neck 3 wet to her tail, using a spray nozzle or a plastic jug. Gently massage in shampoo, using as much as needed to go from head to tail. you massage in the sham4 while poo, be aware of any lumps or bumps on your dog that seem new. For anything worrisome, monitor your dog and visit the vet if necessary. rinsing thoroughly to 5 After remove all traces of shampoo, squeeze excess water off your dog and then dry him with a towel. Apply a spray conditioner to avoid mats and maintain a smooth, shiny coat. The most important tools you bring to bath time are patience and confidence. You need to be gentle with your dog, but also assertive.
6 Pet Valu Companion - Spring 2011
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g RO OmI N g
Everyday dog Isle of Dogs was born from the passion of a dog breeder/dog handler team with a mission to provide proper grooming care for their animals. The Everyday Isle of Dogs line of shampoos, conditioners and sprays is gentle enough for use every day, and at only $12.99 for each product, you can afford regular use too. Each product provides a specific solution for your dog’s coat.
Lush 〉〉 The Lush Coating line-up uses ingredients like calendula flower extract and rosemary leaf juice in the shampoo to add bounce and shine to your dog’s coat. Evening primrose oil in the conditioner helps to strengthen dry hair and decrease shedding and silk amino acids in the spray help plump hair, all combining to provide a more lush coat. Silky 〉〉 The Silky Coating line provides a softer, noticeably silkier feel to your dog’s hair. Aloe leaf juice in both the shampoo and conditioner help increase resiliency to protect the coat from damage. The brush spray, for use with between- shampoo brushings, includes chamomile flower and rosemary leaf extracts to reduce static, deter mats and repel dust and dirt.
Clean 〉〉 The Clean Coating shampoo is a deep-cleaning shampoo that remains gentle for regular use. Green tea and witch hazel extracts help to deodorize your dog’s coat.
replascent 〉〉 These revolutionary odorneutralizing sprays are safe for your dog and your home. They replace scent, neutralizing the bad ones and replacing them with delicious fragrances. Choose from scents: Red Berries & Champagne, Violet & Sea Mist or Sugar Cane & Grapefruit.
it's safest not to soak your dog's face during a bath (unlike this poor guy).
process over several days. Always finish your session with a good treat or favorite toy to make it a positive experience for your cat or dog. Be careful to clip only the white part of the nail, avoiding the pink area called the quick. If that gets expericut, your pet will bleed and experi ence discomfort or pain. And your clipping session will likely be over!
3. tthe Eyes Have it • Everyday isle of Dogs 63221-9, 63231 $12.99
2. Nail it Every time For many pet parents, clipping nails is the toughest part of grooming. It’s best to start clipping your pet's nails when they are still young, ideally still a puppy or kitten. They’ll grow accustomed to clipping if it’s a regular activity started when they are young. As with introducing a bath, the process begins long before the clippers come out. Play with your pet’s feet! Massage his feet every day, and gently press on your cat’s pads to extend the claws. Give lots of praise while playing, and a treat afterwards. Once your pet is used to regular footsies, it should be easier to actually clip the nails. Place your pet in a comfortable position for clipping (such as in your lap facing away, standing on a table, standing on the ground, or lying down). One great tip that might work is to try clipping nails when your pet is just waking up from a nap. Gently wake her up and follow the clipping instructions below. If you’re careful not to startle your pet, you can get your clipping done when she’s relaxed and happy. Take the paw gently but firmly, and clip the first nail. The first few times you may want to give a small treat after each nail. If your pet is still skittish, do only two or three nails at a time, and complete the
During regular grooming, check your dog or cat’s eyes for signs of a problem, such as tearing, cloudiness or inflammation. Red eyes or red rims are also signs of an issue. You can wipe your pet’s eyes clean with a soft, damp cloth or cotton ball, but if problems persist, talk to your veterinarian.
4. Now ‘Ear this Look in your pet’s ears weekly to check for signs of infection. If you see any redness, swelling or brown/black ear wax (classic sign of ear mites), or if you’ve noticed an increased amount of pawing or scratching at the ears, talk to your vet or the experts at Pet Valu about a solution.
Smelly ears are also a sign of a problem. In fact, sometimes the unpleasant ‘dog’ odor is actually due to an infection in your dog’s ears or mouth. Keep up regular ear checks as well as eyes, and develop a regular oral care routine too. See the Dental Month article in the Feb/March 2011 issue of Companion, available on www.petvalu.com, for dental care tips and recommendations. Spring 2011 - Pet Valu Companion 7
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TO P TEN
Top10 Breeds Hold steady teady For the 20 th year in a row, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed, according to the American Kennel Club. in fact, this year’s top 10 Breeds are the same as last year’s, but in a slightly different order.
1. Labrador retriever 2. German Shepherd 3. Yorkshire terrier 4. beagle 5. Golden retriever
6. bulldog 7. boxer 8. dachshund achshund 9. Poodle 10. Shih tzu zu
#6 the he Beagle moved up to fourth spot this year, swapping BULLDOG spots with the Golden Retriever. Boxers and Bulldogs also changed spots, with Boxers dropping to seventh, while the Bulldog moved up to sixth. the Bulldog’s ranking has been growing for the past decade; it was ranked 21st in 2000. the French Bulldog’s growing popularity moved it from 71st to 21st since 2000, a remarkable jump. the AKC’s breed list is based only on dogs registered with the organization, and not all purebred dogs in the U.S. there are no stats available for the #1 most popular breeds in Canada. THE LAB For more information on each of the top 10 breeds, including history and fun facts, read the article in Companion Magazine issue 1, available at www.petvalu.com.
did id yoU know?
In honor of our new stores in Nova Scotia, Canada, please meet the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever! the he smallest of the retrievers, this breed was recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club in 1945 and the AKC only in 2003. the dogs were bred to toll (or lure) ducks close to shore with their playfulness – then retrieve them.
Pet Valu is excited to be in Nova Scotia, with three stores already open and more to come.
〉〉 Visit us iN HaLiFaX: 5686 Spring Garden Road 278 Lacewood Drive (Clayton Park Shopping Center)
For the Well-Being of
The makers of Go! Natural and Now! Fresh pet foods put your pet’s well-being and vitality ahead of everything else. Visit www.petcurean.com to learn how we’re supporting local farmers, protecting the environment, and putting our customers – dogs and cats – first.
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P E T N U T R I T I ON
What's in Your Pet Food
What’s in a Name?
From just plain Chicken to Sodium Tripolyphosphate, let’s take a closer look at pet food ingredients. by LIBBI HOOD, ED GOGOL & DR. DAVID SUmmERS, PH.D.
ave you read the back of a pet food package recently? Pyridoxine Hydrochloride? Bifidobacterium Bifidium? DL-Methionine? What exactly is all that stuff?
it’s not what you think! When you read the ingredient label on your dog’s or cat’s food, you will almost certainly come across ingredients that you can’t identify or pronounce. While you may have heard that ‘if you can’t pronounce it then why is it in your pet’s food,’ that isn’t always the case. Many vitamins are listed by their scientific name, which can make them very hard to pronounce, but they’re still healthy supplements for your pet.
For example: Pyridoxine Hydrochloride is a form of vitamin B6, an essential micronutrient for animals. it is used to support the proper metabolism of protein.
bifidobacterium bifidium is a probiotic. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the intestinal tract of animals and help to keep the population of bad bacteria in check. this supports the intestinal wall and therefore aids digestion.
dL-Methionine is an essential amino acid for all animals. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. DL-Methionine helps to improve the overall balance of protein in the food. Because Methionine contains sulphur, it can also acidify the pet’s urine to help prevent urinary crystals.
ingredients On a pet food label, the ingredients are listed in order by weight. This is required by U.S. law. The food will contain a larger amount (based on weight) of the ingredients listed first and a smaller amount of the ingredients listed at the bottom. However, you can’t always take things at face value. For example, tomatoes provide the antioxidant lycopene. Fresh tomatoes might weigh more than dried tomatoes due to water content, so they would be listed higher in the ingredients. However, there is no way to know whether one brand of food containing fresh tomatoes contains more lycopene than another brand made with dried tomatoes. When the ingredient panel lists chicken or lamb, those ingredients naturally contain a high percentage of water the same way human muscle is up to 75% water. (Anyone who has done laundry knows that wet things weigh more than dry things.) Fresh chicken sometimes appears before chicken meal simply because chicken is heavier with the water weight. Of course, by weight, one pound of fresh chicken is the same as one pound of chicken meal, because one pound is one pound. Chicken (or lamb, turkey, or any other meat) is a great first ingredient in pet foods. Meat, whether fresh or frozen and thawed, supplies great taste and nutrients that dogs and cats require. At the same time, chicken meal (or lamb meal, etc.) is also a healthy, concentrated source of protein. Many great foods contain both meat and meal.
Look for specifics when you’re reading pet food labels. Named ingredients like Chicken Fat tell you exactly what the ingredient is, and you know that it’s the same each time. In comparison, Animal Fat on the ingredient list could actually be chicken fat, but it could also be pork fat or it could alternate with each batch of food. In most cases, animals will not show any adverse reaction to a slight change in formula, but it’s something to watch for when you’re reading and comparing ingredients.
in the end… All pet foods sold at Pet Valu stores are formulated to be complete and balanced according to AAFCO standards. AAFCO, which stands for Association of American Feed Control Officials, is an advisory group. Their recommended nutrient profiles have been widely accepted as standards throughout the pet food industry and as state laws in the U.S. You can also find cans labeled 100% meat that are actually treats or supplements, and not complete meals. Technically, only complete and balanced formulas can be labeled ‘food.’ The first goal is a happy and healthy pet. If you’re achieving that, then you’re on the right track. If you need assistance understanding what makes a great food, talk to the pet experts at your Pet Valu store.
* this ingredient list contains examples of common ingredients found in pet food. this is not an exhaustive list and the ingredients included do not represent any one particular food.
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P E T NUTR ITION
Meat & Other Protein Sources 〉〉 Chicken is the clean flesh from chickens, without any feathers, heads, feet, or internal organs. Chicken is a source of highly digestible protein and adds palatability to foods. Other meat or fish ingredients have a similar definition, but specific to the animal (such as lamb, turkey, salmon, venison, etc.) 〉〉 Chicken By-Product meal is the cooked and dried product from a combination of clean chicken flesh, skin, and internal organs, with or without accompanying bone, heads or feet. It is derived from the parts of whole carcasses of chicken, and does not include feathers. 〉〉 Dried Egg Product is made by dehydrating whole eggs without the shells. Egg is often referred to as ‘nature’s most perfect protein source’ as it provides all the essential amino acids required for growth and muscle development. It is also a good source of fat energy and naturally occurring vitamin E. 〉〉 Lamb meal is clean lamb flesh, cooked and dried to remove moisture. ‘Meal’ ingredients are cooked and dried ingredients. Lamb meal provides essential amino acids, minerals (especially calcium and phosphorus) associated with healthy muscle and bone development, and energy. It is a highly digestible protein ingredient, and an excellent alternative protein source for pets that are sensitive to beef or chicken. 〉〉 Potato Protein is protein that is extracted from natural potato.
Grains 〉〉 Brown Rice is rice that still has the outer layer of bran. It is a source of high quality, easily digested carbohydrate energy. It’s also a source of essential B vitamins and trace minerals, as well as both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. 〉〉 Pearled Barley is barley which has had the fibrous outer hull removed. Dehulled or pearled barley is a good source of carbohydrate energy, B vitamins, and insoluble fiber associated with colon health. It is also an excellent source of soluble fiber that has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. 〉〉 Yellow Corn is the entire corn kernel (usually ground or chopped). Corn has the highest concentration of energy of the common grains used in pet foods. It is a very economical source of carbohydrates, contains relatively low level of proteins, but good levels of the essential fatty acid linoleic acid (Omega-6).
Vegetables, Fruits & Herbs 〉〉 Alfalfa meal is the portion of the alfalfa plant that grows above ground, which is then dried and ground. Alfalfa provides both soluble and insoluble fiber, and is a good source of beta-carotene and calcium. Alfalfa is also a good source of vitamin C, folate and iron. 〉〉 Basil is an herb that is known for its digestive properties, typically aiding the digestion process and the expulsion of gas. Basil also contains the antioxidant monoterpenes, which has been associated with positive cardiovascular health. 〉〉 Beet Pulp is the by-product of the extraction of raw sugar from commercially grown sugar beets. After the sugar has been extracted, the remaining pulp contains very little sugar, but is valuable as a fiber source. This means the fiber from beet pulp has the benefits of adding bulk and moisture to animal stools.
Fats 〉〉 Canola Oil is a fat source that is high in unsaturated fats. Although Canola Oil contains both Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, compared to other plant oils it is a particularly good source of Omega-3s, which benefit skin and coat health. 〉〉 Chicken Fat is a highly digestible animal fat source. It is obtained from the tissue of chickens in the commercial process of rendering or extracting. Chicken fat is high in both energy and the essential fatty acid linoleic acid (Omega-6). In addition to being a source of nutrients, chicken fat increases the palatability or tastiness of dry pet foods. 〉〉 Flaxseed is an important source of the Omega-3 fatty acid, linolenic acid. Linolenic acid plays a critical role in the production of healthy skin, and provides the body with anti-inflammatory properties.
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P E T N U T R I T I ON
Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements
〉〉 Blueberries contain many powerful antioxidants, includ including vitamin C. Their blue color comes from anthocyanins which are a major contributor to their antioxidant activity. On an ingredient list, you will also see specific fruits and vegetables, including blueberries, listed as whole, fresh, dried, diced or ground (e.g. fresh cranberries). 〉〉 Carrots are a source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. They provide soluble fiber as well as the antioxidant beta-carotene. 〉〉 garlic contains the powerful antioxidant Allicin. Allicin helps protect against infection by enhancing the immune system, as well as promoting digestive health through its anti-microbial properties. In dog foods, garlic also helps increase palatability. Since garlic can cause anemia in cats, it should not be added to cat foods. 〉〉 Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of carbohydrates and contain potassium and B vitamins. They also provide phytonutrients and carotenoid antioxidants which gives them their orange color. Antioxidants help provide protection against potentially cancer-causing free radicals. 〉〉 Tomato Pomace is the dried pulp of tomatoes after the juice has been removed. Tomato pomace provides a very good blend of soluble and insoluble fiber types. When added to a pet food these fibers provide food for the good bacteria, and help maintain a consistent stool quality.
〉〉 Biotin is a vitamin that is active in the metabolism of profat, carbohydrates, and pro tein. Because of its involveinvolve ment in collagen formation when added to foods it is effective in promoting supple skin and a soft coat. Biotin is the most expensive vitamin. 〉〉 Brewer's Dried Yeast is the dried non-fermentative, non-extracted yeast. Brewer’s Yeast is usually added to foods to enhance palatability, but is also a source of amino acids, vitamins and minerals. 〉〉 Calcium Pantothenate, also called D-Calcium Pantothenate, is a source of Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5). Pantothenic Acid is effective in the transformation of carbohydrates into energy and in maintaining a healthy nervous system. It also promotes normal growth and development. 〉〉 Chicken Cartilage is connective tissue that is used as a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which support mobility by slowing the degradation of the joints. 〉〉 Chicory Root Extract contains a prebiotic called inulin. A prebiotic acts as food for probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that live in the intestinal tract of animals and help to control the population of bad bacteria. 〉〉 Dried Kelp is a sea plant with the moisture removed. It’s an excellent source of naturally chelated iodine. Many of the digestive benefits of kelp are related to its many types of soluble fiber. It is also a source of protein-bound
(and therefore easily assimilated) alginic acid, bromine, potassium and sodium, as well as many other essential minerals vital to good health. 〉〉 green Tea is an extremely versatile herbal supplement rich in Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). EGCG is an antioxidant that has been reported to lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of cancer and inhibit blood clots associated with heart disease. 〉〉 ground Psyllium Husk is a dietary fiber that aids in proper elimination. Psyllium is an herb, and ground psyllium husk is the ground-up fibrous outer covering of its seeds. 〉〉 L-Carnitine is a vitaminlike substance made from the amino acids Lysine and Methionine that helps maintain normal metabolism. L-Carnitine helps the body burn fat for energy by attaching to fatty acids and transporting them into the cellular mitochondria for use as an energy source. This helps mobilize body fat stores. 〉〉 Lactobacillus Casei is a probiotic. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that help the digestion process by controlling the bad bacteria that can cause diarrhea. Probiotics are also thought to aid digestion and nutrient absorption.
〉〉 Natural Flavor is a natural ingredient that is applied to the outside of the kibble to enhance the flavor of the dry pet food. It can be from vegetable, chicken, lamb, or pork sources. (It does not contain MSG). 〉〉 Sodium Tripolyphosphate is a dental additive, used to reduce calcium build-up. Also known as STPP, sodium tripolyphosphate provides phosphorus that basically replaces calcium in the structure of tartar, causing the tartar to weaken and crumble. 〉〉 Spirulina is a microscopic blue-green algae. Spirulina contains very high amounts of protein and is primarily used in pet foods as a great source of antioxidants. 〉〉 Streptococcus Faecium is a probiotic with similar attributes to Lactobacillus Casei. 〉〉 Taurine is an amino acid associated with growth, eye health and cardiac health. It’s essential in the diet of cats as cats cannot produce taurine the way dogs and humans can. Recent studies have shown that extra taurine is imperative for cardiovascular health in dogs, especially in large and giant breeds. 〉〉 Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin required in pet diets. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which helps to maintain health by protecting the body’s tissues from free radical damage. Free radicals are damaged cells that contribute to many Vitadiseases and ailments. Vita min E is also used as a natural preservative in the form of mixed tocopherols. Spring 2011 - Pet Valu Companion 11
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wO O F ! wOOF ! wOOF!
Nuisance Barking Sometimes it seems like the dogs will never stop barking! by LIBBI HOOD
t’s common to think of barking as your dog’s language, but it’s widely accepted that the majority of canine communication is through body language. Dogs in the wild rarely bark at all, though wild puppies do. Dogs have evolved through centuries of breeding and domestication to become more vocal. Plainly stated, barking is not a bad thing. It can be joyful. It can alert you to danger. It can even scare off would-be attackers. But on the other hand, excessive barking or ‘nuisance’ barking is frustrating, annoying, and generally considered to be a very bad thing! To control or eliminate nuisance barking, you first need to know why your dog is barking. Some of the most common types of barking are demand, greeting, boredom, frustration and alarm barking. There are other more specific types as well, including barking due to separation anxiety or certain herding breeds barking to control their flock, but most dogs are barking because they want something, they see/hear something, or they are bored. Demand barking is asking for something, like a treat or attention. Often it will start quietly and build-up as your dog fails to get what he wants. Frustration barking is similar, but usually more fervently insistent. It’s often directed at something other than you, such as the cat walking by your yard or the favorite toy that’s out of reach. With demand barking, the first and only thing to do is ignore it. Don’t give your dog any attention or even eye contact. You want to reward only the desired, quiet behavior. This can be very difficult, especially if your dog has previously gotten the desired result from his demand barking. Basically, you have to be consistent in your training, and more persistent than your dog! Alarm barking and greeting barking both occur because your dog has noticed something. With greeting barking, your dog wants to say hello to other dogs, neighbors, or whomever is on the other side of the front door. There are several training approaches to change your dog’s
reaction to the doorbell. A good trainer or training book will help you condition your dog to go to ‘her place’ when the doorbell rings, or accompany you to the door quietly. Even before training begins, try to be aware of your own reaction to the doorbell (or a ringing phone, if that sets off a barking frenzy). Since dogs are body language communicators, they recognize an important event by reading your body language. If somebody knocks at your door, you jump up off the couch, or subtly tenseup thinking ‘Who could it be?’ Or you loudly proclaim ‘I’ll get it!’ To your dog, these are all indicators of an event worthy of barking. Alarm barking can be important. Heroics often start with alarm barking. For example, your toddler has wandered out a door accidentally left open; the kitchen is on fire; or somebody is breaking into your house! Sometimes it’s not a real emergency though. It’s a teenager cutting across your lawn or a nature documentary on TV. When it sounds like an alarm bark, investigate first. That way you’ll know whether your dog deserves a great big thank-you or a cue for quiet, which is another action you can train with patience and persistence. Boredom barking is exactly what it seems. Your dog is bored. She’s been alone in the backyard or the basement all day – or worse! For this type of barking, try changing the situation. Let your dog spend more time with you, watching TV or laying nearby while you make dinner. Don’t yell at your dog for barking – a loud, boisterous ‘correction’ may encourage him. Think about it – you’re yelling ‘Quiet’ or ‘Stop it!’ but to your dog it’s just human barking! All dogs, whether nuisance barkers or not, could benefit from more exercise. In addition to your daily walks, try a visit to the off-leash park for a high-energy romp. Or invest in a new ball and play fetch. That’s the attention your dog wants, without having to bark to get it. The unconditional love you get in return is definitely not a nuisance.
and now for something completely different…
Maybe excessive barking isn’t the worst thing in the world. The Basenji breed, a dog of African heritage, doesn’t bark at all. Instead, it YODELS, GROWLS, WHINES or
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P U P P Y & KI T T E N gU I D E
The Basics Are you thinking of adopting a puppy or kitten this spring? Your new friend will bring you years of love, companionship and entertainment. In return, you will need to make sure that he is cared for by seeing to his health, nutrition and training by LORA KEE
spring is a great time for new puppies & kittens.
Get ready for Your New Pet Before you bring a puppy or kitten home, you should be prepared with all the items you’ll need to keep him happy and healthy. Below is a list of items we recommend to welcome your new family member and make the adjustment as easy as possible for everyone – including your new pet.
Puppy Essentials Checklist
CUt & keeP
❏ Puppy Food ❏ Food and water Bowls ❏ Collar or Harness and iD tags ❏ Leash ❏ Bed ❏ Chew toys & Plush toys ❏ treats for training ❏ Puppy Gates ❏ Shampoo and Conditioner ❏ Dental Health Products ❏ Pet Stain and Odor Remover ❏ Brush and Comb ❏ Nail Clippers ❏ Milk Replacement (for very young puppies) ❏ Scooper and Bags for waste ❏ training Pads ❏ Crate or travel Carrier Kitten Essentials Checklist
❏ Kitten Food ❏ Food and water Bowls ❏ Collar and iD tags ❏ Litter Pan, Scoop and Litter Liners ❏ Litter ❏ toys ❏ treats ❏ travel Carrier ❏ Dental Health Products ❏ Pet Stain and Odor Remover ❏ Brush and Comb ❏ Nail Clippers ❏ Scratching Post ❏ Milk Replacement (for very young kittens) Spring 2011 - Pet Valu Companion 13
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P U PPY & KITTEN g UIDE
apparently, we'll learn to live together!
1. Prepare Your Home Puppies and kittens like to explore and, like human babies, everything they see goes into their mouths. Pet-proofing your house is an important step for your new family member’s safety. Make sure that both human and animal food is kept out of reach and that any household chemicals are secured. You may even want to use baby locks for your cabinets.
Meet the Family The day you bring your puppy or kitten home is an exciting day. Your pet will get to meet your family, see his new home, and play with any new brothers and sisters he might have. This can be both fun and a little scary for an animal, so it’s important to keep him safe and help him to feel secure in his new surroundings. Most of the time, puppies, kittens and children will get along famously – they all just want to play, after all. Children will be excited for their new friend and will probably want to play with and cuddle him. Make sure that young children understand their pet isn’t a toy. Supervise children to ensure they handle the animal gently and appropriately (they shouldn’t try to pick him up). Make sure children don’t frighten your young pet with loud noises or make him feel trapped by chasing him. Your puppy or kitten is instinctual and will bite if he feels threatened – don’t let that happen. ➜ PUPPy Point it’s t’s best to introduce new and old dogs in a neutral environment like a park. this his way, nobody will feel territorial. Put both dogs on a leash so that they can be controlled if any problems start. Let them sniff each other, and even growl or bark, as long as nobody’s being overly aggressive. the he older dog will use those methods to show the puppy the rules of the house. Eventually, most dogs will work out their differences and learn to get along. ➜ kitten Point Despite their reputation of ‘fighting like cats and dogs,’ most cats and dogs will learn to live together. Supervise the early interactions of your new kitten and any dogs. there might be some fighting as they get to know each other, but many animals, especially if they’re introduced while one is young, will become friends. if you’re introducing your kitten to other cats, they will probably hiss and growl at first. this is normal. the other cats will quickly put the kitten in his place and show him the order of the household. A little swatting is to be expected. it’s best for you to stay out of it unless things look like they’re getting out of hand.
Puppies and kittens are naturally playful, so join in the fun! Teach your pet good ways to play to avoid the development of bad habits such as biting. If she nips or scratches at you during play, let her know you don’t like it. Say “no” firmly, then stop the play session for a few minutes. Give your pet plenty of toys, and use them to help her develop healthy play habits. Teach her that she can bite toys, but not people. Never let your kitten or puppy do something you don’t want your full-grown pet to do, like niping or jumping up on you. ➜ PUPPy Point Socialize your puppy with other dogs to help her develop normal dog behaviors, once she’s been through her first set of vaccinations. in addition to tiring her out and helping her play with you more calmly, playing with other dogs can help her see that biting hurts! For more information on puppy socialization, refer to issue 1 of Companion magazine, available at www.petvalu.com. ➜ kitten Point Using your hands as kitten toys is not a good idea. if she grabs on to your hand with her paws (and claws!), push toward her until she releases you – trying to snatch your hand away will only make her hold on tighter. Use toys to play with your kitten to help her use scratching and biting instincts safely.
Nail trimming is important for both dogs and cats throughout their lives. Use nail trimmers specifically designed for cats or dogs. To trim his nails, push lightly at the base of each nail to extend it. Be careful of the pink triangle in the nail. This is called the quick and it can bleed (and hurt!) if it’s cut. Trim the nail quickly and cleanly, and use a soothing voice to help your pet stay calm. If you prefer professional service, Pet Valu Groomingdale’s locations can trim nails as well as providing full grooming services. Check www.petvalu.com to see if your Pet Valu offers grooming services.
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P U P P Y & KI T T E N gU I D E
Mac & Cheese = Vomit & Clean!
4. Feeding & Nutrition Choosing a Food Kittens and puppies have special nutritional needs to help them grow into healthy adults. With all the foods on the market, you can choose a diet that is nutritionally sound for your pet, fits your budget, and is in line with your philosophies on feeding. Many foods come in both a wet and dry format. You can choose one or the other, or feed a combination. Choose a puppy or kitten formulation, or a food appropriate for all life stages. Use the feeding instructions on the package as a starting point, then adjust the amount you feed to make sure your pet is growing at the right speed and not leaving food. Make fresh water available to your pet at all times, and change the water daily. ➜ PUPPy Point the type of puppy you have will also play a part in the food you choose. Some breeds will grow to 100x their birth weight! if your puppy is a small or large breed, you may want to choose a puppy food specific to your dog’s size. For example, a large breed puppy food will help ensure your dog grows slowly. Large breeds that grow too fast as puppies will often develop joint problems as adults. ➜ kitten Point Many cats don’t like to drink much water. Some cats will be attracted to running water from a cat fountain or a tap, while others may prefer ice in their water or other unusual tactics. However you do it, make sure your cat drinks. if he doesn’t get enough water, he may develop bladder or urinary tract problems. if he’s reluctant to drink, you can help hydrate him by feeding wet food, which has a high water content.
5. Training ➜ PUPPy Points House Training One of the biggest worries for new dog owners is housebreaking the new puppy. Despite your best efforts, accidents will happen at some point, so be prepared for it with odor-fighting cleaning products. Never punish a puppy for accidents. instead, reward him with praise when he eliminates in an appropriate place. Choose either crate training or puppy-pad training and be consistent and patient. Your new puppy wants to please you, and it’s your job to teach him in a way he understands. Your puppy also has a small bladder so give him many trips outside to eliminate, especially after meals and naps.
Basic Training it’s essential to teach your dog four basic commands: Sit, Down, Stay, and Come. these four commands will help you control your dog in unpredictable situations and keep her safe. She should be able to follow these commands in all situations, so it’s important to train not only in the home, but outside and around other people and distractions. Start your training session when your puppy is in a generally calm and happy state. She won’t respond well if she’s over-excited, tired, or grumpy. Put her on a leash that’s about six feet long so that you can keep her in control and hold her attention. this is a good idea, even if you’re training inside your home. A Pet Valu Pet Expert can recommend training resources or a puppy school in your area. ➜ kitten Points
Litter Box Training Cats are clean animals and find it natural to use a litter box. As long as your kitten knows where the litter box is and can get in and out of it easily, she is likely to use it with no problems. Ensure the litter box is in a quiet area and when you notice your kitten scratching around on her first day at home, pick her up and place her in her box. Some cats, for various reasons, will have issues with the litter box. Be prepared with cleaning products that remove urine odors, and make sure to thoroughly clean any areas where the kitten has an accident. if he smells urine in a specific place, he is likely to go there again. if he continues to use the same inappropriate place, try putting a litter box where he’s going, then slowly moving it to where you want the litter box to stay permanently. with any luck, he’ll move along with it. A strong-scented litter box might bother a kitten, so use an unscented litter and scoop it every day. As a rule, you need as many litter boxes as you have cats plus one more (e.g. two cats need three litter boxes).
How Much Will He Eat? How much you feed your pet is an important factor. Use the portion size recommended on the food label as a guideline. If your pet is extremely thin, increase the amount of food you give by 10%. If he leaves food, decrease the amount slightly. Puppies and kittens need a lot of food energy to thrive, but it’s important not to overfeed either as this can cause obesity and growth problems. Remember, full grown dogs and cats should be slim, not round, to be their healthiest.
Your new puppy wants to please you, and it’s your job to teach him in a way he understands.
so, what your're trying to say is: i should really do that outside! Spring 2011 - Pet Valu Companion 15
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P U PPY & KITTEN g UIDE
5. Healthy Pets Worms and Parasites Many animals will have worms from birth, especially if they are born as strays. Fortunately, deworming medications are effective. De-worming treatments are available at your Pet Valu store or through your veterinarian.
vaccinations Vaccinations will start when your pet is six to eight weeks old. Your veterinarian can tell you which vaccines are mandatory and others that are recommended. Keep a record of the vaccinations your pet receives throughout his life so that you know if he’s up to date.
Spaying and Neutering Spaying or neutering your pet is an important decision. Many rescue organizations make spaying or neutering your new pet a condition of the adoption. They know first-hand that there are too many pets without homes. In addition to eliminating the possibility of an unwanted litter, there are other benefits for your pet’s health. Spaying or neutering reduces the risk of certain cancers, can lessen aggressive behavior, keeps females from going into heat and reduces the urge for males to mark their territory.
Eyes, Ears, Nose, Skin and Coat A little discharge from the eyes may be normal, but if you notice an abnormal amount of discharge or yellow discharge, redness or cloudiness in the eyes, consult a veterinarian as these can be signs of an infection or serious problem. Examine your pet’s ears during your weekly grooming routine. Watch for evidence of infection such as scratching or signs of earmites, such as a black waxy discharge. If your pet has nasal discharge, you can wipe this away with a wet tissue or cotton ball. However, if your pet sneezes a lot or has a stuffed up or dry nose, you should tell your veterinarian at your next visit. The most bothersome issue for most domestic animals is fleas. Fleas can cause skin infections, allergic reactions and hair loss, plus their bites are itchy to both pets and humans. Flea treatment products can kill fleas in all stages of development, from egg to adult flea – but many treatments are not gentle enough for young puppies or kittens. If you encounter a flea problem early in your pet’s life, ask the pet experts at Pet Valu for a product recommendation. When your dog or cat is fully grown, choose from flea collars, sprays and once-per-month topical treatments for flea treatments and prevention.
Kittens will gladly help you shred that ugly sweater, enjoying hours of pure woolly happiness! Just make sure your cat doesn't swallow the yarn as this can cause intestinal blockages.
6. Safety Puppies are rambunctious and kittens are curious. Both will get into trouble unless you take some steps to keep them safe. Before you bring your puppy or kitten home, make sure that all chemicals and cleaning products are stored securely where your pet can’t get to them. ➜ PUPPy Point when you go out with your puppy, make sure he’s on a leash so that you can keep him under control. Puppies think almost everything is food, so make sure he stays away from hazardous items in and out of your house. Puppies can easily choke on small objects. ➜ kitten Point Cats are attracted to small enclosed spaces and high vantage points, but these can be hazardous, especially for a clumsy kitten. Clothes dryers and washing machines are appealing hiding places, so do a cat check before running these appliances. Kittens also like batting around any small object they can find, so make sure pins and any other sharp or small items that can be swallowed are out of reach.
dental Care Dental care is important. Your pet’s permanent teeth will come in around four to six months of age, and will last the rest of her life if they’re wellmaintained. Simply brushing her teeth is the best approach to great dental care. Use a toothpaste and toothbrush designed for your pet as your own toothpaste will upset your pet’s stomach. Other dental solutions include a liquid you place in her water dish and a gel you rub inside her mouth. Pup Puppies and kittens will also enjoy treats specifically designed to help clean their teeth.
Emergencies If your pet is behaving strangely, or is unconscious, limping, bleeding or vomiting, you should see a vet veterinarian as soon as possible. Be cautious when you try to treat any injury on a dog or cat as he may bite or scratch, even if that’s not his usual personality. Try to stay calm and get him to the vet as soon as possible for professional treatment. 16 Pet Valu Companion - Spring 2011
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CAT N I P
It’s called catnip. Slip some to your beloved feline and see what happens! by LESLIE KAGAWA
hey’ll sniff it. Lick it. Cling to it. Pounce on it. Kick at it. Roll over it, and more. For a grand finale, some cats will even eat it. But why? Catnip is a perennial herb which is part of the mint family. It contains the chemical nepetalactone, which triggers a response in cats but not in other animals or humans. It’s a stimulant to cats, causing frenetic activity in some, and a lot of drooling in others. Not all cats are affected by it. Young kittens, up to 8-12 weeks, aren’t drawn to catnip and can even show an aversion to it. Sometimes senior cats ignore it too. But big cats – like a tiger, not a Maine Coon – also enjoy catnip. The response to catnip appears to be inherited, and it’s estimated that between 50% and 90% of household cats are susceptible to its charms. Your cat won’t overdose on nepetalactone. Most cats will play with it for awhile, then ‘lose interest’ and ignore it. Some hypothesize that your cat is on a ‘high’ by that point, and therefore has no further need for catnip! While we don’t know for sure, it will be one to several hours before your cat will again react to catnip. Interestingly, though catnip acts as a stimulant when sniffed, it will act more like a sedative if ingested. Dried catnip is used for cat toys and sold on its own. You can find many forms of it at your Pet Valu store, including the new organic catnip toys featured here. Fresh catnip, on the other hand, can cause vomiting or
diarrhea if consumed in large quanti quantities. This is rare and can be easily resolved by limiting or withholding fresh catnip. You can easily grow fresh catnip in your garden – not necessarily to go to the trouble of harvesting and drying it for your cat’s enjoyment. Rats and mice are believed to have a strong dislike of catnip and will avoid places where it grows. And researchers say that nepetalactone is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, which is the active ingredient in many insect repellents (and potentially toxic). It is also said that catnip can be used by humans to make a medicinal tea which may soothe toothaches and coughs, and maybe help induce sleep as well. But here at Companion Magazine, we can only recommend catnip for your cat! If your cat requires more exercise, try catnip toys for a hyperactive workout session. It’s safe to use every day to help induce more activity to support a healthy weight and lifestyle. Catnip is also a great attractant for convincing your cat to scratch a designated post and not your furniture. Simply rub some catnip or catnip oil on a scratching post and place your cat near it. Most likely your feline will sniff at the post and then rub against it and scratch too. Once you’ve reapplied the catnip a few times, your cat will be well on her way to appropriate scratching habits.
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interestingly, though catnip acts as a stimulant when sniffed, it will act more like a sedative if ingested.
DID YOU KNOW Nepetalactone is a terpene composed of two isoprene units, with a total of ten carbons. Its chemical structure is similar to that of the valepotriates derived from the herb valerian, which is a mild central nervous system sedative (or stimulant for some people).
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P E T VALU > DIg ITAL
Pet Valu > Digital
there is an app for just about everything. we’ve picked out some of our favorite iphone, ipod and ipad apps for dog and cat owners. > by LORA KEE
Can My Dog Eat That?
Pet Records Anywhere
iPhone and iPad users now have an instant way to find out what’s safe for Fido – iKibble! this app has a long list of foods that are good for dogs (those foods get two happy barks!) or bad (those foods get a whimper) or somewhere in between. Now you’ll never have to wonder if puppy can eat papaya – iKibble will tell you it's safe and let you know some added benefits! iKibble has a free version and a paid version with extra functions.
Have you ever arrived at the pet store only to find that the packaging of your pet's food has changed and you don’t remember what it’s actually called? Mipets can help! Record your pet's food, medications, veterinary info, even rabies vaccination number, breeder and microchip info in this easy-to-use app. then everything you need to know about your pet is stored in one spot. the app also finds the nearest pet hospitals, stores, groomers and dog parks!
Fetch the Perfect Dog
Daily Dose of Cute
the perfect Dog family of apps helps you find a breed that’s right for you and your family. Listing hundreds of dog breeds, the app asks you questions about your living space, energy level, family and more, and then suggests dog breeds that will match your lifestyle. there are even versions for hypoallergenic, small and large dogs, and a family pet version.
Maybe they’re not the most useful apps, but the Daily puppy and Daily Kitten are great for bringing some joy to your day. Endless pictures of puppies and kittens will have you saying “Awwww” over and over again!
The Ultimate Pet Safety App
pettech petsaver aver is packed full of first aid and emergency resources for dogs and cats. it can walk you through CPR with audio instructions, help you treat injuries and even has a feature that will help you create a poster for your pet if he goes missing. this app is a great one to have, even though you’ll hope you never need to use it.
pet Finder is a great website to connect pets to their forever homes. they have an app that lets you search for pets, browse pictures and read stories. Meet new pets from the palm of your hand, use Google Maps to find them, and write an email to the shelter all from your iPhone!
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P E T VALU > D I g I TAL
are you a social animal?
Petvalu.com Gets an Update we have a new look in our stores, so it makes sense that our website is updated to match. the new site has a new design and is much easier to use. All our stores are now easy to find through our store locator, and driving directions are just a click away, even if you’re out of town. Store hours and phone numbers are also easy to find. For those of you who like to do research before you buy, you’ll be able to view all of our products online, find out prices, and leave or read product reviews. And to help you make the right choices for your pets, we have a library of articles on nutrition, training and wellness for your pets. Browsing the internet on a smartphone? we have you covered with a mobile version that gives you easy access to the store locator and product catalogue on your Blackberry, iPhone, and Android devices. All of this with a fresh and exciting new look that we know you’ll love! Still want more? we’ll be rolling out even more exciting ways for you to use www.petvalu.com, including a personalized section where you can upload photos of your pet and interact with other pet parents in the Pet Valu community. Visit us at online to explore the new website and tell us what you think!
we would love to have you join us on Facebook and twitter! Get the latest Pet Valu flyer right in your news feed and keep track of what’s going on at your local store. we even have occasional contests and giveaways! we want to hear from you too. tell us about your pets, post photos and tell us what toys they like best. You can also follow us on twitter for quick updates, product features and other bits of info we think you’ll enjoy. Check out our Youtube channel for videos of our rigorous product testing process. Okay, so maybe it’s mostly videos of adorable cats and dogs having fun with toys, but we certainly have a good time and think you will too!
Be the First to know
Our new email newsletter will bring the latest deals, product updates and exclusive offers directly to your inbox! Visit
www.petvalu.com to sign up for the newsletter.
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R A B B ITS
rabbit... by DR. DAVID SUmmERS, PH.D.
abbits are curious, attentive little animals with an irresistible charm all their own. They’re hard to beat when it comes to the ideal small pet. Rabbits have an advanced social structure and relate to people as well as other domestic animals. They are gentle by nature and readily attach themselves to their families. In the proper environment they are very clean and easy to keep. If room is a problem; dwarf rabbits do not require a lot of space and are suitable for living in small apartments. Rabbits are quiet, too – another plus for small homes. With all the breeds to choose from, which is the right rabbit for you? There is a lot of variation between breeds in size (from two to 20 lbs), color and coat. For example, angora rabbits are bred for their long soft fur. Rex rabbits have short, velvety fur. Lops are known for their large floppy ears. Fortunately, almost all rabbits have the same gentle nature. Rabbits usually live six to 10 years. Look for a healthy bunny from a shelter or pet store. Some Pet Valu stores sell rabbits and other small animals from breeders. Select a rabbit that looks well fed and hops about animatedly. The fur should be clean and shiny, the eyes bright and the nose dry. Check the insides of the forelegs. If they are matted, it is a sign the rabbit has recently had a cold. Rabbits with colds tend to wipe their noses with the inside of their front paws and legs. The front teeth should come together evenly. Check the hindquarters to see if the fur is dry, clean and not matted. If it is stained or has feces on it, this could be a sign of a diarrhea problem. A healthy bunny has dry, hard droppings. The ears should have no crusty brown scales that would indicate ear mite infection.
bringing Your rabbit Home Your rabbit will require a cage or “hutch” when he arrives home. Having their own space is important to rabbits. In the wild they have underground burrows to hide in – at your house
they have their hutch. A good hutch will have a partition where the rabbit can sleep and a larger living area. Their food and water should be kept in the living area. Both food and water should be well secured so nothing will spill. Keep your rabbit’s hutch clean, dry and not too hot. Rabbits can tolerate cold a lot better than heat, so stay away from direct sunlight and fireplaces. Your rabbit will enjoy a layer of bedding on the hutch floor, whether it’s a solid bottom or a wire floor with a collection tray below. Wood shavings, clean straw or CareFresh bedding are good options. Don’t use hay or grass as your rabbit may eat the dirty bedding. Bedding should be cleaned two or three times a week. Wire floors should be cleaned at least once a week with a wire brush and periodically disinfected. Rabbits need lots of water compared to dogs or cats; they will drink almost 2 oz of water per pound of body weight per day. They may drink even more on hot days so make sure the water container holds enough with some left over each day and change it daily. Water bottles have an advantage over dishes because the water is always fresh and doesn’t get dirty, but as long as they are clean and full, either will work.
Handle with Care Baby rabbits should be picked up using both hands. Slip one hand under the chest and use the other to support the hindquarters. When the rabbit gets older, pick it up by the loose skin over
Handling Your New Rabbit 〉〉 day 1 Put your rabbit in its hutch and watch it, do not disturb it. 〉〉 day 2 talk to your rabbit, so it gets used to your voice. 〉〉 day 3-5 Offer your rabbit food from your hand. Pet it and try picking it up a few times. 〉〉 day 6-14 Pet and brush your rabbit. introduce it to any other pets in the household. Keep picking it up. After 2 weeks, take your rabbit out to play every day. try to get to know your rabbit well. if you handle it gently and talk to it as often as you can, it will quickly learn to trust you. watch your pet carefully. You will soon begin to understand the fascinating sounds and other movements it makes to tell you things.
"Small children need to understand the bunny is not a stuffed toy before they handle it gently, with adult supervision." the neck with a hand under the hindquarters if needed. Never pick a rabbit up by the ears. Do not handle a baby rabbit too often when he first comes home, even though the temptation is there. He needs time alone to adjust to his new home. Young bunnies are delicate; small children need to understand the bunny is not a stuffed toy before they handle it gently, with adult supervision.
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R AB B I T S
Cabbage or Carrot Vege-t-Bowl 74262-3 From $6.49
CareFresh 10 L 35271 $12.99
Now i understand A rabbit learns a lot by sniffing. When introduced to something new he will often sniff it. Scent is also used to tell other rabbits and animals apart. They will recognize a strange dog by its smell not by sight. Rabbits have a scent gland under their chin. He will rub or “chin” anything that he considers his own: his hutch, favorite spot in the house and even you! When a rabbit hears a strange sound it will stand on its hind legs to look and listen to focus in on what is happening. When angry or aggressive, a rabbit will scratch the ground with his front paws. If threatened he will lay his ears back along his head and exhibit a tense body and will make soft grunts or squeal if he’s afraid. He will warn other rabbits of danger by thumping his back legs.
Peter's woven Grass Ball 74287 $6.99
RABBIT FACTS rabbit Plague Rabbits were imported to Australia from Europe at various points in the 1700s and 1800s. However there weren’t enough natural predators to control the population, and by 1890 the rabbit population had reached plague proportions. Several rabbit-specific viruses have been introduced over the years but the rabbit population has always rebounded and they remain overpopulated in Australia today.
dinner time! For proper growth and health, rabbits require a balanced diet. The best and easiest way to feed your rabbit is to buy a good quality, complete and balanced rabbit food. Rabbits need lots of fiber in their diet. Good-quality rabbit foods will include a good fiber source, such as alfalfa or Timothy hay. Not only does hay have good quality fiber, but rabbits also like the taste. Other fiber sources for rabbits include soybean hulls, wheat shorts or bran, beet pulp, dried grass and oats. Rabbits also need protein, vitamins and minerals in their food. The protein level of most rabbit foods is between 16% and 18%. Too high a protein level will lead to more ammonia being given off by the droppings. Not only does this cause more odor, but high ammonia levels can damage the rabbits’ respiratory tract. How much to feed is dependent on the size, activity level and age of the individual rabbit. The amount can vary so use feeding instructions as guides only. An average 6-8 pound rabbit will eat about 100 grams of food per day. Smaller dwarf rabbits will eat about 50 grams of food per day. You do not want your rabbit to get fat. Try running your hand over the rabbit’s back. If he is bony, feed him more. If he does’t finish his food, you’re probably overfeeding and should feed him less. Rabbits store most of their fat around the belly. They easily become “pot-bellied” if overfed. Look and feel the stomach of your rabbit. It should not be fat or hang down. Always make sure your rabbit has plenty of water. Rabbits will not eat if they cannot drink. Rabbits should be fed at the same time every day. If feeding once daily, evening is the best time to feed. Feed morning and evening if feeding twice a day. Occasional treats of dried bread, carrots, cauliflower, celery, peas, turnip, apples, pears, or dandelions are fine. Avoid sweets or high-starch treats as they can cause diarrhea and obesity.
Rabbits eat their poo – but they have to! they have two kinds of feces One type is called a “cecotrope” and it consists of food that is not fully digested. Similar to a cow chewing their cud, a rabbit will eat their cecotropes in order to re-digest their food, maximizing the nutrients.
More than 50 breeds there are more than 50 breeds of rabbits, ranging in size from a 15 lb (7 kg) Flemish Giant to a 2 lb (1 kg) Netherland Dwarf.
Not a rodent
once you’re settled in with your bunny, visit
Rabbits are lagomorphs, making them one of few small animal pets that aren’t rodents.
to go beyond the basics of rabbit care, including grooming, training & medical issues.
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WHAT NExT? www.petvalu.com
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TIPS & TR ICKS
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the warmer spring weather means this is the perfect time to get outside with your dog. be sure to start slowly if your dog is a little out of shape, and build up stamina until you’re jogging together or taking all-day hikes. Some healthy tips: ➜ Carry a source of water for your dog. Both of you should stay hydrated while exercising, especially when the weather gets hot. ➜ Be sure your dog’s flea and tick prevention is up-to-date, depending on what pests are active in your area. ➜ Don’t forget your pick-up bags! Even off-trail or in the forest, you should be picking up after your dog. No poo left behind!
while almost all dogs and people could benefit from more exercise, be sure to match your activity choices to your dog. Long walks and bursts of running are better for young dogs (less than 18 months) whose bones haven’t finished growing. Sustained jogging is not ideal. Greyhounds and whippets are also built for sprints, not marathons. And older dogs are more likely to be bothered by sore joints, so match your exercise intensity to their comfort level.
americans are % ofallergic to dogs or cats of those with a cat % allergy live with a cat anyway!
does that sound like you? as a society we become very attached to our pets and many of us won't let allergies keep animals out of our homes. try some of these tips to help the cute, furry pets and the allergic humans live together in harmony. ➜ Create a pet-free zone in your home, ideally in your bedroom. Clean thoroughly, run a high-quality air filter, and never let your pet in that room again. ➜ Clean frequently and wash all soft furnishings such as curtains, couch covers, and pillows. try a vacuum with a HEPA filter to trap allergens. Clean your carpets regularly or better yet, replace curtains and carpets with blinds and hard floors (such as tile, laminate or hardwood). ➜ bathe your pet regularly. this might be difficult if you have a cat, but she will get used to it eventually. if only you could explain that it could make all the difference between living in harmony or a life of sneezing.
➜ talk talk to your doctor to your doctor about solutions that don’t involve giving up your pet. Allergy shots or regular medication could help. Also, ensure your allergy really is to your pet and only your pet. if you’re also allergic to dust or pollen, you’ll know it’s not ALL the cat’s fault! *Percentages are estimated.
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wI N ! wI N ! wI N !
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Three lucky readers will win all five books pictured here. Enter online at www.petvalu.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Contest closes May 2 at 5:00pm. • Contest opens March 23 and closes May 2 at 5:00pm. three winners will be randomly drawn. entrants must be a Canadian or u.s. resident over the age of majority in their province or state of residence, excluding Quebec, hawaii and alaska. one entry per person. to enter, go to www.petvalu.com or email your name, address and daytime telephone number to email@example.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.
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pet specialty franchise can help you turn the growing pet industry into your own successful business. As Canada’s largest pet specialty retail franchise chain, we can support your success with a Pet Valu store across Canada or a Bosley’s store in British Columbia. there’s never been a better time to take our Established Business Model and turn it into your own thriving Success.
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Issue #6 of Pet Valu Companion magazine