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Holistic, Natural and Organic Pet Foods

Holistic, natural and organic are terms that refer to pet foods sourced from toxin and pesticide-free plants grown without chemicals, containing fresh non-commercially-processed meats low in fats and calories.

Holistic foods provide an excellent diet for dogs with allergies, sensitive digestion, and/or weight problems. Experts say animals with natural diets are healthier and require less medical attention, resulting in fewer visits to the vet.

Dogs with natural food diets are protected from many of the health problems associated with the consumption of processed foods. Both small and big dogs are shown to have fewer colds and allergies, while the absence of artificial flavorings and additives lead to fewer skin ailments.

Natural foods provide necessary vitamins and minerals without additional fats, so these dogs tend to have higher energy levels with fewer weight problems, while the lack of chemicals and additives result in greatly improved digestion.

It’s quite possible to make holistic pet food yourself, using a mixture of high-grade quality meat, ground bones and whole grains. Of course, these foods are also widely available commercially from many reputable stores and manufacturers.

Dog Food Consumer Resources

Honest Kitchen is a Canadian service that provides unbiased customer reviews of dog foods by brand and type. Go to boldraw.com ,  http://www.rateitall.com/i-1068632-the-honest-kitchen.aspx for more.

Rate It All is the largest collection of independent consumer dog food reviews on the web at boldraw.com.

Some Recommended Natural and Raw Pet Foods

Bold RAW
100% of Bold RAW products are purchased from local Canadian farmers, and all the meat is government-inspected. They stock whole rabbit, chicken, turkey, pork, ostrich as well as frozen whole meaty bones. Bold Raw is a division of Bold Canine, an award-winning company dedicated to helping dogs and cats live long healthy lives. Bold Canine received the 2009 Entrepreneur Business Excellence Award with the GDACC. Find a complete product and price list, and store locations at boldraw.com. You can also place orders by phone at 519-833-0800 or by email at boldcanine@bellnet.ca.

Holistic Blend
This consumer-recommended 100% Canadian company uses third-party-tested ingredients that contain no hormones, antibiotics or pesticides. If you choose to shop online, Holistic Blend Pet Food Direct will deliver your purchases right to your door. Along with all-natural dry and wet foods for both dogs and cats, they carry specialty supplements and treats, items for pet wellness, and a wide range of weight management products. Online at http://www.holisticblend.com Holistic Blend is available locally in Keswick at Global Pet Foods, 443 The Queensway South, phone 905-476-0575.

Safety First!

Detoxify your Home
With recently publicized reports about dog poisonings in High Park and other public places, most pet-owners have been alerted to the dangers of toxins to their pets. In reality, most pet poisonings treated by vets are actually caused by regular household products.

Some of the most common problem chemicals that vets deal with include:
Rodenticides (rat poisons) – contain anti-coagulants that cause weakness, pale gums, bleeding from the nose, blood in urine, and difficulty breathing.
Insecticides – ant and roach traps containing sugar are very tasty to dogs, and can cause mild gastrointestinal difficulties.
Prescription and Other Medications – such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be extremely hazardous to dogs.
Chocolate – may cause tremors, seizures and vomiting.
Xylitol – an artificial sweetener used in commercial products such as chewing gum can cause severe hypoglycemia in dogs.
Raisins and Grapes – contain toxicity that can cause kidney failure in dogs.
Some Household Plants – are toxic. Poinsettias to dogs; Lilies to cats.
Antifreeze – has a sweet taste that dogs love. Signs of ingestion include vomiting, depression, ataxia, tremors and thirst. Ingestion can be fatal.

Canine Boat Safety

When you’re living on the lake, boating is often part of daily life. If you’re planning to take your dog out in the boat, remember – life jackets save lives! A vest is a must, regardless of your dog’s swimming prowess. No matter how well you know the water and how safety aware you are, boating accidents can still happen and injuries occur. You can buy dog life-jackets at most pet supply stores. They’re usually equipped with a reflective strip for visibility, and a handle on the top to help pull your dog to safety.

Getting your dog used to boating is a process. First, let the dog get accustomed to being in the boat before you ever start the engine. Start with short slow trips to ease them into being on the open water, to the sounds of the motor, and to all the other unfamiliar sights and sounds they will experience.

Be sure to keep your dog a safe distance from the motor. Never tie or tether them into a boat! They need to be able to swim to safety in case of accident. Instead, make sure your dog understands and obeys basic commands like Down and Stay to help shelter and protect them in rough open water.

Make sure they’re wearing their identification tags. If you’re planning an outing with a destination, verify that your destination is dog-friendly before you head out. Have plenty of drinking water handy, and bring an umbrella to provide shade for your dog, especially if you’re heading for the beach!

Pet Resources

Breeders and Services

Pet Net Canada: The Ultimate Canadian Pet Resource
You can find all pet-related businesses and services in Ontario at http://www.petnetcanada.com/ontario.html.

Puppy Sites: Ontario Dog Breeders
For a comprehensive listing of all Ontario dog breeders, and to search by breed and location, go tohttp://www.puppysites.com/breeder_canadaontario.shtml.

Dog and Cat Breeders in the GTA
You can find a full list of dog and cat breeders in the GTA at http://torontoseeker.com/torontodogbreeders.htm

Breeders Net
To find a purebred dog breeder near you, go to the largest directory of North American Purebred Dog Breeders at .

Toronto Barks
This website offers everything from groomers/spa services to health plans to listings of pet-friendly hotels and resorts. Check it out athttp://www.torontobarks.com.

Shop In Toronto
A site where you can find everything dog-related in the GTA is at http://www.shopintoronto.com/Pets.

Adopt-a-Pet Blog
This website provides tons of practical advice, like the best dog breeds for children, how to toilet train a cat, getting along with your pet, and tips on how to help your dog get through stressful life events. Go to http://blog.adoptapet.com.

Animal Rescue Services

PAWS – Peoples Animal Welfare Society
2300 Lawrence Avenue East
Toronto, ON M1P 2R2
Phone: 416-520-7995
Email: kim@pawscanada.org
Website: http://www.pawscanada.org
Adoption: http://www.adoptapet.com/adoption_rescue/70059.html
Serving all of Ontario, PAWS has been a registered charity since 1972, It enforces a strict no-kill policy, and is run entirely by volunteers. Every rescue animal is spayed/neutered and vaccinated. Potential adopters are interviewed by phone, with follow-up home visits. Payment is by tax deductible donation.

Toronto German Shepherd Dog Rescue
RR 4
Warkworth ON K0K 3K0
Email: general@torontogsdrescue.org
Website: http://www.angelfire.com/on3/torontogsdrescue/index.html
A small volunteer-based organization dedicated to saving lives of no longer wanted German Shepherd Dogs, with a love for the breed and all it has to offer, and respect for its nature and behaviour. Contact if you’re seeking a companion to add to your family, or need support to care for your own German Shepherd.

10 Tips for Moving With Pets

Moving to a new home can be stressful on your pets, but there are many things you can do to make the process as painless as possible. Experts at The Pet Realty Network (www.petrealtynetwork.com) in Naples, Fla., offer these helpful tips for easing the transition and keeping pets safe during the move.

1. Update your pet’s tag. Make sure your pet is wearing a sturdy collar with an identification tag that is labeled with your current contact information. The tag should include your destination location, telephone number, and cell phone number so that you can be reached immediately during the move.

2. Ask for veterinary records. If you’re moving far enough away that you’ll need a new vet, you should ask for a current copy of your pet’s vaccinations. You also can ask for your pet’s medical history to give to your new vet, although that can normally be faxed directly to the new medical-care provider upon request. Depending on your destination, your pet may need additional vaccinations, medications, and health certificates. Have your current vet’s phone number handy in case of an emergency, or in case your new vet would like more information about your pet.

3. Keep medications and food on hand. Keep at least one week’s worth of food and medication with you in case of an emergency. Vets can’t write a prescription without a prior doctor/patient relationship, which can cause delays if you need medication right away. You may want to ask for an extra prescription refill before you move. The same preparation should be taken with special therapeutic foods — purchase an extra supply in case you can’t find the food right away in your new area.

4. Seclude your pet from chaos. Pets can feel vulnerable on moving day. Keep them in a safe, quiet, well-ventilated place, such as the bathroom, on moving day with a “Do Not Disturb! Pets Inside!” sign posted on the door. There are many light, collapsible travel crates on the market if you choose to buy one. However, make sure your pet is familiar with the new crate before moving day by gradually introducing him or her to the crate before your trip. Be sure the crate is well-ventilated and sturdy enough for stress-chewers; otherwise, a nervous pet could escape.

5. Prepare a first aid kit. First aid is not a substitute for emergency veterinary care, but being prepared and knowing basic first aid could save your pet’s life. A few recommended supplies: Your veterinarian’s phone number, gauze to wrap wounds or to muzzle your pet, adhesive tape for bandages, non-stick bandages, towels, and hydrogen peroxide (3 percent). You can use a door, board, blanket or floor mat as an emergency stretcher and a soft cloth, rope, necktie, leash, or nylon stocking for an emergency muzzle.

6. Play it safe in the car. It’s best to travel with your dog in a crate; second-best is to use a restraining harness. When it comes to cats, it’s always best for their safety and yours to use a well-ventilated carrier in the car. Secure the crate or carrier with a seat belt and provide your pet with familiar toys. Never keep your pet in the open bed of a truck or the storage area of a moving van. In any season, a pet left alone in a parked vehicle is vulnerable to injury and theft. If you’ll be using overnight lodging, plan ahead by searching for pet-friendly hotels. Have plenty of kitty litter and plastic bags on hand, and keep your pet on its regular diet and eating schedule.

7. Get ready for takeoff. When traveling by air, check with the airline about any pet requirements or restrictions to be sure you’ve prepared your pet for a safe trip. Some airlines will allow pets in the cabin, depending on the animal’s size, but you’ll need to purchase a special airline crate that fits under the seat in front of you. Give yourself plenty of time to work out any arrangements necessary including consulting with your veterinarian and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If traveling is stressful for your pet, consult your veterinarian about ways that might lessen the stress of travel.

8. Find a new veterinary clinic and emergency hospital. Before you move, ask your vet to recommend a doctor in your new locale. Talk to other pet owners when visiting the new community, and call the state veterinary medical association (VMA) for veterinarians in your location. When choosing a new veterinary hospital, ask for an impromptu tour; kennels should be kept clean at all times, not just when a client’s expected. You may also want to schedule an appointment to meet the vets. Now ask yourself: Are the receptionists, doctors, technicians, and assistants friendly, professional and knowledgeable? Are the office hours and location convenient? Does the clinic offer emergency or specialty services or boarding? If the hospital doesn’t meet your criteria, keep looking until you’re assured that your pet will receive the best possible care.

9. Prep your new home for pets. Pets may be frightened and confused in new surroundings. Upon your arrival at your new home, immediately set out all the familiar and necessary things your pet will need: food, water, medications, bed, litter box, toys, etc. Pack these items in a handy spot so they can be unpacked right away. Keep all external windows and doors closed when your pet is unsupervised, and be cautious of narrow gaps behind or between appliances where nervous pets may try to hide. If your old home is nearby, your pet may try to find a way back there. To be safe, give the new home owners or your former neighbors your phone number and a photo of your pet, and ask them to contact you if your pet is found nearby.

10. Learn more about your new area. Once you find a new veterinarian, ask if there are any local health concerns such as heartworm or Lyme disease, or any vaccinations or medications your pet may require. Also, be aware of any unique laws. For example, there are restrictive breed laws in some cities. Homeowner associations also may have restrictions — perhaps requiring that all dogs are kept on leashes. If you will be moving to a new country, carry an updated rabies vaccination and health certificate. It is very important to contact the Agriculture Department or embassy of the country or state to which you’re traveling to obtain specific information on special documents, quarantine, or costs to bring the animal into the country.

Source: The Pet Realty Network (www.petrealtynetwork.com)

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