We are proud to share our recent feature in the Canadian Business Journal. How fast the time has gone since we’ve started! AND, the white shepherd, Skylla, pictured below with the blue Frisbee, is now 13 years old (raw fed from a young puppy) and going STRONG. We practice what we preach, and we have the healthy pets to prove it works!
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Guest Post from Dorcas Giesbrecht with Holistic Mutt services.
Usually by the time I see a dog all kinds of mainstream methods have been tried. The dog’s skin is usually red and itchy, and there is hair loss. The dog frequently chews at their feet and they paw their face. Chronic ear infections or diarrhea can also be reasons for a visit. Anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics may have been given many times to treat the symptoms, but the problem keeps coming back and getting worse. This is a typical allergically reactive dog.
From a holistic point of view, the dog’s living terrain, which is the body itself has been under siege and because of this the immune system spirals out of balance and produces symptoms that make the dog miserable. Owners assume that their dog will be stuck with allergies for life, because this tends to be the outcome when allergy cases are not approached from a holistic perspective. My experience has been different and I feel there is a lot we can do, but I think differently about allergies. I focus on a disturbed immune response being the cause.
In allergic reactivity, the immune system mistakenly identifies harmless substances as threats and responds to them in a way that causes damages to tissues such as the skin. From the holistic perspective, to return a dog to wellness the approach to healing must be to support the disturbed immune system, to track back to the sources of stress that caused the disturbance, and to minimize or remove them altogether.
I offer a multifaceted approach and follow a plan that is individualized for your dog. It is important that you understand how your pet’s immune system is producing the problem. In order to re-balance the immune system it is important to identify what kind of emotional, environmental or other types of stressors your dog may be dealing with and what can be done to reduce or remove them. Relentless discomfort can also place additional stress on your pet and this must be addressed with non-invasive remedies that do not suppress the immune system but encourage it to improve.
Nutrition is the keystone for maintaining wellness and it is very important to put your dog on an unprocessed diet since food is the best way to support the body. There are many wonderful new foods available that can help support your dog’s overall health. It is the single most important thing we can do for their wellness. I take further steps to help figure out which foods, if any, your pet may be sensitive to. I use bioenergetic assessment to identify which foods may be triggering an inflammatory response. Bioenergetic assessment is non-invasive and helps detect changes in the energy field and provides us with clues to help identify the underlying stressors.
It is important to support digestive function with probiotics because a well-functioning GI tract has a profound effect on a healthy immune system. These supplements help to balance the GI tract in the short run and support its efforts to re-balance itself in the long run.
Overall the goal is to support your dog’s body become more self-sufficient for the long term, rather than prop it up in the short run. When harmony exists between the inner body and the outer environment the body enjoys an ideal state of wellness.
Dorcas Giesbrecht MASc is a 15 year member of the International Organization of Nutritional Consultants. She has her Masters of Applied Science in Holistic Nutrition. In 2007 she trained as a Registered Holistic Allergist with The Institute of Natural Health Technologies. In the spring of 2009 she completed training in Auricular Therapy with Dr. M. Adams N.D. to help both pets and their people in her holistic practice. Dorcas has also taken classes in Healing Touch for Animals and Animal Communication. In 2012 she studied Acupressure for Animals with Tallgrass Animal Acupressure Institute. In the late summer of 2013 she will also be offering Chinese Tui Na Massage as she expands her practice.Call her to ask how these healing modalities can help your pet with improved health. The Artemis Centre 1922-12th Avenue SW 403-701-4705 email@example.com
Why are there SOOO many choices out there when it comes to chew treats? Well, that’s because dogs like to CHEW! And, they need to chew.
Chewing releases endorphins, which helps relax them and bring about a sense of calm; much like exercise does. Most chew treats help strengthen gums and remove plaque from the teeth. Some chews are even hard enough to remove tartar which clings to teeth like a barnacle – a barnacle filled with bacteria and hair. Tartar is a major cause of bad breath.
So, with so many options, how do you choose? One thing that ALL chews have in common is that your dog should ALWAYS be supervised when chewing. Appropriately sized treats must also be carefully selected. If your dog swallows treats in large pieces without chewing, you must choose an over-sized treat for them. If you are unsure, bring your dog into your nearest Tail Blazers and let them help you choose.
While many vets warn against some chews such as Elk Antlers and Raw Bones in fear of broken teeth and internal punctures, many have realized that while these things can happen (accidents DO happen), the risks of NOT chewing are much higher. If dogs are supervised and given appropriately sized treats, the risks go down significantly.
The following are a list of some popular dogs chews:
Bully Sticks – bully sticks, otherwise know as “pizzles” are made from the penis of the bull. While production varies from vendor to vendor, most sort and dry the bull sticks by hanging and baking. The longer the product is dried, the less smell it produces. “Odor Free” bully sticks are typically more expensive due to the production taking longer.
Not all bull sticks are approved by Tail Blazers. Some companies irradiate their products, and others are made with inferior raw materials. The bull sticks that Tail Blazers caries have been carefully selected for safety. Two local companies we support are Puppy Love Pet Products and Aron Pet Food.
When choosing a bull stick for your dog, choose one that is too small or too big to become a choking hazard. While chewing these sticks thoroughly is ideal, if one is swallowed without incident, it is usually digested or passed.
Bull sticks are not hard enough to remove tartar from teeth, but are good for strengthening gums and they keep your dog happy and busy!
Elk Antlers – elk antlers are just that. Elk antlers! Antlers are naturally shed from the elk and manufacturers gather and cut them into smaller pieces for dog chews. The antlers are cleaned and have the velvet removed.
Antlers are hard enough to remove tartar from teeth, but this benefit is what also makes them indigestible. While the marrow can be consumed without incident, the outer shell is only for chewing. Due to their tenacity, these chews are very long lasting.
As with any chew, supervision and proper size selection will reduce or eliminate any risk associated with the chews. At Tail Blazers we carry a large selection of elk antler chews and most are made right here in Canada like Puppy Love Pet Products and Nature’s Premium!
Raw Bones – Raw bones come in all shapes and sizes. From ribs, to necks, knuckles and femurs, all are great at removing plaque and tartar and keeping your pup occupied. Although small pieces of raw, fresh, bone swallowed will unlikely do any harm, larger pieces should not be swallowed. Bones that are fresh and contain moisture are much less likely to fracture and splinter than bones that have been left out in the sun and dried out.
A good rule of thumb is that if the bone supports the animal’s weight, and the weight of the animal is great, then the harder the bone will be. For instance, a rib bone of an elk will be much “softer” than a leg bone of a bison. Of course the harder the bone the longer lasting it is. So if you are worried about cracked teeth, choose NON-weight bearing bones.
And of course, supervision is always required. Tail Blazers has a large selection of raw bones from local manufacturers to suit dogs of all shapes and sizes. Always serve bones raw – never cooked.
Some consumers are often curious why Tail Blazers does not carry rawhide. We have very good reasons; I assure you!
Rawhide – is made from the hide of an animal, usually a cow. Unfortunately, many chemical processes are applied to the rawhide during processing. Sodium sulphide liming, washed and whitened with hydrogen peroxide, and even arsenic and formaldehyde can make an appearance. Not to mention the addition of artificial colours and flavours in several varieties.
Rawhide is linked to stomach torsion, choking, vomiting, diarrhea, and salmonella poisoning. And, another downfall of rawhide is that it is very unlikely to be produced locally. We feel we have made a wise decision for your dog leaving rawhide out of our chew selection!
While there are MANY more options, these just touch on a few of the most popular. Good luck chew-sing! (pun intended)
Welcome to the wonderful world of natural cat litters. Many people who feed their cats a wonderfully, healthy diet are still purchasing clay based litters. I would like to describe the differences, and introduce you to a few of the most popular brands.
One of the major reasons to purchase natural litters is that they are planet friendly. They are not composed of artificial ingredients, they are not mined or drilled, and they biodegrade.
The other important reason to choose natural litters over clay litters is that the silica dust contained in clay-based litters is unhealthy for you and your cat to inhale. Clay based litters also have a negative impact on the environment in their manufacturing processes, and in their disposal.
All of the cat litters available at Tail Blazers are environmentally friendly, non-toxic, free of chemicals, synthetic scents, silica, clay, and are low/no dust.
World’s Best has outstanding odor control, is easy scooping and quick clumping, is long lasting, and is safe for the planet, your pets, and yourself! It is also free from irritating synthetic chemicals and perfumes.
World’s Best Clumping litter is available in Multiple Cat, Naturally Scented, and Original.
More info: www.worldsbestcatlitter.com
Guardian Angel – Guardian’s 100% pine cobble is a precision screened fiber that, like our pellets, is high heat treated in a process that heats the wood fiber to levels of pasteurization. Oils in the wood are removed to reduce allergens and contaminants.
Guardian Angel does not clump as tightly as other clumping litters, however it cakes and congeals so that the wet spots can be easily removed. However, the affordability of this litter more than makes up for what it lacks in clumping ability.
Available in Pine Cobble and Pine Pellets.
More info: www.guardianlitter.com
Feline Fresh – Feline Fresh natural pine litter is clumpable, flushable, and has a nice mild pine scent. Made out of southern yellow pine it is non-toxic (even if ingested), it is safe for you and your pets.
Available in clumping and original pine pellet. *Feline Fresh is currently unavailable from the manufacturer.
More info: www.planetwiseproducts.com
This unique litter contains natural wheat enzymes that destroy litter box odours.
Available in Multi-Cat, Lightly Scented, and Original formula.
More info: www.swheatscoop.com
Blue Buffalo – BLUE Naturally Fresh combines the performance qualities cat parents value most with the environmental characteristics everyone who cares about our planet values most. Our secret ingredients, provided by Mother Nature herself, comes from the walnut shell…an incredibly effective odor-neutralizing agent that is both biodegradable and renewable.
Available in Multi-Cat, Pellet, and Original Clumping.
More info: www.bluebuffalo.com
Please note that no other Blue Buffalo products have been approved for sale at Tail Blazers.
We welcome your comments and questions about litter on this blog post! If you use one of these litters, please leave a comment and testimonial that could help another person choose one!
Stay tuned for our video comparison and review coming soon!
Not all products are available at all locations. Please call your location to be sure!
The first, and most important reason, is that soy, corn, and wheat are not species appropriate and are not meant to be consumed by cats or dogs.
Soy is one of the most genetically modified foods on the planet. While their crops are covered in pesticides, everything dies, except for the soy. It is left to absorb all of those chemicals that were sprayed onto the crops. And, if it’s in the soy – it will go into your pet.
Soy also wreaks havoc with the endocrine system causing problems for thyroid function. Soy has been falsely advertised as a health food, but in our opinion, it is most definitely NOT.
Corn. It is very common to see corn at the top of many of the more inferior pet food’s ingredients panels. Corn is also more often than not, genetically modified and although many people call corn a vegetable, it is actually a grain. It also converts to sugar in the body, which has a negative affect on your pet. Sugar puts stress on the organs, and causes GI tract upset.
And finally, there is wheat. Wheat contains high amounts of gluten, which damages the small intestine, alters gut flora, and can lead to autoimmune disease. It can also cause inflammation leading to joint pain. There is little to no nutritional value in wheat, so we feel it has no place in your pet’s diet.
Soy, corn, wheat, gluten, eggs, dairy, sugar in all forms, and peanuts which can contain trace amounts of a carcinogenic mold.
Although not all of our foods are gluten, egg, or dairy free, we have several selections that are, and in this case the raw food diet is an excellent option!
Your pet will always have the best shot at health and vitality the fewer species inappropriate ingredients that are in their diet. We are lucky to have MANY diet options to choose from that are soy, corn, and wheat free! At Tail Blazers, you can rest assured that you will not find these three “bad guys” in any of our foods.
For more information on pet food ingredients, please visit our website at www.tailblazerspets.com and look for our ingredient dictionary. Or, if you have an iApple device, you can download the dictionary in a FREE app for your device!
At Tail Blazers we recognize that although diet is one of the most important choices you can make for your pets, we also know that there are many other factors that contribute to a healthy and happy pet. Here are 10 of them!
1. Healthy Diet – Perhaps the most important decision you’ll make for your pets is what to feed them. It’s important to choose a diet free of species inappropriate ingredients like wheat, corn and soy. Their diet should also be free of chemicals; artificial preservatives, flavours, and colours; by-products, BHA and BHT, and more.
There are so many healthy options available now in the form of dry, canned, dehydrated, cooked, and raw foods (listed from most processed to least) the choices can be overwhelming. Variety is so important so why not mix and match your options?
Visit our website and use the ingredient dictionary to find out what’s in your pet’s food and treats.
2. Vitamin Supplementation – When accompanied with a healthy diet, a daily multi-vitamin can be beneficial to prevent disease and increase life span just like it does for people. Many foods lose nutrients through cooking, making them harder to digest and harder for the body to utilize remaining nutrients.
There are also supplements that can help with specific health concerns like arthritis and joint degeneration, skin problems, allergies, and more. These supplements can increase your pet’s comfort level and lead to a higher quality of life.
3. Active Lifestyle – Daily activity is a must for pets of all sizes and breeds. Large breed dogs require about 40 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day, smaller breeds requiring 20-30 minutes a day.
Visiting dog parks, competitive dog sports, or a game of fetch are great ways to become active with your dog. Using interactive toys and providing climbing surfaces for cats can help indoor cats get their much-needed exercise.
Daily physical activity reduces unwanted behaviour, manages weight, reduces stress and anxiety, and combats disease.
4. Plenty of Mental Stimulation – Many working breeds such as border collies and terriers are now regularly seen inside the home as pets. When working breeds are unable to do the jobs they are bred to do, they can sometimes become stressed and destructive.
There are many problem solving and treat dispensing toys on the market now for both cats and dogs. These toys can keep your pet busy for hours, giving them some form of mental stimulation.
Ideally, if you have a working breed like a border collie, enroll them in a herding class. Tracking is a great sport for scent hounds like bloodhounds. There are a large variety of training classes that you can enroll your dog into to keep them learning!
5. Annual Check-Ups – Regular Vet visits help with early detection of tooth and gum disease. Your Vet will also do a thorough check for lumps and bumps, monitor your pet’s weight, and check your pet’s heart health.
6. Reduced Vaccinations– Up until recently, yearly vaccinations were recommended for
dogs and cats. Now most Veterinarians recommend vaccine boosters every three years.
To prevent over-vaccination, many vets are now performing annual titers instead of regular vaccines. Titers measure levels of immune deficiencies with a simple blood test and should replace yearly boosters.
If your pet does require a booster, ask if they can be separated into single shots with only the antigens required instead of combo shots (cover numerous diseases with one injection) that may be unnecessary and hard on the body.
7. Dental Health – Over 80% of our pets are suffering with some form of gum disease. Gum disease can lead to more serious problems such as heart disease and tooth mobility. Gum disease can be prevented with daily brushing, healthy diet, and safely chewing on harder, chewable items such as raw bones. Pets should always enjoy chewing under your direct supervision.
8. Regular Grooming – Professional grooming prevents painful matting; reduces skin irritations, shedding, and hairballs; reduces allergic reactions in people and the likelihood of parasites and fungi. Groomers often find injuries and lumps that were previously undetected. Grooming is an essential, and often overlooked, part of your dog and cat’s whole health plan.
9. Chemical-Free Living Environment – Scented candles, harsh chemical cleaning solutions, cigarette smoke, etc, can all be harmful to the immune system. Using earth and pet friendly products will be better for both you and your pet!
10. Stress-Free Living Environment – A home with tension between human inhabitants or inhabitants of the furry variety can lead to stress in your pet. There can often be tension between animals in a multiple pet household that we don’t even know about!
With cats you may notice a new habit of urinating or defecating outside of the litter box. With dogs you may notice excessive licking or other nervous behaviours. In homes with active children, ensure your pet has a place to go that only he is allowed to frequent like a crate set up in a low traffic area of the home.
Whole health for your pet is not dependant only on one or two of these components, but on all of them! Ensure you do the best you can to give your pet the opportunity to reach their full potential and live a long, healthy life!
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for regular veterinary care. Adoptable animals are posted as a courtesy; Tail Blazers is not affiliated with any specific shelter or rescue.
It’s that time of year again! The house is adorned with festive decorations and is filled with the bustling of guests and familiar holiday scents. This is also the time of year when your pets can be most in danger of getting sick or hurt. The following are a few tips to make both you and your pet’s holiday as safe and stress free as possible.
Keep your Christmas Tree Secured to Prevent Tipping
It would be tough to expect any cat to restrain themselves from climbing or scratching your Christmas tree. Safely secure the tree so it cannot be tipped over. Also, forgo the angel hair, tinsel and anything else your pet can ingest. These things can cause major digestive problems if swallowed. It is not a bad idea to wrap an X-Pen around your tree to prevent your dog from drinking stagnant tree water, eating pine needles, or from trying to play with breakable tree ornaments or presents.
Keep Holiday Food and Drink up and Away from Pets
Many foods that appear frequently around the holidays can be toxic or dangerous to pets. Some examples include: chocolate, coffee, onions, fatty foods, alcohol, grapes, raisins, cigarettes, cooked bones, etc. Remind guests to keep food and drink away from pets and refrain from feeding them goodies behind your back. Ensure that goodies are stowed in sealable containers and that garbage can lids are securely fastened or out of reach. Keep in mind that many people give chocolates as gifts, so you may have it sitting there right under your tree, waiting to make Fido sick.
Keep Holiday Plants out of Reach
Almost all Christmas plants like Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettias, Lilies, are harmful or toxic to pets. Either consider fake plants or ensure they are kept safely out of reach of all pets.
Provide a Safe Haven for Your Pets
Remember that a change in your regular routine and the addition of holiday guests coming and going can be stressful for your pet. Always provide a place that your pet can go to get away from guests like a crate, an X-Pen, or a gated off room. They can still watch and listen and be part of the celebration, but can get away when they feel overwhelmed.
Keep Your Pet Occupied
If you want to keep Fido out of trouble when guests are over, or when you are unusually busy with holiday preparation, make sure you give him something to do! This is when bringing home treats like bully sticks, tendons, or raw bones would do the trick (always make sure to supervise with any chew). Or, perhaps try a new toy that dispenses treats when he plays with it. If the toy is new, it will still be fascinating enough to keep him busy at least for a little while!
Here are some VIDEO suggestions on how to keep your cat or dog busy!
Do Not Give Pets as Presents
Last but not least, PLEASE DO NOT give a pet as a present. Because of the hectic and busy schedules most people have during the holidays, and because a change in environment for a new pet is hard enough, the holidays are a very inconvenient and stressful time to bring a new pet into the home.
If you really want to surprise a loved one, instead buy them gifts associated with a new pet – like a food bowl, a gift certificate to your favourite pet store, etc. This gives them the opportunity to either decline (some people who get surprised with animals do not really want one) or wait until they have sufficient time to dedicate to their new pet.
Most rescues and shelters put a freeze on adoptions at this time of year for this reason prompting many to consider buying pets from pet stores instead. Please do not allow those puppy dog eyes to persuade you – there are many reasons why getting pets from pet stores may be unethical so please do make sure you do your research first.
Featured Adoptable Pet – Beau
My name is Beau and I am a really good boy! I am approximately 2 years old, neutered, and house-trained. I like cats and dogs, but I do have some fears so I think a home without kids would probably be a better fit for me. I am really good offleash and like to play with my foster brothers and sisters at the dog park!
I know lots of tricks cause my foster mom is a dog trainer, and I would love it if we could take lessons together with her.
If you think you have the right home for me, it is my Christmas wish to come home in time for the holidays!
Contact Beagle Paws for more info about Beau (Joyro on their website).
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for regular veterinary care. Adoptable dogs are posted as a courtesy; Tail Blazers is not affiliated with any specific shelter or rescue.
Today marks a pivotal point for us at Tail Blazers. We are so happy and proud to launch our new, more easily navigated website, our new blog, and perhaps most exciting, our new logo!
Tail Blazers has been around for over ten years and this will be our first makeover! You can see why we are so excited for the refresher.
Our New Website
Our goal is to ensure that our website is always educating! You will find a very extensive “Learning Center” that will be growing as time goes on. Our “Helping Pets” section has a list of rescues in our local markets. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of one that we missed!
We included our very popular ingredient dictionary, and lots of information about our products (coming soon!) including a new “Eco Products” section.
Under “Contact Us” you will find bios of all store owners, and also a “Charitable Requests” form. We also have an “Events” section with pet related activities in our local markets. If you have an event you think might fit, please email email@example.com with all the necessary details.
Thinking of owning a franchise of your own? Find all the info you need under our “Own a Franchise” section!
If you find a technical/website problem, grammatical/spelling error, or have a question or comment about the site, please email the webmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bookmark the new site at www.tailblazerspets.com.
Our New Blog
Blogs are a great way to communicate immediately with our customers over such things as recalls, new products, closures and more. Although Facebook works wonderfully for most of these things, sometimes we just need the space to elaborate. (or maybe give a plug for a beautiful animal looking for a furr-ever home! wink wink)
If you have a topic or ailment you would like us to discuss on our blog, please write to email@example.com for consideration.
Subscribe to our blog at www.tailblazerspets.com/blog
Our New Logo
We are so proud of our new logo! We were going for a more fresh and clean look with this logo to reflect the changes we have undergone over the past 11 years. We chose green and brown because it has always been one of our core values to respect Mother Nature in all forms – not just the four leggeds! Green and brown are excellent colours to represent all things “natural”.
We wanted to make sure that we represented all ages with our senior kitty, and our baby puppy.
We would absolutely love to hear your feedback, and we’d love it if you would subscribe to our blog! As always, you can “like us” on Facebook and “follow us” on Twitter. Look for all our social media links in the top right hand corner of our new website at www.tailblazerspets.com.