Category: Healthy Pet Products

10 Steps to Whole Health for Your Pet

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.

Nature's Variety Food
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.

Sea Meal contains 60 trace minerals, 12 vitamins, 22 amino acids, digestive enzymes, and flaxseed meal

Seameal

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.

Dog Exercising

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!

Busy Buddy Treat Dispensers

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.

Healthy Dog Teeth

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.Stree free kittyWith 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.

The Big Bite On Dog Chews

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.

Grizz the Dog Chewing on A BoneChewing 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!

 Nature’s Premium Elk Antler Chew

Nature's PremiumElk 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!

The Big Bit On Dog Chews

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)

Natural Cat Litters

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 Cat Litter

World's Best Cat LitterWorld’s Best – World’s Best cat litter is made of a natural, renewable resource – CORN!

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 Litter

guardian-angelGuardian 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 Cat Litter

Feline Fresh Cat LitterFeline 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.

More info: www.planetwiseproducts.com

 

Swheat Scoop Cat Litter

Swheat Scoop Cat LitterSwheat Scoop – Unlike most clumping litters, Swheat Scoop contains no silica dust, sodium bentonite or chemicals of any kind. It is also 100% biodegradable and made from a renewable resource – WHEAT!

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

 

Not all products are available at all locations. Please call your location to be sure!