HealthymouthNEW! Healthymouth is clinically proven to reduce plaque on your pets teeth by 70 to 80%. It is 100% natural and contains no chemicals. Plus, it’s easy to use – just add to your dog or cat’s drinking water!

Clinical findings show that Healthymouth softens plaque so that it can be easily wiped away, making it a great combination with raw bones. This is the first ever product of its kind to get a Veterinary Oral Health Council Seal of Acceptance.

Why is reducing plaque and maintaining healthy gums important?

Problems with gums and teeth are not just a cosmetic issue or bad breathe issue, they are a health issue. Plaque, when left untreated, may lead to dental disease. How does this happen? Plaque can lead to bacteria build up, which in turn infects the surrounding bones. This bacteria can then enter the blood stream, damaging the heart, kidney and lungs, even causing death. Up to 85% of dogs have dental disease, and 70% of cats. A healthy mouth free of dental disease can add up to 5 years onto a dog or cat’s life.

Preventing dental plaque and dental issues with Healthymouth can also prevent a trip to the vet to get plaque removed/teeth cleaned by anesthesia, a very costly procedure with potential side–effects.

The signs of dental issues in dogs and cats are bad breathe (can also mean digestive issues), bloody gums after chewing a bone, red/swollen gums, liver problems or teeth falling out. To identify plaque, look for yellow-brown coloration on the teeth. Additionally, pets with dental disease are more likely to be “cranky”.

Healthymouth is exclusive to Tail Blazers in Canada - for more information, visit one of our stores or go to

Cat and DogWe continue our questions and answers about feeding raw.

Q: Does feeding a raw food diet require a lot of extra work?

A: Actually, feeding raw does not take a lot of work and it is very easy! First of all, food for up to four days can be defrosted at the same time (stored in the fridge), so you don’t have to take food out of the freezer every day. Many products we carry do not need any mixing, it’s just thaw and serve the appropriate amount!

For more information about why a raw diet is so healthy, go to

Chews are incredibly popular as a treat for dogs. But how do you know what to purchase?
Rawhides (a by-product of the leather industry) are often chosen as an treat to chew – but Tail Blazers recommends avoiding rawhide treats.

We do not recommend or carry rawhide products for dogs because they are often treated with harmful chemicals for preservation and may actually arrive at the processing plant full of mold and are bleached and coloured to restore it to a “sellable” colour.

Tail Blazers recommends chews such as beef bully sticks and bison tendons which are dried, all natural, fully edible chews that come in various lengths and thicknesses. And remember to supervise your dog while they are chewing!

By Laura Duclos, PhD

Cat on scaleLike our modern human culture, our pets are becoming obese at an alarming rate. However, dogs and cats face a number of challenges when it comes to weight control. Namely, they cannot choose the food or the portion of food they are fed. Moreover, we offer our pets treats for good behavior or because we feel bad that we have left them alone all day. Coupled with that is the amount of time spent inside while pet parents are off at work. Inappropriate diet and a sedentary lifestyle lead to pet obesity. With the right food and proper exercise, pets can lose weight and keep it off.

The most important step in a weight loss program is selecting the diet. Dogs and cats not only require dietary fat and protein, they thrive on it. Their physiology is different from ours; they do not require dietary carbohydrates for cellular energy. Their body is designed convert fat and protein molecules into glucose in the liver, a process called gluconeogenesis.

There is much talk about low fat and high fiber diets for weight loss. Unfortunately, this is not always the best diet. Fiber over 7% may reduce the digestibility of nutrients for both dogs and cats and increase fecal output. Cats do poorly on a diet with over 5%. As for fat, reducing total fat will interfere with absorption of fat soluble vitamins and may cause dry flaky skin. Some fat is required even when on a weight loss diet.

Reducing caloric intake will help your pet lose weight. Feed to your pets’ ideal weight. For example, if your dog weighs 40 lbs but should be 30 lbs, feed your dog the amount of food for a 30 lb dog. Since calories are reduced, it is crucial that the food your pet does consume is nutrient dense to supply the proper levels of vitamins and minerals. Pets on a weight loss program need a diet with a high nutrient to calorie ratio – it may Dog on scalebe dangerous to feed a food just because it is low calorie. It is far better to switch to a low carbohydrate, high protein diet while also reducing the total number of calories the pet consumes on a daily basis. As was just mentioned, reducing the carbohydrate intake in pets will force the liver to use stored fat (adipocytes), converting it into glucose to supply the cells with energy. Thus, your pet will begin to lose stored fat, which is the ultimate goal.

Once weight loss has begun, it is paramount that the pet maintain lean body mass. The last thing we would want is a pet to lose muscle mass. Feeding a high protein diet will maintain and build muscle without jeopardizing weight loss. Raw diets and grain-free diets are high in animal based protein and low in carbohydrates.

What To Do If Your Pet Is Obese

Step 1: Switch to high protein.

Carbohydrates are counterproductive to weight loss. Choose a diet high in animal based protein and low in carbohydrate such as Nature’s Variety Instinct or Raw Frozen.

Step 2: Switch diet form.

Raw dietExtruded kibble tends to be higher in calories compared to a canned or raw diet. This is because it is dried and contains only 10% moisture maximum. Canned and raw, however, contain 60-75% moisture. So for the same volume, a pet will receive fewer calories without sacrificing nutrient content and still feel full if fed canned or raw. Nature’s Variety offers canned food in several styles and meat species to please all pets. Going one step further, raw is preferred over canned because it provides biologically correct nutrition more conducive with your pets’ natural physiology. This means a pet is able to extract nutrients in raw food more efficiently and completely than a cooked food.

Step 3: Switch treats.

Biscuits or semi-moist treats are high in carbohydrates and fat. Switching to a lean turkey jerky, beef liver, or bone is easy to do and will provide your pet with a longer, more satisfying treat occasion – they will spend more time chewing the treat and less time begging. Frozen green beans and carrots make excellent low-calorie alternatives to treats of any type.

Step 4: Switch lifestyle.

Exercise is the best way to lose weight and build muscle. As your pet looses weight, their energy will increase. Likewise, a low carbohydrate diet will increase your pet’s energy level. Thus, the goal of increasing exercise will be easy to achieve. Walking and swimming is easiest on the joints of overweight dogs, but as the weight comes off, be prepared for a dog that wants to go jogging! Hiding food or treats in a ball encourages your pet to work at retrieving it – a great form of physical and mental exercise that can be done while you are away as work. For cats, exercise is harder and it may mean purchasing toys or activity centers.

*Since your pet should not lose more than 2% of body weight per week, some vets may want to periodically have you stop by for a weight check. Always check with your vet before beginning a weight loss program.

-Article courtesy of Nature’s Variety; it has been edited from original length to save space

For other food ideas for your overweight pet, stop by and talk to our knowledgable staff.

Did you know that the plastic bags used at Tail Blazers are fully biodegradable? Of course we recommend re-using them and/or recycling them, but should they end up in the landfill, they are designed to break down in a few months when exposed to the outside elements.

We also have our reusable Tail Blazers canvas bags for purchase, for aneven friendlier choice. Poop bags - biodegradableThese bags are built from recycled materials and are built durable to last a long time!

A couple of our locations have even taken it a step further! Tail Blazers in Red Deer is completely bagless, so you bring your own bags or purchase a long-lasting canvas bag. Glenbrook Tail Blazers on 51st Street SW in Calgary is very close to being bagless, encouraging customers to use alternatives.

Additionally, we have a wide selection of biodegradable poop bags for earth-friendly waste pickup!

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