Fall 2013 Newsletter

Fall 2013

I won't be buying what you're trying to sell!

Galen Weston* has been on my mind lately.  Galen is heading a new media campaign to get you to buy your pet’s food at his store and not at mine.  He’s hanging his campaign on how much you spend on your pet’s food and saying that if you buy that food at his store and not at mine, you’ll save gobs of money.  I’ve been on Galen’s website and read through the ingredients in his food and looked at the market research which preceded this new campaign.  I’ve watched his commercial on television a number of times and gazed at the earnest young professionals gathered at the off-leash dog beach confessing to him that they shop at my store but hey, if they can save gobs of money and buy the same food at Galen’s place then they’re going to have to change their shopping habits.

Now, I like Galen.  He seems like a personable man and I think he’d be the kind of guy who’d be a great neighbour.  But Galen is telling us that he can sell a quality pet food for 40% less than anything that I sell and that we won’t notice any difference.  And based on what I know about the pet food industry and pet food production in combination with the nutritional research I’ve done, that just isn’t possible.  There will be a difference.  So right off the top, I’ve got problems with Galen’s pitch.

I don’t shop at Super Store so I can’t speak about President’s Choice products or the individual service you can get there but I do know pet food and I can tell you that the bags of food Galen Weston is referring to are not “quality”.  The fundamental truth about nutrition is that a healthy diet consists of healthy foods.  We can shop around and find healthy foods to accommodate our budgets but overall, healthy foods do cost money and there’s no getting around that.  If you are willing to substitute healthy foods for not so healthy foods however, you can save gobs of money.  That’s the reality.  It’s just simple common sense.

Galen is asking us to suspend our common sense.  He’s asking us to trust him, to believe in him and to buy his products because he’s such a good guy.  I’m sure there are a lot of folk who have confidence in Galen.  I’m sure he’s a good person and a great neighbour.  But I’m pretty sure that he does not have any expertise in the kind of nourishment that helps our pets thrive.

I’m the pet guardian of three healthy dogs who eat healthy foods.  I have developed expertise in pet nutrition for well over a decade and there is something I’d like Galen to know (and it’s the real “no-brainer”):  I won’t be buying what you’re trying to sell.

*Galen Weston, Jr. is the Executive Chairman of Loblaw Companies Ltd.

New at the Store

Make Your Pet’s Treats Count Nutrionally:
YAPPETIZERS for Cats and Dogs
Yappetizers are one or two ingredient treats made in the lower mainland of British Columbia by a 100% owned Canadian company.  The treats are made from wild fish and meat cuts free of steroids, hormones and antibiotics and are preserved through the age old process of drying.  They are high in nutrients.  For example, the liver treats are one of nature’s most concentrated source of Vitamin A, iron and contain all B vitamins in abundance.  Yappetizers Venison Liver is also low in fat and cholesterol.  The heart treats are a source of amino acids and high in protein.  Yappetizers Bison Heart and their Goat Heart treats are low in fat and cholesterol as well.  The Turkey Hearts are an excellent source of protein, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B12, iron and selenium and is a good source of Thiamine, Vitamin B6, phosphorous, zinc and copper.

 Quality House Brand Mmmm! Chicken
100% chicken necks freeze dried and made in Canada make for a great crunchy treat for your cat or dog.  Jamie, Stanley and Sadie all agree these are the number one favourite for a weekend munchie!
If you love Burt’s Bees products for yourself, you’ll love the new line of Burt’s Bees for pets.  We are currently carrying their Hot Spot Spray, the Soothing Skin Cream (with honey & eucalyptus), the Paw & Nose Lotion (with rosemary & olive oil) and the Multicare Dental Spray and Gel (with cranberry extract).  Like Burt’s Bees for people, the pet products are pH balanced, no sulfates or colorants and they’re cruelty free!
All Natural Waterless Shampoo:
A blend of coconut and coconut oil, oatmeal extract, almond extract, oatmeal fragrance & almond fragrance, this can be sprayed liberally onto a dry or damp cloth, then easily brushed or rubbed in, then dried with a towel.  Done!  This is a product that can be used every day and is fine for cats, dogs, ferrets & puppies.
Healing Shampoo:
A shampoo developed specifically to calm the itch and sooth the skin.  It is effective for skin allergies, eczema and hot spots.

Does your dog gulp their food down so fast it’s like they inhaled it?  Eating too quickly can lead to vomiting, choking or a number of digestive issues.  Plus your dog may be convinced that he or she hasn’t had enough to eat.  There are several slow feeders on the market these days which aim to ensure that your dog can eat his/her food with some deliberation.  One option created by The Company of Animals is a “turf placemat” that ensures your dog will start to slow down.  The idea is to scatter a handful of kibble or two across the deeply sculpted surface so your dog has to seek out the food in the valleys between the simulated grass blades.  This product is recommended for aggressive gulpers as well as overweight pets by prolonging eating time.  It is also challenging and stimulating for your pet so meal times become more fun.  It is made of durable plastic that’s phthalate-free and is 100% pet and dishwasher safe.

Did you know?
A survey released in April that was conducted by Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab, Utah, found that 46% of people ages 18 to 34 were more likely to purchase a pet from a breeder or store rather than consider adoption.  In addition, the same percentage believed that shelter animals were less desirable than those obtained from breeders.  Nearly 40% of the young adults surveyed thought that homeless animals would remain in a shelter until adoption.  In fact, about 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized each year in city shelters in the U.S.

The best 10lbs you'll ever gain.

Canine Secrets:
Explore new paths, Sniff out opportunity
& trust your instincts!

The manufacturers of Carna 4 food call it the “un-kibble”.  Carna 4 is a dry dog food which is processed in such a way that the nutrients in its ingredients are preserved.  Because of that, every single non-GMO ingredient from the whole vegetables to the table-grade meats, deliver sufficient levels of vitamins and minerals plus enzymes and probiotics using no chemical mixes whatsoever.  Instead Carna 4 adds a blend of certified organic sprouted seeds containing nutrition far surpassing regulatory standards.  100% of the ingredients are foods grown in Canada and the USA.
A standard test for pet food is how extensive the guaranteed analysis is.  With Carna 4, they advertise the longest list of nutrients I’ve ever seen.  The company tests for, and guarantees 64 nutrients, supplied only by true food ingredients.  There are NO synthetic vitamins or minerals added to this food.

Carna 4 has just added a new food to their menu.  In addition to the Chicken (the first few ingredients of which are fresh chicken, chicken liver, eggs, organic sprouted barley seed, wild salmon and whole vegetables), Carna 4 Grain-free Duck is now available.  Duck Dog’s ingredients include duck, pork liver, eggs, organic sprouted barley seed, potato, wild salmon, sweet potato and various organic sprouted seeds and vegetables.  To date, the feedback on this food has been great!
Also available at the store:  Carna4 Sprouty Squares, a tastey snack full of nature’s super foods (organic sprouted seeds, liver, barley and oats).  Stan gives these treats 4 paws up!

Feline logic

My food dish is only half full.
It is obvious I will soon starve to death.

Did you know?
We sometime hear that the relationship that people have to their pet dogs these days is significantly different than at any other time in history.  However, a study published in the online scientific journal PLOS ONE reported that dogs were both companion and work animals to Neolithic humans living in eastern Siberia more than 7,000 years ago.  Some dogs shared a grave with their owners, one dog was buried wearing a necklace and others were found with symbolic items.

CHIA:  Not just a sprouting pet!
One of the world’s healthiest foods, chia is good for your pet’s hair and skin.  According to Animal Wellness (August/September 2013), chia seeds are rich in B vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein and zinc and packed with antioxidants.  Animal Wellness reports that they contain lots of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based form of Omega-3s.  They are gluten free.  Chia nourishes skin from the inside out because of its high levels of Omega-3 and can help combat chronic skin inflammation.  A little goes a long way so a sprinkle a day is good enough.  Or better yet, try these treats at home!
Chia Coconut Crunch Truffles
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 cup almond butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 whole eggs
½ cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 ½ tablespoons chia seeds
¼ cup carob chips
¼ cup coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Combine all ingredients, except the carob chips.  Ensure ingredients are well incorporated, then fold in the carob chips.  Form small balls of dough with hands and place on cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes in preheated oven.  Cool completely before serving.  Store in a plastic bag or airtight container in the fridge or the freezer.
This recipe can also be prepared and served as a “raw” whole food treat.  Simply skip the baking process.  If you like, raw truffles can be rolled in coconut or carob for extra pizzazz.

How to handle stress like a dog:
If you can’t eat it, or play with it.
Then pee on it and walk away.

Did you know?
Pet Food Blogs
 Susan Thixton (TruthAboutPetFood.com) reports that a new trend in marketing pet food is blogging.  Specifically, pet food companies are now hiring bloggers not identified as people working for the company to promote their foods.  One pet food company (Merrick Pet Food) has hired a “Cat Food Critique Blog” featuring a cat as the blogger/food critic.  Just another reason to be skeptical about what you read on the internet!  Please tell your family and friends that pet food review they are reading could have been “purchased” by a pet food manufacturer.


All of us at It's Raining Cats and Dogs were saddened to hear of the passing of one of our four-legged staff members. Milos, the graceful Bulldog who came to work with Christina, passed away on August 5, 2013. Milos initially startled customers with his size but his friendliness as he lumbered towards them for a nudge and some loving always won them over. Milos was a kind and patient dog who loved, was loved and will be greatly missed.

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