Archive for December, 2011

From our family to yours, wishing you a joyous holiday season and a very Merry Christmas. May the New Year be filled with puppy kisses, tail wags and wet noses!

12 dogs of Christmas graphic produced by Pet365The Pet365 Blog has everything from product reviews to fun and interesting information about pets of all kinds.

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Back in 1996 Oprah began a holiday tradition with her infamous Favourite Things list. This year, we thought if would be great if the staff at Avivagen shared with you some of our favourite things – with a pet twist, of course!

Let me begin by saying that Avivagen Animal Health does not endorse any of these products nor are we being reimbursed by any of the companies. These are strictly our opinions that we are sharing with you about some of the great pet products that we have encountered in the animal health industry.


Unless you’re fortunate enough to own a non-shedding breed, you should have a Furminator on hand at all times. True, it’s likely one of the most expensive pet brushes on the market but, I assure you, it is worth every single penny. You will be astounded by the amount of undercoat this little brush can get out. And if it never gets a chance to fall off your dog or cat then you’ll never have to see it stuck to your pant leg or glued to your sofa cushion!



If you haven’t heard about these treats yet you’re going to want to run out and grab yourself a bag or two. Consisting of only a single ingredient, Purebites are super palatable dehydrated treats that can be broken down into several small pieces making them great to use as a training aid. With flavours such as Duck, Beef Liver, Cheddar Cheese, Ocean Whitefish, Shrimp (cats) and Trail Mix you’re bound to find a flavour even the finickiest eater will love.


WORLD’S BEST CAT LITTER (used by Tracy Gillett, Avivagen Technical Services Manager)

At first I thought the branding “The World’s Best Cat Litter” was a little over the top but after using it for the last 9 months I can vouch for the fact, that in my opinion, this is “The World’s Best Cat Litter”. This litter is eco-friendly as it isn’t made from mined, drilled, or artificially made ingredients. It’s milled from renewable whole-kernel corn which also means it has a naturally microporous structure that keeps nasty odors and smells inside the litter. It is made from all-natural ingredients, with no added chemicals, making it very safe for cats. Unlike clay litters, there’s no silica dust for you or your cat to breathe and no residue for your cat to lick off their paws and ingest which is something that always concerned me with Ollie’s previous litter. It is cost effective as the quick clumping action keeps the rest of the litter dry. Oliver is an only child so one 7-lb. bag of World’s Best Cat Litter lasts him for around a month. It comes in three formulas depending on your household’s needs; Clumping Formula (Green Bag – good for families with one to two cats), Multiple Cat Clumping Formula (Red Bag – ideal for homes with two or more cats), Scented Multiple Cat Clumping Formula (Purple Bag – scented with lavender oil). I buy my litter from my local pet store and costs me around $11 per month.


ROLL’N CLEAN “SELF CLEANING” LITTER BOX (used by Jen Febel, Marketing Communications) 

This is by far the best and coolest litter box I’ve ever seen. I have personally been using one for almost 8 years now and I can’t imagine using anything else. From the outside, this nifty contraption looks like your regular, run-of-the-mill hooded litterbox. But take off the top and you’ll notice a funky little grate stuck in the middle separating the box into two separate compartments. When you want to clean the litter box you just turn it upside down and all the clean litter flows through the grate and into a little holding area. Meanwhile, all the clumps of litter get deposited into a clever long cup that you can just pull out and dump into the garbage/green bin. When you turn the box upright again all that clean litter comes flowing back out of their holding area and into the bottom of the box ready for another use. No more sifting through kitty poop; no more holding your breath for sixty seconds at a time while you clean the litterbox. Just flip the box and dump the cup and you’re done! With 6 cats in the house I can’t begin to tell you just how much time this litterbox has saved me. I can literally clean the litter box in under 10 seconds!


CHUCKIT FLYING SQUIRREL (recommended by Jana Rade of Dawgbusiness)

This toy was actually suggested to us from Jana Rade (of Dawgbusiness) whose dog Jasmine reportedly loves the Flying Squirrel. Though I don’t have one myself, I have to admit that it does look pretty awesome and am considering adding it to the growing collection of holiday gifts my critters will get this Christmas.



Ah, where would we be without our trusty Kongs? These tough toys are not only sturdy but also an excellent way to keep your pet occupied while you’re busy. Just stuff them with any type of delicious treat that your dog digs and you’re good to go! From peanut butter to cheese to cookies, there is no limit to what you can stuff in a Kong. Bonus: if you have a teething puppy or kitten Kongs are the perfect solution. They can gnaw away to their hearts content thus keeping your shoes and rugs safe from little teeth marks.


KONG KICKEROO (used by Tracy Gillett, Avivagen Technical Services Manager)

I bought my cat, Oliver, a Kong Kickeroo about 6 months ago and it has provided endless hours of entertainment not only to Oliver but also to myself and my husband. The Kong Kickeroo is a rectangular shaped soft toy with a long fluffy tail. It is designed to appeal to cat’s instinctive desire to stalk and capture prey and this is exactly what Oliver does! Oliver has also taken to “catching” the Kickeroo and dropping it at my feet very proudly and then demanding a treat! Cats will typically attack, wrestle, snuggle and kick the Kickeroo with their hindpaws. The Kickeroo comes in a number of different patterns – we have the tiger stripe for Ollie but I believe Santa is bringing a new giraffe pattern Kickeroo for Christmas. To further entice cats, Kong has added a generous amount of potent North American Catnip to the Kickeroo. If you search YouTube for Kickeroos you will find countless home videos of cats enjoying their Kickeroos. Kickeroos are very reasonably priced at around $8 and your cat will love you for it!



There has been a new trend in the canine world: toys that are interactive and encourage the development of motor skills while reducing the chance of boredom related behaviour. These puzzle toys are great and help keep your dog’s brain moving even when you’re out running an errand.  With so many great ones to choose from we couldn’t narrow it down to a specific brand!(*Omega paw Tricky Treat Ball shown above)



Unlike most halters that hook under a dog’s chin and twist the neck, the Newtrix halter exerts a gentle pressure on the back of the head which instinctively causes your dog to lean back into the pressure and stop pulling. This halter is great for dogs of all sizes and, once you get the hang of it, is pretty easy to put on.


RIPPLE BOARD SCRATCH’N MASSAGE BED (used by Jen Febel, Marketing Communications)

If your cat is anything like mine, he/she will walk right past the warm, fluffy cat bed you bought them in favour of curling up in a simple cardboard box. That’s the theory behind the Scratch’n Massage cat bed which combines the simplicity of a box with the style of a cat bed. This unique product features a nifty cardboard, ripple surface and is treated with organic catnip oil. A decorative pattern covering the surface adds some designer flair as well. My cats absolutely love this bed and I’ve even walked in to find Stewie (our sheltie) somehow curled up in the cat-sized sleeping space!


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This time of year there is no shortage of delicious treat recipes meant to be enjoyed by your favourite furry loved one. But, if you’re anything like me, the idea of spending a day holed up in the kitchen surrounded by baking pans and rolling pins is not a pleasant one. Truth be told, I hate to bake. Which is why I was super excited to come across a great no-bake recipe for healthy, all natural dog treats.

Peanut Butter & Oat Dog Treat Balls & Canine Coconut Clusters are quick and easy treats that you can whip up at a moment’s notice. And best of all…. No oven required!



– 1/2 cup milk, low or fat free

– 1 cup peanut butter, natural or organic

– 3 cups rolled oats


1. Combine the first two ingredients in a large bowl and stir well

2. Slowly mix in the oats, about a 1/2 cup at a time (The mixture will be very thick!)

3. Scoop out the peanut butter balls and roll with damp hands to create a uniform ball shape (approx. 1″ diameter)

4. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Makes approximately 32 balls

Tips & Techniques:

Give your treats some extra immune-boosting ability – Pop your dog’s daily dose of Oximunol Chewables into each ball prior to refrigerating for a tasty immune boosting treat**
Natural peanut butter – Regular peanut butter does not have as much moisture as the natural and organic varieties. If you choose to use a regular peanut butter you may need to add more milk to help the mixture hold together.
Milk – If your dog is sensitive to dairy products, you can use soy or other nut milks in place of the cows milk.


These peanut butter dog treats will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. You can freeze them for up to 4 months.



– 3 tbsp whole wheat flour (see note below)

– 1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon applesauce, unsweetened

– 1/4 cup milk, low or fat free (see note above about milk substitutions)

– 1/2 cup shredded coconut, sweetened

– 1 1/2 cups rolled oats


1.    Mix the first four ingredients together in a large bowl.

2.    Slowly add the rolled oats, about a 1/2 cup at a time, until mixture easily clumps together.  If mixture is too dry, gradually add additional tablespoons of applesauce, one at a time, until mixture is moist enough to clump

4.    Scoop out the batter and roll with damp hands to create a flat cluster

5.    Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

6.    Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Makes approx. 32 clusters

Tips and Techniques:

Give your treats some extra immune-boosting ability – Pop your dog’s daily dose of Oximunol Chewables into each cluster prior to refrigerating for a tasty immune boosting treat**
Wheat Flour If your dog has a wheat allergy, you can make your own oat flour by using a food processor to grind approximately 1/4 cup of rolled oats into a fine powder (makes approx. 3 tablespoons of oat flour)
Cookie Cutters You can make these coconut clusters into shapes by using a dog cookie cutter. Pack the mixture tightly into your choice of cookie cutters and place them on a lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.


Coconut clusters can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and can be frozen for up to 3 months.

**NOTE: Do not exceed the daily recommended label dose of Oximunol. If feeding more than one treat per day, additional treats must be Oximunol free

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