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Environmentally Friendly Ice Melt

During the winter months it is important to keep walkways, driveways and other foot paths clear of snow and ice. But what is the best way to do this?

Many ice-melting products are undesirable due to the fact that they contain chemicals that can be hazardous to the environment.

Rock salt is the most commonly used form of ice melt, however it can also cause considerable damage or even death to plants and vegetation in areas near the treated surface. Salt may not work as well during extremely cold weather, as it is most effective at temperatures just below the freezing point. As well, it can take twice as much rock salt to get the same results that other ice melting products can provide.

Fertilizer is also often used as an ice melter. This, however, is not highly recommended as it is often washed away into gutters, storm drains, lakes, streams and reservoirs where it affects water quality.

When battling ice and snow, it is best to use an ice melter with ingredients that are environmentally friendly. For example, Diamond Glacier Ice Melt products contain calcium chloride. This ingredient is used by highways departments for de-icing roads and highways and controlling dust on gravel roads. Calcium chloride is also used as a food additive as well as a fertilizer in agriculture, making it safe for vegetation and the environment.

Glacier Blue and Glacier Green soluble markers are also used in Diamond Glacier products. This ingredient is an environmentally inert dye that shows where product is applied in order to help reduce over-application. The dye is water-soluble and UV sensitive and leaves no color residue.

Environmentally friendly ice melt products such as Diamond Glacier Ice Melt will not harm vegetation, properly air-entrained concrete or pets, when used as directed.

Please note: Beware of manufacturers who claim complete safety to plants, as any ice melt product can harm vegetation with over application.

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Bentonite: The Solution to Plumbers Cracks

Bentonite is known for its amazing absorbent and swelling properties. In fact, bentonite can absorb nearly five times its weight in water and at full saturation will occupy a volume of 12 to 15 times that of its dry bulk weight. Once dry, bentonite will shrink to its original volume and can be wetted, swelled and dried an infinite number of times (if the water being absorbed is fairly pure).

Due to these properties, bentonite works well as a sealant for plumbing cracks in concrete. When spread in the void, the bentonite will swell when it comes in contact with water, forming an impermeable seal.

The rate at which the bentonite swells depends on factors such as granulation and the application method used. All grades will expand slowly when water is poured on them however, if the bentonite is poured into the water it will expand much faster. As well, fine powdered bentonite will absorb water slowly while intermediate sized bentonite will absorb water more rapidly.

Bentonite is a quick and inexpensive sealant for nearly any plumbers crack!

For more information on betonite please contact us using the form below.

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Oil and Gas in Canada


1778 – Peter Pond reported the discovery of oil in Canada.

The oil sands in Alberta had been used by Aboriginal people for many years as a caulking material as well as for other purposes. However, Peter Pond was the first non-native explorer to report the discovery of oil in Canada. The area in which he made this discovery is now known as the Athabasca oil sands, located in northeastern Alberta.

1883 – Canadian Pacific Railway drilled the first gas well in Alberta.

While looking for water, gas was struck in Alderson, Alberta. Unfortunately, when the gas was struck, the well caught fire and burned the rig down. The well was abandoned until gas was struck again one year later at a well just eight feet away. This well was in operation for approximately forty years after being discovered.

1858 – James Miller Williams dug the first oil well in North America.

One year before the famous discovery of oil by Edwin Drake in Pennsylvania, James Miller Williams developed the first commercial oil wells in Oil Springs and Petrolia, Ontario.

The project was initially intended as a water well but instead oil was discovered twenty meters below the surface.

The Formation of Oil and Gas

Oil and gas form when sedimentary rock is exposed to heat and pressure over millions of years.

Sedimentary rock forms when deposits of tiny plants and animals along with mud and silt harden. When exposed to heat and pressure, the soft parts of these plants and animals slowly transform into crude oil and natural gas.

Regions of Sedimentary Rock in Canada

Canada has seven distinct regions of sedimentary rock. These regions span across the country, with portions of regions included in every province and territory.

Western Canada Sedimentary Basin

The Western Canada Sedimentary Basin is the most productive region in Canada. This area spans to include most of Alberta and Saskatchewan as well as parts of British Columbia, Manitoba, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Atlantic Margin

Major offshore crude oil and natural gas deposits were discovered in the Atlantic Margin in the 1960s. These deposits extend along the East Coast from Baffin Island down to US waters.

Arctic Cratonic and Arctic Margin

Crude oil and natural gas deposits have been identified in this area which includes the Arctic Islands, Beaufort Sea and Mackenzie Delta. Development, however, has been slow due to many deterring factors such as location, cost and regulatory processes.

Eastern Cratonic

Crude oil and natural gas production has been occurring in this area since the 1800s. This area reaches across Manitoba, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, the Maritime provinces and Newfoundland and



To date, only oil and gas exploration has occurred in this area. The Intermontane sedimentary rocks occur in British Columbia and the Yukon between the Canadian Rockies and the West Coast mountain ranges.

Pacific Margin

In 1972, the Canadian government halted all offshore drilling in this area in order to protect it from oil spills. Since this time no exploration has occurred. The Pacific Margin can be found off of the coast of BC.

Canada has a long history of oil and gas production and is currently the third largest natural gas producer and sixth largest crude oil producer in the world.

To learn more about Canada’s Oil and Gas industry, emerging technologies, products and services, and leading expertise in the field, check out the Gas & Oil Expo in Calgary, Alberta June 11 – 13, 2013.

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Bentonite Clay for Emergency Roof Repair

Severe weather can cause many problems including damage to your roof. In many cases, sudden and unexpected weather creates damage that calls for emergency repair. In the case of a leak, there are many emergency repair techniques that can be used however a common method is the use of bentonite clay. In fact, many roofing companies use bentonite clay for this purpose.

Bentonite is known for its absorptive qualities, with an ability to absorb up to several times its own weight in water. When saturated, bentonite will expand and bond to the membrane surface of a roof, forming a water impermeable seal to help keep water out until a permanent solution can be put in place.

In emergency situations, it is important to stop water from entering the building as well as the roof system. By creating a temporary seal with bentonite you can prevent damage to insulation and to the other surrounding roof components.

Please note: Prior to permanent repair, the bentonite must be entirely removed from the membrane surface.

In the case of damage to your roof and the need for emergency repairs, please consult a professional.

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Traveling With Pets

Traveling with a pet can be difficult therefore it is essential to plan well in advance in order to prevent any major problems . Here is a checklist to help you prepare the items you will need to take with you as well as the steps you should take before leaving.

Be sure to pack:

Food and water bowls as well as food and treats. Note: be sure to pack a can opener if your pet eats canned food!

Medications – have your pet vet checked before leaving on a trip. Be sure that you have a sufficient amount of any medications your pet requires as well as any area specific medications including heart worm pills and flea and tick control.

Kennel/crate – this is a safe way for your pet to travel. Some places may also require that your pet be in a kennel or crate.

Any grooming tools that may be necessary. For example, a comb or brush, shampoo and nail clippers.

An extra towel, old blanket or sheet and an absorbent mat. These items can be used to wipe muddy and wet paws and bodies and to keep your accommodations clean.

Collar and leash. You may also want to bring an extra in case one breaks.

Bedding. Take along any bedding that your pet is accustomed to in order to make him or her feel more comfortable.

Chew toys.

Stain remover, lint brush and any other cleaning supplies that may be helpful if your pet makes a mess.

Plastic bags (to clean up after your pet).

Identification. Be sure to bring a list of identification numbers such as license numbers, tattoo numbers, microchip numbers, etc as well as a recent photo in case your pet is to get lost.

An animal first aid kit along with the number for a veterinarian near where you are staying are also important to take with you in case of an emergency while you are away.

Make sure to check for country specific requirements prior to leaving. For example, certain countries may require specific, up- to-date vaccinations. Be sure that your pet receives the up-to-date vaccines and that you carry a record with you. As well, make sure to check local pet laws and by-laws to ensure that your animal will be welcome when you arrive. Some areas have specific breed bans and therefore it is best to check ahead of time to be sure that your pet will not be affected.

Before you leave you may also want to clip your pet’s nails to help prevent damage to accommodations. As well, make sure to give your pet a thorough brushing to help prevent fur from getting everywhere while you are traveling. If your pet has fleas, make sure to get rid of them before leaving in order to prevent the spread of an infestation.

Finally, always be sure to check with your accommodations to ensure that your pet is welcome and to verify any pet rules, restrictions and fees.

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What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by a type of bacteria called a spirochete. It is one of the most common zoonotic (transmittable from animals to humans) diseases in the world. In dogs it is known as Canicola Disease while in people it may be known as Swamp Fever, Mud Fever, Swineherd’s Disease and Rice Field Disease. Leptospirosis in humans that is associated with liver and kidney disease is known as Weil’s syndrome. Weil’s syndrome is characterized by yellowing of the eyes (jaundice) and can lead to kidney disease and other serious organ conditions.

There are over 200 strains of Leptospirosis, 4 of which commonly infect dogs. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 100-200 cases of leptospirosis are reported each year in the United States, with about 50% of cases occurring in Hawaii.

The disease is transmitted by an organism that is passed in the urine of infected animals. The infectious organism may be passed for weeks or months and infects a victim when they come in contact with infected soil or water. People can contract the disease by ingesting contaminated food or water, through skin lesions and mucous membranes (eyes, nose, sinuses, and mouth) and even sniffing contaminated soil can cause infection. The risk of infection is greatly increased with the presence of breaks in the skin, as this allows the bacteria to easily enter the body if contact with infected soil or water occurs. The Leptospira organism thrives in moist areas with mild climates and can be transmitted by animals such as rats, skunks, opossums, raccoons, foxes, and other rodents.

Symptoms of the disease may become noticeable from two to 25 days after the initial direct exposure. Symptoms in dogs may include depression, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, weakness, muscle aches, stiffness, abdominal pain, bloody urine, meningitis, eye inflammation, abortions, infertility, jaundice and even shock and death. In people, these symptoms include fever, chills, headache and muscle aches, vomiting and diarrhea, and even spontaneous abortion in pregnant women. Most at risk are veterinarians, pet shop owners, sewage workers, and farm employees as well as people participating in outdoor sporting activities such canoeing, rafting, hiking, and camping, as they may come in contact with contaminated water or soil. It is possible for human patients to recover and then become ill again. Fortunately, only a small percentage of cases (10%) result in serious illness such as liver failure, kidney failure, or meningitis.

Dogs that have contracted Leptospirosis are often misdiagnosed due to the fact that symptoms may mimic other common ailments. As well, some dogs may never show obvious signs of the disease. Therefore, multiple and repeated clinical test may be required in order to receive a positive diagnosis for the disease.

The best prevention for dogs is vaccination (cats are not often affected and so no vaccine exists for them). However, protection against one strain does not mean protection against another strain. As well, being vaccinated does not guarantee protection. Certain vaccines may provide protection for only two strains while others for all four common types. The protection that is provided by a vaccine will last only 6-8 months therefore dogs should be re-vaccinated every year or, in the case of a high risk area, every 6 months.

The best overall protection for both animals and people is education and vaccination of pets. As well, it is important for pet professionals and owners with an infected animal to clean and disinfect all surfaces frequently and to wash their hands and arms after handling an animal.

If you suspect your pet has contracted Leptospirosis, be sure to take him or her to a veterinarian for testing and treatment, as early antibiotic treatment can limit or prevent organ damage.

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Remove Skunk Odor with Stall DRY

Stall DRY Absorbent and Deodorizer is used in animal stalls, pens and cages to absorb ammonia, moisture and odors. It has been suggested, however, that Stall DRY has various other uses including as a way of removing skunk odor! Our customers tell us that they have used the product for this purpose with great success!

Below is the application method for removing skunk odor from a dog, as suggested by our customers.

1. Totally wet the animal’s fur.

2. Sprinkle a generous amount of Stall DRY on to the animal.

3. Rub the product in to the animal’s coat.

4. Leave the Stall DRY on the animal until it dries (he or she will then shake most of the product off).

5. Repeat if necessary, depending on the severity of the odor.

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Creative Uses for Kitty Litter

Being creative with what you have in the house can result in ideas that save time and money! Check out these clever ways to use non-clumping cat litter for more than just a litter box:

1. Spread a thin layer of  kitty litter in the bottom of your trash can to prevent dampness and mildew.

2. Get rid of spray paint (graffiti) on sidewalks by sprinkling cat litter over it and grinding the litter into the sidewalk (using your sneakers). This will absorb the paint, removing it from the sidewalk.

3. Reduce ash tray odor by putting litter into the tray.

4. Dry fresh flowers by placing them between two layers of cat litter.

5. Use bags of kitty litter as sand bags to improve traction in the winter.

6. Put cat litter in the bottom of your drip tray (located under your grill) to absorb drippings. This will keep the grill clean and reduce the danger of flare-ups.

7. Make your own deodorizers by filling old socks with kitty litter. Deodorize your shoes by stuffing the filled socks into them.

8. Clean up pet accidents by absorbing them with cat litter.

9. Remove musty smells from your boat or cabin by placing a box of kitty litter in the area for a few days.

10. Remove oil and grease spills by sprinkling litter on the spill. Once absorbed simply sweeping the spill up!

11. Improve traction and increase safety on snowy and icy sidewalks and driveways by sprinkling down cat litter.

12. Put kitty litter in your garden to promote growth by improving water retention and soil aeration.

Note: Do not use clumping cat litter as a traction aid, it becomes slippery when wet.

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Why Does My Cat Eat Kitty Litter?

“A cat that suddenly starts eating litter is almost always sick,” says Jane Brunt, a veterinarian from Towson, Maryland.

Most often when a cat begins to eat kitty litter it is due to a health condition. The cat’s instincts drive him or her to consume the litter in hopes of compensating for or correcting the condition.

Most often, the consumption of kitty litter is a symptom of anemia. Anemia is a disease in which there is a lack of red blood cells and hemoglobin in the body.

Another indicator of anemia to look for is paleness. You can check to see if your cat is pale by looking at his or her gums. If your cat’s gums are white or bluish, rather than the healthy pink color that they should be, he or she is exhibiting paleness.

Cats that begin eating kitty litter or who show signs of paleness should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Cats with a vitamin or mineral deficiency may also begin eating cat litter. Natural clays are contained in kitty litter and are rich in minerals therefore a cat may eat litter in order to try to compensate for this lack of nutrients.

As well, cats with kidney disease or feline leukemia may eat cat litter on occasion.

Kittens on the other hand most often eat cat litter only out of curiosity. Much like a child, kittens are intrigued by their surroundings and will not hesitate to put anything in their mouth.

It is important that you do not allow your cat or kitten to eat clumping cat litter therefore it is advised not to use clumping litter until your cat is old enough to know not to eat it. If your grown cat begins eating litter you may want to replace it with non-clumping until you can fix the problem.

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Pet Emergencies: How to Be Prepared

An emergency can happen at any time and it is important to be prepared! Knowing what to do in an emergency situation will help you to act fast and could potentially save your pet’s life!

Common emergency situations with pets include the ingestion of foreign materials or poisons, paw lacerations, dog fights, seizures, overheating and accidents with cars. Below are some tips on what steps can be taken in the case of each type of emergency. Please note that in any emergency it is important to contact your veterinarian or a pet hospital in order to receive personalized instruction. Therefore having emergency contact numbers on hand at all times is important and could save your pet’s life.

Paw Lacerations

If your pet’s paw has been cut it is important that you disinfect and flush the area (with saline or clean water) and apply firm pressure (for example, a tight bandage) until you can reach a veterinarian. Your pet’s wound should be looked at as soon as possible in case stitches are needed.

Ingestion of Foreign Objects or Poison

In this type of emergency situation it is important to contact a pet hospital immediately therefore, having emergency contact numbers on hand is very important in order to act quickly.

Dog Fights

It can be very dangerous to put yourself in the middle of a dog fight therefore never try to stop a dog fight by getting in between the animals! Rather, break up the fight by spraying or dousing the animals with water.


Do not try to restrain the animal or put your hands in their mouth. Instead, keep them safe by removing any nearby items that may cause harm during uncontrolled movement.


Overheating is a very common issue. Be sure that you always have enough water for your pet. In the case that he or she does overheat, have them lie in a pool of cold water or eat ice cubes to help bring down their internal temperature. In such cases it is also important to contact a veterinarian.

Car Accidents

If your pet is struck by a car it is important to have them checked out by a vet, even if there are no visible wounds. Often internal damage may have occurred therefore it is important that they are treated immediately!

First Aid Kit

pet first aid kit is a great idea to have on hand in case of an emergency. Important items to include in the kit are gauze, bandaging tape, antibacterial ointment and wipes or saline (contact lens solution), gloves, tweezers and clean cloths.

As well, emergency numbers such as poison control hot lines and animal hospitals are also a good idea to include in the kit.

In many communities animal first aid and other emergency preparedness classes are offered. By educating yourself on how to react in an emergency situation you can greatly increase your pet’s chance of survival in a life-threatening situation.

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