Remember: Your Dog or Cat Is a Carnivore

When Deciding What to Feed Your Pet, Remember: Your Dog or Cat Is a Carnivore

First and foremost, it is important to remember when picking out your pet’s dog or cat food that your pet is a carnivore. His genetic make up and internal workings remain essentially the same as his wild carnivorous ancestors. All carnivores, including dogs and cats, have sharp, interlocking teeth designed for biting and swallowing, not chewing.

All carnivores, including dogs and cats, have very short digestive tracts compared to vegetarian animals. This is because nature designed carnivores to be able to eat foods that are heavily contaminated with pathogens. Wild dogs and cats don’t remove the colon or other bacteria-laden body parts from prey animals before they eat them. Their digestive tracts are designed to get food in and out quickly to limit exposure to pathogens.

Processed Pet Foods Have Created Generations of Nutritionally Deficient Dogs and Cats

Commercial pet food companies have mostly produced products using a base of corn, wheat, or rice. However, they are now recognizing the abundance of grains causes cancer and creates fat, diabetic animals. Companies have turned to grain-free dry foods, but the carb content is not species-appropriate, and creates nutritionally compromised animals. Processed Diets also contain synthetic vitamins and minerals to meet basic nutritional requirements. The food is heated to very high temperatures, which denatures proteins and decreases nutrient value, introducing carcinogens into your pets body on a daily basis.

Best-to-Worst Types of Pet Food

Click here to see Dr. Becker’s full list of best-to-worst types of pet food.

Barkery Bath Dog Grooming Basics

Dog grooming is one of your dog’s basic needs and an important part of pet ownership. Just like people, dogs need to be groomed regularly to look and feel their best. Here are a few tips for dog owners of all kinds to stay on top of grooming at home:

  • Hair Brushing – most dogs love to be brushed. Brushing your dog regularly is a great way to bond with your pet while maintaining a healthy coat. Come into the Barkery and ask an associate which tools to use for your best friend. This will make your pet’s regular grooming experience much more enjoyable!
  • Nail Trimming – Nail trimming can be a hassle for both you and your dog. Dogs often dislike having their paws handled due to painful nail clippings in the past. The best way to avoid aversion from nail trimming is to learn how to trim the nails correctly and always be cautious. If your dog has already experienced a bad nail trim, our bathers recommend playing with their paws to decrease anxiety associated with paw handling.
  • Ear Care – Cleaning out your dogs ears takes very little time and can prevent major discomfort for your pet. Simply spraying a cleanser in your dogs ears on a regular basis can prevent bacteria and yeast from developing. At the Barkery, we recommend Innovet PurOtic ear cleanser, a non-irritating wash designed to break up wax and prevent ear infections.
  • Bathing – Bathing your dog at home can be quite a hassle, but the more often you do it, the less of a hassle it becomes. At the Barkery, you can find therapeutic based shampoos that contain essential oils that are free of harmful ingredients. They can be used to treat a range of skin issues. If you are not an at home-bather, bring your dog into the spa for self-service bathing areas or full-service bathing.
  • Dental Care – Dental health is an important part of your pet’s overall health, and dental problems can cause other health problems. Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth at home is the single most effective thing pet owners can do to prevent dental problems. At Brookside Barkery, you can find many natural dental products,  such as PlaqueOff, oral gels, oral cleansing wipes, organic food additives for tartar control, as well as dental treats that make teeth cleaning a fun and delicious experience for your pet.

Brookside Barkery’s Grooming Services

In addition to Kansas City’s largest selection of natural pet foods, we offer a variety of services to keep your pet healthy and looking great. Check out our top notch grooming services below:

Brookside Barkery

Vaccine Advice from the Barkery!

We are typically told, as pet owners, how often to have our pets vaccinated by our vets. We naturally assume this is what’s best for our pet to keep it safe and healthy. But is it? Some of the common Brookside Barkeryvaccinations can actually be doing your pet more harm than good.

Many vets recommend both puppies and kittens get their “core vaccines” at ages 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, 14
weeks, and 16 weeks. Then they get boosters at one year and annually thereafter. Have you ever wondered why your Chihuahua gets the same size vaccine as your Great Dane, and at the same frequency?

Giving your pet a vaccine when your pet is already immune doesn’t increase its immunity, but does increase unnecessary risk to your animal and can cause a variety of health risks and fatal diseases. Click here to read more about the risks involved in over-vaccinating your pet and Brookside Barkery’s vaccination recommendations!

 

New Year’s Resolutions For Your Pet…and You!

Goals aren’t just for people! The start of a new year, for many of us, signifies a fresh start and a change to better bad habits. One of America’s most common resolutions is to lose weight. With over 60% of Americans categorized as overweight, it may come as no surprise that over 50% of pets are overweight as well! Data from Nationwide, the nation’s largest pet health insurance provider, reveals that pet obesity is on the rise for the sixth straight year.

Excessive body fat increases risk of preventable health issues and can even shorten your pet’s life expectancy. Below are the top 10 dog and cat obesity related conditions:

Most Common Dog-Obesity Related Conditions
1. Arthritis
2. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
3. Low Thyroid Hormone Production
4. Liver Disease
5. Torn Knee Ligaments
6. Diabetes
7. Diseased Disc in the Spine
8. Chronic Kidney Disease
9. Heart Failure
10. Fatty Growth

Most Common Cat Obesity-Related Conditions
1. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
2. Chronic Kidney Disease
3. Diabetes
4. Asthma
5. Liver Disease
6. Arthritis
7. High Blood Pressure
8. Heart Failure
9. Gall Bladder Disorder
10.Immobility of Spine

Now there is no better time to take your pet’s health seriously and commit to a new diet and exercise regimen for your pet. Here are some resolutions that will make 2017 your pet’s healthiest year yet:

  • Try a New Activity With Your Petbarkery
    It is now easier than ever to incorporate your pet into a new exercise routine. Hiking, doga, kayaking, or walking are all great ways to bond, be social, and reap rewards of healthy physical activity for the both of you!
  • Measure Your Pet’s Food, Every Time
    Many owners “eyeball” their pet’s daily food, which can result in overfeeding and weight gain. To ensure your pet isn’t taking in too many calories, it’s important to always use a measuring cup, which happen to be available at the Barkery!
  • Choose an Age-Appropriate Diet
    Growing pets have specific nutrient requirements throughout their lifespan. Depending on your pet’s specific needs, the diet you choose should correlate with his or her life stage to keep them in optimal health. We would be happy to help you evaluate your pet’s diet and needs the next time you stop in.
  • Incorporate More Playtime Into Your Routine
    Cats and many dogs love the thrill of chasing a laser beam – just don’t tell them it’s exercise! Toys that trigger your pet’s predatory instinct are a great way to get their heart rate up with some aerobic activity. Brookside Barkery has a large toy selection, and our holiday themed toys are now 75% off.
  • Take More Car Rides
    Getting your pets accustomed to car rides can have lasting benefits for you as a pet owner, and are also a great way to introduce your pet to new scenery, especially when it’s cold outside.
  • Groom Your Pet Daily
    Brushing your pet removes excess fur, reducing the amount found on your clothes and furniture. It also helps distribute the oils from the skin to the fur, to keep their coat shiny and healthy. The Spa at the Barkery can help you find the perfect brush for your pet’s coat.
  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene DogBoneBlog
    Brushing your pet’s teeth daily is the best way to keep tartar and plaque at a minimum, but be sure to use a toothpaste for dogs and cats.  At the Barkery, we have many helpful products to help with your pet’s dental hygiene, including dental treats, plaque powder, and oral cleansing wipes.
  • Teach Your Dog New Tricks
    Keeping your pet’s mind engaged through mental stimulation can actually help reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals. Teaching your pet new tricks or practicing old ones are a simple way to keep your pet’s mind sharp.
Stop by the Barkery in Brookside or Lee’s Summit to get started now! If you’re looking to tweak your dog’s diet or just add a few treats and toys to their lives, we’ve got you covered.
For more resolutions, please visit freshpet.com or petmd.
Brookside Barkery

Make New Year’s Eve Great – For Your Pet!

Big parties, crowds, fireworks, and… fun? New pet owners often don’t realize that the noise and festivities that often accompany New Year’s Eve – even if you’re staying home and watching them on TV – aren’t much fun for most pets! When the fireworks and happy screaming people are on TV, obviously it’s easy enough to turn the volume down. But what can you do if you or a close neighbor are having a New Year’s Eve party with noisemakers and revelry? Brookside Barkery found a few NYE tips to help your pets enjoy safely:

  1. Up-to-date ID

Parties mean doors getting opened a lot. Even if you’ve thoughtfully hung a sign on your bedroom door saying do not open, or if you have your pets safely contained in a crate inside the bedroom (wearing safety breakaway collars only in a crate), accidents happen.  Make sure your pet ID tags and microchip information has your current address and phone numbers.

  1. ExerciseBrookside Barkery

For dogs and even cats, giving them plenty of exercise on New Year’s Eve day will help them to rest more peacefully that night. Plus, a good long walk or hike with your dog will help you burn off those extra holiday calories too! The Brookside Barkery has all the leashes, and warm apparel for your furry friend that you’ll need!

  1. No human food

If your pet is going to be out loose in your home during a party, make sure every single guest agrees NO HUMAN FOOD FOR PETS. The #1 reason pet owners end up at the emergency vet on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day is because a pet is sick from too much people food, or the wrong people food. Even human foods you think are “safe” for pets can cause pancreatisis, which can be fatal.

  1. White noise

Loud music and fireworks can upset even the calmest of pets. If you don’t have a white noise machine, putting classical music on where the pet can hear it can help cover up outside upsetting noises.

There you have it, four tips to keep your pet happy this New Year’s Eve! Plus, you can always stop by the Barkery in Brookside or Lee’s Summit and pick up some toys to keep your four-legged friend entertained through the whole night!

*Thanks adoptapet.com!

Brookside Barkery

Last Minute Pet Gifts – Open Until 3PM Christmas Eve!

Brookside BarkeryThe clock is ticking, and time is running out to get your last minute shopping done! The Brookside Barkery is your one stop shop to get everything you need, whether it’s for your pet or for the pet lover in your life!

Our Brookside and Lee’s Summit locations will be open until 3:00PM on Christmas Eve for your shopping convenience!

Still need gifts for your sweet fur babies? Stop by the Barkery where you’ll find everything that’s on your pet’s holiday wish list! Does Buddy need a plush, comfy new dog bed? We’ve got ’em! How about a snazzy new collar and leash? We have many styles and colors to choose from! Max could also use a new toy and bone to keep him entertained and happy for hours on end!

Not sure what they really want? We still have you covered. Pick up a gift card and watch their face light up when you give them the gift to choose exactly what they want from the Barkery!

Brookside Barkery

That Growling Sound (In Your Pet’s Stomach) Explained

Just like humans, some dogs can have louder stomachs than others. If you’ve heard your dog’s digestive tract at work, you probably didn’t think much of it. While most of the time a noisy digestive tract is normal, in some cases, it can be problematic.

Borborygmi is the medical term for stomach noise. The noise is caused by gas moving throughout the digestive tract. Of course, some amount of gas is normal. A soft gurgling with periods of silence in between is a sign of normal digestive tract.

A digestive sound that is abnormal will typically contain larger amounts of gas, peristalsis is increased, or both. There are many things that cause loud stomach gurgling – some are harmless and some can be much more serious.

A great way to keep your pet healthy is to keep them on a healthy diet. At Brookside Barkery, our mission is to provide better health through better nutrition. We’re dedicated to providing only the best food for your pet’s diet – that’s why we provide all-natural food, treats and everything you’ll need to keep your furry friend healthy! Read on to find out more about normal stomach sounds for your pet, and signs that it could mean trouble.

Causes of harmless stomach noise

  • Normal digestion and hunger. If your dog has just eaten a meal and his stomach gurgles a bit, it means their stomach is working to digest the meal. When your dog is hungry, their stomach and intestines have little to work with, what’s left is gas. If you start hearing their stomach around meal time, the gurgling is normal.
  • Swallowing air. If your dog scarfs down meals or breathes heavily during exercise, the oxygen they swallow can create stomach noise and is totally normal.Brookside Barkery
  • Dietary indiscretion. Dogs are known for snacking on everything from pieces of paper to going through the trash. If this happens, your dog’s GI tract will work overtime to try to break down foreign objects, which causes loud stomach noises. These stomach noises can be anywhere from mild to life-threatening. If you are concerned, be sure to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Causes of stomach noises that could be serious

  • Intestinal parasites. Gross little creatures that take up space in your dog’s GI tract and cause digestive issues.
  • Foreign bodies in the GI tract. Some foreign objects like string, a toy, a leash, a sock or many other non-food items can cause severe damage to your dog’s digestive tract.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease. A condition in which the intestines are inflamed, causing high numbers of inflammatory cells present in the lining of the digestive tract. The inflammation interferes with the body’s ability to break down and absorb nutrients from food.
  • Dysbosis (leaky gut syndrome). When levels of good and bad bacteria are off, that can cause inflammation of the membranes of the intestine. This can result in the condition known as dysbiosis or leaky gut. Causes of leaky gut in dogs include antibiotics, corticosteroids, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), processed pet food, stress, toxin ingestion, vaccines and parasite infections. Stop by the Barkery and talk to one of our associates about switching your dog to an all-natural diet. We’re passionate about helping our customers provide the very best for their furry friends.

If your dog has occasional temporary stomach gurgling, there’s probably no need for concern. For example, if it’s first thing in the morning and he seems normal except for the gurgling, feed him his A.M. meal. If he eats with no problem and the noises stop, he’s probably fine.

However, if your dog’s digestive activity is easy to hear on a regular basis, as in, several times a week, or if there are other symptoms along with the tummy noises, such as a change in appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, lethargy or signs of abdominal pain, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

*Thank you healthypets.mercola.com for these tips!

Brookside Barkery

Have Leash, Will (Holiday) Travel

During the holidays, many pet owners traveling out of town prefer to bring along their pets. It’s important to remember that not all pets are good candidates for travel. In fact, some pets might be better left at home with a trusted caretaker. However, if you do plan to take your pet out of town this holiday season, The Brookside Barkery has found some tips to help ensure that everyone has a safe and happy trip!

Make sure your pet’s microchip information is current before you leave for out-of-town travel. Staying in a strange place can be stressful for your pet. Your pet should be wearing an ID tag or collar. Microchips are a good secondary form of identification. All of contact information should be up-to-date prior to traveling.

Visit your veterinarian to ensure that your pet is healthy enough for travel. Your veterinarian will make sure Barkery 3your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date and guide you through any necessary steps—including providing you with enough of your pet’s medications (if applicable) to last the duration of the trip. If you are traveling out of state, ask your veterinarian to provide you with a health certificate for your pet.

Bring along a copy of your pet’s vaccination records. If your pet has a chronic medical condition you might want to consider also taking a copy of your pet’s medical record.

If you will be traveling with your pet across country borders, make sure to find out what Customs requires for documentation, i.e., rabies certificate, and be sure to carry that documentation with you.

Do not leave your pet in the car during cold temperatures. Even if left in the car for a short period of time, your pet’s body temperature can drop to dangerously low levels.

Special caution must be taken to protect young, elderly or short-haired pets and those with medical conditions from cold stress.

Your pets are your family, don’t forget to treat them that way! The Brookside Barkery has everything from all natural food and treats, to toys and other traveling essentials. Stop by The Barkery in either Lee’s Summit or Brookside and pick up everything you need for traveling with your furry friend today.

*Thank you Banfield for these helpful tips!

Cold weather hazards.

Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws. To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s health, please heed the following advice from our experts:

  • Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes. Remove any snow balls from between his foot pads.
  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
  • Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
  • Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.
  • Massaging paw balm (the Barkery carries these!) or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible.
  • Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
  • Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry.
  • Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
  • Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.

Thanks to the amazing folks at the ASPCA.

Joyful season, dangerous plants!

Animals will often chew plants to get some roughage. For dogs this is because they are omnivores and actually enjoy plant foods. Plant roughage can be a good source of vitamins and can be helpful for passing food through the intestines. Cats are strictly carnivorous, but eating plants can benefit them by helping to bind hair in the stomach and carry it back out when they hack the hair out through their esophagus and mouth. However, animals also eat leaves for reasons we do not always understand. This is especially true for pets that are kept indoors most or all of the time, since they have not learned which plants taste bad and should be avoided, or they do not have enough access to plants and will chew on whatever is accessible.

There are some types of decorative plants that are toxic to dogs and cats. In some cases, only mild indigestion and discomfort will result, in other cases, the toxicity can lead to more severe health problems, and even fatalities. If you are planning to bring holiday foliage into your home this year this season, you will need to know which plants are safe, which should be kept out of your pet’s reach, and which should be avoided entirely.

Poinsettia Plant Basics

A lot of people have been led to believe that the poinsettia plant is deadly for pets and children, but this is actually an unlikely occurrence. The poinsettia plant’s brightly colored leaves contain a sap that is irritating to the tissues of the mouth and esophagus. If the leaves are ingested, they will often cause nausea and vomiting, but it would take a large amount of the plant’s material to cause poisoning, and most animals and children will not eat such a large enough amount because of the irritating taste and feel from the sap.

However, if the plant has been treated with a pesticide, your pet could be at risk of becoming ill from ingesting the pesticide. The size of your pet and the amount of ingested plant material will be the determining factors for the severity of the poisoning. Young animals — puppies and kittens — are at the highest risk. Severe reactions to the plant or to the pesticide it has been treated with include seizures, coma, and in some cases, death.

Holly and Mistletoe

Holly and mistletoe are also popular holiday plants. These plants, along with their berries, have a greater toxicity level than the poinsettia. Symptoms of illness form ingesting these plants include intestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, excessive drooling, and abdominal pain.

Mistletoe contains multiple substances that are toxic to both dogs and cats, including toxalbumin and pharatoxin viscumin. Mistletoe is well known for causing severe intestinal upset, as well as a sudden and severe drop in blood pressure, breathing problems, and even hallucinations (unusual behavior). If a large enough amount of these plants are ingested, seizures and death may follow. The leaves and berries of holly and mistletoe plants, even the dried plants, should be kept well out of your pet’s reach, or kept out of the home altogether.

Lilies and Daffodils

Both popular gift items at this time of year, plants in the lily and daffodil can be toxic to pets. In cats, Lilium and Hemerocallis genera lilies are the most dangerous. Eating even a small amount of the plant will have a severe impact on a cat’s system, causing severe symptoms such as gastrointestinal issues, arrhythmia, and convulsions. Daffodils are also toxic to both dogs and cats, especially the bulbs.

Amaryllis

The beauty of the flowering Amaryllis is matched by its toxicity. The Amaryllis contains Lycorine and other noxious substances, which cause salivation, gastrointestinal abnormalities (vomitingdiarrhea, decreased appetite, and abdominal pain), lethargy, and tremors in both cats and dogs. The bulb of the plant is reputed to be even more dangerous than the flowers and stalk. The Amaryllis also goes by other names, including Belladonna, Saint Joseph Lily, Cape Belladonna, and Naked Lady.

 

The Christmas Tree

There are other dangers to consider with the good ol’ Yule tree other than lights and ornaments. The oils produced by fir trees can be irritating to a pet’s mouth and stomach, causing excessive vomiting or drooling. The tree needles, meanwhile, may cause gastrointestinal irritation, obstruction and puncture.

Additionally, the water used to nourish Christmas trees can be noxious. Bacteria, molds, and fertilizers can cause your pet to become extremely sick with only a few laps.

Playing it Safe

If you do choose to bring any of these plants into the home, or place them near the entry way where your pet can reach them, be very careful about where you are placing them. Cats, especially, need to be considered, since they can jump to high shelves. If your cat is a known plant chewer, you will probably be better off choosing imitation plants over the real things. But, if your dog or cat does manage to ingest any part of these holiday plants, call your veterinarian or poison control immediately to find out what you should do to minimize the damage.

 

From PetMD