How To Care for Your Dogs Dry & Cracked Paws

Dry and cracked paw pads can come from a variety of elements. Usually you can give your dog relief from dry or cracked paws at home, although in certain cases vet care may be necessary.

Interesting Facts about Paw Pads

  • They absorb shock, which spares joints from too much pressure.
  • Dogs sweat through their paw pads, which is why bandages may not stick or may have to be changed frequently.
  • Some dogs have overly sensitive paw pads. Booties may be a requirement, and not a fashion accessory.
  • If you use harsh cleaners on your floors, this may be affecting your dog’s paws. Remember that your dog is licking whatever you use on your floors directly off his/her paws.
  • Excessive paw licking could be due to a pH imbalance, resulting from not enough protein in his/her diet.

Dry Paws

Dog paw pads can become dried out and cracked the same way our feet can. Wintertime and salt on sidewalks commonly causes paw pads to dry out quickly. The best thing to do for dry paws is to apply a moisturizing substance, such as Pawmagik by Muttluks. This roll-on moisturizing balm helps heal and soothe paw pads, and protect them from salt, snow, ice, hot pavement, hot sand or abrasion. Pawmagik is available at both Brookside and Lee’s Summit locations!

Overall Care

Keep the area on your pups feet clean and moisturized until the pad has healed. Once your dog’s paws are healed, cut back on the moisturizing. It is better for dogs to have rough paw pads then soft, tender ones, which could lead to further problems.

When to Seek Medical Treatment

If your dog’s paw is cracked, keep the area clean, moisturized, and bandaged at all times. If it is bleeding, add an antibiotic ointment under the bandage. If your dog doesn’t heal within the week, or becomes very swollen and infected, you should seek veterinary help.

 

The True Reason Dogs Eat Poop & How to Make Them Stop

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?

“Coprophagia” is the scientific term given to act of consuming excrement. As pet owners, it is likely you have caught your dog eating a random pile of poop and felt thoroughly disgusted. However, it’s best to keep an open mind because your dog may be trying to tell you something.

“…[M]ore often than not, when animals engage in this behavior, they’re not trying to repulse us – but to communicate something vital about their health and biology.” – Jacob Brogan, writing for Smithsonian.com.

Beyond the disgust factor, many dog parents who catch their dog in the act jump to the conclusion that something is wrong with their pet. This behavior is actually your dog’s way of trying to make things right. By eating poop, their bodies are prodding them to correct an insufficiency or imbalance in the digestive process. Your dog doesn’t think it’s yummy, but rather its body is urging itself to ingest something that may be missing from their diet.

Coprophagia can also be a behavioral issue. Some dogs, especially those in kennel or puppy mill situations, may eat poop because they’re feeling anxious or stressed, or because there are no other options as far as nutrients (puppy mill dogs). Research also suggest dogs who are punished for inappropriate elimination believe that pooping itself is bad, so they hide the evidence by eating it.

Tips to Help Correct Your Dog’s Nasty Habit

  1. Feed your dog a nutritionally balanced diet containing protein and supplement with probiotics and digestive enzymes to prevent your dog from searching elsewhere for less appetizing enzyme sources.
  2. Pick up your dog’s waste immediately.
  3. If your dog favors litterbox snacks, make sure the box is out of reach for your dog.
  4. Make sure your dog has toys and activities that stimulate the brain and alleviate boredom.
  5. Consider experimenting with some over-the-counter coprophagia deterrent products. Make sure to avoid products that are toxic or contain monosodium glutamate (MSG).

To read more on poop-eating animals:

Click here!

Or here!

 

 

January Is Walk Your Dog Month

At Brookside Barkery, we believe in doing what is best for your best friend! Walks are part of your pet’s overall health and provide many long-lasting benefits for the both of you. In honor of walk your dog month, here are some tips for a safe, healthy, and fun outing with your pup.

  • Be the pack leader. It is important to be in charge when you walk your dog. Use confident body language and don’t let your dog walk in front of you. Your dog should be next to you or slightly behind you. Don’t wait until your dog pulls ahead of you, reinforce his/her good behavior with treats along the way.
  • Practice leash lessons. Many of us live in cities or neighborhoods where a leash is a necessity. Stop in the Barkery at Brookside or Lee’s Summit and ask an associate which leash is best for your pet. You should get a leash that is comfortable for you to hold, and one that is short but not too tight. This will encourage your pet to be comfortable at your side without wandering and you will be able to maintain control. Until your dog knows how to walk without pulling, view your walks as training sessions, and keep them short, frequent, and low stress.
  • Bring the necessities. Be prepared on your walk to make it pleasant for you and your dog. Always carry bags for cleaning up and disposing of doggie poop. Don’t forget to hydrate! Don’t forget to carry water for yourself and for your dog, especially during warmer weather. And last but not least, bring treats for your best friend to give rewards for good behavior on the walk.
  • Change it up. Don’t take your dog on the same path all the time. Give your dog some adventure by taking a different route or walking to a different location, such as the dog park or a friends house (preferably a dog owner!). You can also try walking with a buddy or bringing along a friend’s dog.
  • Know how far to go. Healthypet.com says that every dog’s exercise needs are different. Factors to consider are the size of your dog, the length of its legs, breed, age, general health, and the walking environment and temperature. Watch your dog while you walk. If your dog starts slowing down or panting heavily, it is time to stop.
  • Enjoy your walk with your best friend. You’ll be glad you took the time to bond with your pet. Remember – you are providing an outlet for your dog’s energy while at the same time creating a more confident and stable dog!

Pet Wellness Assessment Kit

Many pet owners come to the Barkery for advice regarding their pet’s food allergies and environmental sensitivities. Eating the wrong food or being in the wrong environment can put stress on your pet that leads to itchiness, redness, dry skin, sneezing, vomiting, paw chewing, and more.

Changing your dogs diet could improve its quality of life. We all know how important it is to get our pets on the right diet, but how do we know what specifically causes your pet to react to food and environmental triggers?

We Have the Solution! Pinpoint Your Pet’s Food Intolerances

Dogs can be sensitive to a variety of elements, and Brookside Barkery now has the solution that pinpoints EXACTLY what stresses your pet and PRECISELY what causes allergic reactions.

With the new Pet Wellness Assessment Kit from Glacier Peak, you can look at no fewer than 300 food and environmental factors that may disturb your pet’s homeostasis. That means you will be able to craft the perfect diet for your pet, reduce stressors and allow your pet to live the longest, healthiest life possible.

The Pet Wellness Assessment Kit involves mailing in a couple of swabs with your pet’s saliva, and a bit of their hair.  Within days, you’ll have the results!  Take a look at the results here.

Once you test your pet, the Barkery will provide a free Nutrition Consultation to work with you and with the results of the test, guiding your selections on food, treats, and supplements to make sure we’re giving your pet exactly what they need.

We are offering the Wellness Assessment Kit at a special rate of $75.  Only $75 to give your pet the perfect diet AND eliminate allergens!

Customer Testimonial

Theodore is a prime example of the relief a Pet Wellness Assessment Kit can bring to your pet.

“We had tried every food out there and couldn’t find relief for our pup. The staff help us find some relief by getting Theodore tested for food & environmental sensitivities and stressors. We have peace of mind knowing we are feeding our dog food that doesn’t cause a reaction! Thanks Brookside Lee’s Summit!”

– Kelly B.

Read more customer testimonials here.

Lawsuit Against “Prescription” Pet Food Companies

“Prescription” pet diets not only contain cheap, biologically inappropriate ingredients similar to many other processed dog foods on the market, they also are extremely overpriced. Low quality ingredients and their high cost combined should be reason enough to avoid these diets; not to mention the fact that the majority of them contain no ingredients that even require a veterinary prescription.

If you’ve ever purchased one of these overpriced “prescription” foods for your pet, you may be surprised to find out that a group of pet parents recently filed a class action lawsuit against several pet industry companies, alleging they engaged in price fixing of prescription dog and cat food in the U.S. in violation of anti-trust and consumer protection laws.

The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court of North Carolina by several pet owners that had purchased prescription diets from several companies asserting they conspired with each other to falsely promote “prescription” pet food. The specific pet diets mentioned in the complaint include:

  • Hills Prescription Diet
  • Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets
  • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet
  • Iams Veterinary Formula

The complaint points out there’s no reason for the foods to require a prescription, since they contain no drug or other ingredient not commonly found in non-prescription pet diets. There is no reason for veterinarians to hand a written “prescription” for dog food that is taken elsewhere to purchase the food. Taking advice from veterinarians is common for any pet owner concerned about their pets health. The lawsuit further alleges:

“Retail consumers, including Plaintiffs, have overpaid and made purchases they otherwise would not have made on account of Defendants’ abuse and manipulation of the ‘prescription’ requirement.”

Hopefully you haven’t been deceived by any of these con artists! To read more about the lawsuit, click here.

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!