Tips to Protect Your Dog’s Paws From Hot Pavement

Summer is a great time to get out and about with your dog, but outdoor excursions in the heat have quite a few risks for pets and humans alike. There is a lot of buzz about educating pet owners about the dangers of leaving your pet in a hot car, but many guardians forget one important detail: hot pavement will burn a dog’s paws.

It can be tempting to bring your best friend with you everywhere you go, but it can cause serious harm to your dog if you’re not careful. It only takes a few moments on blazing hot asphalt for your dog’s paws to be injured, blistered, or cracked.

The 10 Second Rule:

Put the back of your hand on the pavement. If you cannot hold it there for 10 seconds it is too hot to walk. If the asphalt is so hot you could probably fry an egg on it, then it can burn your dog’s feet. Also keep in consideration that certain dog’s pads, especially puppies are not as adaptable to heat and may not be able to stand even temperatures you can.

Be mindful of hot surfaces – asphalt and metal (boat docks, car or truck surfaces) – and walk your dog in the shade or in the grass, early morning or later evening is best. Another tip is to lay down a wet towel for your dog to stand on when grassy areas are not available. It’s a good way to keep your pet’s feet cool while loading up the car.

Burned Pad First Aid

It’s important to keep the foot area cool and clean. As soon as you notice the problem, flush with cool water or a cool compress if available.

Get your dog to a grassy area, or carry him if possible. At first chance, have your vet examine your dog for signs of deeper burns, blisters, and possibility of infection. Your vet will determine if antibiotics or pain medication is needed.

Washing the feet with a gentle cleanser and keeping them clean is important in avoiding infection. Licking must be kept to a minimum. Some dogs will tolerate a sock to keep the area clean, but caution is advised for dogs that may chew or ingest the sock.

If you are walking your dog this summer, it can be helpful to condition his paw pads using Paw Balm. The Barkery best seller is 4-Legger Organic Healing Balm, which quickly sooths rough, irritated, or chapped paw pads. Although this paw pad conditioner helps to keep your dog’s feet moisturized, it is not made to withstand over 100 degree temperatures.

Bottom line – if the pavement is so hot you wouldn’t want to walk barefoot, your dog doesn’t want to either!


Free Food Delivery Zones Extended!

Free Food Delivery Zones Extended!

Brookside Barkery is bringing what’s best for your best friend to your doorstep! In order to serve you better, we have extended our FREE delivery zone within 5 miles of our Brookside and Lee’s Summit stores. If you live within these zones, you’re in luck!

To place an order, just call your local Brookside Barkery & Bath store and our experts will have it to your front door in 24 hours! Click here to learn more about our FREE local delivery service!

The Benefit of Antioxidants in Your Pet’s Diet

If you pay attention to matters of heath and aging, you’ve no doubt heard the term “free radicals,” which are unstable molecules that travel around in the body looking to bond with stable molecules in order to steal an electron and stabilize themselves. When they are successful, they create new unstable molecules. These molecules contribute to cancer and other diseases.

Since free radicals are produced during normal metabolic, cellular, and immune system activity, as well as external factors such as strenuous exercise, a poor diet, stress, pollution, and even sunlight, they are essentially unavoidable.

The good news is that nature provides a very powerful weapon against this degenerative process in the form of antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize the effect of free radicals and help protect the heart, brain, and other organs from oxidative stress.

Antioxidants Provide Huge Health and Longevity Benefits for Pets

Antioxidants gobble up the toxic free radicals in your pet’s body before they can harm healthy cells and tissue, thereby reducing oxidative stress that leads to DNA damage. Antioxidants play a key role in longevity, and high levels of antioxidants are commonly seen in the “oldest old” among us. Several studies of older dogs have proved the benefits of an antioxidant-rich diet for the aging canine brain.

The results of a seven-year study of 90 kitties ages 7-17 who were fed an antioxidant-rich diet showed fewer decreases in lean muscle mass; improved body weight, lean body mass, skin thickness and red cell quality; decreased incidence of disease; general improvement in quality of life; and significantly longer lifespan! The same is true for dogs.

Most commercially available pet foods contain synthetic vitamins and minerals that provide minimal nutrition, not optimum nutrition. AAFCO recommendations may sustain life, but do not nourish animals the way nature intended. Your dog or cat’s body is designed to absorb nutrients from fresh, living foods very efficiently. Antioxidants are contained in the vitamins in fresh foods, including:

  • Vitamin A and carotenoids, which are found in bright colored fruits and veggies like apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, peaches, squash, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes
  • Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits and strawberries, as well as green peppers, broccoli, and green leafy veggies
  • Vitamin E, found in nuts, seeds, and whole grains
  • Selenium, found in protein sources like fish, chicken, beef, and eggs

Phytochemicals also contain antioxidant properties:

  • Flavonoids/polyphenols are in cranberries and tea
  • Lycopene is in tomatoes and watermelon
  • Lutein sources are dark green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and kale
  • Lignan is found in flax seed and certain other grains

It’s very important to work with a holistic veterinarian or other knowledgeable source when it comes to adding antioxidants to your pet’s diet. Providing the right balance will improve your pet’s quality and longevity of life! For more, please visit Dr. Karen Becker’s article.



Pet Cancer Awareness

May is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that cancer accounts for nearly 50% of disease-related deaths in pets each year? In fact, of the estimated 75 million dogs and 85 million cats in the United States, roughly 6 million pets will be diagnosed with cancer. Studies have found that approximately 1 in 4 dogs and 1 in 5 cats will develop cancer during their lifetime. And because pet cancer is one of the leading causes of disease-related death for our pets, every May and November is dedicated to Pet Cancer Awareness. We hope this post will provide you with information about pet cancer and what to expect if your pet is diagnosed.

Early Signs of Cancer in Pets

Due to the many different types of cancer in pets, there is a wide range of signs and symptoms your pet can exhibit. However, here are the most common signs of cancer to look for in your pets:

  • Lumps and bumps
  • Abnormal odors
  • Abnormal discharges
  • Non-healing wounds
  • Weight loss or muscle mass loss
  • Change in appetite
  • Coughing or difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy or depression
  • Changes in bathroom habits
  • Evidence of pain

To read more about each sign listed above, visit PetMD’s “Top Ten Signs of Cancer in Pets” article. If your pet displays any of these symptoms, contact your primary veterinarian right away.

What Happens if Your Pet is Diagnosed With Cancer

Just as in human healthcare, the first step before determining treatment is to go through the diagnosis and staging process.

Diagnosis – Confirms the specific type of cancer your pet has.

Staging – Establishes the extent of the cancer, and if it has spread.

The tests involved in diagnosis and staging include:

  • Needle aspiration
  • Biopsy
  • Blood work
  • Diagnostic imaging

After determining the type and stage of cancer your pet has, your veterinarian will determine which treatment option will be best.

How Pet Cancer is Treated

Many treatments and therapies to treat cancer in pets do not have the same side effects as they do in people. Due to the lower dosages pets receive, there are significantly fewer side effects, and most pets tolerate treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy quite well.

Treatment options will depend on the type of cancer and may be done alone or in combination:

How to Prevent Cancer in Your Pet

While there is no definite way to prevent your pet from getting cancer, here are some ways to reduce the risk in your furry family member:

  • Schedule annual wellness checkups with your veterinarian, and twice-yearly check ups if your pet is older.
  • Assess your pet’s body regularly and check for any lumps/bumps regularly. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you discover anything abnormal.
  • Feed your pet a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Help your pet maintain a healthy weight.
  • Protect your pet from sunburns to prevent melanoma – especially for pets with short fur.
  • Reduce toxins in your pet’s living space, such as secondhand smoke, pesticides, cleansers with harsh chemicals, and other toxins.
  • Consider titering as an alternative to annual vaccinations. Over-vaccinating your pet heightens risk of cancer.


Brookside Barkery

Unexpected Cat Care Tips

A few tips you may not have heard before to help care for your feline:

Cats Love Running Water

A pet drinking fountain is one of the best investments you can make for your cat’s health.  Cats find cool, running water appealing — it’s a natural behavior, because stream water is less likely to be contaminated than a stagnant pool.  Cats tend to be chronically dehydrated, and feline fountains are proven to get cats to drink more water. Many feline health problems can be aided with proper hydration, and it’s more efficient than leaving a faucet dripping to entice your cat to drink.

Saliva = Allergy Warning

While no cat is guaranteed to not be an allergy trigger, it’s possible to pick a pet who might be less of a problem.  Black, unneutered males are purported the worst choice for people with allergies, since they typically have higher levels of Fe;D1 in their saliva, the protein that triggers sneezing and wheezing. Some breeds of cat, most notably the Siberian, have with low levels of FelD1. If you’re paying for a  “hypo-allergenic” cat, insist on saliva testing. If you’re choosing a kitten, choose a light-colored female, and get her spayed.

Panting Is a Problem

Dogs pant up to 300 times a minute to cool themselves, but if you see your cat panting it may be a medical emergency. While sometimes it can just be from extreme anxiety, it can also be a sign of respiratory or cardiovascular problems, warranting an immediate call to the veterinarian.

Canned Cat Food Is Preferred

Veterinarians recommend feeding canned cat food over kibble. Canned foods have a higher percentage of protein and fat than dry foods and are significantly higher in water content than kibble (70 percent vs 10 percent). Also, canned foods tend to be more palatable to cats that are finicky, elderly or have dental problems.  Better health for your cat can start by closing the all-day kitty kibble buffet and feeding measured amounts of a good canned food. Talk to your veterinarian.

Want a Cat to Love You? Give the Cold Shoulder

What can you do to get a cat to come to you? Avoid eye contact. Cats don’t like eye contact with strangers, so will almost always go to the person who’s not looking at them. This also is the answer to the age-old mystery of why cats always seem to go to the one person in the room who doesn’t like cats. It’s because she may be the only one not “rudely” — in the cat’s view — staring.

The Tail, Translated

You can tell a cat’s mood by watching his tail. Tail upright, happy; tail moving languidly, keep petting me; tail low, twitching erratically, I’m on the prowl; tail swishing rapidly, beware and leave me alone. If you’ve ever been surprised when a cat you’re petting suddenly grabs you angrily, you missed a tail tale: The unhappy twitch of the tail tip would have told you to stop petting, now.

Surprising Signs of a Cat in Pain

Chronic pain is not uncommon in cats, especially as they age. Cat-lovers miss the signs of a pet in pain because cats are good at hiding it. Any cat observed as being hesitant to jump up or climb, not using the litter box, not able to groom themselves as well, more aggressive or more withdrawn need to see the veterinarian. These are classic signs of discomfort, and need to be addressed.

What Litter Do Cats Really Prefer?

Forget the people-pleasing scents. Forget special formulas or alternative ingredients. Your cat is more likely to prefer unscented clumping litter, according to preference tests. And if you want to keep your cat using “the bathroom,” be sure to keep it clean, place it in a quiet, cat-friendly place and don’t use any liners in the box — cats don’t like them. None of these changes will address a cat who has stopped using the box because of illness. Urinary tract infections and other health issues need to be addressed by your veterinarian before box re-training can commence.

How to Prevent a Finicky Cat

Feed your kitten a few different foods so he or she will experience different textures and flavors of food. Just as people typically stick with the toothpaste they start with as youngsters, cats who are only exposed to one type of food will be less likely try other brands and kinds. That can be a real problem if the favored food goes off the market, or your cat needs to eat a special food for health reasons. So mix it up on your kitten.

Don’t Toss That Ratty Scratching Post

When a post starts looking worn is when a cat starts liking it best. Get a new one and your cat may switch to the arm of the couch. Instead, refresh your cat’s post by adding some coils of fresh sisal rope — it’s cheap, easy to add and cats love to dig their claws into it.

May Special at the Barkery

Fromm Family Pet Food has been manufacturing quality and wholesome dog and cat foods since 1949. As a family owned company, Fromm Family Foods focuses on what’s doing best for your pet! With Fromm’s wide range of recipes, you are sure to find one that fits your best friends needs, and your budget. May is a great month to give Fromm a try at the Barkery, with great discounts on both dog and cat kibble for the entire month of May:

Fromm Dog Food

  • $2 off small bags
  • $4 off medium bags
  • $6 off large bags

Fromm Cat Food

  • $2 off 2 pound bags
  • $2 off 5 pound bags
  • $4 off 15 pound bags


Top Reasons to Adopt a Pet

Since we are closing in on National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day (April 30th, join us at Wayside for a volunteer day!), we wanted to share The Humane Society’s Top Reasons to adopt a Pet. This day was created as a way to raise awareness for thousands of pets who are waiting for (and needing) a home. Brookside Barkery and thousands of shelters and rescues alike are committed to giving pets a better life and making a difference, one animal at a time.

If you’re thinking about adding a pet to your family, here are ten reasons to adopt your new best friend:

  1. Because you’ll save a life. Each year, 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States, simply because too many animals come into shelters, and too few people consider adoption when it comes to looking for a pet. This number could be reduced dramatically if more people considered adopting rather than buying.
  2. Because you’ll get a great animal. Animal shelters and rescue groups are full of happy, healthy pets just waiting for someone to take them home. Many surrendered animals are given up because of a human problem, not because of the behavior of the dog.
  3. Because it will cost you less. Usually when you adopt a pet, the cost of spay/neuter, first vaccinations, and sometimes microchipping is included in the adoption price, which can save you the up front costs of adding a new furry companion to your family.
  4. Because of the bragging rights. No one needs to see another selfie, unless it’s one of you with the adorable pet you just adopted! Adopt a pet, post those pictures and let the well-earned likes roll in.
  5. Because it’s one way to fight puppy mills. If you buy a dog from a pet store, online seller or flea market, you’re almost certainly getting a dog from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are factory-style breeding facilities that place profit above the welfare of dogs. They will continue to operate until people stop supporting them. Adoption is one way to be certain you aren’t giving them a dime.
  6. Because your home will thank you. Many pets from shelters and rescues are already housetrained, which means you may be saving your rug, plus the time and effort involved in housetraining an animal. Adopting a mature pet gives older animals a second chance, and often means introducing them to your family will be much easier.
  7. Because all pets are good for your health, but adoptees offer an extra boost. Not only do animals give unconditional love, but they have been shown to psychologically, emotionally, and physically benefit their companions. Caring for a pet provides a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and lessens feelings of loneliness. When you adopt, you can also feel proud about helping an animal in need.
  8. Adoption helps more than just one animal. Overburdened animal shelters and rescues take in millions of stray, abused, and lost animals every year, and by adopting one, you are making room for others in need. Not only are you giving more animals a second chance, but the cost of your adoption goes directly toward helping other animals get the better care they deserve.
  9. Because you can still find the breed you’re looking for in a shelter. If you’re looking for a specific breed to add to your family, try visiting The Shelter Project. This organization makes it easy to find adoptable pets near you, of every size, color, temperament and breed.
  10. Because you’ll change a homeless animal’s whole world. And get a new best friend out of the deal. What could be better than that?

The Secret to a Happier, Healthier, Longer-Lived Pet

We Are What We Eat: Good Food Is the Foundation for Good Health

Dr. Susan Klein, a veterinarian based in Colorado, spent several years in a conventional veterinary practice after graduating from Colorado State University. She now runs Alpine Meadows Animal Clinic, an integrative practice in the Vail Valley.

Dr. Klein’s passion for nutrition started about 15 years ago with a patient who had severe, chronic gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Her patient’s condition prompted her to begin investigating commercial pet food, since she had received no useful nutrition training in vet school.

One of Dr. Klein’s first adventures in nutrition was learning just how important a species-appropriate, real food diet is. She quickly learned that this is the foundation of good health.

If You’re Upgrading Your Pet’s Diet, the Change Should Be Gradual

For an animal that is sensitive (GI tracts, skin, or other sensitivities), switching the diet to raw will take some time. Starting with a grain-free and potato-free kibble is the first step before adding in some cooked foods that are easy to digest. Gradually work toward less cooking of the food, understanding that a pet who is in an extreme state of sympathetic nervous system stimulation may have a difficult time with a raw diet.

It’s important to understand that if you or your pet can’t seem to tolerate a diet of fresh, whole foods, there’s a problem in the body. The answers as to “why” can be found in nutrigenomics, but it’s a fairly new concept and interested veterinarians are trying to learn it on the fly.

Most Treatment Protocols Should Start With a Food Change

In her practice, Dr. Klein has to learn which patients need to make dietary changes in baby steps, and which can make faster transitions. She usually begins a patient’s treatment protocol with a food change. Many veterinarians, especially conventional practitioners, never address the diet at all.

No number of supplements or probiotics will be effective if the diet is not also addressed. Supplements are not bad, but should be used for specific reasons. Feeding your furry companion, a diet that creates disease in his body and then trying to fix the problem with supplements is not a good approach.

How Pet Food Creates Disease

Dr. Klein explains to us how commercial pet food can create diseases. From a nutrigenomics perspective, everything in the body runs on a protein-based metabolism. This means it’s very important that the body is taking in proteins it can recognize and use in an efficient manner.

Dr. Klein tells mentions that commercial pet food is sourced from ingredients unfit for human consumption, including remains of dead, dying, diseased, and disabled animals. The process involved in making the average dry pet food involves heating ingredients at high temperatures, which causes the core nutrients to be destroyed. They are then added back in synthetically, and they are foreign to pets’ bodies.

The food is then dried, pressed into cute shapes, and placed in bags with shelf lives up to two years. From a nutritional perspective, there is nothing living in that food anymore, but we’re putting it into living bodies. If we want to transcribe for healthy genes, we have to have healthy, live proteins.

Pet food contains a number of byproducts as a result of the manufacturing process. The most significant is advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Simply put, this means there’s way too much sugar in the food that is coating the proteins in the in the food in such a way that the body doesn’t recognize it as a food source. It also coats the tissues of the body such that the immune system doesn’t recognize them, and we start down the path of autoimmune disease and cancer.

Pet Parents Must Continue to Push for Change

The veterinary profession is the only healthcare profession that advocates feeding entirely processed foods versus fresh foods. Veterinarians are also the only healthcare profession with practitioners that tell clients fresh food could be risky and harmful to animal companions.

Because this information is difficult to replicate in a research setting, it is unlikely it will be taught in vet school, because where would the funding come from? This is why pet parents should be the ones to push for change. If it’s good for human’s, why isn’t it good for pets?

Good Food Is Good Medicine! Pass It On!

The bad news is that most people rely 100 percent on what their veterinarian tells them. When it comes to nutrition, misinformation about processed pet food will be perpetuated. In addition, there’s a lot of money being made by the processed pet food industry.

For the foreseeable future, it looks as though information about the importance of a nutritionally balanced, species-appropriate diet will have to continue to travel by word of mouth from people who have experienced the tremendous healing of fresh, whole food.

Click here to watch Dr. Becker and Dr. Klein’s full discussion on nutrigenomics.