Low Glycemic Pet Diet Benefits

What is the best food for your pet? Consider the benefits of a low glycemic diet.

Glycemic Index (GI), Explained

GI measures how a particular carbohydrate source affects blood sugar levels. GI is measured on a scale of 0 to 100, which compares a given food to pure glucose (GI of 100). Refined simple carbohydrates have the highest GI scores, while unrefined complex carbohydrates have the lowest scores.

Foods with a high GI are rapidly digested, resulting in undesired spikes of blood sugar levels, while low glycemic alternatives are slowly absorbed, resulting in a beneficial gradual increase in blood glucose levels.

gi

Benefits of Low Glycemic Ingredients

Pet foods with a high GI are rapidly digested, resulting in unwanted spikes in blood glucose levels, while low glycemic alternatives are slowly absorbed, resulting in a gradual, normal increase in blood glucose levels. A few benefits of feeding your pet food with low glycemic ingredients:

  • Helps control appetite and keep pets from over eating
  • Lowers the risk of metabolic diseases such as diabetes
  • Keeps energy levels balanced throughout the day
  • Tailored for diabetic pets

Low Glycemic Brands Available at the Barkery

The ideal low-glycemic pet foods contain no potato or grains. At the Barkery we have several brands to choose from that fit the low GI criteria. Here are just a few to consider on your next visit, or even shop in our online store:

Please read ingredient list for each product when shopping online as some recipes may differ

Benefits of April Special: American Natural Premium

We’re happy to announce a new line at the Barkery:  American Natural Premium.

ANP is a great way to introduce your pet to premium kibble after long having fed “supermarket” type food.  With a strong list of healthy, natural ingredients, this new food will get your four-legged friend started on a healthier path. Additional features*:
  • Added Prebiotics & Probiotics
  • Added Vitamins & Minerals
  • Corn-Free
  • Wheat-Free
  • Soy-Free
  • By-Product Free
  • All Life Stages Formula
  • 100% USDA-Inspected Ingredients
  • Made in the USA
Stocked at an exceptionally competitive price, ANP is also a smart choice for multiple dog owners thanks to a huge 40 pound size!  To help our customers give ANP a try, we’re offering HUGE introductory discounts all April!
  • $2 off of small bags of canine OR feline food
  • $4 off of medium bags of canine OR large bags of feline food
  • $6 off of large bags of canine food!

*Ingredients may vary per food recipe chosen

Tea Tree Gel for Pets

Have you tried multiple cat litter brands with no success at masking the strong odor? Do you have a hard time keeping your home smell fresh instead of like your pups? Tea tree is the perfect solution!

Tea tree gel allows the natural antiseptic properties of the oils to become airborne through an evaporative release. Luckily, the Barkery now carries tea tree products from Kanberra, including gel containers that are great near cat litter boxes and high traffic areas that canines frequent in the house.

How does Kanberra Gel® work?

At the micro-biotic level, the air itself absorbs the pharmaceutical grade oils. As the air circulates and lands on the source (the mold, mildew, etc.), Kanberra Gel begins neutralizing and eliminating problems, and associated odors, on contact. It does so naturally, with no chemicals. Most importantly, the use of Kanberra Gel acts as a preventive program against these problems for up to 45 days after there is no longer gel in the container.

If you’re ready for a breath of fresh air, stop in today and pick up a tea tree jar from Kanberra!

Downtown Dog Day – April 5th

Downtown Dog Day is coming up and it’s not too late to register online or by mail!

This will be the most fun W-A-L-K of the year!

Join us on Saturday, April 5 for pre-registration and t-shirt pickup beginning at 8:00 a.m. and then walk at 9:00 a.m.

Brookside Barkery will be in our tent under the Farmers’ Market, so STOP BY AND SEE US!

This one-mile walk will tour Downtown Overland Park, leading from the Farmers’ Market pavilion through 80th street, around Santa Fe Commons park and down Santa Fe. The event is full of festivities including live music, doggy bags full of special offers and treats, puppy adoptions and giveaways. Be sure to dress your doggies up, as judges are eager to hand out prizes for the best dressed dogs. While we love dogs in Downtown Overland Park, they’re not allowed in the Farmers’ Market pavilion on market days so we’re excited to let them have it all to themselves!

This event will support the Great Plains SPCA, Kansas City Metro’s most comprehensive animal welfare organization. They believe that a cat or dog, no matter what, deserves a long, happy, and healthy life.

As a reminder dogs are required to be on non-retractable leashes, and please be courteous and pick up after your dogs. Please do not enter a business with your dog unless there is signage inviting them in.

Register here

How to Read a Dog Food Label

“Natural,” “beef flavoring,” or “gluten-free” — how do you know which ingredients to say yes to, which to avoid, and which ones are just plain marketing?

Not only can we help you select a great all-natural food for your dog (and cat), we can also help you distinguish what complicated food labels really mean. Here are some helpful tips for Pet 360 to get you started:

1) Check the Guaranteed Analysis

This is the mandatory guarantee that your dog’s food contains the labeled percentages of crude protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. Keep in mind that wet and dry dog foods use different standards (the percentage of protein in a wet food isn’t the same as in a dry food). Convert wet food to dry matter to compare two different types of food (it’s easy to do online) or ask your vet for the low-down. For instance, 8% protein in a canned cat food isn’t the same as 8% in dry food (wet will be a lower percentage), since canned food contains 75-78% moisture and dry only has 10-12% water.

2) Choose Dog Food that Fits

Size-specific formulas can be helpful in determining what food is the right fit (read: an adequate amount of calories and nutrition) for your dog. A dog food labeled “Small breed formula” caters to toy dogs like Chihuahuas with kibble that’s tinier and a serving size that’s lower in calories; a large breed puppy formula would provide nutrients geared at minimizing diseases such as arthritis for a big dog down the road.

3) Consider Allergy Needs

Does your pooch have an allergy? Hughes cites beef and dairy as the most common food allergies in both dogs and cats, while wheat tops the charts for dog allergies. While there is no legal requirement on dog food labels that tout food as wheat- or gluten-free, Hughes says it’s normally a trustworthy claim. If in doubt, scan the ingredient list the first time you buy to make sure.

4) Find the Protein

Ingredients on dog food labels are listed in order of weight, starting with the heaviest. Since your pup needs plenty of good protein sources in his diet, including chicken, beef, fish and lamb, double check that these are listed within the first few label ingredients. Hughes says chicken meal (chicken that’s dehydrated) packs more protein than fresh chicken, which is 80 percent water. The same goes for beef, fish and lamb. So, if chicken meal or beef meal are number one on the ingredient list, you can be sure your dog is getting an appropriate amount of protein.

5) “Flavor” Ingredients

Additions such as “beef flavoring” can help dogs look more favorably upon some foods, giving them a meatier, richer taste. However, pet foods with ample amounts of high quality protein usually make additional flavorings unnecessary. Be sure proteins are in the first few ingredients and that a flavoring is not being used to cover up a grain-heavy formula. If a dog food has flavorings, opt for specifics like “beef flavoring,” instead of “meat flavoring.” This offers a better idea its origins.

6) Opt for Natural Dog Foods

Feeing Fido food labeled “natural” means that all ingredients haven’t had any chemical alternations, according to FDA guidelines. While natural dog foods can be beneficial, be wary of foods touting a “holistic” label. Hughes cautions due to its lack of legal definition, it likely means nada when slapped on a pet food label. Looking to go organic? Like human products, dog food should tout an official organic label from the USDA. If the seal says “organic” it must contain at least 95% organic ingredients, not counting added water or salt. If it says “Made With Organic Ingredients” it must contain at least 70% organic ingredients, not counting added water or salt. If a manufacturer wants to show that a product has some organic ingredients, but they make up less than 70% of the total, it can denote those ingredients as “organic” in the ingredient list, but no seal is used.

To continue reading the list, click here

House Plant Pet Safety

Did you know that more than 700 plants have been identified as dangerous for animals?

With spring popping up, it’s time for gardening again! According to the Humane Society, poisonous plants produce a variety of toxic substances and cause reactions ranging from mild nausea to death. Certain animal species may have a peculiar vulnerability to a potentially poisonous plant. Cats, for instance, are poisoned by any part of a lily.

Here are some other common household/garden plants that are not pet friendly:

  • Azaleas
  • Elephant ears
  • Holly berries
  • Philodendrons
  • Wisteria
  • Mistletoe
  • Poinsettia
  • Rhododendron

There are several more plants to avoid – you can read the full list by clicking here

Expert Tips for Walking Your Dog

Having trouble walking your dog? Or training a young pup? Here are some great tips from the Whole Dog Journal.

  • No talking on cell phones except in an emergency.
  • Practice makes perfect. Ask for (and reinforce) your dog for loose-leash walking, and polite sits at street corners and when you stop to talk to someone.
  • Use good equipment that is appropriate for your dog (for example, if not well trained, giant dogs probably need more than a flat collar – and retractable leashes are not considered safe, ever). Inspect the fit and condition of all your equipment frequently. Ensure that your dog wears a tag with current information.
  • Pay attention to your dog’s body language. Chances are she will alert you about anything amiss on the street or trail long before you become aware of it. Whether that’s another dog walker approaching, a mountain biker flying down the trail toward you, or a mountain lion trailing you, an early warning can help you manage the situation – but if only you are paying attention.
  • Carry good treats. Professionally trained walkers know that good training is built with top-shelf reinforcements.
  • Manage your dog’s behavior! Don’t assume that it is okay for your dog to interact with every dog and every human you come across. Not only is it rude, but it can also trigger unexpected, and maybe unwanted, reactions.

Read more by clicking here

Treating Your Cat the Healthy Way

Great tips from Pet360.com on treating your cat

Cat owners show cats their love by giving treats as well as affection. While your everyday cat treats are basically empty calories and should be kept to a minimum, there are some special types of cat treats available that will give your cat a bit of supplemental nutrition.

Targeting Your Cat’s Specific Needs

You may be wondering what sort of cat treats your furry friend could possibly benefit from?

  • Weight Control/Loss: If your cat is overweight, look for treats made to be low in fat and calories and high in fiber.
  • Joint Care: If your older cat is slowing down and has trouble getting around, providing him with some extra ingredients for joint care (i.e., glucosamine and chondroitin) is now common practice. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can also be added to cat treats to help reduce inflammation and soothe painful joints.
  • Dental Care/Bad Breath: Tartar buildup in the mouth can cause some serious halitosis in cats. Cat treats in this category have special chemicals or textures designed to help break down plaque and tartar. This can help reduce the amount of bacteria in your cat’s mouth, and thus the offensive odor.
  • Skin Health/Hair: Cats that have dry, flaky skin and rough, brittle hair can benefit from added omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in their daily diets. These fatty acids can come from flaxseed, fish oil, or other natural sources.
  • Digestive Health: If your cat has issues with a touchy digestive tract (irritable bowel or colitis), providing some extra fiber and/or beneficial probiotics/prebiotics might help to balance things out. Some ingredients you might see in these kinds of cat treats include fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), yogurt, chicory, Brewer’s yeast and beet pulp.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Functional Cat Treats

While these functional ingredients can certainly provide some benefits, there’s always a chance of giving your cat too much of a good thing. Even though these cat treats are considered “healthy” and do provide added nutrition to your cat’s diet, it is best not to overdo it. Be sure to read the package to find out the correct amount to give based on your cat’s weight and consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your cat’s health.

We have several cat treats and cat food that fit perfectly to each of the above cat needs. Stop in and chat with one of our friendly staff members today!