Control Excessive Barking

When enough is enough, how to effectively manage an excessive barker


According to Pet 360, “punishment is seldom effective for the correction of a dog’s barking problems. Punishment can increase the dog’s anxiety and further aggravate many of the causes behind the barking. Even mild punishment can cause the problem to worsen, as the attention may be associated as a reward by the barking dog.”

Instead of punishment, try devices that distract the dog from the stimuli to break the behavioral patterns that cause the dog to bark.

What kind of products?

Owner-Activated Products

“These products are useful for getting the dog’s attention (disrupting the behavior) during stimuli induced quiet-command training. Ultrasonic devices, audible devices, water sprayers, shake cans (an empty soda can or plastic bottle with a few coins sealed inside), or even a favored squeaky toy might be used to get the dog’s attention and temporarily stop the barking.  Keep in mind that unless you are also using re-training techniques simultaneously and consistently with the distraction, your dog, like many dogs, will soon begin to ignore the distraction devices.”

If used consistently to interrupt the barking, the quiet behavior is reinforced.

“As your dog comes to associate praise and reward with obeying your command for quiet, he may become less anxious and less likely to bark in the presence of the stimulus, or at the very least will quiet much faster on command.”

Bark-Activated Products

What about dogs who don’t start up until you’re leaving home?

“For barking that occurs in the owner’s absence, bark activated products (in conjunction with environmental modification and re-training) are often the most practical means for deterring inappropriate barking.”

Bark-activated products may also be a better choice than owner-activated devices, since they ensure immediate and accurate responses to the barking.

“Off-collar (not worn on collar) devices are useful for training the dog to stop barking in selected areas, such as near doorways or windows (or for dogs that bark in their crate or pen). This type of device is made to emit an audible alarm that causes the dog to stop barking. On-collar devices/bark-activated collars are useful for when barking does not occur in a predictable location. Audible and ultrasonic training collars are occasionally effective but they have the drawback of being neither sufficiently unpleasant enough to deter the dog’s continued problem barking, nor consistent enough in their response to be a reliable deterrent.”

There are even collars that emit either a citronella or unscented odor each time the dog barks, which is sufficiently unpleasant to deter most dogs. Although these may be effective in the owner’s absence, they may soon become ineffective in the absence of concurrent behavior training.

“In this way, the quiet behavior is reinforced, and any anxiety about the stimulus (people coming to the door, people coming to the yard, other dogs) can be gradually reduced. In fact, in time your dog may begin to associate the arrival of new people or dogs with a positive reaction from you, a response that is referred to as counter-conditioning.”

We hope these tips can help with your noisy four-legged friend! Read more from Pet 360 by clicking here.

What is Distemper?

It’s that time of year again: time to update your dog or cat’s shots. You’ve likely heard or seen the term “Distemper” during your visit to the vet, and maybe have even assumed it to mean something about your dog’s mood or behavior. But this is not the case!

Distemper is actually a contagious viral disease that affects animals.

Some fast facts about Distemper from Pet 360:

• Canine distemper is separate and unrelated to feline distemper.

• Feline distemper is also called epanleukopenia.

• Distemper cannot be passed from a cat to a dog, or vice versa, but ferrets are extremely prone to contracting canine distemper.

• The disease is an air-borne virus, so even if your dog or cat never comes in physical contact with another dog or cat it is still susceptible to infection. You can bring the disease home on your shoes or clothing.

How is it diagnosed?

• Distemper may be difficult to differentiate from other diseases, largely because it is less common today due to the effectiveness of regular preventative vaccination programs.

• In dogs, symptoms may affect the respiratory, gastro-intestinal or nervous system, and any combination of these.

• In cats, feline distemper causes vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness. Feline fetuses infected with distemper may have life-long problems with coordination.

• A vaccination program against distemper should be started when your kitten or puppy is six weeks old. Your veterinarian will then advise you on the regularity of booster shots, which are generally given on an annual basis throughout the animalšs entire life span. In the future, blood levels of antibody protection will tell how often a pet is vaccinated.

• Immunity to distemper or other contagious diseases does not build up with age.

• Canine and feline distemper is often a fatal disease.

Needless to say, as with all infectious diseases, prevention through regular annual vaccinations is the best medicine. Visit the Pet 360 site by clicking here.

Video: Best Day of My Life

At the Barkery, we can’t tell you how much we love to meet newly adopted dogs and cats – and neither can they tell you how happy they are to be adopted!

But we think this video is pretty close…

[youtube id=”8J4k32LhTNw” width=”600″ height=”350″]


Are we Spaying and Neutering too Early?

According to research from Animal Wellness Magazine, spay and neuter procedures are often done too early in life, and may cause health issues later on.

Pet overpopulation is definitely an issue in the United States, but are we spaying and neutering too soon?

“Conventional veterinary wisdom recommends that dogs be spayed or neutered between six and nine months of age, and preferably before the first estrus cycle in females. But this recommendation is based less on scientific fact and more on practicalities; younger puppies can be riskier candidates for anesthesia, though current drugs and methods are safer than they used to be. In other words, there is no scientific evidence for spaying or neutering at an early age.

Opponents of early spay/neuter (especially younger than five-and- a-half months) contend that a variety of orthopedic and other issues can result from these procedures. Deprivation of sexual hormones and development through puberty may create long-lasting physical and psychological harm.”

There are also some side effects that can become very problematic:

  • Higher risk of certain types of cancer
  • Orthopedic issues
  • Obesity
  • Urinary issues

Of course there are also benefits:

  • Reduce behavioral problems
  • Prevent some cancers
  • Additional benefits

Click hear to read more in detail 

5 Tips for a Healthy Feline Report Card

Cat’s don’t generally have wonderful breath, but what do you do when it’s unbearable?

Animal Wellness Magazine comes to the rescue again with these excellent tips on feline dental care.

Periodontal disease can be the culprit when it comes to bad pet breath.

Ann Brightman notes that, “bad breath is one of the main signs that a cat’s teeth and gums aren’t in the best of shape. If your cat’s breath is foul, take a look in her mouth. If you see brownish teeth or reddened gums, it’s time for a visit to the vet.

Other signs of periodontal issues are difficulty eating, dropping food or failing to chew it properly, drooling or pawing at the mouth. Any or all of these clues mean your cat is in discomfort and needs attention, even if she otherwise seems fine. Remember that cats are good at hiding pain.

Ignoring the symptoms of periodontal disease can lead to more serious problems down the road, such as painful abscesses and tooth loss. And since the harmful bacteria in a diseased mouth can spread to other parts of the body via the blood, her heart, kidneys and other organs may eventually be affected. In other words, dental disease that is left untreated may ultimately shorten your cat’s life.”

Some tips from Brightman include:

1. If your cat has existing signs of dental disease, take her to the vet to have her teeth professionally cleaned.

2. Look at your cat’s diet. If she’s eating poor quality food, make it a priority to switch her to healthier fare.

3. Toss the commercial cat treats, especially the semi-moist ones that are full of artificial colors and other chemicals.

4. See if you can brush your cat’s teeth. Not all kitties will allow this, but if you have a kitten or young cat, make an effort to get her accustomed to having her mouth handled on a regular basis.

5. If your cat won’t accept brushing (and don’t force it if she won’t), check out the variety of brushless dental products on the market.

The article goes into greater detail – read more by clicking here.

And finally, “preventing or reducing dental problems in your cat isn’t that challenging. The younger your kitty is when you start, the better – but cats of any age can benefit. Remember…a pain-free mouth means better overall health and a happier, more contented kitty.”


Dentistry Without the Anesthesia

Animal Wellness Magazine recently shared a great article on anesthesia-free dentistry for pets noting the option as one to consider, but to be certain to find a well-trained professional to handle the procedure

Because dental disease is the number one issue in dogs, it’s pertinent that pet owners schedule regular veterinary cleanings  to maintain canine tooth and gum health. Sadly, many dog owners avoid or postpone due to nervousness over having their dogs anesthetized. In recent years, anesthesia-free dentistry has become more common, despite not being available at many clinics. It all comes down to proper training to ensure the procedure goes smoothly and safely.

Some questions you may have are answered in the article:

What are the benefits?

What can be done during this procedure?

How are animals kept calm during the procedure?

What are the limitations?

Read more by clicking here

FREE Dental Xrays from Mariposa Veterinary Wellness Center


During the month of February, Mariposa is offering free dental xrays (a value of up to $115!), and free application of Ora-Vet, a plaque prevention gel, with the purchase of an Ora-Vet take-home kit.  Anesthesia is necessary for a dental cleaning and oral health assessment. In order to receive free dental xrays, the pet must receive a complete oral health assessment and cleaning under anesthesia. Call us for details regarding how much this costs, as it varies for dogs/cats and depending on age. This is an amazing opportunity to have your pet’s mouth thoroughly evaluated for any source of pain. 

Call Mariposa today to schedule an appointment for your furry family member! 



Dental Health and Raw Bones

Just in time for Pet Dental Health Month, the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal shared an article on raw bone safety. 

Jodie Gruenstern, DVM, CVA says, “The major purpose of feeding raw bones is to clean the teeth. This can only be accomplished if the pet chews the bone. Gulping is not beneficial…A variety of bone types are generally fed as part of a raw diet. In addition to eating flesh and organs, these raw-fed dogs need to ingest a variety of bone types that also contain meat, marrow and cartilage, to satisfy nutrient needs. When bones are simply fed for recreational purposes, the composition becomes less important, but has an impact on safety and enjoyment.”

Gruenstern goes on to discuss factors to consider when giving your pet a raw bone, and how to choose the right-sized bone for the right-sized pet.

“It is not as simple as small pet/small bone or large pet/large bone. Owners should be encouraged to observe how their pet chews and ingests a bone.” She then covers different types of bones and bone parts pertinent for cleaning teeth.

Reported problems include:

Too much bone can harden stool

Too much marrow causing diarrhea

 Dogs can sometimes chip or break teeth on raw bones

• Bacterial contamination is a possibility


Continue reading the full article by clicking here

Video: Lotus Models our Winter Weather Gear

Inclement weather arrives again – but your pet doesn’t have to suffer!

Have you stopped in lately to check out all of our winter weather gear? Everything from sweaters to booties and in between!

Yes, we said booties – Muttluks, to be precise. Proudly designed and made in Canada since 1994, Muttluks are not just fancy footwear for canines. They provide superior performance and “Pawsitive Relief” for your canine companion.  Available in eight sizes and two models: Fleece Lined Muttluks and All Weather Muttluks.

Protect your pet’s paws from the cold and chemicals used to treat sidewalks and streets – pick some up before the next storm hits!

Barkery Owners Delena and Larry Stout’s pup Lotus strutts her stuff in the cold: