The Benefits of Coconut Oil

People everywhere are discovering the wonders that coconut oil can create. From hair and skincare to digestive and immune health, coconut oil’s popularity is continuing to grow. You may be wondering – if coconut oil is good for me, is it just as good for my pet? Holistic Veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker explains the benefits coconut oil can have for your animal.

The Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dogs

Coconut oil is a concentrated source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which may have positive effects on your pet’s cognitive function. This oil is also a rich source of lauric acid, which is a powerful antimicrobial agent. Coconut oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties as well.

Dogster provides a list of reasons why coconut oil benefits your dogs, which include:

  1. Coconut oil improves overall skin health, and clears up skin conditions such as eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis, and itchy skin.
  2. Coconut oil helps moisturize the driest skin and makes a dog’s coat gleam with health, whether you add it to her diet, shampoo, or both!
  3. Applied topically to the skin, coconut oil promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, hot spots, bites, and stings.
  4. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of coconut oil help reduce doggy odor and doggy breath.
  5. It helps prevent yeast infections, particularly candida.
  6. Dogs suffering from kennel cough may recover faster with coconut oil.
  7. It improves nutrient absorption and digestion (but may case loose stools, so moderation is crucial).
  8. It can help reduce your dog’s risk of diabetes by regulating your pet’s insulin levels. It may also moderate thyroid function and keep infections and heart disease at bay.
  9. Coconut oil promotes motility in arthritic dogs and those with joint issues.
  10. It can benefit brain health and may be helpful for senior dogs whose minds are starting to become “cloudy.”

Dr. Karen Becker recommends feeding one-quarter teaspoon for of 100% organic, cold-pressed, human-grade coconut oil for every 10 pounds of body weight twice daily for dogs (and cats). This can be added at meal time. It can also be applied topically for animals with flaky and itchy skin.

Reasons You Should Supplement Raw Goat’s Milk

For those that don’t know, goat’s milk has been hailed as one of the most complete, natural food sources known to man. Raw, unpasteurized goat milk is full of vital nutrients, enzymes, vitamins, electrolytes, protein and fatty acids, and it’s more digestible than cow’s milk.

Not only is it safe to give your dog or cat goat’s milk, it’s also incredibly good for them. Even dogs who have a hard time digesting diary products derived from cow’s milk can do extremely well on unpasteurized goat’s milk.

Here are just a few reasons why you should supplement your dog or cat’s diet with goat’s milk:

1. It’s Great for Digestion

Raw goat’s milk is perfect for dogs who suffer any number of digestive issues. Some dogs just have sensitive stomachs, or aren’t able to properly digest food. This can mean gas and loose stools on a regular basis. Goat’s milk is full of natural probiotics, which strengthens your dog’s gut by repopulating the bad bacteria with good bacteria. This makes it invaluable for dogs with sensitive digestive tracts, and also for dogs that have been subjected to various antibiotics.

2. It’s an Immune Booster

By strengthening your dog or cat’s gut, you’re also strengthening the immune system. By virtue of the amount of vitamins, trace minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids, the overall health of your dog is greatly enhanced. Raw goat’s milk has been shown to help fight common ailments such as kidney issues, cancers, liver disease, diabetes, colitis, IBS, heart disease, ulcers, and various brain and nervous system disorders.

Whether you’re feeding a raw, cooked, or kibble diet, supplementing raw goat’s milk can help your best friend to be healthier and happier.

3. It Alleviates Allergies and Itching

The probiotics in raw goat’s milk fight off yeast. It also contains high levels of caprylic acid, which is a natural yeast destroyer. Believe it or not, dogs can get yeast infections in their ears and other parts of the body, including their paws. Your dog’s paw or ear itching could very well be from yeast or allergies, and goat’s milk can help stop the itching once and for all.

4. It Relieves Arthritis Symptoms and Joint Pain

The same enzymes that help with digestion are a natural anti-inflammatory, and can  help with pain in the joints. It also helps improve circulation, which can reduce or eliminate arthritis symptoms.

Other research has shown that carotene found in the milk can also prevent cancer, while the fat known as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is believed to shrink cancerous tumors in some cases.

How to Feed Goat’s Milk

Most animals can’t get enough of goat’s milk, so give it a try even if you have a picky eater on your hands. When you’re feeding goat’s milk, make sure you’re adding it to a good, healthy diet. Although goat’s milk is a great benefit to your dog’s health, alone it won’t carry enough nutrients to help your dog thrive on its own. Pouring milk over your dog’s meal is the easiest way to supplement, whether you’re feeding raw, dehydrated, kibble or wet food.

The Barkery carries a variety of goat’s milk options. Stop in and ask a nutritionist how goat’s milk can help your pet today!

For more on goat’s milk, visit Dogs Naturally.

 

Brookside Barkery

3 Ways to Treat Your Dog’s Arthritis Naturally

Just like humans, dogs change as they age. As pet owners, we’re responsible to help them age gracefully. Here at Brookside Barkery we’re dedicated to educating our customers because we know that informed customers make better informed decisions. Arthritis is common in senior dogs and it can be challenging to keep your arthritic furry friend active and comfortable. Here are 3 ways to treat your dog’s arthritis naturally!

1. Fix Leaky Gut. Your dog’s gut lining contains millions of tiny little holes that allow digested foods and proteins to enter the body to be used as fuel. The tiny holes prevent larger, undigested proteins and toxins from entering the body and wreaking havoc with the immune system. These little wholes can stretch if your dog’s gut is damaged. This allows proteins, harmful bacteria and undigested food particles to enter the body – causing an immune reaction. Leaky guts can be caused by poor diet, drugs and other toxins, and over-vaccination. Step one is to eliminate processed foods, drugs, toxins, and vaccines as much as possible.

2. Fix the Fats. Fats are one of the most important ingredients in your dog’s diet … they affect every cell in his body … if he doesn’t get enough fat or gets the wrong balance of fats, things can go very wrong. Most dog food today is high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3 fatty acids. This causes chronic inflammation which makes arthritis worse. To reduce inflammation, your dog should be eating grass-fed animals. Not factory-farmed or grain-fed animals. If this isn’t possible, just be sure that you’re adding in omega-3 fats to balance out the different types of fats he’s eating.

3. Add Antioxidants. Free radicals are atoms that can damage cells and cause them to die. Antioxidants can prevent cell damage that free radicals cause. They also have anti-aging effects, help prevent cancer, heart disease, eye problems, and immune issues.

*Thank you dogsnaturallymagazine.com for these great tips!

Brookside Barkery

Facts About Heartworm

“To judge by your local veterinarian’s stern insistence on regular heartworm pills for your dog, you’d think we’re in the midst of a brutal epidemic, leaving piles of the dead in its wake. I think there’s an epidemic too, but of a different sort: of disease-causing toxicity instilled in our pets by heartworm preventative pills.” – The Nature of Animal Healing by Martin Goldstein, DVM

Every spring, vet clinics put up heartworm signs and insist on testing and preventative treatment. This article from Dogs Naturally Magazine takes a closer look at heartworm disease to guide you in determining whether the risk for heartworm is worth all the hype, or is it just about the money?

What Is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm is a parasite transmitted by some types of mosquitos. Once they enter the host, these worms circulate in the bloodstream and can grow up to 14 inches long. When the worms reach maturity, they migrate to the heart and pulmonary arteries, where they can cause lung, heart, and organ damage. This serious disease can cause a dog to suffer from:

  • Aneurysms
  • Blood clots (embolism)
  • Fluid accumulation in the lungs
  • Lack of oxygen in the blood
  • Heart failure
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Coughing
  • Nose bleeds
  • Pneumonia

The Heartworm Life Cycle

Heartworms go through 5 larval stages of growth (L1-L5). Each stage requires different environments and conditions. Heartworms reproduce when adult male and female heartworms mate and create live baby worms called microfilariae. If a dog is bitten by a pregnant female mosquito, her microfilariae are released into the circulatory system and they wait their for a new mosquito to bite the dog again.

This is the only way microfilariae can begin to develop into adult heartworms. They must be picked up by a second mosquito to develop into the second and third larval stages of growth. They do this while they’re in the mosquito’s body and this can take a few weeks to occur. If the temperature falls beneath 57°F, they’ll die off.

How Dogs are Affected

If the microfilariae are lucky enough to be hanging around an area that the dog is bitten by a second mosquito, and that mosquito lives long enough with a high temperature, the microfilariae can develop into L3 larvae. If the L3 makes it into the dog, they can develop into L4 and this takes up to two weeks to happen – if the dog’s immune system doesn’t find and destroy the L3 first. Special white blood cells can seek out and destroy heartworms and their larvae.

If the L3 and L4 survive the immune system, L4 will reside in the dog’s skin for about 3 months while it develops into L5 or adult heartworm. At that point, the heartworm leaves the skin and moves to the circulatory system, and eventually into heart and arteries. Adult heartworms can reproduce there and create microfilariae that can develop into adult heartworms in about 6 months.

What is the Real Risk For My Dog?

The American Heartworm Society is an organization that keeps track of heartworm cases. Keep in mind who sponsors the Society (a bunch of pharmaceutical companies who sell heartworm drugs).

Here is the incidence of US heartworm cases for the last 5 years:

As you can see, the nationwide average (which includes high and low prevalence states) is 1.19%. Data taken from HeartwormSociety.org.

Most pets infected with heartworm are homeless for some period. Therefore, they are often also dealing with other immune-compromising issues such as poor diet, mange, group diseases or infection.

Heartworm Prevention

Conventional heartworm drugs are usually advised by your vet all summer, or all year round. Those drugs don’t actually “prevent” anything, they just kill any heartworm microfilariae or larvae that may already be in your dog by paralyzing the heartworm larvae.

If they can kill the heartworm larvae, they can also harm your dog. There are many reports of dogs suffering adverse reactions after taking heartworm meds, including:

  • Depression/lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Convulsions
  • Allergic reactions
  • Difficulty breathing

How Often To Give Heartworm Drugs

If you choose to give your dog heartworm meds, it’s important to know when and how often. Since heartworm can only be transmitted by mosquitos, the first meds should be given 30 to 45 days after weather warms up enough for mosquitos to appear. You can stop giving them after the first frost.

Most heartworm drugs come with instructions to give them every 30 days. But according to many holistic vets, the monthly drugs are just as effective if you give them every 45 days, and 99 percent as effective if given every 60 days.

Preventing Heartworms Naturally

The foundation of protecting your dog from heartworm lies in a healthy immune system. Your dog’s immune system is his first defense against any kind of disease, including heartworm. Taking these steps will help strengthen your dog’s immune system:

  1. Feed a fresh, whole food diet
  2. Minimize vaccines
  3. Avoid commonly prescribed drugs like antibiotics or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs)
  4. Avoid chemical pest control products (like spot-on products) and dewormers
  5. Don’t use pesticides or herbicides on your lawn
  6. Use natural cleaning products in your home

Regular testing for heartworm disease is a good idea for any dog – at least once or twice a year. To learn more about heartworm and treatment options, visit Dogs Naturally Magazine.

Dental Products That Will Change Your Pet’s Life!

Dental care is a major part of your pet’s overall health. At age 3, 80% of dogs show signs of dental disease. Fortunately, there are easy-to-use products that make dental care much more convenient as a pet owner. AND since February is dental health month, all of these products are 25% off the entire month!

Dental Care Products

  • Thorvin For Animals – Thorvin is a mineral rich powder harvested from sea plants. It delivers a wide array of nutrients essential to your animal’s wellbeing, including thyroid health, shinier coats, clearer eyes, and dental health. Sprinkle this affordable powder on your pet’s dinner, and watch your animal thrive.
  • PlaqueOff Powder – Used for dogs and cats, this powder can also be sprinkled on your pet’s food to prevent bad breath, tartar, and plaque. This powder contains no additives, sugar, or artificial preservatives, so you can be sure you are doing what’s best for your best friend.
  • Maxi/Guard Oral Cleansing Wipes – These wipes combine a professional neutralized zinc formulation with textured and easy to use wipes. They provide a gentle mechanical cleansing of plaque and odor-causing bacteria. The embedded taste-free solution naturally freashens the breath and safely cleanses the oral cavity for dogs and cats. These wipes eliminate Halitosis, reduce plaque and tartar formations, extends time between dental cleanings, and are easy to apply.
  • Seadent for Dogs – Another Organic Kelp and enzyme rich powder used to control plaque and tartar buildup. Support your pup’s healthy teeth and gums by adding to his/her food once daily. Contains no artificial color or preservatives.
  • PetzLife Complete Oral Care Spray – This oral spray contains 100% natural ingredients and comes in many flavors. It can be used to remove plaque buildup or as a preventative to help remove plaque and tartar, control bacteria and freshen breath. It is completely safe to use on both dogs and cats.
  • PetzLife Complete Oral Care Gel – A 100% natural flavored gel that is applied directly to the pet’s gumline to prevent and remove plaque buildup. No brushing is required, but recommended for best results.

Dental Care Treats

  • Flavorit Chew Toys – These bone-shaped toys come in many different flavors, and contain little flavor cells that you fill with your dogs favorite spreadable flavor, such as organic peanut butter, cheese, yogurt, pumpkin, banana, or applesauce. The bone has a no-mess, concave design, and your pup will love the flavorful way of cleaning his/her teeth. Three different sizes are available, depending on the size of your furry friend’s teeth.
  • Brushless Toothpaste by Ark Natural Pet Products – A chewable treat, no brushing required! These all-natural treats are helpful for plaque, tartar, and bad breath and are veterinarian formulated and recommended. These treats contain fresh flavors, ridges, and toothpaste in the center for control of plaque and tartar.
  • Super Breath Dental Care Dog Bone – These bones are made with kelp, parsley, alfalfa and other natural ingredients. Giving one of these bones to your dog once a day will help reduce plaque and massage your dogs gums while at the same time cleaning teeth.
  • ILIO Dentals Teeth Treats – A delicious taste dogs love, combined with a unque shape that allows dogs to chew easy and helps prevent choking. Teeth Treats are easy to digest, and the patented nubbed design slows chewing, ensuring better cleaning of the teeth and gums. These treats are gluten, corn wheat, and soy free.
  • Zuke’s Z-Bones – Edible grain-free dental chews with several delicious flavors. Support a clean mouth and fresh breath with these textured bones that help polish the teeth and keep healthy gums.

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.

 

Barkery

January Special at The Barkery

The January special includes two of our favorites, Stella & Chewy’s Raw and Frozen Food, and Fromm’s Gold and Four Star recipes.Fromm Logo with Bags

Stella & Chewy’s Raw/Frozen food contains organic fruits and vegetables, and is minimally processed which makes it easy for your furry friend to digest. This month is a great time to try raw/frozen food for your dog and get a major discount in the process! Get $3-$5 off the above raw/frozen bags.

Fromm is one of our top selling foods for both cats and dogs. This month you can get free gold cans from Fromm when you purchase a bag of kibble. Fromm food is also complete and balanced and easy to digest. You can add moisture to the regular kibble by adding the canned food as topper or feeding it to your pets alone.

OC RAW DOG: A GREAT new choice in raw food

Raw food is at the top of the pyramid when it comes to feeding for your pet. It gives dogs and cats the meat they crave, and delivers solid nutrition without fillers of any sort.  At the Barkery, we want to give our customers choices, and that’s why we’ve brought in OC RAW DOG, a raw brand with top-shelf ingredients like antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken, wholesome beef raised in the Midwest, and vitamin-rich blueberries, apples, and spinach AND apple cider vinegar!