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 for these great tips!

5 Reasons to Feed Your Dog Raw Honey

Raw honey is one of nature’s most powerful and versatile remedies – even for dogs! This article from Whole Dog Journal explains how you can use raw honey on your dog for these various ailments.

  1. Local Raw Honey Relieves Dogs’ Skin Allergies
    Medical research supports the use of local honey to combat environmental allergies. “Local” honey contains tiny amounts of the pollen in your area, so that when your dog ingests it, his body can adjust to the potential allergens gradually which should help prevent a full-blown allergy attack. Hint: Be sure you’re dealing with an environmental allergic reaction, and not a food sensitivity. The Glacier Peak Wellness Assessment Kit can help you to identify this.
  2. Raw Honey Helps Dogs with Kennel Cough
    For many years, honey has been used as a solution for soothing irritated throats and coughs. For kennel cough, you can use local honey, but Manuka honey may be your best choice. This honey is made by bees in New Zealand, and has the highest antibacterial properties of any honey in the world.
  3. Raw Honey Heals Minor Topical Wounds
    Manuka honey is also a top choice for a natural wound dressing. In fact, Manuka honey is FDA-approved for use on human burn patients. Honey’s natural antibacterial properties reduce the chance of infection, protects the injured area, and keeps the area moist and clean to promote healing.
    After cleaning the room, spread on a thick layer of honey and then apply a light bandage, if necessary. Make sure your dog cannot lick the area.
  4. Raw Honey Reduces Gastrointestinal Upset in Dogs
    For minor bouts of an upset stomach or diarrhea that might come from something simple, such as your dog feasting on fresh grass, a couple of doses of honey may help quiet and soothe his GI tract. Some veterinarians suggest honey to help control minor stomach ulcers, since honey’s natural antibacterial properties can help destroy bacteria that may be causing the ulcer. You should always seek veterinary advice in an ongoing stomach issues.
  5. Honey Can Give Dogs More Energy
    Honey is a sugar, and sugar boosts energy. Anecdotal evidence shows that honey helps many older dogs regain some sort of their former spunk and drive. Some owners of canine athletes use honey to promote energy, endurance, and vitality.

It’s Time to Put a Stop to Mindless Over-Vaccination

Dr. John Robb, founder of the Protect the Pets movement, is a veterinarian for over 30 years and world famous almost overnight (more about that shortly). Dr. Robb attended the veterinary school at the University of California, Davis, in the early 1980s, followed by a one-year internship at a private practice in Connecticut, the New Haven Central Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Karen Becker’s interview with Dr. Robb sheds some light on his fight against profiteering and over-vaccination in veterinary medicine.

“It’s true I’ve come in the public eye more recently,” says Dr. Robb. “But honestly, I’ve been fighting to be a veterinarian my whole career. The drive profits in veterinary medicine has really become a problem, especially with the advent of companies like Veterinary Centers of America (VCA) and the Mars Company coming in and owning veterinary hospitals.

These are businessmen and businesswomen. These are people that want to make profits but don’t necessarily have the best interest of the pets involved. And unfortunately, the veterinary establishment, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and other organizations, seem to be joining forces with them instead of putting their hands up and saying, ‘We have a problem here.'”

‘I’m Hurting My Patients With These Vaccines’

Like all veterinary students, Dr. Robb was taught in vet school that vaccines are good and prevent disease. But once he was a practicing DVM, he began to see vaccine side effects such as life-threatening anaphylaxis, as well as longer term vaccine-related disorders.

“I started to research on my own. I came across veterinarians who had been showing that vaccines caused a lot of serious side effects, including hemolytic anemia and cancer at the injection sites. I had a problem now. I’m a veterinarian, and I’m hurting my patients with these vaccines.”

Dr. Robb began changing the way he did things in his practice. For example, he lengthened intervals between vaccines, and lowered the does because it was clear to him that small pets couldn’t handle the same amount of vaccine as larger animals.

Increasingly, Corporations Dictate How Veterinary Medicine is Practiced

When he bought a Banfield Pet Hospital practice, Dr. Robb realized the franchise was very frequently over-vaccinating. So he put his own protocols in place, including “smaller dogs receive a lower volume,” and only one vaccine per visit. He also didn’t give all the vaccines the franchise recommended. Then Mars Petcare  bought Banfield, and Dr. Robb explains what happened next:

“They basically came in and said, ‘Look, we want your franchise back. In fact, we’re buying all the franchises back. We control the doctors. We’re going to give you about a third of what it’s worth and you’re going to leave. Maybe you can go open up another hospital.’

I said, ‘I’m not going anywhere. I have 15 years left on my contract. You can’t tell me how to practice veterinary medicine, that’s my job, so get out.’ But they took my franchise anyway. They said if I didn’t go quietly, they would report me to the state board, because I was lowering my vaccine volume and they said it was against the law. And so they did. They reported me to the Connecticut State Board of Veterinary Medicine.”

Buck the System? You’ll Be Handcuffed & Taken to a Psych Ward

Mars/Banfield sent a letter to all 5,000 of Dr. Robb’s clients stating that their pets weren’t protected (immunized). So Dr. Robb contacted his clients as well, and recommended they have their pets titer tested to show they were protected. That’s when the situation really escalated.

“They put armed guards in front of all the PetSmarts in Connecticut,” Dr. Robb explains. (Banfields are located inside PetSmart stores.) “Two sets of armed guards, one paid for by PetSmart, and one paid for by Mars. They made a big scene and tried to blame it on me.”

The first time he attempted to visit his practice, Dr. Robb was handcuffed to a stretcher and taken to a psychiatric ward. The second time, he was arrested for handing out literature on titer testing to prevent his patients from over-vaccinating the dogs he had already titered and knew were protected.

“It ended up in federal court. They lied to the judge and said, ‘We were offering titers.’ They did everything they could to not do a titer. They injured so many pets, some died, because they revaccinated all of them. It was part of a cover-up. I was vaccinating correctly and they didn’t want anybody to see that their pets had immunity.

The fight with Mars was in front of the state veterinary board, who had copies of all the scientific articles I had collected on vaccines, because I provided them to them. They told me they didn’t care about science. These are veterinarians and they don’t care about science? They said I broke the law. Even if I have to kill my patients, I have to obey the law.”

A Movement to Return Morality to the Veterinary Profession

Dr. Robb has turned these unfortunate event into a meaningful change. He and his wife used their retirement savings to start the Protect the Pets movement in 2006. “It  was never to make money,” says Dr. Robb, “but to bring morality back into veterinary medicine.”

Pet Parents Are Coming Forward to Tell Their Stories

Veterinarians have no legal obligation to report adverse reactions to vaccines, but pet parents are coming forward to tell their stories and driving this change, because they’ve had enough. Veterinarians like Dr. John Robb and Dr. Karen Becker are working to amend the rabies laws and bring morality back to a profession gone wrong where vaccines are concerned.

Become a Partner in the Protect the Pets Movement

“Even as we’re talking here today,” says Dr. Rob, “there are pets out there being injured, dying, and being given injections they don’t need. It’s happening right this minute, and there’s no time to waste. Lives depend on education, encouraging each other, and taking action steps such as contacting state legislators. You can look me up on Facebook, John Robb, for more information.”

You can also reach Dr. Robb at 203-731-4251, or contact him through his website. The first goal is to amend the existing rabies laws. There are 200 million pet parents and advocates, and 40,000 members of the veterinary establishment. As pet owners, we should be able to make decisions for animals in our care.

An Important Distinction: We’re NOT Anti-Vaxxers

It’s important to point out that we’re not anti-vaccines. There’s a huge difference between too many vaccinations and protective vaccinations. We’re not advocating never vaccinating your pet under any circumstances. We’re advocating the smart use of minimal vaccines to create immunity against disease in puppies and kittens, with follow-up titers for the lifetime of the pet. This is about the danger of over-vaccinating cats and dogs.

Some veterinary vaccines are substantially more toxic than others. It’s your job as your pet’s advocate to know enough about the subject to make the best decisions for your animal companion. And if your vet doesn’t respect your opinion and point of view, consider finding a new vet.

To learn more about Dr. John Robb, the Protect the Pets Movement, and Titer Testing as an alternative to vaccines, visit Dr. Becker’s website.


July is Lost Pet Prevention Month

Lost Pet Prevention Month was created to give pet parents focused, in-depth resources, tools, and strategies for preventing a lost pet, as well as advice for getting them home quickly if they go missing without a leash.

July 5 is historically the busiest day in shelters due to pets displaced because of fear of fireworks and large celebrations. According to the National Council of Pet Population Study & Policy and the National Humane Society, a family pet is lost every two seconds in North America. The organizations also report that more than 10 million pets are lost each year and one out of three pets will be lost during its lifetime. However, only 1 in 10 is found.

These daunting statistics have encourage groups across the country to increase awareness of the lost, stolen, and/or missing pet epidemic. Here are 6 ways to prevent your pet from getting lost, from PetHub!

6 Ways to Prevent Your Pet from Getting Lost

1. Have your  pet’s records and proof of ownership on hand. If he is located, you’ll need to prove that you are his owner, and that he is safe and healthy enough to be released back into your care.

2. Make sure your pet has a collar that’s tagged with identification. This makes your pet easy to identify if it’s found by another person. We recommend putting your pet’s name, plus a contact phone number or address. During July, get pet ID tags for half off!

3. Secure your pet’s surroundings by making it far more difficult for them to escape in the first place. Building a screened-in porch for an indoor cat or putting up fences for animals (that can’t be burrowed beneath or jumped over) is the best way to ensure your pet won’t escape. This gives your pet a chance to explore in a secure area.

4. Many pets escape when they’re in the middle of being transported, particularly if they’re going someplace unpleasant, like the vet. Dogs have been known to break their leash and continue running, and cats will find a way out of a carrier that isn’t securely fastened. Training sessions with your dog may help this issue, but you should always be extremely cautious while transporting your pet.

5. Make sure you have the right kind of leash for your dog. If the collar fits too loosely, he can use the leash to slip it over his head and take off running. Using a thinly constructed retractable leash on a 120-pound dog provides the opportunity for it to break. Make sure you are using a durable leash and fitting collars properly before taking your dog into an unsecure area.

6. Proper training goes a long way. While no pet will observe the rules all the time, especially when frightened, teaching your pet at an early age that bad behavior such as going beyond boundaries or removing his collar is unacceptable will cut down on the likelihood that a pet will choose to wander.

July Special at the Barkery

We’re offering some great savings this month for dog and cat guardians! Orijen and Acana pet foods are made from fresh, regional ingredients and are designed to nourish your dog or cat in a biologically appropriate way. These protein-rich, carbohydrate limited diets are sustainably & ethically sourced, and guaranteed to give you peace of mind while keeping your companion happy, healthy, and strong. July is a great month to try Orijen and Acana with these amazing savings:

  • Dog food: Buy a large bag, get a small bag free!
  • Cat food: Buy a medium bag, get a small bag free!
  • New Orijen or Acana customers – buy a small bag, get a small bag free!

Barkery Rewards Program

Brookside Barkery & Bath appreciates our customers, and have programs to reward them for purchases and visits to any location, as well as incentives for referring others to us. See more details about our Loyalty Program and our Referral Program below to learn how you can be rewarded for making your pets part of the Brookside Barkery pack!

Loyalty Program

Brookside Barkery & Bath has been here for more than a decade and a big reason for that is the loyalty of our customers. Without you, we wouldn’t be here! To keep you coming back, we’ve got a terrific points-based loyalty program. The program is simple and can help you with immediate savings on Kansas City’s largest selection of natural pet food.

Here’s how it works: For every purchase you make, you accrue points. Our computer keeps track of every point you earn. We do all the work, and you get the savings. And here’s the best part: You can cash in your points anytime to save money on any purchase you like!

And, like they say, the more you spend, the more you save. Save your points up for big purchases, or just knock a couple bucks off of a smaller purchase. They’re your points, use them however you like!

Here are a few ways you can earn points:

  • Every dollar spent at the Barkery = .01 cents back
  • Large bags of dog food = 2x points
  • Self service baths = 10x points
  • Canned food = 5x points
  • Refer a friend = 300 points
  • Note: Loyalty points cannot be redeemed on grooming services

In addition to earning spending points, nearly all of the pet foods we carry (plus some of the treats) are eligible for a frequent buyer program. We keep track of the number of bags you buy, and once you reach 12, you get one free. Stop in the Barkery & save on all your favorites today!

Need Your Pet Bathed/Groomed? Here’s What You Should Know!

Brookside Barkery & Bath takes pride in being Kansas City’s favorite pet grooming facility. Our wide variety of services range from self-service bathing to full-service grooming and everything in between! If you are looking to schedule an appointment with us, here are some things you should know:

  1. You must call our store to schedule a full service bath or grooming appointment.
    The Contact Us page online is not a guaranteed way to schedule a grooming appointment. Since we have more than one location, it is best to call your nearby Barkery & Bath store and speak directly with one of our associates to schedule your appointment.
  2. Full Service Grooming and Bathing are two different services.
    The main difference between grooming and bathing: grooming involves cutting your dog’s hair. If your dog does not need a haircut, request a full-service bathing appointment.
  3. Booking recurring grooming appointments is the best way to guarantee a spot on our schedule.
    Our groomers are consistently booked, and rarely do cancellations occur. During “wet dog” season, scheduling recurring grooming appointments is highly recommended.
  4. We cannot bathe or groom dogs with wounds or stitches.
    To reduce risk of infection and discomfort to your dog, please wait until open wounds are fully healed and stitches are removed before scheduling an appointment.
  5. Self Service Bathing is available by walk-in only.
    Since they are first-come first-serve, it is not necessary to call and reserve a time to use our self-service wash stations. We encourage you to call your local Barkery & Bath store to check on current wait times.

Our Bathing & Grooming Services

  • Full Service Grooming includes bath, dry, comb-out, haircut, nail trim, ear cleaning, and expression of anal glands (by request). Grooming prices are based on breed, weight, coat & condition.
  • Full Service Bathing includes bath, dry, brush-out, and ear cleaning. Available add-ons include nail trims with paw balm, teeth brushing, or shampoo upgrade. Bathing appointments are 1-hour and must be picked up within 30 minutes upon completion due to lack of kennel space. Bathing prices can be found here.
  • Self-Service Bathing includes access to our mess-free stainless steal bathtubs, shampoo and conditioner, and professional drying equipment. Pricing can be found here.
  • Furmination Furmination is a multi-step process to reduce your pet’s shedding. We use a furminating shampoo solution to loosen the undercoat, completely dry the coat, and finish by using thorough brushing tools to remove any excess fur. Furmination appointments take two hours and must be picked up within 30 minutes of completion. More information, including pricing, can be found here.

Bathing & Grooming Add-Ons

The following services can be added on to any bath or grooming appointment:

For questions regarding Brookside Barkery & Bath services, feel free to contact us!

Are Probiotics Good for Your Pet?

Probiotic supplements are everywhere. You may be taking one. But is it necessary to give probiotics to your dog or cat?

Probiotics are nutritional supplements that contain live microorganisms (bacteria and/or yeast) that aim to improve health and digestion. They are typically used to improve the gastrointestinal tract.

Consider a dog with diarrhea, for example. The cause could be stress, dietary indiscretion, or infection. Whatever the case may be, the diarrhea will sometimes persist even after the initial cause is resolved. The blame often lies with an imbalance between two categories of gut microorganisms:

  • those that promote normal, healthy gastrointestinal function
  • those that secrete toxins or are otherwise disruptive when they are present in larger than normal numbers

Probiotics are essentially a way of boosting the number of “good” microorganisms present in the GI tract, which helps them to out-compete the “bad” ones. It also appears that probiotics can improve canine health in other ways, including beneficially modifying an animal’s immune function.

Studies have show that probiotic supplementation can help treat infections outside of the GI tract as well as some allergic and inflammatory diseases. This isn’t too surprising, considering a large portion of the body’s immune system is associated with the gut.

One of the downsides of probiotic supplementation is the fact that the microorganisms aren’t able to effectively stay and reproduce within the GI tract for a long period of time. Noticeable benefits of probiotics tend to diminish once supplementation is stopped. For chronic disorders, probiotics often need to be given continually to maintain the benefits.

If you do have a pet with chronic issues, here are some strategies you may find helpful:

  • Many people have found that when taking probiotics themselves, they can eventually move to an every-other-day or less frequent dosing schedule. The same is most likely true for dogs. PetMD recommends following instructions according to the probiotics for the first few months, then trying a less frequent dosage.
  • Consider adding a prebiotic supplement to your dog’s diet. Prebiotics are non-digestible ingredients that support the growth of probiotic microorganisms.  Prebiotics are a way to feed the “good”microorganisms in the gut, giving them a potential advantage in their competition with the “bad” microorganisms.

Good bacteria are crucial for the health of your pet’s gut. They also support brain, digestion, assimilation of nutrients, and immune system. These reasons alone should be enough to start supplementing probiotics into your pet’s diet!

10 Fresh Foods to Share With Your Pet

At the Barkery, we believe in feeding your pet a fresh, carefully balanced diet. The wonderful thing about homemade diets is being able to pick your own ingredients. You pick the quality of meat and veggies because you select the food yourself.

Research shows that offering any amount of fresh food to your dog is beneficial. Maybe you can manage two or four fresh food meals out of 14 in a week. However you choose to do it, the important thing is to take small steps toward providing the best diet you can afford for your canine companion.

Raw food enthusiast Dr. Karen Becker provides us with this helpful list of 10 fresh foods you can add to your dog’s diet starting today:

  1. Pumpkin: Fresh pumpkin, either steamed or boiled (or canned 100 percent pumpkin) is relatively low in calories and high in soluble fiber, which is beneficial for dogs with gastrointestinal upset. Pumpkin helps regulate bowel function, which relieves diarrhea and constipation.

    Raw pumpkin seeds are rich in minerals, vitamin K and phytosterols. They contain L-tryptophan and are a good source of zinc, vitamin E and B vitamins. They may help prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones, reduce inflammation caused by arthritis, and support prostate health. We can’t think of a single reason not to feed pumpkin.

  2. Blueberries: Blueberries are available all year and make a great training treat for dogs. These berries are loaded with phytochemicals and antioxidants, and are also a good source of fiber, manganese and vitamins C and E. A good rule of thumb is two to four blueberries as treats for every 10 pounds of dog food a day. Replace processed treats with fresh or frozen blueberries to increase antioxidants in your pet’s diet.
  3. Kale: Kale is a dark green cruciferous veggie loaded with vitamins K, A, C, iron, and antioxidants. Kale is a great way to detox the liver and also has anti-inflammatory properties. Add 1-3 tablespoons of minced or chopped kale to your dog’s food daily, depending on body weight, as a great source of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants.
  4. Kefir: Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that contains beneficial probiotics that support the immune system. Although pasteurized cow’s milk can irritate your dog’s GI tract, fermented milk is different. One of the best and least expensive ways to add healthy bacteria to your pet’s diet is to convert raw milk to kefir yourself.

    All you need is one-half packet of kefir starter granules in a quart of raw milk (preferably organic), which you leave at room temperature overnight. Then add 1-3 teaspoons of this super probiotic to your dog’s food 1-2 times daily for overall improved GI defense.

  5. Mushrooms: Some mushrooms are poisonous, but beneficial varieties include shiitake, reishi, maitake, lion’s mane, king trumpet, turkey tail and himematsutake mushrooms. All mushrooms that are safe for people are safe for pets.

    This food can help regulate bowel function and contain anti-cancer properties and immune system enhancers. You can either lightly cook the mushrooms in a small amount of olive or coconut oil before adding them to your dog’s meal.

  6. Broccoli: Broccoli supports detoxification processes in your dog’s body; contains healthy fiber to aid digestion; is rich in beneficial nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and vitamin C; has anti-inflammatory properties; supports eye health; helps repair skin damage; and supports heart health. Your dog may prefer broccoli steamed, although many eat it fresh with no problem.
  7. Sardines: Fish are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to your dog’s well-being. Dr. Becker suggests using sardines packed in water if you are supplementing these into your pet’s diet.
  8. Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and antioxidants, and high in vitamins A and C. Sweet potatoes with purple flesh have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may lower the risk rom heavy metals and oxygen radicals.
  9. Fermented vegetables: Fermented foods are potent detoxifiers and contain very high levels of probiotics and vitamins. Beneficial gut bacteria provided by probiotics break down and eliminate toxins from the body. Adding 1-3 teaspoons of fermented veggies to your pet’s diet each day is a great way to offer food-based probiotics and natural nutrients.
  10. Chia: Chia seed is a source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds don’t need to be ground. They also provide fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, and zinc. Try sprinkling some chia seeds on your dog’s meals, or mix with some coconut oil for a nutrient-dense bedtime snack.

Always remember to slowly introduce new foods to your pet to prevent GI upset. It’s a good idea to check first with your veterinarian if your dog has any digestive issues or other health concerns.