9 Human Foods to Never Feed a Cat

It may seem like second nature to feed an adult cat milk – but it’s never a good idea. Here are some other foods to avoid feeding your feline from Modern Cat Magazine.

1. Chocolate
Chocolate contains Theobromine, which is toxic to cats, even in small amounts, as well as caffeine, another no-no.

2. Onion

Onions contain N-propyl disulphide which causes anemia and, thereby, jaundice (yellow discolouration in lips and eyelids, as well as skin in light-skinned cats). A toxic dose for the average cat would be a couple slices, so watch those onions!

3. Uncooked potatoes & tomatoes
Both these plants come from the deadly nightshade family. Eaten raw, they are likely to cause cats gastrointestinal distress. Cooked tomatoes and potatoes, however, have no toxic effects. (Eating green potatoes, cooked or not, can cause cardiac issues, hallucinations and paralysis, but as they are bitter this is not likely to be an issue.)

4. Milk & milk products
As kittens, cats can drink cow’s milk, but as they grow up cats become intolerant to lactose, a sugar found in cow’s milk, and can no longer digest dairy products. Even a few laps of milk or a tidbit of cheese can cause gastrointestinal pain and diarrhea in adult cats. Lactose-free milk or live culture yogurt, however, can be given at any age.

5. Yeast dough
The ingestion of yeast dough can cause severe abdominal pain, intestinal rupture, and even alcohol poisoning as the dough rises and expands and the yeast ferments.

6. Grapes & raisins
Grapes and raisins may cause kidney failure, vomiting, and diarrhea in cats.

7. Caffeine & alcohol
This one may seem obvious, and chances are these beverages would never end up in a cat dish, but if a curious cat were to lap the dregs out of a coffee cup or get into an open saucepan of penne vodka sauce, the consequences would likely be fatal as there is no cure for caffeine or alcohol poisoning in cats. Three tablespoons of 40 percent liquor is enough to prove deadly.

8. Garlic & chives
Like onions, garlic and chives can also cause anemia and gastrointestinal problems in cats. In small amounts, chives are sometimes included in commercial cat food. While this may not be enough to cause problems, don’t let your cat mistake your window box of chives for a planter of cat grass.

9. Xylitol
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in candy, gum, and even some toothpastes. Xylitol will produce seizures in cats soon after ingestion and liver failure a day or so after, so keep your gum out of kitty’s grasp.

Hypoallergenic Dogs?

Is there such a thing? According to American Kennel Club’s Lisa Peterson, there are a handful of breeds that are safe for allergy sufferers. She shares everything you need to know in this article from Modern Dog Magazine.

While no dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic, there are many breeds with consistent and predictable coats that the AKC suggests for allergy sufferers. These breeds have non-shedding coats, which produce less dander. It’s actually the skin dander attached to pet hair that causes most pet allergies in humans.

Top things allergy sufferers can do around the home to reduce symptoms, regardless of breed they have:

Try and vacuum daily, as well as mop hard floors and dust with a damp cloth. This will help prevent you from stirring up settled allergens. It also helps to frequently wash your dog’s bed. Make the bedroom a dog-free area to limit the amount of exposure the allergy sufferer has to the dog.

Reconsider fabrics. Certain fabrics in the home may be more or less likely to hold pet hair and dander. For example, wood or tile floors and leather or vinyl furniture will be easier to clean and less likely to hold onto hair and allergens than carpeting and upholstered furniture. Also try and avoid fabric curtains.

Frequent bathing does not help make your dog less allergy inducing.dogs-safe

If you have a shedding breed, a bath tends to loosen hair and promote shedding. For the single-coated dogs that are better for allergy sufferers, a daily brush and even a wipe with a damp cloth will help to remove allergens from the coat that the dog may have brought in from outside, such a pollen, molds, and dust. The best tactic would be to have someone in the family who is not allergic do the grooming. Grooming your dog frequently can really help ease reactions.

From the happy-go-lucky Bichon Frise to the ancient and rare Xoloitzcuintli, the American Kennel Club recognizes these 11 breeds as hypoallergenic.

1. Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced SHOW-low-eats-QUEENT-lee) 2. Bedlington Terrier 3. Schnauzer (all sizes) 4. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier 5. Kerry Blue Terrier 6. Poodles (all sizes) 7. Portuguese Water Dog 8. Maltese 9. Bichon Frise 10. Chinese Crested 11. Irish Water Spaniel

Best Pet Halloween Costume Contest – Win $100 Gift Card!

It’s that time of year again – time to subject your pets to Halloween costumes!

Send us a photo of your dog or cat in a Halloween costume to info@barkerybath.com. We’ll display the pics and the Barkery staff will select a winning dog and cat entry on 10/31/14.

First prize: $100 Barkery Gift Card

Second Prize: $50 Barkery Gift Card

(Prizes redeemable at either Brookside or Lee’s Summit location.  Kansas City Metro residents only)

So get creative and show us your best!! Be sure to include your name, phone number and your pet’s name. Have fun!

Primal – October Raw Food Special

PRIMAL is the new October Raw Food special! 

$5 OFF 6 lb. Bags | $3 off 3lb. Bags

Primal Formulas are produced using only the freshest, 100% human-grade ingredients. Primal poultry, meat and game are antibiotic and steroid free without added hormones. We incorporate certified . A combination of organic produce, certified organic minerals and unrefined vitamins work to fortify a complete and balanced diet. All Primal Formulas also contain fresh ground bone for calcium supplementation ingredients offers optimum levels of the amino acids (protein), essential fatty acids, natural-occurring enzymes, and necessary vitamins and minerals that are the building blocks for your pet’s healthy biological functions.

Primal Formulas also offer you the convenience and benefits of a well-balanced, safe and wholesome raw-food diet without having to grind, chop, measure or mix the ingredients yourself.

Click here to shop our Primal products online now!

10 Super Foods for You and Your Dog

Super foods are not only excellent for us, but also our dogs. Many of the super foods below can be found in several of the nutrient-rich foods we carry at the Barkery. 

What makes a “super” food? Edibles that deliver the maximum amount of nutrients with minimum calories. Humans and dogs can share several common foods that are nutritionally dense, and pack a lot of healthful benefits into a serving. These super foods help people and their pets fight disease, boost energy and maintain good health in general. They make great additions to your dog’s diet—whether you feed packaged dog food or home cook meals—consider adding the nutritionally-packed components to compliment your dog’s eating regime. Be sure to introduce these foods gradually and with the proper proportions, and check with your veterinarian if your dog has any dietary or health concerns.


Kale is a supercharged leafy vegetable that contains an abundant amount of vitamins, including A, E, and C. It is a good source of antioxidants and helps the liver detoxify the body. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. Avoid in pets with certain types of bladder stones or kidney disease.

A great dog snack crunchy, naturally sweet and most dogs really like them. They are loaded with carotenoids, fiber, vitamin C and K (needed for blood clotting), as well as potassium. They have magnesium, manganese, most of the B vitamins and phosphorus, which is required for energy production, among other things.

Low in calories and high in soluble fiber, pumpkin helps maintain a healthy digestive tract. It is low in sodium and exceptionally high in carotenoids, potassium and vitamin C, and has some calcium and B vitamins. Canned organic pureed pumpkin can be found at food stores but be sure that it is pure and not a pie filling, so with no sugar or spices added.

Sweet Potatoes
These tuberous roots are rich in beta-carotene and boast 150% more antioxidants than blueberries. Sweet potatoes are also super high in heart-healthy vitamin A and packed with vitamin C to keep immunes system strong.

Oily fishes such as herring, salmon, sardines, mackerel and anchovies are bursting with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s do wonders for skin, coat and brain as well as limit inflammatory processes that cause arthritic pain and other chronic canine conditions. (If your dog has any of these conditions, ask your vet if fish oil in capsule form might help too.) Fish are an excellent protein source, with many essential vitamins and minerals.


Dried edible seaweed is a Japanese staple. Often associated with sushi, nori is available in some supermarkets, especially those stocking Asian food items. It has protein, galactans (a soluble fiber), vitamins C, E and all the Bs, and minerals such as zinc and copper. It also contains some lesser-known sterols and chlorophyll, which have been investigated for their effects on regulating metabolism. Nori may have beneficial effects on fat metabolism, immune function and anti-tumor response. Make sure the nori/seaweed is low in sodium, amounts vary greatly in these products.

The seeds of this traditional grain from Mesoamerica have several of the same benefits as the more well-known “super seed” flax, but unlike flax seed, you don’t need to grind them to reap the health benefits. The nutritional benefits of chia include fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and even protein. (Highly absorbent, they can help hydrate the body.) Chia seeds can be simply sprinkled on their meals.

Commonly considered a grain, quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is actually a seed related to spinach. Quinoa is a complete protein supplying all eight of the essential amino acids and is a good source of fiber, folate, magnesium, iron, phosphorous and many phytochemicals.  One of the few vegetables sources of complete proteins, quinoa is a potent antioxidant and reducing the risk of diabetes.


Active cultures known as probiotics (necessary, friendly bacteria) help keep the bad bacteria away. Yogurt, which may improve gut function, contains a number of nutrients, including protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, potassium, zinc and iodine. It is also a fair source of other B vitamins such as riboflavin and pantothenic acid (required for enzyme action and energy production, as well as other cellular functions).


Available year round either fresh or frozen, blueberries, loaded with phytochemicals, are a great treat for your dog. The deep blue color comes from anthocyanidins, which are potent antioxidants, and the berries also supply vitamins C and E, manganese and fiber. Slow introduction in small quantities is particularly essential; gorging on this tasty fruit can adversely affect canine and human bowel movements.

Besides these, there are also many simple, fresh and wholesome food items that dogs and humans can thrive on, including apples, green beans, papaya, leafy greens, liver and hearts, eggs, oats, bananas, wheat grass, cranberries, nuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, parsley, wheat germ and apple cider vinegar. For dogs, animal protein such as, chicken, turkey, duck, lamb, goat, rabbit, pork, beef, fish and venison, should be an integral part of their meals.

Source: The Bark

Witness to Animal Abuse?

Have you ever witnessed animal abuse? Did you know what to do? 

Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, shares five great tips on what you can do when you witness animal abuse in this article from Whole Dog Journal. 

1. Assess the situation. Calmly take a good hard look at what’s going on. Does the human appear to be someone who is simply trying to train his dog using outdated methods and who might be receptive to your assistance? If the person is applying hard yanks on a choke chain or prong collar, or blithely pressing the remote button for a shock collar, they are probably simply following the instructions of an outdated dog training professional and may not know that there is a far superior way to communicate with their dog. If, however, you see someone who has lost his temper and is deliberately abusing his dog, hanging, punching, smacking the dog repeatedly, or worse, this person probably won’t take kindly to your intervention and might just as easily redirect his anger onto you. If this is the case, you need to use extreme caution. The action you take will depend on your careful assessment.

2. Evaluate your options. If it appears that the dog handler may be amendable to your suggestions, you might approach in your best helpful, non-threatening manner as a fellow dog lover, and offer to assist. If, on the other hand, the handler appears emotionally aroused and dangerous, I wouldn’t recommend approaching or confronting him. If the dog abuser appears violent or unsafe, a better option is to call the authorities.

3. Look for backup. Regardless of how you proceed, look around for another person who can watch out for you when you step forward. It never hurts to have support; there is safety in numbers. Let your back up person or people know what you intend to do, and agree on a signal you will give if you want them to step up in a show of support or call 9-1-1. Ask them to otherwise stay quiet unless you ask for help; catcalls from the peanut gallery won’t help keep the situation calm and positive.

4. Carefully Intervene. Approach the dog handler with a low key introduction; something like, “Excuse me, but I have a dog myself (or “I’m a dog trainer”), and if you’re willing, I would love to show you a different way to do that, a way that worked really well for my dog (or “works really well for my clients”).” If the person is receptive, you can coach him through a simple positive reinforcement exercise (you may have to provide the treats, if you have them – another good reason to always have dog cookies in your pockets!), and then explain how the exercise applies to what he was trying to get his dog to do.

Or, if the dog is friendly, you are confident in your abilities and the person is willing, you can take the leash and demonstrate one or more positive behaviors. Then leave the person with some good resources – local positive trainers, books, Facebook pages, Yahoo groups – so he will be more likely to pursue more dog-friendly training with his dog. (Consider keeping a one-page handout of dog-friendly training resources for times like this.)

5. Stay out of it and call the authorities. If you think the treatment of the dog rises to the level of prosecutable or near-prosecutable abuse, or the person seems dangerously angry, don’t even think of attempting to intervene. If the handler is hanging, punching, slapping, kicking the dog – or worse – step back and call for help. Don’t worry about looking up the number for animal control, just call 9-1-1 and let them take it from there.

If you are carrying a cell phone with video capabilities, and you are at a safe distance, record as much as you can. Unless your support group consists of several large, strong guys who eat animal abusers for breakfast, you don’t want to risk getting yourself beat up in your humanitarian crusade. Do know that if the case is prosecuted, you may be called to testify in court against the abuse. Be willing to bear witness.

Arresting animal abusers was one of the most satisfying aspects of my 20-year career as an animal protection professional/humane officer. I have to say that, notwithstanding my own advice above, I might be hard-pressed to stop myself from physically intervening if I saw someone violently abusing an animal. I’m not saying you should, mind you, but I would understand if you did!

Benefits of Oats

At the Barkery, we carry several wholesome foods that contain oats – but did you know the numerous benefits of this grain for your pet?

Randy Kidd, DVM, PhD from the Pet360 site shares.

Oats are always at the top of my list of recommended herbs. More formally known as Avena sativa, inexpensive and readily available oats have a long list of benefits, from simply nutritional to curative for many conditions. It’s not surprising that oats have a long history of adding to our animal’s health, as well as our own, whether taken internally or applied directly to the skin.

Here are some benefits of oats that you should know about and just a few of the reasons why I like to recommend them:

– There are plenty of natural, ready-made products that contain oats. Popular oat-containing products include: shampoos, conditioners, topical applications for skin conditions, and capsules and tinctures for a more concentrated dose of the healing essences of oats.

– Oats are nutritionally beneficial, and their healing powers can be utilized by applying oaten teas or poultices directly to the skin.

– To get the inner benefits of herbal oats all you have to do is cook some oatmeal and add it to your pet’s food. Or, if you want to add even more oat power, there are tinctures and capsules available.

– Adding oats to a pet’s diet is a simple way to impart many nutritional benefits. Besides nutritional benefits, many other benefits, from nervine to disease treatment, can be realized, too. First, let’s take a closer look at some of the many health benefits associated with oats when they are simply added to a pet’s diet.

Nutritive – Simply put, oats are nutritious, being naturally high in “good” nutrients and low in “bad” ones.

Oats are high in:

– Protein (interestingly, wild oats contain from 27-37% protein while cultivated varieties average about 17%). According to the World Health Organization, oat protein is equivalent in quality to soy protein. So, equal to meat, milk and egg protein.

– Soluble fiber (the fiber that helps keep cholesterol levels low)

– Levels of iron, manganese, zinc, and B vitamins (pantothenic acid, B5, and folate, B9)

Oats are low in:

– Gluten (some is present, but not nearly as much as in wheat)

– Genetically Modified Organisms (so far, oats are not grown using GMO)

Nervine – Oats are considered a nervine, an herbal compound that acts as a general nerve tonic, calming the nerves when necessary, stimulating their activity when needed. Oats are used for treating a variety of nervous disorders.

Herbal – Oats benefit several body organs and systems, including: skin, nervous system, stomach, spleen, lungs, and the urinary and reproductive systems. Herbal qualities of oats include:

– Antispasmodic

– Cardiac

– Diuretic

– Emollient

– Nervine

– Stimulant

Antitumor – Oats contains the antitumor compound b-sitosterol.

Digestive – Acting as a digestive aid to calm the intestinal tract.

Hormonal – Used to achieve hormonal balance. Also used as a uterine tonic.

Oats are also cholesterol lowering and reportedly good for treating a wide variety of diseases in humans and animals, including: inflammatory conditions, mental or physical exhaustion, depression, dyspepsia, insomnia, fevers, sexual dysfunctions and as a tonic during menopause or after parturition.

Oats can also be beneficial when applied externally (topically). Remember that an animal’s skin is its largest organ, and there is an active absorption of many substances, thus adding whole-body benefits from external applications of oats. These unique health benefits of oats in grooming can include:

– Anti-inflammatory and Calming – soothes itchiness and eczema, thus helping calm the animal while he heals.

– Healing – High levels of minerals and vitamins in the seeds may help with skin healing.

Here are some tips on how to use oats topically:

Shampoos –  Natural oatmeal shampoos are readily available, and many have added healing herbs. These shampoos are generally mild, calming, anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and healing for the skin.
You can make your own oatmeal shampoo, too. It’s nothing more than a colloidal suspension of oats, after they’ve been soaked in water, with something added to cleanse the pet’s hair and skin and perhaps something else added to moisturize and/or treat the skin.

Soak – For more anti-itch and anti-inflammatory actions, consider a soak. Commercial soaks are available or, again, you can make your own.

Put a handful of oatmeal in a nylon sock and attach the sock over the bathtub tap. Fill the tub to desired level with water filtered through the oats. Let the pet soak in the tub for 15 to 20 minutes (or for however long they will sit still). Rinse well and dry. Remember, pets prefer tepid water, and cannot tolerate really hot baths.

Dry “Shampoo” – to help dry oily-itchy skin. Roast some ground or rolled oats until slightly browned. When they have cooled to room temperature, work them into the pet’s hair so they come into contact with the skin. Let stand for about 15-30 minutes, then comb out. Try this on a small area first, as some hair coats don’t lend themselves well to this type of application.

Oat Poultice – For “hot spots” or other localized skin irritations, make a slurry of ground oats and water, wrap the slurry in cheese cloth or a tea bag (available from health food stores). Or, soak a clean washcloth in the mixture, and apply as a poultice directly to the affected area. Leave on for 15 minutes or so (or as long as the pet will tolerate it). Repeat several times a day.

Healing herbs such as calendula, chamomile, or lavender can be added to the original mixture to further enhance healing.

Here are more tips on other ways to use oats for better pet health:

Oat Tea – Use about a tablespoon of organic oats, steep for 15-20 minutes in a cup of hot water. Pour enough of the tea over the pet’s food to moisten it. Use several times a week for its beneficial effects on the nervous and intestinal systems.

Oatmeal for Breakfast – Increase fiber intake and make use of oat’s medicinal qualities by mixing cooked oatmeal into pet food several times a week. Start out with small amounts and increase to about a tablespoonful or so for every 10-20 pounds of animal.

Grow Your Own Crop – Oats are easy to grow, indoors or out. Simply stick some organic seeds in the ground (in a pot or tray if growing them indoors), add water and sunlight, and wait a few weeks until the stems are a couple of inches tall. Let your pet eat from the crop, or harvest with scissors and mix the cut leaves into his food. Oat sprouts are also easy to grow, and some critters like them better than grasses. Oats are sometimes marketed, while in seed form, as “Cat Grass”, grown and fed to cats as a treats or as an aid to digestion.

Medicinal Oats – Tinctures, capsules containing oats and other forms of “medicinal” oats (Avena sativa) can be used for a variety of conditions. Check with your holistic vet for proper uses and dosages.

Flower Essences – Wild oats, a different species of oats from the cultivated ones, is a remedy used to help restore direction and nervous energies.

Homeopathic – Avena sativa is a minor remedy that may be indicated for the animal suffering from nervous exhaustion, sexual debility, or nervous tremors. Check with your homeopathic practitioner for more on how oats are used in homeopathy for pets.

Well, those are some of the amazing properties that nature gives us in oats. You’ll want to use organically grown (wild) oats, whether for dietary or topical use, as the nutritive values of organically grown oats are much higher than commercially produced crops, and you don’t run the potential risk of pesticide or herbicide residue. Plus, organic farming methods are good for the environment.

Stop in to the Barkery today and ask us about products with oats that your pet will love!

Barkery Spa Preview!

Have you heard our exciting news? Brookside Barkery and Bath is opening an all-new Spa!

In addition to our bath and grooming services, we’ll soon be offering Essential Oil treatments for your pup!

All Spa Services $10. Kennel Comforter re-infusion $2.

Joint Massage: We’ll bring warmth and comfort to aching joints and tired muscles. Our caring staff will massage this into your pet’s joints to offer relief when too much exercise or too many years catch up with your best friend.

Calming: A mix of lavender and other oils can bring tranquility to even the most stressed pet. Worried about your furry companion being frazzled during grooming or a bath? Adding on a Calming session can bring peace of mind for both of you.

Dry/Itchy Skin: We prefer to address skin conditions nutritionally, and will offer dietary solutions for most skin issues. But while a new diet might fix the issue long-term, sometimes a pet needs quicker relief. We’ll apply a hot oil treatment to hot spots and irritations, soothing skin and promoting rapid healing.

Kennel Comforters: A steam-heated towel, infused with soothing lavender to help your best friend stay calm and mellow in their kennel. Take it home after your first visit, then bring it back with every visit and we’ll infuse it with lavender to give your dog a calmer, more familiar Barkery experience.

Stay tuned for more info on our grand opening!