Keep Your Pet Warm this Winter

Winter has set in on Kansas City so now is the time to make sure your pets are well taken care of! There are many concerns for making sure your outdoor pets have everything they need to stay safe and comfortable despite cold temperatures. Below are some tips from on how to make sure your outdoor pets are ready for anything that could come their way.


Making sure your pet’s shelter is winter ready is important. While summertime houses can be easy and lightweight to create, winter time houses need a little bit extra preparation. Make sure the shelter in question has insulation in the walls and that the insulation is covered so it doesn’t get used as a toy. Blankets or beds are a nice addition to this too, as it allows for a warm area the pet may curl up in. A small opening is ideal as opposed to having one side open, to keep the heat inside.

Food and Water

When a pet is outdoors during the winter, there are a couple things to keep in mind to make sure they are covered in case bad weather keeps them outside or it gets very cold into the evenings. A heated water bowl is a must in areas where the temperature drops below freezing to ensure your pet has a healthy supply of water at all times. Similarly extra food will allow your pet to maintain their weight in colder conditions and will allow them to stay warmer.

Clothing and Care

Even with blankets, outdoor pets may not be able to maintain a proper body temperature. Dog clothing can be a great option for a pet living outside or for going on outdoor extended walks. Paw care is also extremely important. During the cold weather, paw pads can crack, causing serious pain for the animals. Looking at outdoor paw covers, such as snow shoes, can be a good option.


Many pet owners consider their dogs family, so take the appropriate measures to ensure your pets are safe, warm, and happy this winter. Brookside Barkery has everything you need from food to beds to coats and boots for your dog. Don’t wait another minute, stop by today and make sure your dog is prepared for winter!

A Thanksgiving Feast for Your Pet

We will all be sitting down to a delicious Thanksgiving dinner this week and that means more opportunities for your pets to sneak a taste or be given a goody or two under the dinner table from Uncle Sal. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to Thanksgiving foods and your pets. These tips from the ASPCA will keep your four legged friend very happy on turkey day.

  • Talkin’ Turkey: If you decide to feed your pet a small bite of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don’t offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria. Do not give your pet the left over carcass–the bones can be problematic for the digestive tract.
  • No Bread Dough: Don’t spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him access to raw yeast bread dough. When a dog or cat ingests raw bread dough, the yeast continues to convert the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol. This can result in bloated drunken pets, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring hospitalization.
  • Don’t Let Them Eat Cake: If you plan to bake Thanksgiving desserts, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
  • A Feast Fit for a King: While your family enjoys a special meal, give your cat and dog a small feast of their own. Stop by the Barkery while you’re doing your grocery shopping and pick up some special Thanksgiving teats for your pets! Treat them to a yummy wet food instead of the same old dry kibble and why not pick up a homemade cookie for them while you’re at it?

Why Do Cats like Boxes?

Is your cat always trying to get into a box no matter how big or small the space is? Watching a 20 pound cat attempt to squeeze into a tissue box can be the most comical thing you see all day. Ever wander why it is your cat is so fond of boxes? This article from tells us why.

There are several reasons why cats love boxes, but the big one is safety and security, says Marilyn Krieger, a certified cat behavior consultant and owner of

“All animals have different coping mechanisms,” she says. “This is a cat’s way of dealing with stress. If she’s feeling overwhelmed or in trouble, she can retreat to a safe, enclosed space where she can observe, but can’t be seen.”

In fact, a recent study in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science found that boxes can actually help reduce a cat’s stress levels. A group of new shelter cats were randomly assigned to either receive a box or not. After just a few days, researchers reported that the cats that were given boxes recovered faster and adapted to their environment more quickly than the cats without boxes.

So if you’re adopting a new cat, bringing your cat to a new place, or leaving your cat for the day, Kreiger suggests setting up a few boxes. “It’ll instantly give them controlled, secure hiding places where they feel protected and calm,” she explains.

Another reason your cat loves boxes: warmth. A cat’s normal body temperature can range from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees, which is higher than humans. That means that they’re most comfortable in settings anywhere from 86 to 97 degrees, says Kreiger. Humans keep their homes around 72 degrees, though, so cardboard boxes provide insulation for your cat, she says.

So what’s the best setup for your cat’s cardboard box? Kreiger says to place the box a couple of feet from a wall with the opening turned toward it. You can leave treats inside and a towel, too. If your cat doesn’t handle new situations or your absence well, you can leave a t-shirt or blanket that has your smell on it in the box.

Remember that safety comes first, Kreiger says. Remove any staples, tape, and handles from the boxes before letting your cat enjoy playtime.

Don’t want an ugly brown box always sitting in your living room? Stop by the Barkery and get a cat specific hideaway.

Adopting a new pet? Here’s What You Need to Know

Animal shelters and rescue groups are always in need of people to adopt the pets they house but did you know these places get even more crowded around the holiday’s and winter months? Holiday parties, family coming to visit, neighbors dropping by to give you Christmas cookies and even the cold weather are all things that lead to pet neglect. It is a lot easier for a pet to slip out the front door or jump over the fence unnoticed with all of the holiday commotion. This means shelters and rescue groups are full to the brim with pets that need kind, loving homes for the holiday’s. It’s the perfect time to get little Billy the dog he’s always wanted, just stop by your local shelter and pick one up! First time dog owner? There is a lot to know before you adopt a new dog. This article from lets you know what to expect!

In order to protect the dog and to put his or her best interests first, credible rescue groups and shelters will carefully screen the applicant. The last thing anyone wants is for a homeless dog to be brought back to the rescue or shelter. Here’s what to expect during the adoption process.

Expect an Application Process

In order to provide the best match for the dog in need, some potential dog adoption application questions may include:

– Do you own or rent your home?

– Describe your/your family’s lifestyle and why you want to add a new dog to the family.

– Do you have other pets at present?

– What is your experience with dogs?

– Why specifically do you want this dog?

– What would you do if this dog required medical attention and potentially expensive surgery?

– Describe your home and yard.

– Are there children in your home? How many and what are their ages?

Entering Your Home

The purpose of a home visit is to verify your address and make sure the home is a safe and secure environment. Rescue representatives might point out some dog dangers like exposed trash cans or a gap in a fence. The visit is not meant to be judgmental or to spy on potential adopters. Understandably, the rescue group wants both potential adopter and dog to find the best match possible.

Why So Many Questions

Many pets end up being returned to a shelter due to a misunderstanding, lack of patience, or a feeling of being overwhelmed. Some people are not ready to invest the time, money, and resources necessary to raise a dog. Sometimes, pets and families are not a good match. In order to prevent these upsetting situations, careful screening is pivotal for success. Though the questions are thorough and plentiful, they are meant to create the best match possible between parent and pet.


Most rescue groups and shelters charge a fee to adopt a pet. Fees collected from the adoption are generally used for costs incurred to help get the animal a forever home. Dogs will need veterinary care, spaying/neutering, possible medical treatment depending on their situation, along with food and costs to maintain the shelter or kennel.

Right of Refusal

Refusal of adoption may occur if the group or rescue feels the fit is not right. Most groups will explain why the adoption is not a fit. You can work with the group to see if there is anything that can be done to change the situation; i.e. get a fence for the yard. If not, then perhaps a dog is not right for you at this time.

Spay and Neuter

I’ve yet to work with a rescue or learn of a shelter that allows a dog to go into a new home without being spayed or neutered first. Many rescues will also insist on microchipping a dog before release to their new home.

Puppies Vs .Older Dog

Last but not least, the most important question of all is: What type of dog do you want in your life? Are you ready to deal with the trials and tribulations of a new puppy or would you prefer an adult dog? For some, a golden oldie who is settled in his or her ways and needs a loving pet parent may sound right to you. Ask yourself what is best for your own lifestyle and if you have the means, money, patience, time and commitment available to bring a dog into your life.

Once you’ve found the perfect new pet for your home stop on by the Barkery for all your pet needs! We’ve got it all; food, toys, beds, treats, collars and more! Don’t forget to give you pet a fresh new do for the holiday’s, our groomers will get your new pooch in tip top shape!

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″]


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.”


Specific Breed Nutrition: A Case Study

If you’ve ever been to the Barkery, then you’ve definitely seen our sign out front: “Ask us why we don’t sell Iams, Eukanaba or Science Diet.”

It’s true: we only carry all-natural foods that do not contain any ingredients that were never meant for our pets to ingest. And for good reasons.

In a recent article from Truth About Pet Food, Susan Thixton takes a closer look at so-called breed specific pet foods and how the same brand compares across different countries. The results are surprising, showing that the same type of food by Royal Canin has different ingredients between the US, Canada, and the UK. The same goes for Science Diet. So, just how tailored to a specific dog breed are these foods? Not at all, it seems.

Read more about the dangerous ingredients in supermarket pet foods and this case study by clicking here.