Brookside Barkery

What Does Your Body Language Say to Your Dog?

We know that we humans can be slow at responding to the non-verbal signals that our dogs may be sending us. However, your dog pays very close attention to every single move you make! Try this experiment to focus on the signals you’re sending your dog – intentional or not. This will help you identify the non-verbal cues your dog has grown accustom to responding to.

Barkery KCBe sure you and your dog are away from the normal hustle and bustle in your home. Go to a quiet room where there are no distractions.  Stand still and relaxed as you ask your dog to “sit.” The hardest part about this is making sure that no other body parts are moving, even tilting your head a little or raising your eyebrows can be seen very easily by your dog and may possibly act as a clue for them to sit. You can also sit down on the floor and, without moving, ask them to sit. Then, try leaving the room and asking your dog to sit (you can peek to see what they do)!

Then, ask your dog to sit the way you normally do. Move freely – tilt your head or raise your eyebrows the way you have always done. Now that you’re aware of your own behavior, you can try and determine a pattern as to the body language and non-verbal cues your dog has learned to respond to. You’ll probably find out that your dog pays just as much attention (or more!) to your body language as he pays attention to your voice!

After all that sitting, your pup needs a treat! Everything at the Barkery is 100% guaranteed all-natural, so be sure to stop by either our Brookside or Lee’s Summit locations and pick up some healthy rewards for them!

3 Tips for Owning an Indoor Cat

Although it’s safer for cats to stay indoors, it can be difficult for them to cope with being an indoor cat, particularly if they have a lot of energy or have previously spent time outside. That being said, there are tips that can make cohabitation easier for everyone involved when owning an indoor cat.  Here are three ways to keep indoor felines happy, healthy, active, and entertained.

Microchip your kitty.

If your cat doesn’t go outdoors, it probably doesn’t wear a collar. However, despite your best efforts, the more adventurous cat may still manage to escape. To make a happy reunion all the more likely, have your kitty outfitted with a microchip. The tiny—but critical—tech can be implanted during a routine visit to the vet, without anesthesia. (If you’re adopting from a shelter, it’s often included as part of the whole package.) It hurts only as much as a typical vaccination, lasts a lifetime, and can be scanned at a shelter or vet to reveal a unique ID number that—through a registered database—can connect kitty back to (a hugely relieved) you.

Set the stage for Cat TV.

Frankly, cats aren’t quite as street savvy as we are. Indoor cats have a significantly higher chance of being hurt or killed if they venture outside. However, they’re intrigued by motion and smell, so a securely screened window (aka Cat TV) can give them a taste of the outdoors and provide hours of entertainment for watching birds, squirrels, trees, cars, and pedestrians. (Don’t have a screen or need to shut the window for heat or the AC? Just pull aside the curtains or blinds; a closed window will do just fine.)

Think vertical.

Brookside BarkeryCats love climbing and chilling at high levels. You can set up deluxe shelves, walkways, and perches for your cat to climb on.  Also be mindful of how you arrange furniture, as you can create “steps” for your kitty to go safely from one item to another (say, from a low cabinet to a taller dresser), especially if one perch would otherwise be too tall to jump to without an intermediary. Brookside Barkery has plenty of towers and perches that cats love, including our very own store cat, Willow!

It’s not required for your cat to go outside for a happy lifestyle! Be sure to play with your feline regularly and keep them entertained as much as possible. Stop by either our Lee’s Summit or Brookside locations and check out our cat toys, towers and scratching posts! Making sure your cat gets the exercise and entertainment they need is the key to owning a happy and healthy indoor cat!

*Thanks Moderncat.com for the tips on living with a kitty in the city!

Keep Your Dog Safe and Cool in the Summer Heat

Keep Your Dog Safe in the Summer Heat

Now that summer is here, your pup may be spending more time outside, and in hot temperatures. We have some excellent products to keep your dog cool here at the Barkery, including the Chilly Vest, the Cool Pet Pad, elevated pet bedswater bottles with attached bowls, and travel drinking bowls to name a few. And remember. PAVEMENT CAN BE SCORCHING.  On a 95 degree day, pavement might be 140 degrees!  So remember:  We’ve got socks to keep their feet safe AND we’ve got paw balm to heal and soothe as well as protect!

Also keep in mind that when participating in outdoor activities with your dog extra precautions need to be taken to ensure your pet’s safety because of the high temperatures. Modern Dog Magazine  shares tips on how to keep your dog cool and safe while still having fun.

2015-06-10_1333Dr. Mark Stickney, clinical associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, says that humans are not the only ones who need to be cautious when exercising during higher than average temperatures.

“Animals do things they normally wouldn’t do to stay cool, which is an important thing to remember when outside,” Stickney said. “If they are all riled up and having a good time, they may forget how hot it is, so it is important to always monitor them.”

Anytime you are outdoors or doing something active during the summer, it is important for you and your pets to take plenty of breaks. Although you may be used to handling the heat and are aware when you need to stop and rest, your pet, especially if they have a thick coat, may not fare as well in the summer months.

“Keep in mind that if you’re thirsty, your pet is most likely thirsty,” Stickney said. “Animals need plenty of access to fresh water. You can even try putting ice cubes in it to make it colder and more refreshing.”

However, the warm summer temperatures don’t mean you shouldn’t participate in outdoor activities with your pets. If you and Fido enjoy long walks to the neighborhood park, for example, just be sure that he has access to plenty of water throughout your trip. Bringing along a water bottle and bowl for him to drink from is always a good idea.

“Also keep in mind that pavement can get very hot in the summer,” Stickney said. “If your dogs don’t have thick foot pads, they could develop burns on their feet. Letting them walk on the grass instead of the concrete can help keep their foot pads from blistering.”

Any summertime activity that involves the water is good to partake in with your pet. Getting adequate exercise, while also being able to cool off in the water, is a perfect outdoor activity for Fido. However, keep in mind that they will still need to have clean drinking water available, as well as a shady place to rest once out of the water. Swimming for a long time can be draining on a dog not used to that type of physical exertion.

“If your pet does accidentally overdo it in the sun, there are signs you can watch out for,” Stickney said. “Panting, unresponsiveness, red whites of their eyes, and bright reddish gums can mean that your dog is overheated and needs a break.”

If you notice that your dog is beginning to exhibit any of these symptoms, stop activity immediately and allow them to get a drink and cool off indoors or in the shade.

Overall, be smart and safe when going on outings with your pets during the warm summer months. Monitor your pets closely, and be prepared to step in at the first sign of heat stress. They may be enjoying your time together so much that they don’t realize how hot and tired they really are!

Brookside Barkery

Keep Your Dog Safe in the Summer Heat!

Many people take advantage of the warm weather by making resolutions to get themselves and their pets in shape for summer. However, when participating in outdoor activities like walking or running during these high temperatures, extra precautions need to be taken to ensure your pet’s safety.

Dr. Mark Stickney, clinical associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, says that humans are not the only ones who need to be cautious when exercising during higher than average temperatures. “Animals do things they normally wouldn’t do to stay cool, which is an important thing to remember when outside,” Stickney said. “If they are all riled up and having a good time, they may forget how hot it is, so it is important to always monitor them.”

Anytime you are outdoors or doing something active during the summer, it is important for youBrookside Barkery and your pets to take plenty of breaks. Although you may be used to handling the heat and are aware when you need to stop and rest, your pet, especially if they have a thick coat, may not fare as well in the summer months. “Keep in mind that if you’re thirsty, your pet is most likely thirsty,” Stickney said. “Animals need plenty of access to fresh water. You can even try putting ice cubes in it to make it colder and more refreshing.”

However, the warm summer temperatures don’t mean you shouldn’t participate in outdoor activities with your pets. If you and your pet enjoy long walks to the neighborhood park, for example, just be sure that he has access to plenty of water throughout your trip. Bringing along a water bottle and bowl for him to drink from is always a good idea. “Also keep in mind that pavement can get very hot in the summer,” Stickney said. “If your dogs don’t have thick foot pads, they could develop burns on their feet. Letting them walk on the grass instead of the concrete can help keep their foot pads from blistering.”

Any summertime activity that involves the water is good to partake in with your pet. Getting adequate exercise, while also being able to cool off in the water, is a perfect outdoor activity. However, keep in mind that they will still need to have clean drinking water available, as well as a shady place to rest once out of the water. Swimming for a long time can be draining on a dog not used to that type of physical exertion. “If your pet does accidentally overdo it in the sun, there are signs you can watch out for,” Stickney said. “Panting, unresponsiveness, red whites of their eyes, and bright reddish gums can mean that your dog is overheated and needs a break.”

If you notice that your dog is beginning to exhibit any of these symptoms, stop activity immediately and allow them to get a drink and cool off indoors or in the shade. Overall, be smart and safe when going on outings with your pets during the warm summer months. Monitor your pets closely, and be prepared to step in at the first sign of heat stress. They may be enjoying your time together so much that they don’t realize how hot and tired they really are!

*Thanks Moderndogmagazine.com for the tips!

Brookside Barkery

The Benefits of Cat Ownership

We’ve all heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” But have you ever considered interacting with your pet as another way to prevent doctor visits? Many people are experiencing the social and health advantages of interacting with their four-legged friends. The proof is not only evident in happy pet owners’ faces, but also in recent studies. Professionals and researchers have found specific benefits in cat ownership.

For many people, cats offer social companionship without the fear of judgment. Having a cat around can prevent loneliness and depression and even improve your mood in general. Companionship through a cat is especially beneficial to those who live alone or are widowed. Dr. Jonathon Lidbury, assistant professor in the feline internal medicine department at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, explains the key advantages of owning a cat.

Brookside Barkery“Cats offer companionship, which is especially beneficial to people who are socially isolated due to various reasons,” he said. “Cats also offer stress relief and light exercise if you play with them.”

Besides social interaction and a reduced risk of suffering from social diseases like depression, cats also offer many health benefits. In fact, the positive emotions you experience from playing or cuddling with your feline can help boost your immune system. Cats can also sense when their owners are sick and often offer them company. This can help you feel better even sooner.

Although it is common to find someone who is allergic to cats, studies show that young children or infants who are exposed to cats often develop fewer allergies. Early and frequent exposure to cats may also prevent future upper respiratory problems in children as well.

For many people, interacting with their cat provides a sense of comfort and relief from everyday stress. Caring for another creature and being sensitive to their needs can help distract cat owners from their daily struggles, worries, and negative emotions. By lowering stress levels, cat owners may experience lower blood pressure as well as less anxiety. Cats are smart and independent animals that are also naturally clean, making them a great choice for a pet. Combined with their many health benefits, the low maintenance aspect of cat ownership creates a great opportunity for companionship.

“Cats offer a great balance between being easy to take care of but at the same time being very good companions,” Lidbury said. “They are playful, intelligent and engaging pets that are very fun to take care of.”

*Thanks Moderncat.com for the tips!