Protection Without the Needle: Is There a Better Way?

Many holistic veterinarians believe vaccinations create a large percentage of the new chronic disease we see in domestic animals, if not most. It’s also one of the few contributors to disease that we can actually control; whether and how much to vaccinate.

Vaccines are a hot topic among humans and pets alike, and the line between pro-vaccine camp and anti-vaxxers is pretty clear. This article from Dogs Naturally Magazine touches on the fallacy of thinking unvaccinated children and animals pose a great threat to those who are unvaccinated, and a better way to build immunity in your pet.

Are Vaccines Effective?

Many make this point in the face of logic. How can unvaccinated individuals pose a threat to those vaccinated, if indeed vaccines are effective?

The bigger question should be, “are vaccines effective at all, in the first place?” Historical data shows most epidemic diseases were already declining before vaccines began, and many books document this fact.

Homeopaths believe the best way to boost health is to give the most similar homeopathic remedy, as treatment or prevention, and avoid the potentially harmful effects of vaccines altogether.

If vaccinating in the first place is not the best idea, how much worse is the practice of annual revaccination or boosters? This common practice has no scientific merit and causes untold damage to animals in the form of chronic disease of all varieties. Homeopathy refers to this as vaccinosis or the chronic disease state resulting from vaccination. Not every animal vaccinated develops vaccinosis, but a large number shows signs of this imbalance or disease.

An Autoimmune Link to Chronic Disease

The well-known Purdue Study found that dogs develop autoimmunity to most key proteins in their bodies after a single vaccine, including their own DNA. This explains why most chronic diseases of dogs are believed to have an autoimmune basis. Because of this, many chronic problems due to vaccinosis will not respond to any treatment unless we address this condition first.

Many people are conditioned to believe that we should automatically vaccinate yearly, without question (including conventional veterinarians). Dr. Ronald D Schultz, PhD, has been studying the effectiveness of canine vaccines since the 1970s, and pointed out the lack of evidence for this approach back in the early 1990s in the veterinary textbook Current Veterinary Therapy XI.

Not Useful, Necessary, or Required

The rabies vaccine is the only legally required vaccine and should only be given to healthy animals, according to the vaccine label. The others are not useful, necessary, or required.

Rampant over-vaccination occurs in the name of policy and causes untold damage to our pets. Groomers, boarding kennels, and other pet services make vaccines a mandatory requirement regardless of the animal’s condition. The Barkery is proud to offer services to pets without vaccination history, and we recommend using other pet services that will accept vet vaccine waivers or titers as an alternative to revaccination.

A Better Way

There is a better way to build immunity instead of vaccination by keeping the immune system intact and well regulated, not confused or dysregulated. Excellent nutrition is the first key. Next, we look at the homeopathic option.

Homeoprophylaxis involves using homeopathic remedies, or specific types of remedies called nosodes. Nosodes are homeopathic medicines made from the natural products of disease and can help with immunity. Recently, an example of nosodes giving protection took place in Cuba, where more than two million people were protected by a nosode for leptospirosis. To learn more about the usefulness of nosodes, here.

Homeopathy can address the issue of epidemic disease in a way vaccines cannot. This is a very useful fact for anyone dealing with animals and is responsible for their wellbeing.

For more on over-vaccination, visit The Barkery’s Vaccine Advice page.

Tips to Protect Your Dog’s Paws From Hot Pavement

Summer is a great time to get out and about with your dog, but outdoor excursions in the heat have quite a few risks for pets and humans alike. There is a lot of buzz about educating pet owners about the dangers of leaving your pet in a hot car, but many guardians forget one important detail: hot pavement will burn a dog’s paws.

It can be tempting to bring your best friend with you everywhere you go, but it can cause serious harm to your dog if you’re not careful. It only takes a few moments on blazing hot asphalt for your dog’s paws to be injured, blistered, or cracked.

The 10 Second Rule:

Put the back of your hand on the pavement. If you cannot hold it there for 10 seconds it is too hot to walk. If the asphalt is so hot you could probably fry an egg on it, then it can burn your dog’s feet. Also keep in consideration that certain dog’s pads, especially puppies are not as adaptable to heat and may not be able to stand even temperatures you can.

Be mindful of hot surfaces – asphalt and metal (boat docks, car or truck surfaces) – and walk your dog in the shade or in the grass, early morning or later evening is best. Another tip is to lay down a wet towel for your dog to stand on when grassy areas are not available. It’s a good way to keep your pet’s feet cool while loading up the car.

Burned Pad First Aid

It’s important to keep the foot area cool and clean. As soon as you notice the problem, flush with cool water or a cool compress if available.

Get your dog to a grassy area, or carry him if possible. At first chance, have your vet examine your dog for signs of deeper burns, blisters, and possibility of infection. Your vet will determine if antibiotics or pain medication is needed.

Washing the feet with a gentle cleanser and keeping them clean is important in avoiding infection. Licking must be kept to a minimum. Some dogs will tolerate a sock to keep the area clean, but caution is advised for dogs that may chew or ingest the sock.

If you are walking your dog this summer, it can be helpful to condition his paw pads using Paw Balm. The Barkery best seller is 4-Legger Organic Healing Balm, which quickly sooths rough, irritated, or chapped paw pads. Although this paw pad conditioner helps to keep your dog’s feet moisturized, it is not made to withstand over 100 degree temperatures.

Bottom line – if the pavement is so hot you wouldn’t want to walk barefoot, your dog doesn’t want to either!


Free Food Delivery Zones Extended!

Free Food Delivery Zones Extended!

Brookside Barkery is bringing what’s best for your best friend to your doorstep! In order to serve you better, we have extended our FREE delivery zone within 5 miles of our Brookside and Lee’s Summit stores. If you live within these zones, you’re in luck!

To place an order, just call your local Brookside Barkery & Bath store and our experts will have it to your front door in 24 hours! Click here to learn more about our FREE local delivery service!

The Benefit of Antioxidants in Your Pet’s Diet

If you pay attention to matters of heath and aging, you’ve no doubt heard the term “free radicals,” which are unstable molecules that travel around in the body looking to bond with stable molecules in order to steal an electron and stabilize themselves. When they are successful, they create new unstable molecules. These molecules contribute to cancer and other diseases.

Since free radicals are produced during normal metabolic, cellular, and immune system activity, as well as external factors such as strenuous exercise, a poor diet, stress, pollution, and even sunlight, they are essentially unavoidable.

The good news is that nature provides a very powerful weapon against this degenerative process in the form of antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize the effect of free radicals and help protect the heart, brain, and other organs from oxidative stress.

Antioxidants Provide Huge Health and Longevity Benefits for Pets

Antioxidants gobble up the toxic free radicals in your pet’s body before they can harm healthy cells and tissue, thereby reducing oxidative stress that leads to DNA damage. Antioxidants play a key role in longevity, and high levels of antioxidants are commonly seen in the “oldest old” among us. Several studies of older dogs have proved the benefits of an antioxidant-rich diet for the aging canine brain.

The results of a seven-year study of 90 kitties ages 7-17 who were fed an antioxidant-rich diet showed fewer decreases in lean muscle mass; improved body weight, lean body mass, skin thickness and red cell quality; decreased incidence of disease; general improvement in quality of life; and significantly longer lifespan! The same is true for dogs.

Most commercially available pet foods contain synthetic vitamins and minerals that provide minimal nutrition, not optimum nutrition. AAFCO recommendations may sustain life, but do not nourish animals the way nature intended. Your dog or cat’s body is designed to absorb nutrients from fresh, living foods very efficiently. Antioxidants are contained in the vitamins in fresh foods, including:

  • Vitamin A and carotenoids, which are found in bright colored fruits and veggies like apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, peaches, squash, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes
  • Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits and strawberries, as well as green peppers, broccoli, and green leafy veggies
  • Vitamin E, found in nuts, seeds, and whole grains
  • Selenium, found in protein sources like fish, chicken, beef, and eggs

Phytochemicals also contain antioxidant properties:

  • Flavonoids/polyphenols are in cranberries and tea
  • Lycopene is in tomatoes and watermelon
  • Lutein sources are dark green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and kale
  • Lignan is found in flax seed and certain other grains

It’s very important to work with a holistic veterinarian or other knowledgeable source when it comes to adding antioxidants to your pet’s diet. Providing the right balance will improve your pet’s quality and longevity of life! For more, please visit Dr. Karen Becker’s article.



Pet Cancer Awareness

May is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that cancer accounts for nearly 50% of disease-related deaths in pets each year? In fact, of the estimated 75 million dogs and 85 million cats in the United States, roughly 6 million pets will be diagnosed with cancer. Studies have found that approximately 1 in 4 dogs and 1 in 5 cats will develop cancer during their lifetime. And because pet cancer is one of the leading causes of disease-related death for our pets, every May and November is dedicated to Pet Cancer Awareness. We hope this post will provide you with information about pet cancer and what to expect if your pet is diagnosed.

Early Signs of Cancer in Pets

Due to the many different types of cancer in pets, there is a wide range of signs and symptoms your pet can exhibit. However, here are the most common signs of cancer to look for in your pets:

  • Lumps and bumps
  • Abnormal odors
  • Abnormal discharges
  • Non-healing wounds
  • Weight loss or muscle mass loss
  • Change in appetite
  • Coughing or difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy or depression
  • Changes in bathroom habits
  • Evidence of pain

To read more about each sign listed above, visit PetMD’s “Top Ten Signs of Cancer in Pets” article. If your pet displays any of these symptoms, contact your primary veterinarian right away.

What Happens if Your Pet is Diagnosed With Cancer

Just as in human healthcare, the first step before determining treatment is to go through the diagnosis and staging process.

Diagnosis – Confirms the specific type of cancer your pet has.

Staging – Establishes the extent of the cancer, and if it has spread.

The tests involved in diagnosis and staging include:

  • Needle aspiration
  • Biopsy
  • Blood work
  • Diagnostic imaging

After determining the type and stage of cancer your pet has, your veterinarian will determine which treatment option will be best.

How Pet Cancer is Treated

Many treatments and therapies to treat cancer in pets do not have the same side effects as they do in people. Due to the lower dosages pets receive, there are significantly fewer side effects, and most pets tolerate treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy quite well.

Treatment options will depend on the type of cancer and may be done alone or in combination:

How to Prevent Cancer in Your Pet

While there is no definite way to prevent your pet from getting cancer, here are some ways to reduce the risk in your furry family member:

  • Schedule annual wellness checkups with your veterinarian, and twice-yearly check ups if your pet is older.
  • Assess your pet’s body regularly and check for any lumps/bumps regularly. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you discover anything abnormal.
  • Feed your pet a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Help your pet maintain a healthy weight.
  • Protect your pet from sunburns to prevent melanoma – especially for pets with short fur.
  • Reduce toxins in your pet’s living space, such as secondhand smoke, pesticides, cleansers with harsh chemicals, and other toxins.
  • Consider titering as an alternative to annual vaccinations. Over-vaccinating your pet heightens risk of cancer.


Brookside Barkery

Unexpected Cat Care Tips

A few tips you may not have heard before to help care for your feline:

Cats Love Running Water

A pet drinking fountain is one of the best investments you can make for your cat’s health.  Cats find cool, running water appealing — it’s a natural behavior, because stream water is less likely to be contaminated than a stagnant pool.  Cats tend to be chronically dehydrated, and feline fountains are proven to get cats to drink more water. Many feline health problems can be aided with proper hydration, and it’s more efficient than leaving a faucet dripping to entice your cat to drink.

Saliva = Allergy Warning

While no cat is guaranteed to not be an allergy trigger, it’s possible to pick a pet who might be less of a problem.  Black, unneutered males are purported the worst choice for people with allergies, since they typically have higher levels of Fe;D1 in their saliva, the protein that triggers sneezing and wheezing. Some breeds of cat, most notably the Siberian, have with low levels of FelD1. If you’re paying for a  “hypo-allergenic” cat, insist on saliva testing. If you’re choosing a kitten, choose a light-colored female, and get her spayed.

Panting Is a Problem

Dogs pant up to 300 times a minute to cool themselves, but if you see your cat panting it may be a medical emergency. While sometimes it can just be from extreme anxiety, it can also be a sign of respiratory or cardiovascular problems, warranting an immediate call to the veterinarian.

Canned Cat Food Is Preferred

Veterinarians recommend feeding canned cat food over kibble. Canned foods have a higher percentage of protein and fat than dry foods and are significantly higher in water content than kibble (70 percent vs 10 percent). Also, canned foods tend to be more palatable to cats that are finicky, elderly or have dental problems.  Better health for your cat can start by closing the all-day kitty kibble buffet and feeding measured amounts of a good canned food. Talk to your veterinarian.

Want a Cat to Love You? Give the Cold Shoulder

What can you do to get a cat to come to you? Avoid eye contact. Cats don’t like eye contact with strangers, so will almost always go to the person who’s not looking at them. This also is the answer to the age-old mystery of why cats always seem to go to the one person in the room who doesn’t like cats. It’s because she may be the only one not “rudely” — in the cat’s view — staring.

The Tail, Translated

You can tell a cat’s mood by watching his tail. Tail upright, happy; tail moving languidly, keep petting me; tail low, twitching erratically, I’m on the prowl; tail swishing rapidly, beware and leave me alone. If you’ve ever been surprised when a cat you’re petting suddenly grabs you angrily, you missed a tail tale: The unhappy twitch of the tail tip would have told you to stop petting, now.

Surprising Signs of a Cat in Pain

Chronic pain is not uncommon in cats, especially as they age. Cat-lovers miss the signs of a pet in pain because cats are good at hiding it. Any cat observed as being hesitant to jump up or climb, not using the litter box, not able to groom themselves as well, more aggressive or more withdrawn need to see the veterinarian. These are classic signs of discomfort, and need to be addressed.

What Litter Do Cats Really Prefer?

Forget the people-pleasing scents. Forget special formulas or alternative ingredients. Your cat is more likely to prefer unscented clumping litter, according to preference tests. And if you want to keep your cat using “the bathroom,” be sure to keep it clean, place it in a quiet, cat-friendly place and don’t use any liners in the box — cats don’t like them. None of these changes will address a cat who has stopped using the box because of illness. Urinary tract infections and other health issues need to be addressed by your veterinarian before box re-training can commence.

How to Prevent a Finicky Cat

Feed your kitten a few different foods so he or she will experience different textures and flavors of food. Just as people typically stick with the toothpaste they start with as youngsters, cats who are only exposed to one type of food will be less likely try other brands and kinds. That can be a real problem if the favored food goes off the market, or your cat needs to eat a special food for health reasons. So mix it up on your kitten.

Don’t Toss That Ratty Scratching Post

When a post starts looking worn is when a cat starts liking it best. Get a new one and your cat may switch to the arm of the couch. Instead, refresh your cat’s post by adding some coils of fresh sisal rope — it’s cheap, easy to add and cats love to dig their claws into it.