Why Do Cats Love Cardboard Boxes?

No matter how extravagant the cat toy, it’s a known fact that cats are more interested in one thing – the cardboard box it came in. But, why is this? The cat lovers at Brookside Barkery have gotten to the bottom of why our feline friends are drawn to their cardboard castles.


For cats, boxes are a stress reducing safe zone. When hiding in their box, they can observe their environment while eliminating the option of a predator sneaking up on them. Us humans and other pets have to come directing into their field of vision – so no surprises are in store. When cats get spooked, their initial reaction is to run and hide. The perfect safe space? A cardboard box!


Cardboard boxes make for great insulation! The combination of cardboard’s insulation and the small space of a box makes for the perfect area for your kitty to curl up and relax. Whether your home is hot or cold, the insulation of a cardboard box help regulate your cat’s body temperature – creating the perfect temperature for a cat nap.


Cardboard is the perfect texture for your cat to scratch and bite. Cats love the feeling of digging their claws into a cardboard box while stretching or simply just to play. Many cat owners find their cats have shredded their cardboard box to bits after all of their biting and scratching. To your kitty, a simple cardboard box is interesting enough to keep them entertained for days.

While all of these reasons make up why cats love cardboard boxes, they all seem to have one thing in common – cats love confined, enclosed spaces. So, the next time your kitty doesn’t acknowledge the fancy toy you bought them and goes straight for the box, remember they are safe, cozy and entertained.

Be Informed: The Truth Behind the FDA Investigation into DCM and Grain-Free Diets for Dogs

The FDA continues to investigate a potential dietary link between canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and dogs eating certain grain-free dog foods, despite any solid conclusions.

On June 27, 2019, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued an update on its investigation connecting certain canine diets and Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), a type of canine heart disease, to grain-free diets. DCM impacts less than 1% of dogs in the U.S., with only .000007% reportedly related to diet.

DCM occurs when a dog’s heart muscle creates an enlarged heart. As the heart and its chambers become dilated, it becomes harder for the heart to pump, potentially causing heart valves to leak, which can lead to a buildup of fluids in the chest and abdomen, otherwise known as congestive heart failure. DCM is prevalent in larger dogs, with multiple possible causes, including taurine (a sulfur-containing amino acid important in the metabolism of fats) deficiency, a well-documented as a potential cause of DCM.

However, the FDA is focused more on diet as a cause despite The American Veterinary Medical Association estimating 77 million pet dogs in the United States, with the majority eating pet food without apparently developing DCM.

The dog foods in question are those containing legumes such as peas, chickpeas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes listed as primary ingredients. The FDA began investigating this matter after it received reports of DCM in dogs that had been eating these diets for a period of months to years. However, the FDA has little evidence to make any final conclusions or to take any action.

The FDA continues to believe that the potential association between canine diet and DCM is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors, and that the actual cause has still yet to be determined.

Facts from the FDA investigation:

• Among all the cases from all brands that were reported to the FDA, the overwhelming majority of impacted dogs belonged to breeds genetically predisposed to DCM, a disease that was first discovered in the 1980’s, well before the grain-free diets were available for pets.
• The DCM cases reported to the FDA included dogs who ate both grain and grain-free diets.
• Three veterinarians that assisted the FDA in their investigation published an article in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical that stated,

The extent of this issue is not clear, not all cases have been confirmed to be linked to diet, and a true association has not been proven to exist.

Millions of dogs that suffer from gluten allergies are able to live healthy lives because of grain-free solutions like those carried at Brookside Barkery and Bath. If you switched to your dog to a grain-free diet, think back to the reasons why you made the decision. Maybe to help prevent leaky gut syndrome, eliminate food sensitivities or intolerances to a particular grain or to maintain optimal weight in your dog. The list goes on.

If you are concerned, have your veterinarian measure your dog’s methionine, cysteine and taurine levels in both whole blood and plasma, and send it to a diagnostic laboratory experienced with the appropriate reference ranges for circulating taurine. If the levels are lower than normal, discuss the appropriate next steps with your veterinarian.


The Benefits of Probiotics for Your Pet

Probiotic supplements are everywhere – you may even be taking one yourself! Just like us humans, probiotics have many benefits for your pet as well.

Probiotics are nutritional supplements containing live microorganisms (bacteria and/or yeast) which aid digestion and regulate the immune system. When a probiotic is ingested by your pet, it boosts the number of “good” microorganisms present in the GI tract, which helps them to outnumber the “bad” ones.

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

Brookside Barkery’s Favorite Probiotic Products:

NoteWe recommend rotating products to ensure a better balance in the gut.

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!

Want more information on the benefits of probiotic supplements for your pet? Come by either Brookside or Lee’s Summit Barkery location today! A member of our knowledgeable staff will help you select the best probiotic supplement for your pet to keep their health on track.

July Sale – Primal & Koha

Save $$$ on Primal & Koha pet food this month at the Barkery.

KOHA Pet Food

  • Buy 2 get 1 FREE all cat cans
  • $1 off all dog cans


Primal Pet Food

  • $3 off 3lb Frozen
  • $4 off 4lb Frozen
  • $5 off 6lb Frozen
  • $4 off 14oz Freeze Dried
  • Buy 1 get 1 FREE all treats

Plus – Primal is offering a “Build a Bowl” special with $4 off different frozen supplements each week!


Protect Your Pup’s Paws from Scorching Pavement with Pawks!

You may have seen what can happen to canine paws that come in contact with severely hot pavement.

It is heartbreaking to see our four-legged friends endure so much pain from doing one of the things they enjoy the most: going for a walk. Have you ever been at the pool and walked on hot pavement? Now imagine that feeling but much worse. Thankfully, PAWks, protective socks for your pal, were created to help with this very dangerous issue. PAWks feature an anti-slip wrap around silicone sole to keep the socks securely on your dog’s feet. Just like humans need protective footwear, so do our furry friends.

Here are a few other conditions where PAWks can come in handy:

  • Cold weather (not recommended for ice, however)
  • Salted sidewalks or streets
  • Other debris getting into the paws
  • Avoid scratches on your leather furniture or hardwood floors

Protect your pup from the scorching heat in Kansas City this summer with PAWks Indoor/Outdoor socks today! Stop in to either our Brookside or Lee’s Summit location, or order from the convenience of your home. 

Apoquel Users Beware: The Anti-Itch Drug That’s a Nightmare in Disguise

Did you know that allergy and itch issues are the #1 reason pets are seen at the vet?

It’s true. And if you happen to be a pet owner that has a four-legged friend that suffers from allergies, itching and inflammation, you’re all too familiar with the endless vet trips, creams, medications, etc. that go hand-in-hand with this unfortunate problem. And how many times have you resorted to Benadryl? Your pet has likely also been given one of the following diagnoses for the cause:

  • Flea allergy dermatitis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Food allergy dermatitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Sarcoptic mange
  • Demodectic mange

And in 2014, Apoquel comes onto the scene and is initially touted as a miracle drug for itchy dogs. Hooray! But not so fast – isn’t it true that anything deemed a cure-all is usually proven otherwise over time?

How it Works (and Doesn’t)

The immune system is vital to our, and our pets, survival. When we experience an immune event, AKA “cascade”, a series of chemical messages and events occur that help us recover and get back to healthy, much like when we have a virus and our immune system goes to work to help us bounce back. Cytokines are one of the groups of immune messengers at play. These small molecules signal cells to address infection, activate chemicals, etc. In short, they help us heal.

Side Effects

Now, guess what happens to be an immunosuppressant? You called it: Apoquel. Apoquel essentially shuts cytokines down. Now apply this knowledge to your itchy pet. If you’ve given your dog Apoquel, have you noticed any of the following issues?

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • New cutaneous lumps
  • New subcutaneous lumps
  • Increased lipase and cholesterol
  • Pneumonia
  • UTIs
  • Skin infections
  • Ear infections
  • Histiocytomas
  • Increased aggression
  • Development of polydipsia

Here are some of the long-term serious issues that have been reported due to use of the drug, taken from Dogs Naturally Magazine:

  • One dog was euthanized after developing abdominal ascites and pleural effusion of unknown etiology after 450 days of APOQUEL administration.
  • Six dogs were euthanized because of suspected malignant neoplasms.
  • Two dogs each developed a Grade II mast cell tumor after 52 and 91 days.
  • One dog developed low grade B-cell lymphoma after 392 days.
  • Two dogs each developed an apocrine gland adenocarcinoma (one dermal, one anal sac) after approximately 210 and 320 days.
  • One dog developed a low-grade oral spindle cell sarcoma after 320 days.

So Now What?

So, how can you give your itchy pup some relief?


Food allergies don’t end with humans. Sometimes simply changing your dog’s food can make a world of difference for their allergies. Check out our Pet Wellness Assessment Kit to pinpoint your pet’s food intolerances or ask any Barkery team member for advice on what might help make a difference for your dog when stop in!

Bathing Regularly

Regular baths will help to reduce symptoms associated with allergies. And of course, we can definitely help you with this at the Barkery!

Flea Protection

A single flea bite can cause an allergic reaction that will drive your pup insane! We highly recommend trying a natural flea allergy remedy as conventional flea medication has a slew of potential adverse reactions for your pup. Check out our online store for some more natural treatment options.


Animal gut health is also crucial to keeping your pup happy – and hopefully itch-free. Check out our supplement options here.


CBD oil supports pups with sensitive skin – helping them maintain calmer skin. We offer a wide range of CBD oils for dogs – stop in to browse our selection and find out which one will work best!

Now that you’re up to speed on treating your pup’s itchiness with natural remedies instead of a medicine with a dark side, time to get your pup some relief!


Create a Custom Pet Nose Imprint Charm for World Pet Memorial Day

Losing a beloved pet can be one of the most devastating experiences of one’s life.

Having something special to remember your pet by is typically something we don’t consider when our pets are still happy and healthy. So, for World Pet Memorial Day, why not create a keepsake that will last a lifetime?

Pet Nose Print Pendants are a unique way to ensure you have a memory of your four-legged friend that you can wear. These heirloom quality treasures are available in silver or gold and make great gifts that can be worn many different ways. Plus, friends and family will be interested to hear about the story behind the pendant, giving you the opportunity to share precious memories of your best friend with others.

Now through June 30, 2019, you can pick up a Pet Nose Print Pendant kit and save $5!

Here’s how it works:

Stop in to either Brookside Barkery and Bath location (Brookside or Lee’s Summit) to pick yours up today!

$5 off offer expires Sunday, June 30, 2019. 

A Natural Solution for Fleas, Ticks & Mosquitoes

Protecting your pack from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes is most likely at the top of your list of priorities this summer. Wondercide’s natural flea & tick treatment for dogs, cats, and home is proven to kill, repel, and prevent 98-100% of fleas, ticks and mosquitoes without harmful chemicals, protecting your loved ones smartly and safely.

This  month at the Barkery, ALL Wondercide products are 20% off.

KILLS AND REPELS. A preventative and a treatment, this spray is a natural flea and tick repellent for dogs and cats, as well as a natural flea and tick killer. It effectively kills the full life cycle of fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

WORKS ON CARPET & FURNITURE. This spray is also a natural indoor flea treatment for home. It kills fleas in carpet, furniture, bedding, and flooring, and eliminates adults, eggs, and larvae in the home without staining.

SAFE FOR DOGS & CATS. Gentle enough to use several times a week on dogs and cats of all ages, yet powerful enough to fully eliminate pests on the skin and provide lasting repellency. Four great scents made from the highest-quality essential oils.

NO HARSH CHEMICALS. This natural spray is a safe, natural alternative to drops, pills and collars. No artificial colors, fragrances or synthetic pesticides. Made in the USA from human food-grade ingredients, and it’s completely safe around children.



Try our NEW Line of Essence Pet Food

We’ve got a lot going on at the Barkery this month! First and foremost, we’re excited to announce the launch of Essence Pet Food, a premium kibble and canned dog & cat food with 85% animal protein ingredients. To celebrate the launch of this protein-packed pet food, we’re giving away a $500 Brookside Barkery Gift Card at each of our stores! If you buy Essence this month, you’ll be entered into our drawing!

  • 1 Large Bag of Dog Food = 3 Entries (plus a FREE Primal Goat Milk or Elixir)
  • 1 Medium Bag of Dog or Cat Food = 2 Entries
  • 1 Small Bag of Dog or Cat Food = 1 Entry
  • 3 Dog Cans = 1 Entry
  • 6 Cat Cans = 1 Entry

In addition to this giveaway, we’ve got a couple other great savings for our pack members.

Wondercide All-Natural Flea & Tick products are 20% off ALL month long!

AND for a limited time only, 3lb bags of Primal Raw Quail Nuggets are buy one, get one free.  If your dog is all “chickened” out, stop in & grab some Primal Quail before they’re all gone! (This offer valid 6/1/19-6/15/19).