Is Natural Cat Litter for Your Cat?

If you are like most consumers, then you want choices when it comes to your cat litter — perhaps even “greener” choices. Long gone are the days when you could only choose from a handful of litters. So which ones are the most popular and why?

Natural Litters Explained

First, if you are worried about giving up your precious clumping litter, don’t. Like their clay- or silicon-based counterparts, both clumping and non-clumping natural litters are available. That means you don’t necessarily have to dump out the whole litter box of litter after every use. Instead, with natural clumping litters, you can just lift out the scoopable urine and fecal ball clumps, dispose of them properly, and voilà — all done.   Many natural cat litters are also biodegradable and completely renewable. Some of the more popular natural litter materials include cedar, sawdust, pine, corn, beet pulp, soybean, wheat, and recycled paper products. There are even a few natural litters that can be incinerated, composted, and/or used as mulch (so long as it’s not used on food plant beds).

What You Should Know

However, as with all things, there are some things to take into consideration when using certain types of natural litters. Scented litters may irritate cats with asthma and other breathing issues; due to their dehydrating and expanding properties, some natural clumping litters may be harmful if ingested in large quantities; and despite the fact natural litters are made from environmentally friendly materials, they should not be flushed down the toilet — this is because cat feces (and thus “used” litter) may contain the dangerous T. gondii parasite, which sewage treatment plants are incapable of eradicating from the water. Of course, many of these things should be taken into consideration when choosing “regular” cat litter too.

So consult your veterinarian about making the switch to natural cat litter and ask your friends about their experiences with your favorite brand. Some may be better at clumping and controlling odors than others. With any luck, you’ll be scooping up your Kitty’s little “presents” from your new natural cat litter before you know it. Best of all, you can do it knowing the litter is environmentally friendly.

Source: Pet MD

Keep Your Dog Cool or Warm with Kumfy Coats and Harnesses

Now available at the Barkery – Kumfy Tailz Koatz and Harnesses!

Whether your pup is in need of a cool off, or a warm up, these products are designed to utilize gel pack technology to assist dogs in maintaining a healthy body temperature regardless of their age, breed, injury, cardiovascular issue, or even just adverse weather conditions.

“Our products have been veterinarian designed to work in conjunction with a canine’s natural physiology by applying the therapeutic powers of warming and cooling to its core, where not only are the skin and fur are the thinnest, but also where the majority of the major organs and vasculature are located.” – Kumfy Tailz site

The Kumfy Pax is a puncture-resistant nylon/pvc enclosure filled with a homeopathic, non-toxic UltraGel. Freeze or microwave the Kumfy Pax and simply insert into the special Kumfy Pouch, where it helps to keep your dog warm or cool for up to an hour.

Kumfy Tailz is also a high-quality dog harness you can use year-round, with or without the Kumfy Pax.  Kumfy Tailz has been designed with input from licensed veterinarians and thoughtful dog owners all over the US.


Beware of Blue Buffalo Pet Food

You’ve probably noticed that we don’t sell Blue Buffalo at the Barkery. We only sell all natural pet foods, and Blue Buffalo has recently been sued by Purina for not living up to their “all natural” claims in television commercials.

From Businessweek:

At the executive offices of Blue Buffalo, in Wilton, Conn., Labradors and golden retrievers wander the halls, nosing around for lunch leftovers, and members of William Bishop’s 300-person workforce all call the 75-year-old founder and chairman Bill. A basketball and lacrosse player at Ohio-Wesleyan University in the late 1950s, Bishop, 6-foot-5, walks with a slight slouch but retains the loping gait of a college jock. His white hair thinning, he wears an open purple shirt over a black tee, blue jeans, a cloth belt decorated with skulls and crossbones, and running shoes the size of rowboats. He notes proudly that his sons, Billy and Chris, have senior executive jobs, making “the Buff,” as he calls the company, “a real family operation.”

Started in 2002 and propelled by advertising techniques the elder Bishop honed hawking Kool-Aid, Tang, and later SoBe, a beverage company he co-founded in the 1990s, Blue Buffalo last year tallied $1 billion in sales, making it America’s fastest-growing major purveyor of dog and cat food and the largest specializing in the all-natural kibble niche. He named his latest company in memory of Blue, a beloved family Airedale. The Buffalo part reflects his affection for cowboys, Indians, and Western kitsch. “Also it’s good to have a strong icon that people will remember,” he explains. “SoBe had the lizard. The Buff has the American buffalo.” Undercutting the Great Plains motif, orange-labeled bottles of Veuve Clicquot Champagne line shelves outside Bishop’s corner office. “You have to like to drink to work here,” he jokes. “We’ve had a lot to celebrate.”

The company’s rise can be measured not only by its near-ubiquitous retail presence but by pervasive advertising that Bishop boasts is deliberately “in-your-face,” and encourages “pet parents” to compare the Buff to the competition. Blue Buffalo’s television spots and Internet videos have become so familiar they’ve been parodied onSaturday Night Live. The mock commercial for “Blue River” dog food aired on NBC in April. Guest host Seth Rogen and SNL cast member Cecily Strong played the sort of overwrought consumers who philosophize about pet nutrition in Blue Buffalo’s actual ads. The characters suffer an emotional meltdown as they discuss what they’ve fed their bug-eyed pug mix, Peanut.

Purina is notably not amused. The St. Louis-based company, owned by the Swiss conglomerate Nestlé, has manufactured feed and animal chow for 120 years. It controls about a third of the $20 billion-a-year pet food market but lately has seen customers lured away by such premium brands as Hill’s, Merrick, and Blue Buffalo.

Competition is one thing, but executives at Purina headquarters say they can’t abide Bishop’s advertising, which they claim is misleading. Contrary to its carefully cultivated reputation for authenticity, Blue Buffalo “is built on lies,” alleges Steven Crimmins, Purina’s normally even-tempered chief marketing officer for U.S. pet food. Although Bishop stresses his company is family run, “they’re owned by a big Wall Street firm [and] outsource all their manufacturing,” Crimmins says, not trying to disguise his indignation. “Their key ingredient claims aren’t true, and they have a history of exaggerating what their products do.”

In May, Purina sued Blue Buffalo in federal court in St. Louis for false advertising, commercial disparagement, and unjust enrichment. Bishop’s lawyers fired back with equally heated counterclaims about an unlawful Purina “smear campaign” seeking “to stem the exodus of Nestlé Purina customers to Blue Buffalo.” In a taunting open letter posted on his company’s website, Bishop accused the larger company of relying on “voodoo science” when it cited in its court papers lab tests supposedly showing that Blue Buffalo used poultry byproduct meal—an ingredient Bishop’s company promises “never” to include.

KC Pet Project Teams Up with Matt Besler and Minsky’s Pizza

We have an exciting announcement to share on behalf of KC Pet Project!

Thanks to a special partnership KC Pet Project has made with Minsky’s PizzaTime Warner CableSporting Kansas City player Matt Besler, and his adopted dog Gipper, when you order pizza online at and enter the promo code “Matt 5” throughout the month of August, 5% of your purchase will be donated back to KC Pet Project. Plus, you will receive 5% off your online purchase AND Minsky’s will match the 5% donation from your order. That’s 10% off each online order going back to the KCPP! 

This offer is valid at all Minsky’s locations in Kansas City and Lawrence through August 31, 2014.

As a strong supporter of KCPP , The Barkery is proud to share this amazing deal with you and  your friends. We hope you order lots of Kansas City’s best pizza to help your local homeless pets!

Dog Friendly Patios in Kansas City

Why dine out without your dog?

We’ve been working on a list of all the great restaurants that allow dogs on their patio here in KC. Here’s what we’ve found so far! And please remember to take well behaved animals into public places.


301 E 55th Street

Kansas City, MO

(816) 333-3305

blue bird bistro

1700 Summit St

Kansas City, MO

(816) 221-7559

Boozefish Wine Bar

1511 Westport Road

Kansas City, MO 64111

(816) 561-5995


4124 Pennsylvania

Kansas City, MO 64111

(816) 531-7878


1809 Westport Road

Kansas City, MO


3904 Bell St

Kansas City, MO, 64111

(816) 531-0550


417 E. 18th St

Kansas City, MO

(816) 472-5454

Happy Gillis Cafe & Hangout

549 Gillis St

Kansas City, MO

(816) 471-3663


3044 Gillham Rd

Kansas City, MO 64108

KC Smoke Burgers

1610 West 39th Street

Kansas City, MO

(816) 931-4455

Le Fou Frog

400 E Fifth St

Kansas City, MO

(816) 474-6060


101 W 22nd St

Kansas City, MO

(816) 221-3722

Louie’s Wine Dive

7100 Wornall Road

Kansas City, MO 64114

(816) 569-5097

McCoy’s Public House

4057 Pennsylvania

Kansas City, MO 64111

(816) 960-0866


500 W 75th St

Kansas City, MO


The Mixx

405 Main Street

Parkville, MO

(816) 505-9463

Westside Local

1663 Summit Street

Kansas City, MO 64108

(816) 997-9089


6227 Brookside Plaza

Kansas City, MO 64113

(816) 214-8454

Gusto Coffee Bistro

3390 SW Fascination Drive

Lee’s Summit, MO 64081

(816) 767-1100



Puppies and Kittens Loose Teeth

Do Puppies and Kittens Lose Their Baby Teeth?

Just like human children, puppies and kittens lose their baby teeth. These teeth are also called “milk teeth” or in medical terms, deciduous teeth. Whatever the name, the process is the same.

Puppies and kittens have sharp, needle-like teeth, as some of you know first hand. The teeth erupt at 3-4 weeks of age. By age 6 weeks or so, these emerging teeth often irritate the nursing mother, and the weaning process begins. The baby teeth are a bit translucent, and not very big.

The start time and duration of the transition from baby teeth to adult teeth varies with each individual animal, but in general, the loss of baby teeth usually starts about 3 months of age and ends by 6 to 9 months of age. During this time, you may notice increased chewing activity, especially in puppies. Shoes, sticks, play toys, and whatever they can get their mouths on. This may be part exploration and in part an effort to reduce any discomfort they feel during the teething process.

Animals that do not lose their baby teeth have a condition called retained deciduous teeth. It is often the canine teeth (the “fangs” in both dogs and cats) that are retained. Retained teeth should be removed, usually at the time of spay or neuter, to prevent other problems from developing. Removal of these retained teeth allows the adult teeth to grow in properly and prevents breakage or infection of the more fragile baby teeth.

You may find the baby teeth on the carpet, stuck in a play toy, or in your pet’s fur. Most often, the lost teeth are hard to find. Many animals swallow them, which is considered part of the normal process.

The gums should heal quickly after the baby tooth loss. The adult teeth are more dense, bright white and much larger then the outgoing baby teeth. Now is the time to take care of those teeth! Getting your pet used to a dental care routine while young is the best way to ensure dental health later on. It is also much easier to start with a “clean slate” of nice white teeth and healthy gums.

Why Danny O’Neill Brings His Dog to the Barkery

Danny O’Neill, aka “Bean Baron” and President of The Roasterie, is a longtime customer who shared with us why he shops and grooms his dog at Brookside Barkery and Bath:

“We bring all of our pets to the Barkery – they love dogs here and they understand that every dog has a unique personality. We drop her (Chewy) off and don’t worry a bit about her. Many years ago we read an article on what was in dog food and it just absolutely scared us. We only buy dog food here at the Barkery. We know that the Barkery only sources wholesome, healthy food. This is the only place we get dog food. It’s scary what they put in some dog food, but you don’t have to worry about that when you shop at The Barkery.”

We couldn’t have said it better! Our mission at the Barkery is “Better Health through Better Nutrition” and our goal is to provide the most up-to-date holistic health information with the best customer service possible. As the pioneering all-natural pet food store and bathing facility in the area, we’re dedicated to being the leader in customer service, pet care knowledge and quality products. Our driving passion is helping owners provide only the best for their animal companion. To help fulfill that mission, we offer the largest selection of natural pet food in Kansas City.

If you’ve not tried Brookside Barkery and Bath, take it from our loyal customers: There is a difference!


When Does “Fat Cat” Become Dangerous?

No, we’re not talking politics here. But we are talking more like Garfield. Sure, everybody loves him even though he is overweight and eats lasagna, but when does an overweight cat become a health hazard?

Here are some notes from Kathy Blumenstock of Pet MD

Their squishy purring roundness makes us want to hug chubby cats as if they’re furry pillows, chuckling at their tubby tabby profiles. But instead, we should feel bad for fat cats, who did not get that way by indulging in too many desserts or daily whipped-cream-topped coffee drinks.

Fat cats are cause for concern among veterinarians and feline lovers because overweight cats are vulnerable to serious health concerns: diabetes, kidney, liver and heart problems, stress on joints, to name a few. Scientific studies on cats have found that more than half the cats in the U.S. are either overweight or obese. No wonder the Guinness Book of World Records eliminated its ‘world’s fattest cat’ category to discourage people from overfeeding their cats in hopes of reaching a record.

How do you know your cat needs to trim down? Can you see his waistline? Does he have folds of fat that swing when he walks? Can you feel his ribs?  Most vets say a cat with more than 20 percent body fat is overweight, and while factors such as age, bone structure and lifestyle come into play, a cat who tips the scale at more than 11 pounds is generally too heavy. Most likely, he got that way from too much free feeding on dry food, calorie-packed but easy for busy pet parents to offer. And those treats to substitute for playtime! But no need for a guilt trip: you may have contributed to your cat’s weight problem, but now you’re going to help him fix it.

Consulting your vet is the first stop, as she will check to be certain your cat is not suffering of those weight-related health problems, including skin conditions, food allergies or bladder stones. She’ll recommend the right food and portion size to help your friend slim down. Never ever abruptly cut a cat’s servings or change his food type in hopes of fast results. Starving a cat causes severe liver problems as his body tries to metabolize its own fat. Instead, gradually incorporate the newly prescribed food and amounts, making adjustments till the cat is on his new menu plan. Weight loss should also be slow: a feline pound is the equivalent of 10 people pounds.  Your vet gets the final say, but about a pound or even 10 ounces in a month is a great loss rate. Once-monthly weigh-ins/measurements will prove you’re both on the right track.

Your cat may object to the switch from ‘all you can eat’ to scheduled meals. A timer feeder, especially when you’re not home, will give your cat something to look forward to.  Surprise him with a new cat tree to climb, encouraging him to become more active. Extra play and cuddle time when you’re around will confirm that fun doesn’t all come from food. As the weight comes off, your fave feline will feel more energetic and brighter, and those nine lives we so prize will be long, healthy ones.


Why Gregg Johnson Relies on the Barkery

Gregg Johnson, Founder and CEO of restaurant concepts Minsky’s Pizza, Osteria IL Centro and eggtc., is a longtime customer who shared with us why he shops and grooms his three dogs at Brookside Barkery and Bath:

“The dogs are part of our family. Sometimes it feels like it’s their world and we are living in it! As pet parents we want to keep them around as long as possible, so we feed them the best food available. That’s why we relied on the Barkery from day one – because of their knowledge of the food and products they carry. We have a lot of trust in the owners and staff. Besides the friendly, helpful staff and cleanliness of the store the “boys” love the groomer.”