Safe Flea Prevention for Your Dog

Spring is finally here, which means all kinds of insects start to appear around us and our pets. Here are some great tips to safely keep the biggest dog pest away: fleas.

When your dog ends up with fleas, it may seem easy to grab flea treatment such as Frontline for your dog. You know the name, but do you know when it’s in the product? Frontline, and other similar products, are known to have chemicals that can be dangerous for both your pet and you. Children are especially at risk due to proximity and age. So what safe treatments are out there? We have a few here at the Barkery that are safe and effective.

  • The Shoo Tag (pictured above) works to repel fleas and other insects through a magnetic strip on the tag.
  • Brewer’s Yeast Treatment which can be given with food or during grooming
  • Diatomaceous Earth  A powder for your garden or outdoors. If an insect with an exoskeleton comes in contact with diatomaceous earth, they die. At the same time, humans can rub it all over our skin, rub it in our hair, and even eat it – and we are unharmed.
  • Cedarcide Best Yet 100% organic cedar oil product that both kills and repels bugs

The National Resources Defense Council has also published a list of safe flea and tick treatments to treat your dog.

Click here for more info

Litterbox Solutions

You’ve come home to an unwanted “surprise” – but this time the culprit is the cat.

Why isn’t he using the litterbox? It could be a number of reasons. And unlike a dog, punishing a cat by rubbing his face in the mess is not the answer.

21cats.org shared an article on this very problem with Pet360. Here are some behavioral reasons to consider:

  • Litterbox is too dirty to use. Cats are very clean and if the box is dirty they will find another place to go.
  • Litterbox is in too high traffic of a place. Cats won’t go to the bathroom in a place that is loud or congested, so keep your box somewhere that is quiet and calm.
  • Litterbox is too small/large. Your cat’s box should be large enough (not too large) for your cat to stand in and move around and the litter should be no more than a few inches deep.
  • The litter itself isn’t of your cat’s liking. Yes cats can have litter preferences and some of these start when the cat is young. When you get your pet check what the pet store, or shelter is using as litter and continue using that type. Also don’t get into the practice of continually switching brands and types of litter, this may throw off your cat’s routine and confuse your cat as to where to go to the bathroom.
  • Your cat has recently been declawed. A newly declawed cat will not like the feeling of litter on his/her paws and may thus avoid the litterbox altogether.
  • Litterbox is too close to food or water. Cats will not eat and go to the bathroom in the same place, so keep these two areas separate.
  • Litterbox doesn’t have 2 easy escape routes. Cats like to be able to see two clear directions of escape while in the litterbox, this is an instinctual feeling stemming from not wanting to be ‘snuck up on’ at an inopportune time.
  • Other cats also use this litterbox (in a multiple cat home) and your cat wants his own box. As a general rule you should have at least one box for each cat in your home.
  • Your cat is marking to exhibit his/her dominance in the home. This can happen when a new cat is brought into the house or your cat is being treated against the natural cat hierarchy in the house.
  • A stressful situation has occurred in your cat’s life such as a move to a new home or a new child or cat being brought into the home. In this case you may also need to retrain your cat to go to the box.

There are several other things to consider when it comes to this issue. You can read more by clicking here.

 

Exercise is Key for Dog Health

In an article from Dog Training Central titled “The Importance of Exercising Your Dog,” the author notes that exercise helps dog and humans alike.

Exercise is beneficial for dogs of all ages, as long as you adjust the amount of exercise to suit your dog’s age and fitness level. Not only are the physical benefits, but also mental.

“A dog that doesn’t get enough exercise will not only run the risk of developing health issues such as obesity, heart disease and arthritis, he will also develop various behavioral issues. Lack of exercise results in boredom and frustration, the dog may try to deal with these feelings by developing destructive patterns of behavior such as aggression and destructive behaviors such as excessive barking, digging and escaping.”

The author notes that a dog that isn’t allowed to work off excess energy and tension through exercise may develop aggressive tendencies and goes on to say that boredom will lead the dog to try to entertain himself with stress relieving behavior such as chewing.

Regular exercise is key for a happy, healthy and long life. A backyard can be helpful for activity, though you should ideally take your dog out for daily walks. Walking your dog daily will benefit both you and your dog. This also helps dogs to become more socialized and accepting of new situations and environments which helps build confidence.

Some pet owners can jog with their dog or train their dogs to jog next to them while they’re cycling. You should only attempt to do this if your dog is physically fit enough to handle vigorous exercise. Swimming is another activity you can do with your dog; most dogs love to swim once they’ve tried it a few times. Dogs are natural swimmers and it shouldn’t take long for your dog to enjoy regular swims with you. There are special life jackets for safety designed just for dogs that you can purchase.  And of course, a good ol’ game of fetch is another great way to exercise your dog.

“The key to an effective exercise program is regularity; try to maintain aregular exercise schedule for your dog. Giving your dog regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for him and will help him live a healthier and happier life. Remember to make sure you consider your dog’s fur coat and the hot sun too. Your vet will be able to give you the best advice on how much exercise and temperature changes your dog can handle according to his age, breed and level of health.”

What is Distemper?

It’s that time of year again: time to update your dog or cat’s shots. You’ve likely heard or seen the term “Distemper” during your visit to the vet, and maybe have even assumed it to mean something about your dog’s mood or behavior. But this is not the case!

Distemper is actually a contagious viral disease that affects animals.

Some fast facts about Distemper from Pet 360:

• Canine distemper is separate and unrelated to feline distemper.

• Feline distemper is also called epanleukopenia.

• Distemper cannot be passed from a cat to a dog, or vice versa, but ferrets are extremely prone to contracting canine distemper.

• The disease is an air-borne virus, so even if your dog or cat never comes in physical contact with another dog or cat it is still susceptible to infection. You can bring the disease home on your shoes or clothing.

How is it diagnosed?

• Distemper may be difficult to differentiate from other diseases, largely because it is less common today due to the effectiveness of regular preventative vaccination programs.

• In dogs, symptoms may affect the respiratory, gastro-intestinal or nervous system, and any combination of these.

• In cats, feline distemper causes vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness. Feline fetuses infected with distemper may have life-long problems with coordination.

• A vaccination program against distemper should be started when your kitten or puppy is six weeks old. Your veterinarian will then advise you on the regularity of booster shots, which are generally given on an annual basis throughout the animalšs entire life span. In the future, blood levels of antibody protection will tell how often a pet is vaccinated.

• Immunity to distemper or other contagious diseases does not build up with age.

• Canine and feline distemper is often a fatal disease.

Needless to say, as with all infectious diseases, prevention through regular annual vaccinations is the best medicine. Click here.

Dentistry Without the Anesthesia

Animal Wellness Magazine recently shared a great article on anesthesia-free dentistry for pets noting the option as one to consider, but to be certain to find a well-trained professional to handle the procedure

Because dental disease is the number one issue in dogs, it’s pertinent that pet owners schedule regular veterinary cleanings  to maintain canine tooth and gum health. Sadly, many dog owners avoid or postpone due to nervousness over having their dogs anesthetized. In recent years, anesthesia-free dentistry has become more common, despite not being available at many clinics. It all comes down to proper training to ensure the procedure goes smoothly and safely.

Some questions you may have are answered in the article:

What are the benefits?

What can be done during this procedure?

How are animals kept calm during the procedure?

What are the limitations?

Read more by clicking here

FREE Dental Xrays from Mariposa Veterinary Wellness Center

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During the month of February, Mariposa is offering free dental xrays (a value of up to $115!), and free application of Ora-Vet, a plaque prevention gel, with the purchase of an Ora-Vet take-home kit.  Anesthesia is necessary for a dental cleaning and oral health assessment. In order to receive free dental xrays, the pet must receive a complete oral health assessment and cleaning under anesthesia. Call us for details regarding how much this costs, as it varies for dogs/cats and depending on age. This is an amazing opportunity to have your pet’s mouth thoroughly evaluated for any source of pain. 

Call Mariposa today to schedule an appointment for your furry family member! 

913-825-3330

 

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Pet MD Shares Helpful Information for Pet Owners with Anxious Pups

According to the experts at Pet MD, “Separation anxiety in dogs usually results in destructive behavior when an owner leaves the pet. Behaviors that may be seen include vocalization, destroying objects, digging or even depression. However, these behaviors may also be due to other conditions or environmental cues. Therefore, it is important for the behaviorist or veterinarian to obtain the history of the dog before attributing separation anxiety as the primary or sole cause of the behavior.”

Everything you need to know to control separation anxiety

Signs & Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety causes some pets to be extremely destructive while their owners are away. Typically separation anxiety occurs during the first hour of the owner leaving. They may also vocalize, attempt to follow the owner, defecate or urinate in the house. Some dogs will stop eating, act depressed, hide, whine or pant. These dogs will usually behave in an excessively excited manner when the owner returns home.

Diagnosis of Separation Anxiety

Other behavioral conditions may mimic separation anxiety so it is important to analyze the symptoms and history of the dog. There may be underlying medical issues, so seeing a veterinarian is an important step. Also, young animals may have other reasons for similar behaviors. For example, teething kittens may need appropriate things to chew on or not be fully housetrained and may not truly be experiencing separation anxiety.

Treatment for Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is based on fear. It is important to ensure the dog that they are safe when the owner is not present and that the owner will return. Behavioral and environmental modification is important. By gradually eliminating the dog’s fear and fostering a sense of safety for the pet, many behaviors can change. The first step is to assess the current environment and behaviors:

  • What does the dog do as the owner gets ready to leave?
  • What does the owner do as he/she gets ready to leave?
  • What does the dog destroy?
  • Where is the dog? Are there other pets?
  • What toys does the dog have available?

To read more from this article, click here

Please stop in today and visit with us about your dog’s anxiety issues. We have many calming solutions available!

 

Health and Nutrition for Senior Cats

A proper diet is more important than ever as our pets begin to age

Did you know that you should start your cat on a senior balanced diet starting at age 7?

According to a recent article from the ASPCA this will help to maintain a healthy weight, along with slowing or preventing the development of chronic disease. You will also minimize or improve clinical signs of diseases that may already be present.

Health issues that the article mentions may arise along the way:

  • Deterioration of skin and coat
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • More frequent intestinal problems
  • Arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Dental problems
  • Decreased ability to fight off infection

The article goes on to discuss the importance of muscle mass and vitamin intake in order to maintain a healthy cat. You can read more about health and nutrition for your aging cat by clicking here, and as always, feel free to stop in and chat with a knowledgeable Barkery team member for expert advice.

Put the Right Paw Forward with Pet Health This Year

It’s a new year, and a great time to assess your pets’ health!

  • A few things to think about to start the year out on the right paw:
  • How often is your pet getting exercise? Could weekly become daily?
  • How is your pet’s coat? Shiny? What about his skin?
  • Maybe it’s time to try a new food – The Barkery certainly has many options to consider, and we’re happy to help you select a new food.
  • Is it time for a nice new grooming? We’ve also got you covered there.
  • Also be sure to ask us about holistic vet care – we have several recommendations.
  • How is your pet’s mood? What changes can you make to improve it?

Stop in to The Barkery today, and we’ll help your pet have a great 2014!

Lee’s Summit Barkery Gets a New Sign

If you happen to be a Lee’s Summit Barkery fan, you’ve probably noticed a nice new sign we’ve recently erected!

Now you (and your furry friend) can see the glowing sign from much further away – stop in today and check it out for yourself!

See you soon at The Barkery.