Witness to Animal Abuse?

Have you ever witnessed animal abuse? Did you know what to do? 

Pat Miller, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, shares five great tips on what you can do when you witness animal abuse in this article from Whole Dog Journal. 

1. Assess the situation. Calmly take a good hard look at what’s going on. Does the human appear to be someone who is simply trying to train his dog using outdated methods and who might be receptive to your assistance? If the person is applying hard yanks on a choke chain or prong collar, or blithely pressing the remote button for a shock collar, they are probably simply following the instructions of an outdated dog training professional and may not know that there is a far superior way to communicate with their dog. If, however, you see someone who has lost his temper and is deliberately abusing his dog, hanging, punching, smacking the dog repeatedly, or worse, this person probably won’t take kindly to your intervention and might just as easily redirect his anger onto you. If this is the case, you need to use extreme caution. The action you take will depend on your careful assessment.

2. Evaluate your options. If it appears that the dog handler may be amendable to your suggestions, you might approach in your best helpful, non-threatening manner as a fellow dog lover, and offer to assist. If, on the other hand, the handler appears emotionally aroused and dangerous, I wouldn’t recommend approaching or confronting him. If the dog abuser appears violent or unsafe, a better option is to call the authorities.

3. Look for backup. Regardless of how you proceed, look around for another person who can watch out for you when you step forward. It never hurts to have support; there is safety in numbers. Let your back up person or people know what you intend to do, and agree on a signal you will give if you want them to step up in a show of support or call 9-1-1. Ask them to otherwise stay quiet unless you ask for help; catcalls from the peanut gallery won’t help keep the situation calm and positive.

4. Carefully Intervene. Approach the dog handler with a low key introduction; something like, “Excuse me, but I have a dog myself (or “I’m a dog trainer”), and if you’re willing, I would love to show you a different way to do that, a way that worked really well for my dog (or “works really well for my clients”).” If the person is receptive, you can coach him through a simple positive reinforcement exercise (you may have to provide the treats, if you have them – another good reason to always have dog cookies in your pockets!), and then explain how the exercise applies to what he was trying to get his dog to do.

Or, if the dog is friendly, you are confident in your abilities and the person is willing, you can take the leash and demonstrate one or more positive behaviors. Then leave the person with some good resources – local positive trainers, books, Facebook pages, Yahoo groups – so he will be more likely to pursue more dog-friendly training with his dog. (Consider keeping a one-page handout of dog-friendly training resources for times like this.)

5. Stay out of it and call the authorities. If you think the treatment of the dog rises to the level of prosecutable or near-prosecutable abuse, or the person seems dangerously angry, don’t even think of attempting to intervene. If the handler is hanging, punching, slapping, kicking the dog – or worse – step back and call for help. Don’t worry about looking up the number for animal control, just call 9-1-1 and let them take it from there.

If you are carrying a cell phone with video capabilities, and you are at a safe distance, record as much as you can. Unless your support group consists of several large, strong guys who eat animal abusers for breakfast, you don’t want to risk getting yourself beat up in your humanitarian crusade. Do know that if the case is prosecuted, you may be called to testify in court against the abuse. Be willing to bear witness.

Arresting animal abusers was one of the most satisfying aspects of my 20-year career as an animal protection professional/humane officer. I have to say that, notwithstanding my own advice above, I might be hard-pressed to stop myself from physically intervening if I saw someone violently abusing an animal. I’m not saying you should, mind you, but I would understand if you did!

Benefits of Oats

At the Barkery, we carry several wholesome foods that contain oats – but did you know the numerous benefits of this grain for your pet?

Pet MD shares.

Oats are always at the top of my list of recommended herbs. More formally known as Avena sativa, inexpensive and readily available oats have a long list of benefits, from simply nutritional to curative for many conditions. It’s not surprising that oats have a long history of adding to our animal’s health, as well as our own, whether taken internally or applied directly to the skin.

Here are some benefits of oats that you should know about and just a few of the reasons why I like to recommend them:

– There are plenty of natural, ready-made products that contain oats. Popular oat-containing products include: shampoos, conditioners, topical applications for skin conditions, and capsules and tinctures for a more concentrated dose of the healing essences of oats.

– Oats are nutritionally beneficial, and their healing powers can be utilized by applying oaten teas or poultices directly to the skin.

– To get the inner benefits of herbal oats all you have to do is cook some oatmeal and add it to your pet’s food. Or, if you want to add even more oat power, there are tinctures and capsules available.

– Adding oats to a pet’s diet is a simple way to impart many nutritional benefits. Besides nutritional benefits, many other benefits, from nervine to disease treatment, can be realized, too. First, let’s take a closer look at some of the many health benefits associated with oats when they are simply added to a pet’s diet.

Nutritive – Simply put, oats are nutritious, being naturally high in “good” nutrients and low in “bad” ones.

Oats are high in:

– Protein (interestingly, wild oats contain from 27-37% protein while cultivated varieties average about 17%). According to the World Health Organization, oat protein is equivalent in quality to soy protein. So, equal to meat, milk and egg protein.

– Soluble fiber (the fiber that helps keep cholesterol levels low)

– Levels of iron, manganese, zinc, and B vitamins (pantothenic acid, B5, and folate, B9)

Oats are low in:

– Gluten (some is present, but not nearly as much as in wheat)

– Genetically Modified Organisms (so far, oats are not grown using GMO)

Nervine – Oats are considered a nervine, an herbal compound that acts as a general nerve tonic, calming the nerves when necessary, stimulating their activity when needed. Oats are used for treating a variety of nervous disorders.

Herbal – Oats benefit several body organs and systems, including: skin, nervous system, stomach, spleen, lungs, and the urinary and reproductive systems. Herbal qualities of oats include:

– Antispasmodic

– Cardiac

– Diuretic

– Emollient

– Nervine

– Stimulant

Antitumor – Oats contains the antitumor compound b-sitosterol.

Digestive – Acting as a digestive aid to calm the intestinal tract.

Hormonal – Used to achieve hormonal balance. Also used as a uterine tonic.

Oats are also cholesterol lowering and reportedly good for treating a wide variety of diseases in humans and animals, including: inflammatory conditions, mental or physical exhaustion, depression, dyspepsia, insomnia, fevers, sexual dysfunctions and as a tonic during menopause or after parturition.

Oats can also be beneficial when applied externally (topically). Remember that an animal’s skin is its largest organ, and there is an active absorption of many substances, thus adding whole-body benefits from external applications of oats. These unique health benefits of oats in grooming can include:

– Anti-inflammatory and Calming – soothes itchiness and eczema, thus helping calm the animal while he heals.

– Healing – High levels of minerals and vitamins in the seeds may help with skin healing.

Here are some tips on how to use oats topically:

Shampoos –  Natural oatmeal shampoos are readily available, and many have added healing herbs. These shampoos are generally mild, calming, anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and healing for the skin.
You can make your own oatmeal shampoo, too. It’s nothing more than a colloidal suspension of oats, after they’ve been soaked in water, with something added to cleanse the pet’s hair and skin and perhaps something else added to moisturize and/or treat the skin.

Soak – For more anti-itch and anti-inflammatory actions, consider a soak. Commercial soaks are available or, again, you can make your own.

Put a handful of oatmeal in a nylon sock and attach the sock over the bathtub tap. Fill the tub to desired level with water filtered through the oats. Let the pet soak in the tub for 15 to 20 minutes (or for however long they will sit still). Rinse well and dry. Remember, pets prefer tepid water, and cannot tolerate really hot baths.

Dry “Shampoo” – to help dry oily-itchy skin. Roast some ground or rolled oats until slightly browned. When they have cooled to room temperature, work them into the pet’s hair so they come into contact with the skin. Let stand for about 15-30 minutes, then comb out. Try this on a small area first, as some hair coats don’t lend themselves well to this type of application.

Oat Poultice – For “hot spots” or other localized skin irritations, make a slurry of ground oats and water, wrap the slurry in cheese cloth or a tea bag (available from health food stores). Or, soak a clean washcloth in the mixture, and apply as a poultice directly to the affected area. Leave on for 15 minutes or so (or as long as the pet will tolerate it). Repeat several times a day.

Healing herbs such as calendula, chamomile, or lavender can be added to the original mixture to further enhance healing.

Here are more tips on other ways to use oats for better pet health:

Oat Tea – Use about a tablespoon of organic oats, steep for 15-20 minutes in a cup of hot water. Pour enough of the tea over the pet’s food to moisten it. Use several times a week for its beneficial effects on the nervous and intestinal systems.

Oatmeal for Breakfast – Increase fiber intake and make use of oat’s medicinal qualities by mixing cooked oatmeal into pet food several times a week. Start out with small amounts and increase to about a tablespoonful or so for every 10-20 pounds of animal.

Grow Your Own Crop – Oats are easy to grow, indoors or out. Simply stick some organic seeds in the ground (in a pot or tray if growing them indoors), add water and sunlight, and wait a few weeks until the stems are a couple of inches tall. Let your pet eat from the crop, or harvest with scissors and mix the cut leaves into his food. Oat sprouts are also easy to grow, and some critters like them better than grasses. Oats are sometimes marketed, while in seed form, as “Cat Grass”, grown and fed to cats as a treats or as an aid to digestion.

Medicinal Oats – Tinctures, capsules containing oats and other forms of “medicinal” oats (Avena sativa) can be used for a variety of conditions. Check with your holistic vet for proper uses and dosages.

Flower Essences – Wild oats, a different species of oats from the cultivated ones, is a remedy used to help restore direction and nervous energies.

Homeopathic – Avena sativa is a minor remedy that may be indicated for the animal suffering from nervous exhaustion, sexual debility, or nervous tremors. Check with your homeopathic practitioner for more on how oats are used in homeopathy for pets.

Well, those are some of the amazing properties that nature gives us in oats. You’ll want to use organically grown (wild) oats, whether for dietary or topical use, as the nutritive values of organically grown oats are much higher than commercially produced crops, and you don’t run the potential risk of pesticide or herbicide residue. Plus, organic farming methods are good for the environment.

Stop in to the Barkery today and ask us about products with oats that your pet will love!

Barkery Spa Preview!

Have you heard our exciting news? Brookside Barkery and Bath is opening an all-new Spa!

In addition to our bath and grooming services, we’ll soon be offering Essential Oil treatments for your pup!

All Spa Services $10. Kennel Comforter re-infusion $2.

Joint Massage: We’ll bring warmth and comfort to aching joints and tired muscles. Our caring staff will massage this into your pet’s joints to offer relief when too much exercise or too many years catch up with your best friend.

Calming: A mix of lavender and other oils can bring tranquility to even the most stressed pet. Worried about your furry companion being frazzled during grooming or a bath? Adding on a Calming session can bring peace of mind for both of you.

Dry/Itchy Skin: We prefer to address skin conditions nutritionally, and will offer dietary solutions for most skin issues. But while a new diet might fix the issue long-term, sometimes a pet needs quicker relief. We’ll apply a hot oil treatment to hot spots and irritations, soothing skin and promoting rapid healing.

Kennel Comforters: A steam-heated towel, infused with soothing lavender to help your best friend stay calm and mellow in their kennel. Take it home after your first visit, then bring it back with every visit and we’ll infuse it with lavender to give your dog a calmer, more familiar Barkery experience.

Stay tuned for more info on our grand opening!

Food Allergy Myths

Is your dog allergic to something in his food?

Allergies are a common problem for dogs. Typical symptoms include itchiness resulting in excess scratching, biting, or licking, and sometimes chronic or recurrent skin/ear infections. While dogs most frequently suffer from allergies to environmental triggers (e.g., pollen, molds, and dust mites or flea bites), allergic reactions to food are possible, and are frequently a source of greater controversy.

Diagnosing canine food allergies is not easy. It typically requires a food trial during which a dog eats ABSOLUTELY NOTHING other than a food containing protein and carbohydrate sources to which he has never been exposed before. Another option is to only allow your dog to eat food that has been processed in such a way as to make it hypoallergenic. A food trial needs to continue for at least eight weeks before its success or failure can be evaluated. This is easier said than done!

I think the difficulty we have in definitively diagnosing food allergies in dogs is at least partially responsible for some of the myths that have developed around the condition. Let’s look at a few, along with the truths behind them.

Myth: Dogs are typically allergic to corn, wheat, soy, and other plant-based ingredients.

Truth: In a study of 278 cases of food allergies in dogs where the problem ingredient was clearly identified, beef was by far the biggest culprit (95 cases). Dairy was number two at 55 cases. Wheat came in third with 42 cases. Soy and corn were actually minimal offenders, coming in at 13 and 7 cases, respectively.

In fact, protein sources are more often to blame than grains. Beef, dairy, chicken, egg, lamb, soy, pork and fish were responsible for 231 of the food allergies, while wheat, corn and rice combined accounted for only 54. (Some dogs were allergic to more than one ingredient, which is why these numbers total more than 278.)

Myth: “I’ve changed my dog’s diet several times and he’s still itchy, so he can’t have a food allergy.”

Truth: Dogs are allergic to particular ingredients, not to brands or types of food. So if your dog is allergic to chicken, and each of the foods you have tried contains chicken, he will still be itchy. Look very closely at the ingredient list; it will usually contain multiple protein and carbohydrate sources. It is not unusual for a food that is labeled “lamb and rice,” for example, to contain chicken or other potential allergens as well.

It is difficult to guess correctly as to what your dog might be allergic to, which is why veterinarians typically reach for foods with novel ingredients like venison and potato (your dog’s dietary history is important for picking out the right one), or specially processed, hypoallergenic foods.

Myth: “I haven’t changed my dog’s diet. It’s hard to believe that he would be developing a food allergy now.”

Truth: Dogs can develop food allergies at any time in their life, and with any dietary history.

Myth: “If my dog is suffering from food allergies, why doesn’t he have diarrhea?”

Truth: Some, but not all, dogs with food allergies have concurrent gastrointestinal signs like vomiting or diarrhea, so you shouldn’t rule out food allergies just because his GI tract seems to be functioning normally. If your dog has chronic gastrointestinal problems in addition to non-seasonal itchiness, a food allergy will be at the top of the list of potential problems.

If you think that your dog could have a food allergy, talk to your veterinarian. He or she can help you find the right food to keep your dog’s symptoms at bay while still providing the balanced nutrition that is essential to good health.

Litterbox Wars

Cats need their privacy, too. But when another feline is intruding upon that time, problems can arise. Check out this great advice from Mieshelle Nagelschneider, The Cat Whisperer of Modern Cat Magazine.

Even amongst bonded cats, tension can occur when it comes to sharing an important resource such as the litter box. When a cat feels as if he can’t use the box without being threatened or ambushed, he will find alternative places to do his business. You can feel sure that the place (or places!) he ends up deeming to be safer (under the dining room table, in your left running sneaker, etc.) won’t be desirable to you. The good news is that there are a couple proactive things you can do to prevent litter box ambushes, instill feelings of safety in your cats, and encourage them to use the litter box appropriately.

Use an uncovered litter box
Covered litter boxes are preferred by many cat owners, as they hide away the least cuddly and fun parts of living with a cat. Unfortunately, covered litter boxes in multi-cat homes can fuel the tension between cats, as they limit a cat’s awareness of lurkers and only provide one route for escape if threatened. Where in nature do cats search out hollowed out logs for their latrine site? Hint: They don’t. An uncovered litter box will allow your cat to determine and act upon the safest way to escape, and will subsequently make him feel safer while using the box. If you prefer a covered box as a way to avoid litter being kicked around the room, consider a box with taller sides (assuming your cat is able enough to easily step over).

Location, location, location!
Once you have uncovered litter boxes, it’s important to place them in appropriate locations. Multi-cat home should have at least one litter box per cat, plus one extra. Instead of placing them all in one room, spread them throughout your home in easily-accessible and well-lit areas. Spreading them throughout your home will give your cat more options if another cat is standing guard over a litter box. Finally, make sure that the boxes are placed in a way that allows your cat the ability to see as much of the room as possible (including the door), so he can anticipate threats.

Competition for shared resources is one of the most common reasons for tension between cats in multi-cat homes and can escalate fast into severe aggression. Increasing and dispersing litter boxes throughout the home can actually decrease territorial thinking between your cats and help them get along better. Let these simple steps transform your home into a more harmonious and stress-free environment for both you and your cats.


NEW Walk About Treats!

These terrific jerky treats are grain-free, packed with goodness, and available in our online store!  We discovered these at the huge SuperZoo pet product show and instantly knew they’d be a hit with our customers’ dogs. And if you’ve been looking for an exotic protein, then give their kangaroo variety a shot.  It’s a good source of lean, highly digestible protein for strong muscles.

Here are some excellent benefits of Walk About Treats for your pup:

  • Healthy skin & coat – contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to help maintain healthy skin and coat.
  • Healthy Digestion – high quality ingredients with optimal nutrients increases palatability and digestion
  • Muscle Development – Kangaroo is a good source of high quality, low fat, highly digestible protein for lean muscles. It also provides essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Strong teeth and bones – chicken is a high source of protein and calcium for growing puppies and adult dogs.
  • Healthy Active Energy – Sweet Potatoes are rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients. They also contain vitamins and minerals.
  • Healthy Body – Apples provide dietary fiber which aids in digestion and are low in sodium.

9 Ways to Help an Arthritic Dog

You may not know where to start when your Vet informs you that Buster has developed arthritis. Modern Dog Magazine shares some expert tips on how to give your dog relief – and help.

#1 Slim down If your dog is overweight, commit to helping her slim down. Extra weight places extra strain on joints, worsening the pain of arthritis. Feeling guilty because your dog is looking longingly at her food bowl? Mix a little pumpkin (unsweetened, not canned) into her dinner; it’s healthy, low cal, and will help her feel full. We like both Fruitables’ and Merrick’s natural canned pumpkin for dogs.

#2 Gentle exercise Your dog absolutely still needs regular exercise—it is a must—to keep her moving and from stiffening up, just make sure it’s controlled, gentle, low impact, and short in duration. Try a dog treadmill, which allows for a slow walk at your dog’s desired pace.

#3 Ramps & pet steps Help your arthritic dog get up steps, on to a bed, or in and out of cars with a ramp or pet steps.

#4 Improved traction Arthritic dogs are less steady on their feet. Offer them stability with secure rugs for traction or a product like Dr. Buzby’s Toe Grips, which puts an end to slipping, sliding, and struggling, by providing instant traction for slipping senior, arthritic, or special needs pets. Made of a natural nonslip material, they grip the floor, keeping your dog steady and upright.

#5 Canine massage Massage eases sore muscles, lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress for both the giver and receiver. Plus, it’s a great for bonding and a wonderful way to check in with your older dog, enabling you to note any new lumps, bumps or sore places. (Look for this service coming soon from the Barkery!)

#6 Acupuncture Yes, acupuncture. It’s not just for people. Veterinary acupuncture stimulates the release of the body’s own pain relieving and anti-inflammatory substances.

#7 Sweet heat Heating pads relieve aches. For a low-tech solution make your own DIY warmer in a jiffy; here’s how: fill a cotton tube sock or knee length sock with four cups of rice or whole corn (not popping corn!), then knot the end or tie it off with string or stitch it closed. Microwave it for a minute, and voilá, you’ve made your dog a heating pad! Or go high-tech for testimonial-backed results that go beyond soothing aches and pains. Canine Light Therapy pads use specific wavelengths of light for therapeutic and healing benefits including pain relief, muscle relaxation, stimulating acupuncture points, releasing trigger points, and healing injuries.

#8 A comfy, supportive bed Give your dog a comfortable, supportive bed to ease his weary bones. A well-padded resting spot goes a long way. Heated beds like those available through khpet.com can also ease aches and pains.

#9 Natural supplements We asked Dr. Loridawn Gordon, a naturopathic veterinarian, for how to help dogs with arthritis naturally. Here’s what she had to say:

“Natural options to treat arthritis in dogs include devil’s claw, a herbal remedy that’s prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain. It’s often used when pets are diagnosed with arthritis, but it shouldn’t be given if your pet is diabetic. Mild cases of arthritis respond well to vitamins C and E, as well as dl-phenylalanine. If the case is severe, adding sodium oxide dismutase, also known as SOD, can do the trick. This is an antioxidant that provides anti-inflammatory properties.

If you want to take an Ayurvedic approach to treating your pet’s arthritis, you can try Boswellia and Ashwaganda. Both are anti-inflammatory herbs that provide relief of stiffness and pain by shrinking inflamed tissues down and increasing the blood supply to these areas in order to promote healing. Ashwaganda also helps generate energy while counteracting the negative effects of stress on the body.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are also popular natural remedies that support healthy joints by enhancing the cartilage between the joints. These supplements can help halt the degeneration of the cartilage and help the body rebuild it.

Pau D’Arco is an herbal remedy that’s known for relieving the pain caused by arthritis, which can promote mobility if your pet is having trouble getting around.

Turmeric is another commonly prescribed herbal remedy for animals suffering with arthritis because it has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the liver and protects against myriad diseases.”

Be sure to check with your vet to see which supplements are suitable for your dog. Some natural remedies can react with medications your dog may be on.

– See more at: http://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/9-ways-help-arthritic-dog/59830#sthash.ugziVL7u.dpuf

Has Your Cat Been Poisoned?

Whether you saw your cat ingest something dangerous, or you suspect this is the case, it’s important to look for the signs of poisoning and act quickly. Pet MD shares this excellent article on the topic, and what steps to take in an emergency situation. 

It is not uncommon for an animal to ingest a poison or toxic substance. If you have witnessed your cat ingesting a toxic substance or it is behaving abnormally, you should immediately take your cat to a veterinarian for treatment, as it may have poisoned itself. If you find the substance that was ingested, bring this to the veterinarian for examination, along with any vomit samples. This will aid in the diagnosis and treatment plan.

Symptoms & Types of Poisoning

Your cat may be experiencing unexplained vomiting, diarrhea, or may appear to be weak (lethargic) to the point of being unable to move.

Causes of Poisoning

Poison intoxication occurs when a cat ingests a foreign material, fluid or otherwise, that causes a physical reaction. If left untreated, it can be fatal.

Diagnosis of Poisoning

Poisons and toxic substances come in many forms, and it is often difficult to give an exact diagnosis if the substance is not known and identified. If your veterinarian is unsure as to what was ingested, the cat’s symptoms will be treated as they become obvious. When possible, a blood work-up will be ordered to determine the exact cause of the poisoning.

Treatment for Poisoning

The goal of treatment is to neutralize the ingested substance to prevent further absorption into the cat’s body, and to provide supportive measures to your pet. When possible, an antidote based upon what was ingested will be administered. There are several treatment options to assist in the removal of the toxic substance and the rehabilitation of your cat, including supportive behavior to alleviate pain and control body temperature. If your cat is unable to breathe, an emergency airway must be established quickly to prevent asphyxiation. If your pet’s heart has stopped, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or massage of the heart (cardiac massage) may be required to regain a proper heartbeat. The use of enemas and activated charcoal will help to prevent further absorption into the body, and external oils can be used to prevent absorption into the skin as the substance passes through the body. Your veterinarian may also choose gastric lavage (internal washing). Using a tube passed into the stomach and filled with water to flush the cat’s system, the substance will be washed directly from the stomach. Diuretic drugs will enhance the secretion of the substance through the urinary tract.

For serious conditions, filtering of the kidneys with a dialysis machine may be recommended to remove the substance from the cat’s blood and kidneys.

You will need to observe your cat to track its progression. Following treatment, your veterinarian will continue to monitor your pet and determine whether its condition is improving or worsening. Fluid therapy will be recommended to keep your pet hydrated.

Prevention of Poisoning

The best method of prevention is to keep all harmful substances out of your cat’s reach in and around the home.

Earn $ When You Refer Friends to the Barkery!

We’re excited to announce our new rewards program!

Loyalty has its rewards, especially if you share your enthusiasm about the Barkery with friends! We have referral cards throughout both stores. Take one home and give it to a friend and invite them to shop Kansas City’s largest selection of natural pet food – or they can grab a bath for their pet! If they come in with your referral card, we’ll reward you with a $5 gift certificate and your friend with a $10 gift certificate!

Invite-a-Friend color ver