Brookside Barkery

Vaccine Advice from the Barkery!

We are typically told, as pet owners, how often to have our pets vaccinated by our vets. We naturally assume this is what’s best for our pet to keep it safe and healthy. But is it? Some of the common Brookside Barkeryvaccinations can actually be doing your pet more harm than good.

Many vets recommend both puppies and kittens get their “core vaccines” at ages 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, 14
weeks, and 16 weeks. Then they get boosters at one year and annually thereafter. Have you ever wondered why your Chihuahua gets the same size vaccine as your Great Dane, and at the same frequency?

Giving your pet a vaccine when your pet is already immune doesn’t increase its immunity, but does increase unnecessary risk to your animal and can cause a variety of health risks and fatal diseases. Click here to read more about the risks involved in over-vaccinating your pet and Brookside Barkery’s vaccination recommendations!


Brookside Barkery

Make New Year’s Eve Great – For Your Pet!

Big parties, crowds, fireworks, and… fun? New pet owners often don’t realize that the noise and festivities that often accompany New Year’s Eve – even if you’re staying home and watching them on TV – aren’t much fun for most pets! When the fireworks and happy screaming people are on TV, obviously it’s easy enough to turn the volume down. But what can you do if you or a close neighbor are having a New Year’s Eve party with noisemakers and revelry? Brookside Barkery found a few NYE tips to help your pets enjoy safely:

  1. Up-to-date ID

Parties mean doors getting opened a lot. Even if you’ve thoughtfully hung a sign on your bedroom door saying do not open, or if you have your pets safely contained in a crate inside the bedroom (wearing safety breakaway collars only in a crate), accidents happen.  Make sure your pet ID tags and microchip information has your current address and phone numbers.

  1. ExerciseBrookside Barkery

For dogs and even cats, giving them plenty of exercise on New Year’s Eve day will help them to rest more peacefully that night. Plus, a good long walk or hike with your dog will help you burn off those extra holiday calories too! The Brookside Barkery has all the leashes, and warm apparel for your furry friend that you’ll need!

  1. No human food

If your pet is going to be out loose in your home during a party, make sure every single guest agrees NO HUMAN FOOD FOR PETS. The #1 reason pet owners end up at the emergency vet on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day is because a pet is sick from too much people food, or the wrong people food. Even human foods you think are “safe” for pets can cause pancreatisis, which can be fatal.

  1. White noise

Loud music and fireworks can upset even the calmest of pets. If you don’t have a white noise machine, putting classical music on where the pet can hear it can help cover up outside upsetting noises.

There you have it, four tips to keep your pet happy this New Year’s Eve! Plus, you can always stop by the Barkery in Brookside or Lee’s Summit and pick up some toys to keep your four-legged friend entertained through the whole night!


Brookside Barkery

That Growling Sound (In Your Pet’s Stomach) Explained

Just like humans, some dogs can have louder stomachs than others. If you’ve heard your dog’s digestive tract at work, you probably didn’t think much of it. While most of the time a noisy digestive tract is normal, in some cases, it can be problematic.

Borborygmi is the medical term for stomach noise. The noise is caused by gas moving throughout the digestive tract. Of course, some amount of gas is normal. A soft gurgling with periods of silence in between is a sign of normal digestive tract.

A digestive sound that is abnormal will typically contain larger amounts of gas, peristalsis is increased, or both. There are many things that cause loud stomach gurgling – some are harmless and some can be much more serious.

A great way to keep your pet healthy is to keep them on a healthy diet. At Brookside Barkery, our mission is to provide better health through better nutrition. We’re dedicated to providing only the best food for your pet’s diet – that’s why we provide all-natural food, treats and everything you’ll need to keep your furry friend healthy! Read on to find out more about normal stomach sounds for your pet, and signs that it could mean trouble.

Causes of harmless stomach noise

  • Normal digestion and hunger. If your dog has just eaten a meal and his stomach gurgles a bit, it means their stomach is working to digest the meal. When your dog is hungry, their stomach and intestines have little to work with, what’s left is gas. If you start hearing their stomach around meal time, the gurgling is normal.
  • Swallowing air. If your dog scarfs down meals or breathes heavily during exercise, the oxygen they swallow can create stomach noise and is totally normal.Brookside Barkery
  • Dietary indiscretion. Dogs are known for snacking on everything from pieces of paper to going through the trash. If this happens, your dog’s GI tract will work overtime to try to break down foreign objects, which causes loud stomach noises. These stomach noises can be anywhere from mild to life-threatening. If you are concerned, be sure to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Causes of stomach noises that could be serious

  • Intestinal parasites. Gross little creatures that take up space in your dog’s GI tract and cause digestive issues.
  • Foreign bodies in the GI tract. Some foreign objects like string, a toy, a leash, a sock or many other non-food items can cause severe damage to your dog’s digestive tract.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease. A condition in which the intestines are inflamed, causing high numbers of inflammatory cells present in the lining of the digestive tract. The inflammation interferes with the body’s ability to break down and absorb nutrients from food.
  • Dysbosis (leaky gut syndrome). When levels of good and bad bacteria are off, that can cause inflammation of the membranes of the intestine. This can result in the condition known as dysbiosis or leaky gut. Causes of leaky gut in dogs include antibiotics, corticosteroids, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), processed pet food, stress, toxin ingestion, vaccines and parasite infections. Stop by the Barkery and talk to one of our associates about switching your dog to an all-natural diet. We’re passionate about helping our customers provide the very best for their furry friends.

If your dog has occasional temporary stomach gurgling, there’s probably no need for concern. For example, if it’s first thing in the morning and he seems normal except for the gurgling, feed him his A.M. meal. If he eats with no problem and the noises stop, he’s probably fine.

However, if your dog’s digestive activity is easy to hear on a regular basis, as in, several times a week, or if there are other symptoms along with the tummy noises, such as a change in appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, lethargy or signs of abdominal pain, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

*Thank you for these tips!

Brookside Barkery

Three Tips for Your Cat This Holiday Season

The holidays bring changes to your home and lifestyle. Most cats have issues with any changes in their environment. From the decorations to the parties, your cat will be affected by the holidays. Brookside Barkery wants to help you keep your pet happy and healthy during this festive season! Here are 3 tips to keep your cat safe and your home in one piece.

BarkeryHoliday tips for cats #1 – Part of your holiday fun is decorating your home and Christmas tree. Many of us like to add garlands and other shiny decorations. These can be very attractive to cats, especially if it tends to move – even the slightest bit, as cats are attracted to movement. It triggers their prey drive, which is very strong in felines. Tinsel can be very dangerous to cats if ingested, it can cause blockages and prove fatal. Instead of using tinsel, garland or icicles, use a thick, wide ribbon, or felt rings. While anything new is likely to intrigue your cat, using something your cat is less likely to digest will be safer.

Holiday tips for cats #2 – Cats love to frolic, but they rarely enjoy loud parties. In fact, most will run and hide because all the noise and activity can be frightening. It not only disrupts their quiet home, but there are also people coming into your house that they don’t recognize. It is best to place your cat in a quiet room where he or she will not be bothered. Put their water and food dishes in the room along with a clean litter box.

Holiday tips for cats #3 – Cats are rarely welcoming of strange cats, dogs and other new pets. The last thing you should do on a holiday is to bring home another pet or have a guest bring their pet into your home. Cats are very territorial and while dogs will normally welcome a new canine guest (and be happy to chase a new feline guest), your cat will merely become stressed by the newcomer.

Keep your cat happy and healthy this holiday season! Stop by the Barkery in either Brookside or Lee’s Summit and pick up some all-natural treats, food and all the necessary essentials for your furry feline!

*Thank you for the tips!

Brookside Barkery

Caring for Your Cat – The Basics!

Bringing a new cat or kitten into your home can be exciting. Whether you’re a first-time pet owner, or you’re thinking about welcoming another animal into your home, there are many things to consider before adopting or purchasing a feline companion. Brookside Barkery has found an article that breaks down everything you should consider before adopting a new companion!

“Before adopting or purchasing a cat, you should consider the time and financial commitment of pet ownership,” said Dr. Sarah Griffin, lecturer at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “Additionally, you should determine if your lifestyle is suitable for responsible pet ownership.”

For example, if you are thinking about adopting a kitten, you should be able to provide the kitten with at least three
wellness visits to a veterinarian for vaccines and deworming, Griffin said. Additionally, Griffin recommended kittens be spayed or neutered when they are six to nine months of age and given monthly flea, intestinal parasite, and heartworm prevention, whether the kitten lives primarily indoors or outdoors.

Brookside Barkery Another important factor to consider before purchasing or adopting a cat is diet. Providing a well-balanced and nutritious diet plays a key role in your feline’s health. “I recommend feeding cats high-quality dry and canned food,” Griffin stated. “It’s important to introduce both types of food to kittens in case they require a special diet when they get older. Look for The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) label on food before purchasing it to ensure quality.” Brookside Barkery has a wide variety of superb all-natural pet food, both dry and canned food. We are dedicated to being a leader in customer service, so our retail associates can help you choose the perfect food for your new furry friend!

If you are considering bringing a cat into your home, you should also be prepared for their natural behaviors, such as scratching. Scratching may not be conducive to an indoor domesticated lifestyle, so cat owners should give their cat an outlet for this behavior, such as through a scratching post. Other options for cat owners include declawing their cat. However, declawing should only be done after failed attempts to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its claws present a health risk to the owner, Griffin said. Some possible ways to stop destructive scratching include trimming the claws weekly, giving the cat plenty of scratching posts or other items made for cats to scratch, or placing temporary synthetic nail caps on the claws, Griffin said.

Another factor to consider for potential cat owners is the responsibility of cleaning litter boxes. Litter boxes should be cleaned daily and fresh litter should be used weekly to every other week, Griffin said. “I recommend having one more litter box than cat in the home. For example, if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes,” she said.


Brookside Barkery’s store cat, Willow.

Cats should naturally use a clean litter box that is in a quiet part of the home and is well separated from the cat’s food and water. If inappropriate urination occurs, or the cat is not using the litter box, this could be a sign of a medical or behavioral condition. Talk to your veterinarian to determine the best solution to this problem.

Whether you are an experienced pet owner or beginning a new journey in the world of pet ownership, be sure to review and understand the responsibilities of a kitten or a cat. Pets fully depend on their owners for food, love, and care, so it is important to be completely committed before adopting or purchasing a new furry friend.

Follow our store cat, Willow on Twitter
! All of our scratching posts, toys, and food are Willow approved, and she’s not easily impressed! Be sure to stop by Brookside Barkery in Lee’s Summit or Brookside for all the new essentials you’ll need for you and your feline friend!

*Thanks to for the great tips!


Benefits of Giving your Dog Hemp

Brookside Barkery’s newest product spotlight is on Hemp products for pets! Hemp is one of our oldest and most versatile plants, dating back to the 28th century BC. There are so many advantages to your pets using hemp products and we’ve found 3 reasons it could be beneficial to your best four-legged friend!

  1. It Fights Cancer. Researchers at the American Cancer Society say there’s evidence that people with cancer, diabetes and skin allergies don’t make enough GLA … and these issues are incredibly common in dogs too. While GLA is considered a conditionally essential fattBrookside Barkeryy acid (which means that most dogs can make enough of it, most of the time), there are many circumstances (hard exercise or stress) where dogs can’t make enough GLA and supplementing can become important.
  1. It Reduces Joint Pain. Researchers in the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatology found that the GLA found in hemp seeds reduced arthritis symptoms by 25% compared to the placebo at 4%. Once again, this is because the perfect balance of fatty acids helps to reduce inflammation naturally.
  1. It Improves Skin and Coat. Hemp seed has long been used in cosmetic products and soaps because the oil can penetrate the inner layers of the skin and promote healthy cellular growth. The balanced fatty acids also play an important role in reducing the inflammation associated with common skin issues, including atopic dermatitis, pruritic skin disease and granulomas.

You might be thinking, “Hemp is a variety of cannabis, I’m not giving that to my dog!” If you are, it would be too bad because hemp has many health promoting properties nearly every dog could use! Stop by your nearest Brookside Barkery location in either Lee’s Summit or Brookside and talk to one of our knowledgeable retail associates to find out the best hemp product for your furry friend!

*Thank you for these awesome tips about hemp products!



Brookside Barkery

4 Signs Your Cat Totally Loves You

4 Signs Your Cat Totally Loves You

Signs of feline affection can be subtle or downright hard to read. At Brookside Barkery, we know how important it is to our customers that your pets are happy, so we’ve built a list of some behaviors that might just mean that love is in the air! Look for the following feline behaviors for confirmation of true love and adoration between you and your furry companion.

Following You Around (Everywhere)

You hear the th-thud-thud of four paws hitting the floor when you stand up from the couch. You nearly take a tumble while carrying a large pot of water over to the sink because someone is underfoot. You haven’t used the bathroom alone in years. All of these are signs that you are lucky enough to have a cat that doesn’t want to leave your side. This one is pretty clear-cut, but if your buddy is always following you around, you can bet he loves you a whole bunch. Consider bringing him to your work, school, or other social functions—a built in conversation piece and amazing lifestyle choice all in one!

Offering a Slow BlinkBarkery Bath

Cats do a lot of talking with their eyes and one very special way they say “I love you” is through the slow blink. When a cat is happy and content with you, she may just look over and slowly close and reopen her eyes. In this they are saying, “Hey friend, I love you, and I feel comfortable enough around you to let my guard down.” This is basically a marriage proposal from a cat and the best response is a reciprocated slow blink accompanied by the warm feeling in your heart from the certainty that your cat loves you. (Helpful tip: The slow blink is also a great way to introduce yourself in a non-threatening way to a new cat to show that you mean no harm.)

 Kneading or “Making Biscuits”

There are competing theories about why exactly cats knead. One theory holds that adult cats forever associate kneading with the comfort of nursing (kittens knead to stimulate their mother’s milk production), so when a cat kneads near her human, it shows she is relaxed and comfortable with her family. If that’s not love, what is? And when that kneading happens on your lap and is accompanied by purring and an intense, searching gaze, you know you have one content cat on your hands!

The Tail Has It

Cats often greet people they like with a question-mark-shaped tail. Pay attention to your cat’s tail to judge how happy she is to see you.

There you have it, four cat behaviors that are sure signs of true love (or at least true like!). If none of these behaviors seem familiar to you, Brookside Barkery has plenty of treats, toys, and cozy perches for your cat to enjoy – who says you can’t buy love?! Stop by the Barkery in Brookside or Lee’s Summit and pick up a special treat for your favorite feline friend today!

*Thank you for the tips!

Help! My Cat Brought Me a Mouse!

Anyone who has owned a cat for an extended period of time knows the reality of this scenario! Your sweet harmless kitten could, without any notice, turn into a deadly hunter on the prowl! And it’s really not your sweet cat’s fault. He is just following his instincts as a natural born hunter. Cats have an innate desire to catch things and hunt. It’s all part of the thrill of the chase. But why does your cat present you with the catch, as if thoughtfully leaving you a special gift to find!

WHY?!- Whether you enjoy gross mouse surprises or not, your cat thinks that you will. A mother cat will thoughtfully catch prey and bring it to her kittens to eat. Her gesture of leaving this dead mouse on your doorstep, at your feet, or Brookside Barkery even possibly in your bed, is actually an act of kindness. She considers you part of her family and would rather offer you her killing than consume it on her own. While this is sweet, you may not actually appreciate this gesture of kindness.

PREVENTION- Keep your cat from being a natural born hunter by keeping him inside. If this is not an option, try attaching a bell to his collar. Brookside Barkery and Bath provides a wide selection of collars and accessories for your cat. Stop in today to find one perfectly suited for your feline’s comfort and style. Adding a bell to the collar serves as a warning to mice and birds and helps to scare off potential prey by thwarting their ability to stealthily sneak up on it. This way, your cat can indulge his hunting instincts, but you are reducing the likelihood he’ll be successful and leave a present on your doorstep.

DISTRACTION- It can also be helpful to play with your cat in a way that satisfies her cat-and-mouse chase desires. You can do this by making or buying any type of interactive pet toy that simulates a sneaking prey. Look for the type of toy that you can move in front of your cat’s face, like a streamer or a ball on a string. Stop by Brookside Barkery and Bath to pick up some exciting and interactive toys. Your cat will enjoy the tease and want to take down the object, which is much better than taking down a live animal (or your feet as you come around the corner). Your cat can let out his pent up hunting energy on something safe and satisfying, as opposed to injuring a human or animal. Instinct is tough to overcome, so channel it in a way that is efficient, entertaining, and safe for the entire family.

*Special thanks to Litter Robot for these helpful tips!

Why Growling Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

Here at Brookside Barkery, we know that our customers do their best to be the best pet parents they can be. It’s important to brush up on your pet knowledge every now and then and to that end, we’ve found a great article that explains a very common misunderstanding about dogs and why they growl.

Imagine this: You’re in line at the grocery store. The man behind you is standing very close, and you become uncomfortable. He inches up to where he’s practically touching you. There’s a woman in front of you, and the aisles are narrow. You have no space to move away. What would you do? Most people would turn around and say, “Excuse me” oBrookside Barkery r something similar. But now imagine that your ability to speak was gone. You could try giving the man a stern look, but if that didn’t get the message across, you would eventually be forced to resort to physical measures, putting an arm out to stop him or even pushing him away.

The ability to communicate discomfort is very important to both people and dogs. Growling is a perfectly acceptable
canine warning which, roughly translated, means, “Hey, I don’t like that,” “Don’t come any closer!” or “Please stop what you’re doing.” Just as in the grocery store scenario, taking away the ability to politely ask the offender to cease and desist eventually results in having to take physical action, which could result in a dangerous situation for both parties.

Humans are hard-wired to understand that a growl is a threat, so it’s reasonable and even advantageous to become upset when we hear one. But a growl from a dog is actually a good thing. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting that it’s desirable for any dog to growl at his owner, but again, growling is a non-aggressive form of communication. Whether a dog is growling at another dog or a person, it’s a warning. If the dog wanted to attack, he would. Growling is meant to avert aggression, not cause it. But many owners misunderstand and correct their dogs. The dog then learns that growling leads to being punished and suppresses the growl, which often results in biting with no warning. As a trainer, I’ve seen many cases like that over the years, and they can be both difficult and dangerous to rehabilitate.

Growling has its own spectrum of intensity. If the pitch of a growl deepens, the dog’s arousal level is becoming more intense. The accompanying body language offers information as well. A dog who is standing stock still when growling (as opposed to moving away in fear) is conserving his energy and standing his ground; this is a potentially volatile situation, whereas backing away while growling is the behavior of a dog who is fearful or conflicted and is attempting to make the big, scary thing go away.

If you are on the receiving end of a growl, whether the dog belongs to you or someone else, the best course of action at the moment is to defuse the situation. After all, the dog’s arousal level is already elevated. You don’t want to shout, or worse, get physical, as those things could lead to a bite. Instead, look down and to the side. This communicates that you’re not a threat, while allowing you to keep the dog in your peripheral vision. Back away slowly. Don’t turn your back if you can help it, as some dogs are more prone to attack from the rear.

If the dog in question is your own, address the situation that caused the growling at another time when your dog is calm. For example, if your dog was growling when you touched his paws, you would implement a behavior modification program designed around a gradual desensitization to having paws touched. Always employ the assistance of a professional trainer if necessary. Remember, growling is simply communication. If we take a moment to assess why a dog is growling instead of automatically taking the attitude that he’s behaving inappropriately, we will react appropriately.

*Thanks for the tip!


Brookside Barkery

Caring for Your Aging Pet

At Brookside Barkery, we know pets aren’t just pets — they are a part of the family. As your pet ages, it is important to consult your veterinarian for help providing the proper care for your senior pet’s changing needs.

Every animal is different, so the senior life stage occurs at different ages in different pets. For instance, dogs are typically considered seniors at seven years old, but large dogs age more quickly than smaller dogs. Cats can be considered mature at seven years and seniors at 11 years old. Breed and species aside, your pet’s genetics, nutrition, health and environment will ultimately determine when your pet is considered a senior.

One of the telltale signs of increasing age in pets is a decline in physical activity. For instance, previously active pets may not play as much, and both dogs and cats may need assistance climbing on and off the bed or couch. Dr. Stacy Eckman, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), explained when pet owners can expect this transition into senior pet behavior. “A decrease in physical activity depends on the breed, size and genetics of the pet,” she said. “However, some older pets are still quite active in their senior years.”

In addition to a decrease in physical activity, older cats and dogs tend to develop more degenerative health problems. Brookside Barkery “Chronic degenerative disorders like heart and kidney disease are common in older pets, and so is cancer,” Eckman said. “In cats, kidney, heart and thyroid disease are the most common aging conditions. In dogs, different breeds are more prone to certain conditions. For example, some breeds are more likely to see a dramatic increase in cancers as they age.” A visit to the veterinarian every six months can help determine what is normal for your pet so that any changes in behavior or health can be detected early.

Aging cats and dogs are also prone to arthritis, dental disease, loss of sight and hearing, and a decrease in mobility. Just like humans, pets may need more assistance getting around and taking care of themselves. Despite this change in mobility and physical activity, it is important to keep your dog and cat active to slow the progression of joint pain and arthritis. In addition, a healthy diet that adequately nourishes your pet is also key in reducing your pet’s risk for obesity, which can also contribute to joint pain. “The single most important aspect in helping your pet stay as happy and healthy for as long as possible is maintaining a healthy weight throughout their lifetime,” Eckman said. “A healthy weight should be coupled with regular exercise and activity.”

The Barkery has everything you need to keep your older pet happy and healthy! Everything from all natural pet food, to dental care, supplements, joint treatments and more! Stop by either our Brookside or Lee’s Summit locations and pick up everything you need to keep your older pet feeling young.

*Thanks for the advice!