Benefits of Dogs for Aging Family Members

It is no surprise that dogs are “man’s best friend,” and people of all ages can benefit from the love of a dog. They are often good for children, because they can teach a child responsibility, love and compassion. Dogs are also a companion for adults who live alone or for young couples that do not yet have children. They are also very therapeutic to elderly people who may live alone and can’t get out of the house on a regular basis. If you have an elderly friend or family member, you may want to consider getting them a dog. This article from explains the benefits from doing so.

Physical Benefits

Studies show that in addition to providing friendship, security, and companionship to seniors living on their own, having a companion animal can actually improve a person’s mental and physical health in a plethora of ways.

A recent study from, the European Journal of Medical Research, found that elderly dog owners get much more exercise than their animal-less counterparts, suffer less loneliness, and are given a sense of purpose.

Study authors found that taking short, frequent walks with a dog can lessen depression, anxiety, and stress, and that physical activity doesn’t need to be overly intense. Just by letting the dog outside, feeding him on a schedule, and playing fetch was found to have positive effects on people’s physical health.

The extra exercise also translates to fewer trips to the doctor, according to a recent study of 1000 U.S. Medicare patients, which found that senior dog guardians had 21 percent fewer physician visits than non-dog owners.

Ditto for petting that dog: it can decrease blood pressure and even your resting heart rate.

That relaxation works both ways. “Petting an animal helps your body release a relaxation hormone while cutting down levels of stress hormones, and it soothes your pet at the same time”, says Alan Beck, director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University.

What Makes a Good Match

While there isn’t one specific breed of dog that makes a perfect match for an older adopter, shelters and rescue organizations alike agree having realistic expectations and a support system in place increases the chances of the match being successful.

A senior should be able to provide exercise for their new pet, whether that means walking the dog themselves or getting a neighbor, family member or service provider to help. A very large or active animal may be a poor match for a senior with limited strength or mobility and could be a tripping hazard.

What You’ll Need

A new dog also comes with new needs. The Brookside Barkery is the perfect place to get everything needed to bring home a new dog. Check everything off your list when you stop by the Barkery to get food, treats, a bed, a collar and leash and of course toys! The Barkery also provides grooming services such as bathing and nail trimming which is a difficult task for someone who may not get around so well, and with two convenient locations in Lee’s Summit and Brookside, it will be easy to keep them groomed and looking their best!

Last Minute Gift Ideas!

The clock is ticking, and time is running out to get your last minute shopping done! The Brookside Barkery is your one stop shop to get everything you need, whether it’s for your pet or for the pet lover in your life!

Our Brookside and Lee’s Summit locations will be open until 4:00PM on Christmas Eve for your shopping convenience!

Still need gifts for your sweet fur babies? Stop by the Barkery where you’ll find everything that’s on your pet’s holiday witreat jarsh list! Does Bobo need a plush, comfy new dog bed? We’ve got ’em! How about a snazzy new collar and leash? We have many styles and colors to choose from! He could also use a new toy and bone to keep him entertained and happy for hours on end!

Shopping for the pet lover in your life? How about a customized treat jar filled with delicious treats their pet will surely love! Not sure what they really want? We still have you covered. Pick up a gift card and watch their face light up when you give them the gift to choose exactly what they want from the Barkery!

Don’t FURget our year end BLOWOUT SALE is going on through December 31, so take advantage now!

Chain of Hope KC Donation Results

chain of hope pic

As many of you know, the Brookside Barkery has been taking donations for Chain of Hope KC. Chain of Hope KC ‘s main goal is to alleviate the suffering of abused and neglected animals within the urban core of Kansas City.

Thanks to the generous people who donated at our Brookside and Lee’s Summit locations, we were able to donate more than 5,000 pounds of food to Chain of Hope Kansas City! We thank everyone who came out and donated to this wonderful cause.

If you missed the chance to donate don’t worry! The Barkery is still accepting donations through the end of the year to go directly to Chain of Hope KC. If you would like to learn how you can help this worthy cause, please visit the Chain of Hope Website. Thank you again to everyone who helped make this great donation possible!


Holiday Pet Safety Tips

The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. Keep these tips from the ASPCA in mind, and you and your pets will have a very happy holiday!

Be Careful with Seasonal Plants and Decorations

  • Oh, Christmas Tree: Securely anchor your Christmas tree, so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
  • Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
  • Tinsel-less Town: Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.
  • That Holiday Glow: Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. If you leave the room, put the candle out!
  • Wired Up: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock, and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus. Shards of breakable ornaments can be just as harmful and damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.

Avoid Holiday Food Dangers

  • Skip the Sweets: By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising pet will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food. Also, be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
  • Leave the Leftovers: Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won’t lead to costly medical bills.
  • Careful with Cocktails: If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
  • Selecting Special Treats: Looking to stuff your pet’s stockings? Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible. Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible are a great option. Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer.

Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering

  • House Rules: If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you’re busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
  • Put the Meds Away: Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away.
  • A Room of Their Own: Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat away from the crowd—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
  • New Year’s Noise: As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. And remember that many pets are also scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.

Wishing you and your furry friends a very happy holiday and a prosperous New Year from your friends at Brookside Barkery!

Is it OK to Sleep with Your Pets?

We all love our dogs and want to make them happy, but what do you do when they insist on sleeping in bed with you? Should you even let them? Thanks to and the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, we find the answer. The Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic of Arizona conducted a study of some 150 patients, with 74 of them being pet owners. The study showed that more thansleeping half of those 74 patients allowed their pets to sleep in the bedroom with them.

20 percent of owners described their pets as disruptive at night, 41 percent said their pets are unobtrusive, and many of the study’s participants stated that their pets contributed positively to their sleep, providing security, companionship or relaxation.

The study also showed that dogs are more dependent on humans than cats. While dogs do a better job developing a “consistent sleep pattern” with their owners, they can also bark or whimper during the night if they are dissatisfied.

Dogs Sleeping in the Bedroom: Can it be Harmful?

However, it’s not always smooth sailing when deciding to sleep with your dogs in the room. A previous study offers an alternative tale of nighttime restlessness where it concerns dogs in the bedroom.

While countless pet owners peacefully sleep with a warm pet nearby, a Mayo Clinic study, presented in 2014 at the 29th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, found an increase in the number of people experiencing sleep disturbances because of their pets.

“The study determined that while the majority of patients did not view their pets intolerably disturbing their sleep, a higher percentage of patients experienced irritation — this may be related to the larger number of households with multiple pets,” says Lois Krahn, M.D., Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and author of the study.

What this comes down to is preference. If you sleep soundly with Rover by your side then, by all means, let him crawl into bed with you. If you are constantly woken up by snoring or barking, then it might not be the best thing for you.

The Brookside Barkery has a huge selection of pet beds if y2015-01-28_1332ou are one of those who cannot sleep through the night with your pet. Pick up a fluffy, new pet bed for your fur baby, and the two of you will be drifting off to dream land in no time!

Mars Petcare Issues a Voluntary Recall

MARS Petcare has issued a voluntary recall of the following Nutro dog treat due to potential mold.

Product Description: Nutro CHEWY TREATS APPLE 4OZ

PetSmart SKU: 5229600

Product UPC:  7910511344

Impacted Lot Codes:  Lots codes beginning with ‘4 50’, ‘5 02’, ‘5 03’, OR ‘5 05’ (regardless of best by date).

The Lot Codes are located on the bottom of the bag under the Best By date as shown below:


Brookside Barkery only sells the highest quality food and treats for your pets. Choose from a wide variety of brands like Walk About Dog Treats and Zoe’s Premium. Don’t let your pet eat sub-par treats, they’re family too so make sure they are eating the same quality you would give your human family.

Making Introductions

Thinking about adopting a new pet for the holidays? If you already have pets it is important to make them feel safe and secure while bringing a new pet into the mix. If pets aren’t introduced to one another the right way you risk the chance of something happening like a fight breaking out. To make sure the process goes well and everyone stays happy take into consideration these tips from
Have new dogs meet one-on-one
Group introductions can be a bit challenging even for a well-adjusted dog. For a dog who struggles in social situations, meeting multiple dogs simultaneously can be so overwhelming that it could damage the new relationships. Dog parks like Leawoof Dog Park in Leawood, Kansas or the Swope Park Off Leash Dog Park in Kansas City make great places to introduce dogs.
Choose the location of the meeting carefully
Off-territory is best so that neither dog feels like the other is the intruder. And conduct the initial meeting outside rather than inside. Often during meetings, a dog will urinate and then walk away, especially if he is feeling overwhelmed. That gives the other dog an opportunity to get to know the stressed dog by sniffing the urine without coming into close contact with its source. If dogs are inside where urinating is a no-no, their options are limited.
Avoid gates, fences, doorways and other tight spaces
They tend to make dogs tense, and a tense dog is unlikely to be at his best. In general, dogs feel more relaxed and are more likely to exhibit desirable behavior when they don’t feel confined, so do your best to keep both dogs in open space and away from narrow passageways. For example, try to conduct the introduction in the middle of the yard rather than along the edges.
Don’t crowd the dogs
Like narrow spaces, having people too close can also make dogs feel uncomfortably confined. For many dogs, being crowded by people is worse than being crowded by inanimate objects and tight spaces because it puts a lot of social pressure on them. Resist the urge to lean toward them or hover over them. It’s natural to want to move toward the dogs if you perceive even the slightest sign of tension or trouble, but ironically, it can make things worse. Moving away is far more likely to lower the arousal or tension level and prevent escalation of the situation. If you see tension, use a cheerful voice to say something like, “This way,” or “Let’s go,” then clap your hands and walk away.
Keep moving
This is a great way to help an introduction go smoothly. It not only prevents you from crowding the dogs, it also keeps their interactions with each other from developing intensity. If humans walk purposefully, dogs will often follow, allowing them to avoid greeting or interacting more closely than they’re comfortable with.


Don’t forget all the new items you’ll need when bringing a new dog home! Brookside Barkery has everything you’ll need from beds, collars, food and even holiday themed toys!

Help Chain of Hope this Christmas

We are partnering with Chain of Hope KC this holiday season to raise money for abused and neglected pets in the metro area. These sweet pets don’t have a voice of their own and can’t speak up when they aren’t being treated properly. Chain of Hope KC has made it their mission to give this pets a voice and make sure they are heard.

Chain of Hope KC is a 501 c3 organization, formed in 2010 with a primary goal of alleviating the suffering of abused and neglected animals within the urban core of Kansas City. Our ultimate goal is to break the chain of ignorance, break the chain of suffering, and break the chain of unwanted litters.

  • Mission Statement: Helping owners become aware of the crucial needs of their pets.

This holiday season we are collecting donations for Chain of Hope KC at our Brookside location as well as Lee’s Summit. Every penny counts and is appreciated. Make sure to pass this great organization and opportunity to change the lives of metro pets along to your friends and family.

If you would like more information on Chain of Hope KC and what they do click here.

Summer Fun with Your Dog

Here are 4 way to have a lot of fun with your dog this summer from

Did you know dogs can get sunburns?

Their noses are particularly susceptible but dogs with little or no fur can easily get sunburned all over their bodies. Epi-Pet makes a broad-spectrum FDA-compliant sunscreen formulated especially for dogs that is safe even if licked!


Make your dog the ultimate summer treat! Get a container of your choosing, one matching your dog’s size. An empty yogurt or ice cream container is ideal but a bowl will totally do. Now get creative! Toss in all manner of treats and toys to thrill your dog: a squeaky rubber ball (not so small it could be swallowed, of course), a few blueberries, a small handful of little liver treats, bits of hot dog—the only rule of thumb is nothing that will get all soggy, like wheat-based treats. Then fill with water (you can add a bit of low-sodium beef or chicken broth if you’d like), pop it in the freezer, and wait until a hot afternoon to take it out. Briefly run the container under warm water to release the surprise-filled ice treat you’ve created then give it to your dog—outside of course!

Cool Runnings

Keep your hot dog cool on warm days. Take a regular bandana (cut it down to size if your dog is small) and run it under the tap before wringing it out, smoothing it into a triangle and placing it in the freezer. Leave it in there until it’s nice and icy cool or until the next hot day rolls around, then fasten around your dog’s neck for a welcome cool down!

Take to the water

The newest craze to hit lakes and oceans near you? SUP or Stand Up Paddle Board. Not only does this sport offer you a glorious vantage point from out on the water, it’s a lot of fun, and offers the bonus of abdominal strengthening as the balance it requires engages your core. But best of all it’s dog friendly! The large board is perfect for bringing along your water-happy dog! She can sit on the board as you paddle about. You’ll definitely want to outfit your dog with a lifejacket.

Barkery Owner Delena Stout – KC’s Most Influential Women

We’re proud to announce that Barkery Owner Delena Stout has been named one of KC’s Most Influential Women by KC Magazine!

According to Susan Fotovich McCabe, ” This year’s Influential Women honorees are not only driven to succeed at their own companies, they’re setting the standard for future generations of female leaders in KC. Diversity is the best word to describe our 2014 class of Influential Women. Representing a wide array of industries, including sales, marketing, law, nonprofit and more, these 31 women all have one thing in common: passion.”

It’s true: Delena Stout had both passion and determination when she began developing her plan for a place many pet lovers have come to love: The Brookside Barkery and Bath.

It all started when, “after working several years in the corporate world, Stout found herself as a displaced worker. She did her homework, participated in the Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac New Venture program and began baking dog treats in the basement of a tiny Brookside storefront while sleeping on a cot next to the oven. It makes for fond memories, but building a large, loyal base of customers is what really puts a smile on her face.” That base was extended when a second location was opened in Lee’s Summit.

Not only did Delena achieve her dream goal of a mutli-faceted dog owner destination, she also thrives on the ability to donate to charities that care for and also hold weekly adoptions in both stores. She is also looking forward to opening a third location in Overland Park later this year.

Read more by clicking here.