Are Air Fresheners Toxic to Pets?

No one likes the smell of a stinky house – especially a stinky house caused by your pet! The natural reaction of most homeowners is to plug in or spray the air freshener to cover up those nasty odors.

Before you reach for the air fresheners, it’s important to know many can be very toxic to animals. One of the most prominent offenders included on the ingredient list for a number of air fresheners are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). VOCs are also found in paints, fossil fuels, benzene, formaldehyde and cigarette smoke.

VOCs can cause:

  • Nose, throat and eye irritation
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Loss of coordination
  • Damage to central nervous system, liver and kidney
  • Cancer

One of the latest “natural” alternatives to air fresheners today is essential oils. But, don’t be mistaken – essential oils are also defined as volatile and can be very toxic to animals.

Choose a Natural, Safe Alternative

Looking for an all-natural, pet friendly air freshener alternative? Try simmering spices, herbs, citrus peels and mints on your stovetop or in your crockpot. Create your own combination, or try one of these pleasant recipes posted by Modkat for yourself!

Holiday Delight

  • Peels from two apples
  • Six cinnamon sticks
  • Two tablespoons of whole cloves
  • One teaspoon of vanilla
  • One orange peel
  • ¼ cup of fresh or frozen cranberries

Rosemary Lemon

  • One sliced lemon
  • Several sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • One teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Two cups of water

Cinnamon Orange 

  • Two quartered oranges
  • Six cinnamon sticks
  • Two tablespoons of whole cloves
  • Two cups of water

Stop by Kansas City’s best pet store at our Brookside or Lee’s Summit location to discover more all-natural, pet safe products!

Pet Safety Tips this Halloween

Halloween is just a few short days away – which means pumpkins, candy, costumes and all things spooky! As exciting as Halloween in Kansas City can be, it’s also a time of caution for pet owners – black cat owners specifically.

Not only are black cats often associated with dark forces, but many end up missing on Halloween night due to pranks and other unspeakable reasons. Did you know the majority of shelters don’t even adopt out black cats during the entire month of October for their safety?

To ensure both your family and pets enjoy a fun and safe Halloween this year, please remember the following tips:

Keep Your Pet Safely Indoors

Animals can easily become anxious when children are constantly ringing your doorbell while wearing strange costumes and yelling, “Trick or treat!” Keep your pet in their own safe haven for the evening – a pet carrier or a closed room are a couple of options. Not only does keeping your pet in a safe place help calm nerves, but it also eliminates the risk of your pet running away with the constant opening and closing of the front door. As an additional precaution, always make sure your furry companions are wearing identification!

Save the Candy for The Humans

One of the biggest hazards to furry family members during Halloween is candy. Chocolate is especially toxic to both cats and dogs. Be aware of candy wrappers as well – ingesting wrappers can cause choking or even life-threatening bowel obstruction. Keep candy in secure containers in an area your animal companions cannot gain access to. If you have reason to believe your pet has ingested something toxic, contact the Pet Poison Helpline immediately!

Halloween Costumes 

Who doesn’t love an adorable pet dressed in an even more adorable Halloween costume?! As exciting as dressing your pet for the day can be, it is important to make sure your animal is safe. Use non-flammable and non-toxic items that your pet is comfortable in. Also, make sure the costume doesn’t restrict your animal’s movement, breathing or vision.

Choose Your Decorations Carefully

Decorations pose a threat to not only cats, but all animals. Keep your four-legged friends away from jack-o-lanterns, candles, balloons and any other decorations they could ingest, become tangled in or be injured by.

After the commotion of Halloween begins to die down and you’ve put all potentially hazardous items away, give your cat (or dog!) a belly rub for putting up with all the loud, strange humans that come out on Halloween! Moving forward, it is important to remember cats are safer living indoors. After all, knowing your beloved pet is safe and happy is the best treat you can give yourself this Halloween season!

5 Reasons to Add Collagen to Your Pet’s Diet

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, otherwise known as the “glue” that holds everything together. It’s one of the most prominent components of muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, bones and skin. Just like us humans, when our pets begin to age, their collagen begins to deplete making them much more prone to injuries, arthritis, and poor coat/skin health.

Although the deterioration of healthy collagen during the aging process is a natural process, lost collagen can be replaced through supplementation for both humans and their furry family members. Below are five reasons to start giving your pet collagen today to help eliminate problems as they begin to age.

Improves Joint Pain: Joint and soft tissue pain is frequently experienced as our pets transition into their elder years. Often leading age-related diseases such as degenerative disc disease and arthritis, giving your furry friend a collagen supplement will help aid to the natural loss of collagen and decrease the risk of pain.

Prevents Injuries & Stabilizes Joints: For dogs specifically, collagen makes up 70-90% of their muscles, ligaments and tendons. As collagen begins to decrease, dogs become more likely to have a joint or muscle injury. The sooner you add collagen to your dog’s diet, the less likely they are to have joint/muscle injuries in the future.

Aids to Healthy Coats & Skin: Although our pets aren’t concerned about their appearance like the majority of us humans are, collagen provides a shiny, soft coat and conditioned, healthy skin. Collagen makes up 70% of the protein found in the skin of dogs specifically and also aids to strong nails that are less likely to split as they grow.

Promotes a Healthy Appetite: Collagen is the most effective when it’s consumed through supplements or other collagen-rich foods. The most collagen-prominent food source comes from the ingredients found in bone broth. When bone broth is heated, it turns into a gel-like substance as it hardens. The gel texture comes from the large amount of collagen protein within this super food. Lean meats, eggs and dairy are great sources of collagen as well.

Supports Digestion: It’s no surprise what our pets put into their bodies plays a huge role in digestion. Ingesting collagen helps sooth the lining of the gastrointestinal tract by breaking down proteins and forming connective tissue. Collagen also contains the amino acid, glycine, which has healing properties promoting a less irritated and healthier digestive system.

Ready to start implementing collagen into your pet’s diet? Come by either Barkery location today and ask one of our experts about the collagen supplements we carry!