As of this week, Treats a la Bark will be under new management as Rufio and I move on to the next chapter of our life and some exciting new adventures!

It has been a tough decision but one that Rufio and I think is best for the business and we have no doubt that the new owner, Joe, will take Treats a la Bark to new heights.

We have been very careful in picking a new owner who truly understands the business, its values and the importance of organic and Australian made products for our fur babies, so you can be rest assured Treats a la Bark will continue to produce treats to the highest quality.

We are really excited to see Treats a la Bark go to new heights as Joe takes over. Joe and his wife are very passionate about organic and low allergy treats as their own 2 Sharpeis experience skin allergies and tummy upsets too.

Rufio and I just wanted to say huge thank you to all of you for supporting Treats a la Bark over the last few years. It has been an amazing journey and without you, the business wouldn’t be where it is today.

We are so blessed to have met some amazing pups and hope that you stay in touch! You can follow Rufio at @rufio_says on instagram.

We love you all so so much. Thank you for everything

Naomi & Rufio xxxx

When we travel with our pets, it is natural to want to make sure they are as calm with the process as possible. While some pets are seasoned travellers, others will be taking a trip for the first time. There are some wonderful natural remedies out there that can help settle worried pets, but there are also some dangerous things you really need to avoid.

The Good…

Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP)

DAP Adaptil collars release a natural soothing pheromone using the heat of your pet’s skin. This reminds them of being safe and sound with their mum and really does work well for worried puppies and adult dogs. It also works well for pets with mild separation anxiety.

Bach Flowers

While not always the perfect solution, the well-known Rescue Remedy based on Bach Flower remedy now has a pet formulation designed to soothe our worried pets. The main concern with the human versions of tinctures and Bach Flower remedies is the alcohol content, but the pet version is safe to be added to your pet’s drinking water.


These can be good for travel, anxiety and noise phobias, all potential concerns for travelling pets. The Thundershirt works like a big, warm comforting hug and is a pressure-wrap coat designed to settle worried pets. Many owners with anxious pets report an immediate improvement in anxiety when a Thundershirt is used.

The Bad…

Often herbs and natural remedies are used in humans with no ill effects, however we can’t always assume that something safe for humans is okay for our pets. At least with humans, we are unlikely to lick the substance from our skin, unlike our pets, particularly cats. Dogs and cats also have incredibly sensitive noses, so a relatively benign smell can be very irritating to them. A few things that are known to be risky in pets include:

Hops – used as a sleeping aid and not safe for pets.

Valerian – a calming agent for insomnia has been reported to cause toxic signs in animals.

Alcohol-based tinctures – should definitely be avoided in pets.

Essential oils – avoid putting essential oils anywhere that pets can lick them off.

Tea tree oil – while in most cases the tea tree oil in pet shampoos is not at a toxic level (and coincidentally also not at therapeutic concentrations), it is considered a Schedule 6 toxin if consumed. It is reported to cure all sorts of skin complaints; however it is incredibly dangerous to pets who may accidentally (and are likely to) ingest it.

If you are considering a natural remedy for your pets, check with your vet the safety profile of the substance first. Pets metabolise things much differently, which is why chocolate is toxic to them, but delicious to us. If you have an interest in this area, there is an excellent book on the subject by Susan Wynn and Steve Marsden called Manual of Natural Veterinary Medicine Science and Tradition.

Author Bio: Dr. Eloise is a Sydney based vet working for Love That Pet. She completed her training in Veterinary Acupuncture in 2010 and has since then been incorporating this eastern practice in with her Western medical training. Eloise has a passion for helping pets with anxiety and itchy dogs. You can chat with her on Google+ page

If you’re looking for the latest in exercise motivation tools, take a look down by your feet. We may not realise it, but our dogs are the best workout buddies you can get.

Researchers at Michigan State University found that dog owners are far more likely to actually meet the national guidelines for exercise than those who don’t own a dog. At the University of Missouri, they even suggest that dogs are much better exercise companions than humans.

It seems they may be onto something.

Dogs make the best alarm clock.

Have you ever noticed how your dog seems to know exactly when dinner time is? Dogs pick up routines instantly. If you decide you’re going to go for a walk at 6.30am every morning, they will wake you up at 6.30am every morning without fail. (And there is no ‘snoozing’ a dog that wants to go for a walk!).

Keeping a regular sleep routine has plenty of other benefits as well. Irregular sleep patterns have been linked to poor physical health, including weight gain. Bad sleep habits also leads to impaired mental functioning, where you feel like your brain is foggy. So set up a daily routine, and get your dog on board to enforce it.

Dogs won’t take your excuses

A little rain is not an acceptable reason to bail. If anything, it only makes it more fun as far as they’re concerned. Not only are they off on an adventure with their favourite human, there are puddles to jump in as well!

Too tired? Tough! Every “no” only increases their enthusiasm. And don’t think they’ve given up when the bouncing around eventually stops. They’ll pull out their go-to move: gazing longingly at the leash hanging on the wall. And if that doesn’t do it, they’ll bring out the big guns: the impossible-to-ignore puppy dog eyes. There is no dog owner in the world who can resist that trick!

Not only are they never too tired to go on a walk, they also won’t let you take any shortcuts. It’s all-in at all times for a dog. They’ve got infinite supplies of energy so a half-walk just won’t do.

You know you’re doing the right thing by them as well

You may feel more motivated if you’re making the decision to exercise for their sake, rather than your own. After all, they need the exercise as much as you do. The fact that you’re making health-conscious decisions for your pet will inevitably cause you to start making more health-conscious decisions for yourself as well.

Spending time with your dog makes you live longer

Science has shown that dog owners are more likely to survive heart attacks than people who don’t own dogs. Interacting with your dog releases oxytocin in your brain, which reduces cortisol levels and leads to a more relaxed state.

You experience less stress, have lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol.  These are all things that exercise does for your body as well, so you’re really doubling up on your good health when you take your dog for a walk.

Tonnes of endorphins are released.

Are we still not convinced? Endorphins are released when exercising, AND when interacting with your dog. So exercising with your dog must lead to an endorphin explosion! The result being that you’re in a great mood for the rest of the day.

You’re saving money

You save your pennies not only through the benefits to your physical health, but you also have no need for that gym membership you never use!

It’s also a great social activity

You meet other dog owners at the park and bond over your shared interest. And your fellow dog walkers always give you a little nod as they walk past, making you feel like part of the community.

Plus the guys setting up at the café down the street every morning will get to know you and your dog. They’ll miss you if you don’t walk past at your usual time, which is yet another reason to commit to a regular morning walk.

So what’s the best way to do this?

Your best approach is a 30 minute walk, with a pit stop at the park to play a few rounds of fetch with a tennis ball. You’ll burn up to 200 calories before your day has even begun. If you do this most mornings of the week, you are well and truly following the national guidelines to good health without even realising!

So what are the main benefits of exercising with your dog?

  • Consistency: they will get you up for a walk every morning.
  • Accountability: you can’t let them down (recall those puppy dog eyes guilt trips).
  • Energy levels: they have a seemingly infinite energy supply which will keep your pace up.
  • And all the usual health benefits of 30 minutes of exercise a day!

lovethatpet-logoAuthor Bio: Tamara Paulin is a self-proclaimed crazy dog lady and blogger on She has recently completed a Psychology degree with Honours, and loves nothing more than cuddles with her favourite, furry friends.

In this month of LOVE we want to celebrate the unconditional love that our dogs give to us. After all, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

To celebrate, we wanted to offer this FREE PRINTABLE “My Dog Is My Soul Mate” this Valentines Day. Simply download, print and frame!


The design fits perfectly in the Ikea Ribba Frame with mount but will fit any A4 size photo frame. It also comes in 3 colours to suit your mood. Black, Pink and Blue!



Black “My Dog Is My Soul Mate” Print  :  FREE DOWNLOAD HERE

Pink “My Dog Is My Soul Mate” Print  :  FREE DOWNLOAD HERE

Blue “My Dog Is My Soul Mate” Print  :  FREE DOWNLOAD HERE

Don’t forget to also take advantage of our Valentines Special – get a FREE box of organic cranberry love bites with every order until the 14th February 2015.


Happy Valentines Day!

Grooming is an important part of keeping your dog healthy and happy and is required regularly.  Dog groomer, Emma Parker discusses the various grooming tips for your pup with a focus this week on nail clipping.

Its very common for dogs to hate having their nails clipped. Training them to be comfortable to have their nails clipped from a young age is very important. A good tip which can help is to play with your pup’s feet all the time so they get used to people touching their paws.

Nail clipping should be done weekly to monthly, depending on how active your dog is. Regular walking on concrete or hard surfaces will help keep nails shorter than dogs who play on grass or dog who are kept indoors .

A dogs nail is made up of a hard outer shell and a soft cuticle in the middle which is the blood source for the nail, this is known as the quick. Check your dog’s nails weekly to see if they need clipping. If they are left unclipped the quick will grow with the nail, making their nails longer and much more uncomfortable for the dog.

There are two types of nail clippers: scissor type and guillotine type.  Both types are suitable for nail clipping and it comes down to personal preference on what ones to use.

Dog Nail Clipping Tips:

  • dog grooming tips - nail clippingIt is very important to not cut the quick.  Dogs with lighter coloured nails are easier, as you can see the quick. NEVER cut the pink part.
  • With darker nails it is harder to see the quick so it is safest to take a small portion of the nail off at a time. Apply a small amount of pressure slowly and your dog will let you know if it is too short.
  • Always take your time, and stay calm. If you’re not sure then just take a little less off. If you accidentally clip off too much, apply pressure until the bleeding stops. Baby powder can also help stop the bleeding.

Nail clipping can be very difficult and if you are struggling to clip your dog’s nails it is always best to get them done professionally!
PP_About_Logo1About Emma:

Emma Parker is the Head pet stylist and Salon Manager at Pluto pups Grooming Salon in Kotara providing quality dog grooming services with the most love and care.

1300799 509
Shop 1020 Westfield Shopping Centre Park Ave, Kotara NSW


dog grooming tips - brushingGrooming is an important part of keeping your dog healthy and happy and is required regularly.  Dog groomer, Emma Parker discusses the various grooming tips for your pup with a focus this week on brushing.

Grooming should start as a puppy. The earlier and more regular you groom you puppy the easier it will be for both you and the dog. Always make sure grooming is a fun and happy experience, and give plenty of treats and praise after! Sometimes if a dog hasn’t been groomed from a young age they may become very stressed out by the experience making it more upsetting for the dog and difficult for the owner.

No matter the breed of your dog, all dogs require basic grooming care including brushing, nail clipping and ear cleaning. This should be done alongside regular baths that can be done anywhere from once a week to once a month and usually comes down to personal preference, however it is not advisable to wash more your pup more than once a week as it can dry their skin out and cause irritation.


Know your dog’s coat type – Brushing requirements vary for different dogs depending on your dog’s coat type.

  • Dogs with longer coats such as Maltese, Poodle and Shih Tzu etc or dogs with wired coats like Schnauzer and Caine Terrier etc will matt which is very uncomfortable and can cause skin problems, so its very important to brush these types of dogs once to twice a day depending on how active your dog is.
  • Double coated dogs like Pomeranian, Samoyed, Malamute etc should be brushed out every second to third day to remove any excess fur. This is especially important in warmer months as the dead coat will remain underneath making it harder for them to regulate their temperature. If your pup’s coat is nicely brushed out they will keep cool.
  • Shorter haired dogs such as Pug, Labrador, Kelpie etc can get away with a good brush out every 2 – 4 weeks, however the amount of shedding is greatly reduced if done more often.

What type of brush should you use?

  • For long haired or wire coated dogs use a slicker brush or pin brush and a comb after.
  • Some double coated dogs like Husky and Malamutes will require a rake, which will remove all the undercoat. Some Spitz’ will only need a slicker brush and comb if done on a regular basis.
  • For short haired dog who are big shedders, a Furminator or a rubber brush is perfect.

How to brush your dog?

  • Brush from the surface and out
  • Don’t forget under the legs and behind the ears! These places are most likely to get matts.
  • Using a detangler spray will help your pup’s coat brush out.
  • Some stubborn matts may need a dematter used on them.

PP_About_Logo1About Emma:

Emma Parker is the Head pet stylist and Salon Manager at Pluto pups Grooming Salon in Kotara providing quality dog grooming services with the most love and care.

1300799 509
Shop 1020 Westfield Shopping Centre Park Ave, Kotara NSW



no bake halloween dog treats

Halloween is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with some easy no bake halloween pumpkin pie dog treats! Remember that these are a treat so only give one per day! Don’t overfeed these to your pup!

1/4 fresh butternut pumpkin
1 cup quick oats (these are easier to digest as they’re already ground up)
1 tbsp 100% peanut butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger


  1. Peel, seed and chop up the pumpkin into chunks
  2. Bring some water to a boil on the stovetop and drop the pumpkin into the water carefully. Let them cook in the boiling water for about 15 minutes or until soft just like you would potatoes.
  3. Pick up the pumpkin pieces with tongs and then put them in the food processor. Process your pumpkin as much as possible till it is a thick and creamy consistency. Allow to cool. It should make about 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin.
  4. Once cool, in a bowl add the 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin along with all the other ingredients and mix with a spoon until combined.
  5. Roll the mixture into bite sized balls.
  6. Serve and enjoy with your favourite halloween costume!

no bake halloween dog treats

no bake halloween dog treats


organic dog treats treats a la bark

The coconut has been found to have many benefits not only for humans, but for our dogs as well. This superfood is an excellent source of nutrition and takes many forms including shredded coconut meat, coconut milk and coconut water. The most nutrient dense part is coconut oil which has many health benefits.

Below are 5 benefits of coconut oil for dogs, all good reasons why you should give your dog some virgin coconut oil.

1. Coconut oil improves the digestion of your dog and becomes medicine for most digestive upsets. 
Coconut oil has been found to provide relief from symptoms of digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and microbial related tummy bugs. The fatty acids in coconut oil contain anti microbial properties, which have a soothing affect on bacteria that cause poor digestion and inflammation.

2. Coconut oil can give your dog a smooth glossy coat and keep them smelling great!
Coconut is not just for eating– it’s a wonderfully hydrating treat for fur too! It keeps the skin’s connective tissues strong providing essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged fur, which means sleek and glossy coats! It can also help to get rid of that doggie smell!

3. Coconut oil boosts your pup’s immune system
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid, which has strong antimicrobial activities and can help prevent bacterial and viral infections. Other healthy fats in coconut oil including caprylic acid and capric acid have antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral properties to boost the immune system.

4. Coconut oil can soothe wounds and skin infections
For minor cuts and bites, coconut oil can aid in (and even accelerate) the healing of your dog’s skin when applied topically. Dogs with flea allergies, contact dermatitis, or other allergic reactions typically stop scratching soon after coconut oil is added to their food. It hydrates the skin which can assist with dryness and itchiness. It can also be applied as a paw rub to sooth rough paws!

5. Coconut oil tastes great! 
Unlike most herbal products that are good for your dog’s health, coconut is something that your pup will love to eat! By mix coconut oil into your pup’s food you can surely cure the pickiest eater!

Recommended dosage: solid or liquid it can be added to regular food or given between meals. A good daily amount for dogs is about 1 teaspoon (5ml) per 5kg of body weight (but start at a quarter of this and build up slowly). These are general guidelines only. Some pets may experience temporary side effects such as diarrhoea. If this occurs, reduce the dosage temporarily or cease use if unsure.

Make sure to buy virgin coconut oil as this is not refined and free from additives and try to get certified organic if you can.

There are many other benefits of coconut oil for dogs. Get some for your pup’s health and well being. Virgin organic coconut oil is used in most of the Treats a la Bark organic dog treat range.

Click to read more about other superfoods used in Treats a la Bark Organic Dog Treats.

organic dog treats treats a la bark

Australia Day is here and with it, inevitably, comes lamingtons! We love how soft they are made with chocolate and coconut goodness! However, human lamingtons are made from sponge using white flour and sugar as well as cocoa which are all very unsafe for dogs! So we’ve recreated a version of healthy and easy to make dog lamingtons that your pup can enjoy! Remember that these are a treat so only give one per day! Don’t overfead these to your pup!


  • 1/4 cup of raw carob powder
  • 1/4 cup of flax seeds, ground
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 4 pitted medjool dates
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  1. If you have whole flax seeds, you will need to ground them. To ground them you can either use a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle. The coffee grinder should only take 10-15 seconds to get the seeds refined to a small, evenly ground meal. Although the mortar and pestle isn’t the easiest option, it will give you the best results. Pour your flaxseeds into the mortar, and use a combination of bashing and muddling to grind them finely.
  2. Throw all the ingredients into a hand processor or food processor and pulse until just combined.
  3. Remove the blade safely and scoop out a tablespoon of mixture at a time into your hand and roll them into balls.
  4. Roll the balls into the shredded coconut.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

dog lamington recipe organic dog treat

6 tips to prevent fleas on dogsWhen dog lovers are asked what they dread most about the summer months, the topic that comes up most is fleas! Fleas are tiny little parasites, but they can lead to serious health problems if not treated. This week, Dr James Ross discusses what to look for and the best ways to prevent fleas on dogs.

What are the symptoms of fleas?

You will likely notice excessive licking, unexpected movements, and scratching. Surprisingly, it’s the flea’s saliva that is particularly irritating, not just the bites.

You may see fleas running on your pet’s stomach or by using a flea comb at the base of the tail. Or you may see flea dirt where he has lain. You can test these black “crumbs” by putting them on a damp tissue: if they turn reddish-brown, that is your dog’s dried blood!

Secondary problems such as hair loss, miliary dermatitis and behavioural issues may also arise. Because fleas are a host to tapeworm, if your dogs have fleas, they probably have tapeworm too. Tapeworm can cause restlessness and diarrhoea in children. So give your dog an intestinal worming tablet if you see scooting or suspect worms.

Where did the fleas come from?

Any visiting pet or wandering cat can drop hundreds of eggs at your house or in your garden. Fleas like shady areas like under the deck so keep these areas cleared of debris.

Another common area for infestations is in the grass at the local park. Remember, fleas do not jump from dog to dog, they jump onto your dog directly from the environment.

Why are fleas so hard to get rid of?

The flea has a complex and cleverly adapted life cycle which can resist treatments at various stages. It is also incredibly fast. In the right conditions, fleas can go from being an egg to being an egg layer in a week! One female flea on your dog can lay 50 tiny (0.5mm) white eggs in a day! If there are 10 fleas, that’s 15,000 eggs in a month!

If you end up with flea eggs in the house, they can hatch up to 6 months later, so regular prevention is the key.

What should we do to prevent fleas?

  1. Use a monthly topspot – Treat every animal in the house YEAR ROUND with a monthly topspot, (buy a vet brand, not a supermarket brand).
  2. Be extra cautious in summer – Remember to increase the dose of your monthly topspot to once a fortnight during summer making sure it covers for ticks as well as fleas.
  3. Keep your pup dry – If your dog is a swimmer, make sure you use a waterproof treatment or keep the dog dry for two days each side of a topspot squirt.
  4. Use a fast-acting tablet –  If you still see live fleas it is because the topical treatment can’t keep up with the number of them! In this case, use an additional fast-acting monthly Comfortis® tablet with food.
  5. Frequently vacuum carpeting, rugs and furniture or any other places your pet is around, including your car. This will clean up as many immature fleas as possible. Dump bags or vacuum canisters immediately.
  6. Wash all bedding regularly in hot water including any blankets. Hang them in direct sunlight if possible. Don’t forget your own bedding too!

Cheers for now from all of us at The Barracks Vet Surgery

Barracks Vet Surgery

About James:

Dr James Ross BVSc (Hons) MRCVS is the principal veterinarian at The Barracks Vet Surgery in Mosman providing a unique, high quality veterinary experience for the pets and owners of Mosman, Cremorne, Neutral Bay & the surrounding suburbs of the Lower North Shore.

(02) 9969 1100 2A Best Avenue MOSMAN NSW 2088