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 https://www.lovethatpet.com/. 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.

Website: http://plutopups.com.au/grooming-salon/
Email: grooming@plutopups.com.au
1300799 509
Shop 1020 Westfield Shopping Centre Park Ave, Kotara NSW


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.

Website: www.barracksvet.com.au
Email: admin@barracksvet.com.au
(02) 9969 1100 2A Best Avenue MOSMAN NSW 2088

top 5 dog treat toys treats a la bark organic dog treatsTreat dispensing dog toys should be a staple in every dog parent’s toolbox! They offer your pup with mental stimulation and help relieve boredom which can mitigate a lot of common behaviourial problems, whilst also providing hours of energy burning fun!

There are a number of dog treat dispensing dog toys which can be used in conjunction with your favourite dog treats. We have picked our top 5 favourites!

1. The Kong

top dog treat toys treats a la bark

Every dog should have one of these in their toy box! The KONG Classic is the perfect dog treat toy made from a super-bouncy, natural rubber compound. It is super tough so is perfect for pups that love to chew! Simply fill with your dog’s favourite treats or even Peanut Butter!

2. Nina Ottoson Dog Tornado

top dog treat toys treats a la bark

The Nina Ottoson Dog Tornado is the ultimate dog treat toy challenge! Made of four layers of spinning discs, the layers contain compartments where dog treats can be hidden. Your pup’s challenge is to learn to spin the layers with their nose or paw to find the noms! To increase difficulty, you can place the white plastic blocks on some of the compartments. Perfect for the extra smart pup!

Watch the video to see how it works!


3. Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Eggplant

top dog treat toys treats a la bark

This tough and bouncy dog treat toy is a whole lot of fun! It features a special reinforced Treat Spot™ that will delight chewers with the interactive challenge of getting at the healthy dog treats you stash inside! They threw in some peppermint scent to ensure your pup loves the smell as much as the feel. Double noms!

4. The Monster Ball

top dog treat toys treats a la bark

The Monster Treat Ball is unevenly weighted so it bounces in unexpected directions everywhere! Tuck your favourite dog treats in it’s mouth and let it massages your pup’s gums, providing hours of entertainment!  It even has a a delicious vanilla scent!

5. The Tux

top dog treat toys treats a la bark

Tux is the combination of a stuffable and toassable dog treat toy. Tux is pliable, nontoxic, and even floats on water. Simply stuff the Tux with your pup’s favourite treats! The Tux can be stuffed with dry biscuits or with sticky favourites like Peanut Butter. It is even dishwasher safe for easy cleaning!


organic dog treats treats a la bark

pancreatitis in dogs christmas safetyWe know how tempting it is to give your dog a taste of your Christmas dinner but it’s very important to only choose safe foods to give to your pup! Foods that are high in fat can cause vomiting and diarrhea and Pancreatitis can often follow (yikes!). This week on the blog, Dr James Ross from Barracks Vet Surgery talks to us about Acute Pancreatitis and what to look for to make sure your pup is safe this Christmas!

Acute pancreatitis can affect dogs or cats. What is it?
Acute pancreatitis is the sudden onset of inflammation of the pancreas (as opposed to chronic pancreatitis which is a similar but ongoing condition). It is usually associated with cranial abdominal pain (typified by a bowing or hunched posture) and persistent vomiting.

What is it caused by?
Often it follows a “dietary indiscretion” such as raiding a bin or being given rich, fatty food (which is common around Christmas time). In these cases digestive enzymes activate whilst still inside the pancreas, causing painful self-digestion.

Other causes of pancreatitis include infection, injury to the abdomen, ingestion of medications and insecticides intended to control fleas and ticks, such as organophosphates.

What are some symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs?
Many pets will hide the symptoms lest they appear vulnerable to competitors or predators. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should visit a Vet without delay.

• Persistent vomiting.

• Anorexia (lack of appetite, not eating).

• Cranial abdominal pain (may crouch or bow down).

• Dehydration (the skin may “tent” when lifted, eyes may appear sunken, gums tacky).

• Shock – (Which is when the body reduces blood flow to extremities).

Other signs include: cold extremities/ears, rapid heart rate, slow shallow breathing, slow capillary refill time, (the time it takes pinkness to return when you press your finger against the pet’s gum), cold dry mucous membranes, possibly collapse and convulsions.

What is the treatment for pancreatitis in dogs?
A blood test will give a diagnosis. Treatment is a combination of withholding all food plus medicating with painkillers, anti-nausea and antibiotic medications, and possibly IV fluids. Accompanying diseases will also need to be ruled out. After this, water and then food will be very slowly re-introduced, and a strictly bland, low fat diet will begin.

What is the moral of this story?
This Christmas, please remember, no ham, fatty foods or treats off the bbq. Even a mouthful can cause your pet great pain and cost you lots of dollars at the Vet. Treats a la Bark organic dog treats are a much safe alternative!

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.

Website: www.barracksvet.com.au
Email: admin@barracksvet.com.au
(02) 9969 1100
2A Best Avenue MOSMAN NSW 2088

Treats a la Bark organic dog treats Bindle

We are delighted to announce that Treats a la Bark Organic Raspberry & Carob Barkscotti has been hand picked for the “Man’s Best Friend” Bindle Box.

Bindle BoxBindle was founded by Catherine Blackford in Melbourne and engages local artisans to produce Australian, hand-made, tailored gift packages which are beautifully presented. There are Bindles for every occasion and every part of the creation is Australian – the products within the Bindles; the boxes that contain them; the hand that wrapped them. We are absolutely honored to be a part of Bindle.

The “Man’s Best Friend” Bindle is the perfect way to pamper your pup for their unconditional love.

Also included is: Best in Park Bedford lead, Murchison Hume In Between Clean.


Get yours now

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Recently, we stumbled upon Moush, founded by 2 sisters Emilia and Vivian, which is a Sydney based company helping you capture the memories of your life in the most fun and unique way. They can turn your digital images into exciting and customised pieces of art for your space! We at Treats a la Bark know that we are forever trying to capture the wonderful memories of our dogs. Not only are our dog’s memories centred around their photos but also in their special details such as their quirky habits, favourite food and favourite toys. With this in mind, Moush have a range of typography designs to help you capture your dog’s image and special details in a most fun and artistic way. The beauty of Moush’s pet art is that you can send through even an Iphone photo which can be created into a completely personalised and unique art work for your home! With many different designs to choose from, there is an artwork for any one out there looking to have a keepsake forever in their home. We had one created for Rufio and were absolutely blown away at how awesome it looks! We opted for the 40x40cm canvas. Perfect for sitting on our desk! Moush Pet Art Treats a la Bark organic dog treats Moush Pet Art Treats a la Bark Organic Dog Treats Moush Pet Art Treats a la Bark Organic Dog Treats Moush Pet Art Treats a la Bark organic dog treats Creating your own pet art (or any other art for that matter) is easy! Here’s how it works: Step 1 Choose a Category – Kids, Pets, Weddings, Fun & Love (Bespoke has separate process) Step 2 Choose a Design – There are a range of Designs for you to choose from. Step 3 Personalise & Upload – Upload your image, add your words. Step 4 Process, Print, Package, Post – Moush will design your product. Send it to you for your review. Print it once approved. Package it and post it to you. Tada! Moush is offering a special deal for all Treats a la Bark customers! Simply enter the code ” treatsalabark99″ at the check out and get  any 40×40 cm canvas for  just $99 or 30% OFF any other size!

Order now!

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travelling overseas with your dogLately it seems that many of us are transferring overseas to pursue work opportunities. This can throw the most organised person into turmoil as they orchestrate the seemingly infinite number of tasks involved. Many people can’t bear to think of leaving their dog behind so bring their dog with them! This week Dr James Ross has tips on travelling overseas with your dog.

1. Research & Plan Ahead
One of the jobs that should be handled early when travelling overseas with your dog is arranging pet transportation. Some preparations need to be started seven months before departure! AQIS, The Australian Quarantine Inspection Service, has strict requirements for animals leaving and entering Australia. Different laws apply to each overseas destination, but most involve some time spent in confinement at their destination. It’s also important to check what breeds airlines carry. Some airlines have restrictions on certain breeds such as snub-nosed dogs like pugs so check with the carrier to make sure whether your dog is allowed to travel with them.

2. Make sure all vaccinations are up to date
There are many forms that need to be completed and returned prior to your dog’s trip such as vaccination records for boarding and relevant veterinary documentation for International shipments. As a priority, your dog’s vaccinations, flea treatments and worming should be up to date.  In many cases, correct preparation can make the difference whether a pet is penned for a few weeks or many months. For most pets, a six month quarantine is just too isolating to be considered kind.

3. Calculate costs
Costs can be significant so be prepared. Depending on the country you can expect to pay between $1000-$3000 each way for one pet!

4. Consider a pet relocation company
There are AQIS accredited vets such as Dr James,  in liaison with accredited pet transportation companies who will help you navigate the system and satisfy all medical, documentary and crating requirements.

5. Tips for your dog during travel
Dr James suggests only offering your dog water for the 12 hours before travel so that they are not further stressed by soiling themselves or becoming airsick in transit. A light treat is ok. Sedation is not recommended as animals are unable to brace themselves and may be bruised by the sides of their crate when moved, and unable to move away from spilt water etc. However there are homeopathic vet products such as Feliway, Adaptil and Homeopet which will calm and reassure the pet during the trip. Another good idea is to include your dog’s favourite toy in the crate or even a piece of your clothing which will have your scent on it. This can help relax your pup by providing them with some form of familiarity.

With the proper preparation, travelling overseas with your dog can be a fantastic experience!

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

Barracks Vet SurgeryAbout 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.

Website: www.barracksvet.com.au
Email: admin@barracksvet.com.au
(02) 9969 1100
2A Best Avenue MOSMAN NSW 2088