Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

All of us here at Dugan's Barkery wishes each of you a Happy New Year. May your year be filled with good health, joy and bountiful blessings.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Barkery Buzz

Dugan's Barkery is pleased to announce two new additions to our line up of all natural, allergy free dog treats made with organic ingredients.

The first is Hana's Hearts, in honor of the beautiful American Eskimo from northern California, Hana the Dog. Hana passed over the rainbow bridge this fall, but left a lasting impression on so many. Hana's Hearts are made with a mix of organic peanut butter and apple, blending the two tastes together in a heavenly snack for your dog.

Our second new treat is our Dragon Snap, named after a precious and playful Pomeranian/Shitzu mix from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dragon Snaps are made with banana and apple - a perfect fruit blend treat for small dogs.

Both treats are sure to please the palates of your pooches! Be sure to stop by at to check out these and our complete line up of all natural allergy free dog treats.

Friday, December 4, 2009

That Itching and Licking That Your Dog is Doing Could be Food Allergies or Food Sensitivities

Please note that this blog post is for informational purposes only and not intended to replace professional opinion or advice. Please consult your vet for your pets medical and dietary needs.

Are you and your canine companion frustrated with his constant itching, licking and scratching? Have you dumped money and time into special shampoos, lotions and skin treatments for your dog only to have the cycle of itching licking and scratching return? You're not alone. Each year thousands of dogs and their families suffer the same frustrations due to undiagnosed inhalant, contact or food allergies. But there is hope. With the proper diagnosis and treatment your dog can return to his happy, healthy self.

What are the symptoms of allergies in dogs?
Dogs react differently than humans to allergens. The canine reaction is through their skin whether the trigger allergen is an inhalant, contact or food. Wondering if your canine companion could have allergies? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
  • Does he suffer from itchy skin?
  • Does he have hot spots?
  • Does he lick and or chew his paws and legs?
  • Does he shake his head and/or dig at his ears?
  • Get frequent ear infections or have ear odor caused by a yeast infection?
  • Does he have itchy, crusty skin with a greasy smelly coat?
  • Does he lick and scoot his bottom but you know it's not from worms or full anal sacs?
  • Has he developed sores around his mouth?
  • Does your dog vomit or have diarrhea?
  • Does he have lots of gas?
  • Does he have more than two bowel movements a day?
  • Has your dog developed unexplained behavioral problems?
  • Do some of his symptoms seem to clear up while new ones come forward?
  • Do his symptoms seem to clear up on antibiotics but reoccur once the antibiotics are gone?
If you answered yes to some or all of these symptoms, it's possible that your dog has some sort of allergy or allergies. If these symptoms occur year round and not just during the typical allergy seasons for your area, it's possible that he has either food allergies, food intolerance's or a combination of both. If your dog is showing any of the above symptoms, it is important to have your canine companion examined by your veterinarian because other diseases with similar symptoms such as scabies, ringworm, mange or thyroid problems need to be ruled out and any secondary issues such as bacterial or yeast infections will need to be treated in order to have a successful diagnosis and treatment outcome.

What is the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance?
The basic difference between food allergies and food intolerance's is that, generally food allergies manifest themselves through itchy skin, ears and rears as the dog's immune system "over reacts" to the molecules in foods. Food intolerance tends to manifest itself through diarrhea and vomiting as the digestive system tries to rid itself of the offending ingredients, much like humans who may have an intolerance to spicy foods.

When do food allergies develop?
Food allergies in dogs can develop at any age and the symptoms can seem to appear over night. Generally, there is a genetic predisposition for dogs to have allergies. There is a good chance that, if a dog has inhalant or contact allergies, he could also develop a food allergy. The vast majority of dogs with food allergies developed the allergies after being fed the same ingredients for two years or more, though some dogs can develop food allergies as puppies.

What are the most common food allergy or intolerance triggers?
The most common ingredients that trigger symptoms of food allergies or intolerance's for dogs are:
  • Wheat
  • Gluten
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Dairy products such as milk, yogurt or cheese
  • Chicken eggs
  • Preservatives
  • Artificial flavorings or coloring
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb (once was considered a "safe" food for dogs with food allergies, but now that it is more commonly being fed to dogs, dogs are now developing allergies to it as well)
Not surprisingly, these ingredients are found in most commercial dog foods and treats.

How are allergies in dogs diagnosed?
Because allergy symptoms are very similar to other conditions, your vet will want to rule those other conditions out with an exam. In addition, he might do some skin scrapings if he suspects mange or scabies or other skin conditions. He will ask questions around your dog's environment and diet and how long your pooch has been symptomatic. If he suspects environment or contact allergies, our vet might recommend allergy tests for your pooch either through a blood test or skin testing. With the blood test, the blood is drawn and sent to a lab to look for antigen-induced antibodies. These tests are not as accurate as the skin testing, but are used if the dog's skin is too unhealthy for the skin testing, the dog is very young, the dog cannot tolerate a prolonged withdrawal from antihistamines and corticosteroids, cannot be shaved because it is a show dog or if the skin testing is not available.

If skin testing is chosen as a diagnostic tool, the dog is sedated and an area on one side of his body is shaved down to the skin. A small amount of antigen is injected into the skin of the shaved area. This is done in a specific pattern so that the diagnostician can keep track of which antigens cause reactions. This type of testing is not recommended for suspected food allergies due to the low rate of diagnostic accuracy.

Food trials are performed after other problems are properly diagnosed and treated. At this time, your pet is placed on a novel food diet for 12 weeks. This means that he will be fed only those foods sources of protein and carbohydrates that he has never eaten before, such as salmon and sweet potato or venison and rice. Or, your vet may prescribe a prepared food that has the protein and carbohydrate molecules broken down to a size that is so small that they cannot trigger an allergic reaction. Science Diet ZD is one of those prescription foods. Which ever diet is used, it is very important that that is the only thing your canine companion eats for the full twelve weeks. No matter how pitifully your pet looks at you with those "please, please" eyes, he should not have any other treats, raw hides, pigs ears, table scraps, flavored medications, flavored toothpastes, flavored toys or anything else other than his special food and water. It would be a good idea to feed your other dogs the same diet, or feed him in a different location to keep him from accidentally getting the wrong food. Also, don't let him in the area where the rest of the family is eating because even a small amount dropped on the floor or licked off a plate, a child's hands or face could defeat the special diet. Also, don't let your dog get into the litter box or roam out of your site where he could eat something you don't know about. For treats, you can try giving your pet his special food in a different form. For example, if he is on a canned food, you could freeze some in bite size pieces. Or you could mash up his dry food with some water and bake it or freeze it.

If after the 12 weeks, your canine companion is symptom free or nearly symptom free, your vet may have you try feeding your dog his regular food. If the symptoms reemerge, it's a safe bet that the culprit was one of his regular foods and your dog will be placed back on the special diet until he is once again symptom free. At this time, your vet may recommend that your dog continue on a special commercially prepared diet or a homemade diet and refer you to a veterinary nutritionist to assure that he gets the proper balance of vitamins and minerals. Then your vet might also recommend that you try introducing one new item such as chicken for 2 weeks. If symptoms reappear, the chicken is determined to be an allergen and is pulled from the diet. After those symptoms clear up, another item might be introduced in the same manner. Each one that produces symptoms is a trigger for your dogs allergies and each one that doesn't would be considered non-offending.

How are allergies in dogs treated?
In a perfect world, the best treatment would be avoidance of the allergen. But for environmental and contact allergies, that is not always possible. For those, treatments could consist of steroid, antihistamine and shampoo therapy. Another option would be hypo sensitization (allergy shots).

For food allergies and intolerances, however, avoidance of the offending agent is the only recommended treatment for the long term. That is why it is so important to read the labels for any food product that you give your four legged family members.

We at Dugan's Barkery hope this article provided some helpful information to aid you in your efforts to give your doggy companion a good life. For allergy free dog treats, please visit us at

Sunday, November 1, 2009

San Diego Golden Retriever Meet-Up Group Halloween Event

The staff at Dugan's Barkery would like to say a big thank you to Sue, who is the organizer for the San Diego Golden Retriever Meetup Group, for inviting Dugan's Barkery to their annual Halloween event. A fun time was had by all and it was such a pleasure to be surrounded by so many friendly and sweet canines and their two legged family members.

The San Diego Golden Retriever Meetup Group meets once a month at various dog parks or dog friendly beaches in San Diego County. It's a great and fun way for you and your Golden to socialize with other Golden's and their human companions and share stories, tips and ideas. They also have several fun events through out the year. For more information on the San Diego Golden Retriever Meetup Group, be sure to stop by their web site at .

Here are a few pictures from this event:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Foods that are Dangerous for Dogs to Eat

Does your dog like people food? Most dogs do. But many of the foods that are safe for humans are down right dangerous for dogs. With the holidays fast approaching, we at Dugan's Barkery ( thought that this might be a good time to provide some information that can help keep your canine family members safe.

This is a list of the top people foods that are toxic to dogs. There may be other "people" foods that are harmful to you dogs that not are on this list. We recommend that you consult with your vet prior to giving your pet a new food. Also, some of the harmful effects can be a result of a cumulative effect. In other words, just because your pooch may have eaten one of these items without a negative outcome, that does NOT mean that the food is safe. The toxic effect can build up over time. If you suspect that your dog has eaten something that is toxic or harmful, note the amount ingested and quickly contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. You can find more detailed information on substances that are toxic to pets at and This particular list is from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. They also have lists of plants and other things that are poisonous to pets.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine
These contain substances called methylxanthines. Methylxanthines can also be found in some sodas. The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. These substances can cause vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death.

Beverages and foods containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Pets should not be allowed to eat the leaves, fruit, seeds or bark of avocados because they contain Persin. Persin can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. For birds and rodents, Persin can cause congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. In some cases, ingestion of avocado can be fatal.

Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts, whether eaten plain or in cookies or candy can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Symptoms usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last 12 to 48 hours.

Grapes & Raisins
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure.

Yeast Dough
Yeast Dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet's digestive system. This can be painful and can cause rupture of the stomach or intestines. The danger diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, but still, can cause problems if large amounts are ingested. Small bits are OK, but should make up no more than 5 to 10 percent of your dog's daily caloric intake.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones
Raw meats and eggs can bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can make your pet sick. Raw eggs also contain avidin. Avidin decreases the absorption of biotin. This can cause skin and coat problems. Domestic pets should not be given bones because they can cause a choking hazard, become lodged or puncture your pet's digestive tract or splinter and cause grave injury.

Used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste, Xylitol can cause insulin release leading to hypoglycemia (lowered blood sugar levels) and liver failure. Early symptoms include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to a downed animal and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Onions, Garlic, Chives
These can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Small amounts found in some pet foods may not be harmful, but the ASPCA recommends that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these items.

Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.

As an added note: Corn on the cob is extremely dangerous to give to your pet. Pieces of the cob can break off, the corn will digest and the cob can become impacted in the pet's digestive system or act like a scouring pad in there.

We hope this helps in your efforts to keep your pet safe. It's a dog's life, let's make it a good one.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"Barkimonials" come to Dugan's Barkery

As we continue to iron out the various parts of our web site, Dugan's Barkery, we noticed that we were starting to get "barkimonials" from some of our four-legged customers. We thought it would be a great way to share their experiences, likes and dislikes of our various treats, so we've added a page to our web site for their voice.

Next we'll be working on a page dedicated to the guardians and keepers of our customers so that you, too, can leave comments on our site.

We also sent off our first shipment of treats to the Best Western Inn, Blakeslee PA (Pocono Mountains, and very pet-friendly) this past week, and got word late yesterday that within the first hour of our product being put out, a few bags had already sold!

All-in-all, we've had a great week for the Barkery and look forward to starting at the local Farmer's Market later this month!

Stay tuned....

Sunday, August 2, 2009

We're Up for a Trial Run

We are happy to announce that the web site for our internet store is up and running for a trial run. We would love for you to visit us at , have a look around and email us your thoughts and comments to .

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Coming Soon!

We are just thrilled with the anticipation of bringing handmade, all natural, allergen free dog treats to our customers via Internet shopping. We are dedicated to creating wholesome, healthy treats for our canine customers. As we prepare for our mid September Internet grand opening, we hope that you enjoy reading our blog.

About Our Ingredients

You won’t find any wheat, gluten, soy, corn, dairy, eggs, meats, yeast, added salt, sugar, artificial coloring or preservatives in Dugan’s Barkery treats. What you will find in Dugans Barkery treats are ingredients selected for their wholesomeness and the value they will bring to your canine family member. That being said, please keep in mind that Dugan’s Barkery Treats are designed solely to give your deserving canine yummy treats and not meant for vitamin supplements or medicinal purposes. Here we present a list of those ingredients and why we chose them:

Organic Pumpkin: A great source of beta-carotene and other beneficial antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins C, E and K. Pumpkin is said to helpful in relieving diarrhea or constipation and is useful in digestive health maintenance.

Organic Sweet Potato: Also loaded with beta-carotene and other beneficial antioxidants, plus, vitamins C and b-complex and iron. Sweet potatoes also contain bone and teeth strengthening calcium. They are a good source of fiber and are easy to digest.

Organic Blueberries: A good source of Vitamin C and E, these little berries are also high in anti-oxidants and can aid in lowering levels of cholesterol and preventing urinary tract infections.

Organic Flax seed Meal: Provides plenty of omega 3 fatty acids and cholesterol lowering fiber. It is said that diabetic dogs could benefit from flax seed meal’s ability to help stabilize blood sugar levels.

Organic Unsulphured Molasses: Not only is Molasses a tasty sweetener for our dog treats, but it is a great source of calcium, usable iron and several trace minerals.

Organic Agave Nectar: Not only does this nectar have the lowest glycemic value of any sweetener, but it may also aid in the absorption of isoflavones, calcium and magnesium. It is said to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Organic Garbanzo Bean Flour: A great non-meat source of protein, garbanzo beans are low-fat and provide several minerals. Because garbanzo beans are a good source of fiber, they may help with lowering cholesterol levels and are said to of help with blood sugar levels.

Organic Quinoa Flour: Called “chesiya mama” (the mother grain), by the ancient Inca Indians, quinoa flour contains 8 essential amino acids and is a complete protein.

Organic Brown Rice Flour: Brown Rice flour is high in protein, but with a lower glycemic index than white rice, brown rice can help keep the blood sugar levels stable. Additionally, because of the bran remaining with the brown rice, this flour has a higher level of iron, fiber and B vitamins.

Tapioca Flour: This flour is made from starch extracted from the root of Cassava and is also totally gluten free. Because our recipes do not use eggs or dairy, tapioca flour helps hold the other ingredients together.

Ground Ginger: Besides tasting great, Ginger aids digestion and helps relieve indigestion, gas pains, diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramping. It is also said to help as a natural pest repellent.

Ground Cinnamon: Cinnamon is said to aid in the normalization of blood sugar and increase the availability of insulin in the body. Cinnamon is also used by herbalists for treating urinary tract infections, combating intestinal gas and even the common cold.

Ground Cloves: This little spice contains many anti-oxidant properties and is said to aid in the elimination of intestinal parasites.

A Little History on Dugan's Barkery

Our Barkery is named after Dugan, our loyal and loving family member for 15 years. She was a cute terrier puppy when she joined our family in 1991. We loved her little personality and always knew where we stood with her. If she was happy about something (usually going for a walk or getting a treat), Dugan would do a little “hoppy dog” dance. If she was mad at us for some reason, she would lay down with her back to us, give us “the look” then turn her head away and snort. When Dugan went over the Rainbow Bridge in May 2006, we vowed that, when we were ready to follow our dream of owning a dog related business, we would name it after her.

Since Dugan’s journey, 3 more dogs joined our family. We adopted Digby, a border terrier, from a rescue center in 2006; Prinnie an American Eskimo, from our local shelter in at the end of 2007 and Duncan, a terrier mix, also from our local shelter, in April 2009. Each, with their own unique personality, has enriched our lives in countless ways.

Duncan is our reason for choosing to hand make all natural treats with organic ingredients. He came to us itching and scratching and we thought that maybe it was from dirt and bug bites from the shelter, nothing a good bath wouldn't fix. Well, he continued to itch and scratch and a few days later he broke out with sores all around his mouth along with other nasty symptoms. We took him to the vet and learned that he had food allergies. Though there was dog food specifically for allergic dogs, we had a horrible time finding any treats he could safely eat. There was a whole host of foods that Duncan couldn't’t eat without starting the vicious itching and scratching cycle all over again. We discovered that there are many treats currently on the market that claim to be allergen free, but in reading the labels, we realized that they all had one or more items that our little dog couldn't eat. So we researched ingredients from which we could make dog treats that he and our other 2 dogs could enjoy and came up with some recipes that really worked. Now, when the mixer and cookie sheets come out, Prinnie, our Eskie, does little happy circles and our two terriers sit by the kitchen door licking their chops. All three of our canine family members can enjoy the same treats once again without Duncan having an allergic reaction. After talking with our vet and several friends and family, we were shocked to learn that dogs can suffer from food allergies just as do people and many of their human family members were experiencing the same frustrations as us in finding treats for these dogs. Thus, the idea for Dugan's Barkery.

Thank you for visiting our blog and please be sure to check back from time to time as we add more tidbits.