A dog in the wrong place at the wrong time can be bit by dozens or even hundreds of ticks. Deer ticks go through three stages of life (larva, nymph, and adult), and feed only once in each of these stages; a blood meal ends each stage.

Larval ticks dine on mice and other small rodents, but nymphs and adults are a threat to dogs.

Because they are small (they start out VERY small) and their bites don’t itch, ticks are easily overlooked, especially adult deer ticks and the nymphs of any species. Ticks prefer warm, moist conditions, so double-check under collars and around ears. If you aren’t sure what a lump or bump is, inspect it with a magnifying glass.

Warts, similar skin growths, and nipples can feel like feeding ticks. Ticks hang out in tall grass, wooded areas and even lawns and use the opportunity to 'latch on ' when they feel body warmth.  (They do not typically live in trees and drop onto passer-by's like some monster in a movie) 

The other thing about ticks is that not all ticks carry Lyme Tick Disease and they must be attached, feeding, for about forty-eight hours in order to transmit the disease.  Diligence is the key to avoiding this disease and you want to avoid this disease at all costs!

Using medication you get from the vet can help repel ticks but at what price?  A lot of people are reluctant to use chemical flea treatments  because of the possibility of a toxic reaction with the skin.  The instructions tell you not to handle the medication and if it isn't safe for you or your children to touch, how can it be safe for your pet?

Because ticks carry dangerous bacteria,  repelling them is THE priority. One of the natural repellents that a lot of people have success with is rose geranium oil, which can be applied to your dog's collar. Do NOT use rose geranium oil  on your cat! Cats can have a bad reaction to essential oils, primarily because they spend a lot of time grooming, which means that anything on their skin goes into their mouth. 

Totally Raw Pet Food (see the second product on their  website product page) offers a convenient spray that is a highly effective deterrent against fleas, ticks and mosquitos.  Erin (from Totally Raw) can be found at the Kingston Market on Saturday morning.  Tell her Bonnie sent you!  

With ticks, the best thing  you can do is to check your pet a few times a day when you are in an area that has ticks, and remove them promptly.  Ticks favour ears, shoulders and necks but they can be found anywhere on your pet.

Proper technique is important for removing ticks, so make sure that you ask your veterinarian for a demo before doing it yourself if you are not completely sure of how to do it.  Leaving the tick's head embedded in your pet's skin will cause all manner of grief!  There is a nifty little tick twister that is easy to use and readily available.  (See photo) 

Be careful when removing a tick to grasp it with tweezers firmly at the head, as close to the dog’s skin as possible, and slowly pull straight back. Never twist, press, burn, or apply irritating substances like kerosene to an attached tick because doing so can cause the parasite to expel the contents of its digestive tract, creating an unwanted hypodermic effect.

Three-percent hydrogen peroxide, the common disinfectant, is recommended for tick bites because the oxygen it contains destroys the Lyme disease bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide can be liberally poured over bites on light-haired dogs (keep away from eyes and apply directly to the skin) but because it’s a bleach, this method is not recommended for black or dark-haired dogs.

Using an eyedropper to apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the bite helps prevent unwanted bleaching.

Should you discover a tick on your pet, you should know that it takes about six weeks for symptoms from an infected tick to  show up in your pet so if you notice that your pet is suddenly more sedate than usual with unexplained lameness and possibly red eyes, then you really might want to get a blood test done by your vet.  Sadly, it won't be cheap.  Treatment is a very specific antibiotic and is generally very effective.  The alternative is not good.  If infected your pet will suffer from the symptoms of Lyme Tick Disease and can die from complications.  Sorry to be such a bummer but that is the reality of it.  Remember that ticks like human blood too!

If you do find a tick on your dog (Or cat. Or you), you might want to save the tick in a 'ziplock' sandwich bag marking the date you collected the tick on the bag and put it into  your freezer.  That way, if your pet starts showing symptoms you can have the tick tested to see if it is infected.  Ticks can be taken to your vet (for a fee) or sent (for free) to Dr. Vett Lloyd at the Dept. of Biology at Mount Allison in Sackville.  You will need to contact them first for a copy of the form that needs to be filled out to accompany the offending tick!

Enjoy the great outdoors but be aware of the dangers lurking in the grass!


Why would a wine store have pet food?


The customer experience at Barley Malt & Vine extends beyond offering the best wine & beer on the market; we’re also very pleased to offer the best in pet food as well. 


Whether you’re a new customer or are a long-time friend & haven’t been aware that we sell pet food, you might wonder “Why the heck does a wine store sell pet food anyway?”  


 We’re bombarded every day with dire news about our unhealthy diets & the ‘foodie’ revolution has educated us so that we live longer through better nutrition.  The same goes for our pets & people are aghast to find out what actually goes into the budget pet food brands.  It’s no small wonder why so many pets are suffering skin issues & allergic reactions.  The resolution to many pet illnesses can often simply be found in the food they eat.

Pictured above are (L-R) Henrietta, Thor, Foster & Ben.  Foster (pictured in his happy place, at the top of a waterfall in our stream) had many food allergies which caused chronic skin, ear, foot & coat issues.  He suffered greatly until we were finally able to pinpoint the issues.  Other pets we've owned over the years have also had food allergies & sensitivities which have been alleviated by proper diet & nutrition.  In fact, change of diet saved both Foster's and Aussie's lives.  

For us, the answer was found in Natura Pet Foods.  When we first found this incredible line of pet food, there was no supplier in Saint John and we were traveling to Moncton regularly to buy food.  After three years of this monthly odyssey, it was apparent that it clearly didn’t make sense to keep traveling to another city, so that’s how your favourite wine store came to carry pet food!  In the years that have passed, Barley, Malt & Vine became known as THE place to go for pet food - cat, dog and ferret.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and when Natura was sold to Procter & Gamble the writing was on the wall.  Within a couple of years and lots of bad press, Natura was once again sold - this time to Mars. 

Because of the price of high quality ingredients that went into making Natura products, Mars decided that the Canadian market wasn't lucrative enough and pulled the entire line from Canadian stores.   Sadly, only a small number of Natura's line-up exist anymore - even in the USA.  Things change.........

Fortunately, a number of Natura's long-time employees had also seen the writing on the wall and they left Natura and started their own business - Tuscan Natural.  While they do not yet have the range of products that Natura had in the past, their commitment to the high quality ingredients and attention to detail is exactly as they had always done while at Natura.  In fact, Tuscan Natural products are so close to Natura foods that you can do a direct switch-over from one food to the other without any of the gastric issues that generally accompany a change of food.

One notable difference in the food is that Tuscan natural uses Spanish olive oil, not sunflower oil.  In fact, there is a whole 15oz bottle of olive oil in every 30 pound bag of food!  How's that for omegas?

Over the years, Bonnie has racked up an impressive body of knowledge related to dog and cat issues.  Publications such as Whole Dog Journal among others contribute to her education and a great many pets have benefited from her simple holistic approach which dovetails with local veterinary care.

We are impressed with Tuscan Natural's on-going commitment to quality ingredients & transparency in the manufacturing process.   Come in today to see our full line of Tuscan Natural foods as well as a couple other amazing products.  For example, check out http://www.lebalab.com/ and you will wonder why you would ever again  put your dog or cat to sleep to have their teeth cleaned.   Read directly below this article for more information on this incredible spray.

Ask to discuss your pets issues with Bonnie, who is unable to be in the store because of allergy issues of her own.












Clean Pet Teeth


LEBA II.  This spray is amazing!  A simple few drops (or spray) each day in your dog’s mouth of this all-natural product will remove tarter build-up from their teeth.  Gone!  Tout finis!  No brushing, no hassle, no tartar and all that goes with it.  Best of all, no more anesthesia for your dog's annual dental check-up and cleaning.  This is an especially big issue for older dogs who may not bounce back as quickly from being anesthetized. 

During the last few weeks of Thor's life, when we realized that Thor's teeth had suddenly built up a lot of plaque because he simply was not as active as he had been and was not chewing on his gnarly toys and bones like he always had, plus the fact that his diet included a lot more wet food, we started to use the Leba spray on his teeth. 

Twice a day we shot two short burst of the spray into his mouth (big dogs take two sprays, little dogs only one).  First time Thor was a bit taken back by it as it was a new sensation but he didn't object to it at all and never made a fuss.  After only three days we were surprised - make that shocked - at the difference in his teeth.  (Click on Thor's picture to read about his life!)

None of our dogs have ever objected to us spraying the Leba spray into their mouths, not even our fussy 'leave my ears and toenails alone' Mastiff- Moxie.  If you think that a spray might not be quite what your dog would take to,  it also comes with an adaptor that fits onto the bottle.  You don't even really have to hit the teeth - just get it inside the mouth.  You should however try to ensure that your dog has not eaten anything for half an hour or so before or after the spray to allow it time to work without being diluted.

The price of this spray may seem a little hefty to some at first ($65) but when you consider that it works so incredibly well with no side effects, no nasty ingredients and no anesthesia sickness for two or three days; not to mention how much it will save you considering that it costs well in excess of $100 to get your dog's teeth cleaned......well, it's kind of a no-brainer.

Do You Have a Backup-Plan for Your Pet-Care Needs?

By Nancy Kerns        http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/blog/Do-You-Have-a-Backup-Plan-for-Your-Pet-Care-Needs-21592-1.html?ET=wholedogjournal:e255746:2025519a:&st=email&s=p_Blog011217&omhide=true


I woke up this morning with a blinding migraine headache. It hurt to open my eyes, it hurt to sit up, and getting dressed made tears start running down my face. This doesn’t happen very often, and I have medication that I can take that will bring relief in an hour or so. But lying in bed was not an option, because I’m currently fostering another litter of puppies, and they don’t care whether my head hurts or not: they are hungry, and their pen needs cleaning. That’s a responsibility I took on, and so, weepy or not, I got up and dressed, took my migraine med, and got rolling.

My adult dogs can handle a delayed breakfast, and thanks to the recent installation of a dog door – one of those inserts that fits into a sliding glass door frame – they can and will take themselves out to potty if need be. But foster puppies in a pen are a different matter. By the time I got them out of the dirty pen to potty outdoors, fed them, cleaned the pen and changed the water, and put them back in the pen with some fresh toys, the throbbing in my head was abating a bit.

While I cleaned the pen, I thought about the pet owner’s need for backup. If I was super seriously ill, there are people I could call on to help. My husband and my sister would be my first line of defense. I have dog-loving friends who, given a bit of notice, could come and help before they went to work and afterward.

"We're counting on you, dude! Get it together!"

Because I foster for my local shelter, in a worst-case scenario, I could call the staff and throw in the towel, and an animal control officer could come and collect the puppies and take them back to the shelter. The same is true for the best-run rescue groups; there are enough people helping to keep the load light on any one person. But I’ve heard about plenty of rescue organizations that turned out to be, in reality, just one very disorganized person, and perhaps a few of her friends, struggling under the load of too much to do with not enough resources.  When that person gets seriously ill or debilitated, the animals suffer. It’s a situation that every small rescue organization has to look out for and actively prevent.

Another thing I thought about as I cleaned the pen: If I had a stroke or something else sudden, how clear would it be to anyone coming in to help what to do, who to call? I’m sure my husband would figure out to call the shelter and ask for help, but it might not happen right away. However, since I organize all the care for our dogs, would he know where to order their food, which is not available locally? Would he know which vet I bring them to, or the fact that I have pet insurance for them now? I know for certain that he would not!

I think this afternoon I’m going to make it a point to grab the files with their vet records and insurance information, and put them somewhere that he can access them more easily – in our home, not my office – and let him know where they are.

I’m also going to write out some instructions regarding which foods I buy for them and where I buy it. I’ll also include a contact sheet for the shelter staff, so he will know, quickly, who to call if someone needed to come grab my foster pups and get them to someone else who could take over.

Then I thought: What if my husband and I both were in a car accident, coming back from a movie at night? I recently saw a laminated card you can put on your key ring that alerts first-responders to the fact that the bearer has pets at home, and includes an emergency number to call (here’s just one example). I need to get one, and put my sister’s number on there. She has a key to my office, and she knows the shelter staff, so the puppies could be taken care of quickly, but I don’t think she has a key to my house! Nor does she know anything about my dogs’ records; I need to get her a key, show her my file of information on the dogs and where I keep it, and maybe put some cash or a check in the file, in case she needed to cover their expenses for a while.

My husband and I have talked out our wills, but neither one of us has done anything yet about them. We have real estate and bank accounts to deal with - but in my will, I also need to write up my wishes about what would happen to my dogs, and make arrangements for their care. That reminds me: WDJ has a good article on this in its archives. I’ll read that and get going.

Funny where a bad headache can take you.

Do you have plans in place for your pets, in case something were to debilitate you for a day, a week, a month, or permanently?


Pet Advisory - Toxic Foods

With the Holidays almost upon us, many of us will be hosting get - togethers with friends and family.  All this seasonal cheer traditionally includes lots of food and alcohol.  However there are many hazards in many of the treats that we indulge ourselves in at this time of the year.  Even if you don't give your cat or dog little bits of fruitcake or snacks, many of your guests will, not knowing that they could be potentially setting you up for a large vet bill or possibly causing a life-threatening situation for your pet which, if they survive, could set them up for a life-long condition like pancreatitis.  Note that some pets are more tolerant than others - just like people! 

 The safest thing to do, especially if your pet is prone to begging or if you know that  your guests will not comply with your request NOT to feed them - LOCK THEM UP!  (The pets, not the guests!)  It may seem unkind but just like locking them up during fireworks, it really is the kindest thing you can do.   

This article may seem alarmist but it isn't.  If you have ever had a pet lying on the vet's table hooked up to an IV waiting for them to come out to tell you whether your pet is going to 'make it' and that will be $2400 - cha ching - then trust me - it isn't worth it!   

This list is NOT all inclusive but a word to the wise - if in doubt - DON'T:

  • Alcohol - ALL kinds
  • Artificial sweeteners – especially xylitol
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate (even a small amount can kill a small animal)
  • Citrus fruit
  • Coffee & all caffeine beverages
  • Grapes & Raisins ( think - fruitcake)
  • High fat foods (think - fried food and bacon wrapped goodies)
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts – ALL but especially macadamia
  • Onions - some dogs and cats are reactive to garlic and chives as well
  • Salt & Sugar (think - everything on the table!)
  • Yeast dough ( all pastries and breads)