Show us your smile!

by Sue on October 7, 2014

Brushing your dog’s teeth isn’t just about fresh breath. It’s a part of good oral care is important to your dog’s overall health. Although most people aren’t aware of it, gum disease is a common and serious problem in dogs. Yet brushing your dog’s teeth can prevent it. Veterinarians estimate that 85 percent of dogs over five years of age suffer from gum disease. Gum disease develops when food particles and bacteria collect along the gum line and form soft deposits called plaque. Over time that turns into rock-hard tartar. If tartar isn’t removed from your dog’s teeth, it will eventually inflame the gums. As the inflamed gums begin to separate from the teeth, pockets form. This causes gum disease to worsen. At this point, your dog can experience severe pain, lose teeth, form abscesses in his mouth and develop a bacterial infection. This infection can spread through the bloodstream to the kidneys, liver, heart or brain. Gum disease is irreversible, so now is a great time to get started on a regular oral care regimen for your dog. Remember…prevention is the key.

It’s ideal to brush your dog’s teeth daily, just like you brush your own. However, if you cannot do that, aim to brush your dog’s teeth at least every other day.

Smaller dogs and dogs with flat or short, broad snouts (like pugs and bulldogs) may need more frequent brushing. Their teeth are often crowded together, which allows more plaque to accumulate and increases their risk of developing gum disease.

Things to keep in mind:

If your dog is losing weight, starts eating slower or refusing to eat for no apparent reason, it is time to have their teeth checked.

If your dog develops bad breath, don’t reach for breath fresheners for your dog until you have their teeth checked. Giving breath fresheners to a dog with bad teeth is like sweeping dirt under a rug.

Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly does not totally eliminate a professional dental done by a qualified Veterinarian. It will however greatly reduce the trips to the Vet for this procedure. Since I started brushing my dog’s teeth, my Vet is doing a professional cleaning on my dog’s teeth every three years now instead of every year like before.

Sussie and the Weiners


If you have a Facebook account…please like our page.

by Sue on October 2, 2014

I am a big fan of these products. I use all three on my dogs with fantastic results.

Barker Labs Facebook page

Sue, Gunny and the rest of the dachshund clan


Salmon oil. It’s not just for humans.

by Sue on September 30, 2014

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in meat. However, the grain-fed meats that form the meat portion of dry or canned dog food are lacking in the recommended amount of Omega-3’s. Many dry or canned dog foods contain salmon meat or added salmon oil. But the omega-3 fatty acids in that are at very low levels compared to supplementing with salmon oil. That is why it’s a good idea to add salmon oil supplements to the dog’s diet.

Salmon oil helps the skin and gives a healthy coat as well as strong teeth and nails. Studies have shown it is beneficial for joint health and to ward off arthritis. Just as in people, it is recommended for keeping the heart healthy. Also, studies have shown that salmon oil may boost the immune system by providing important nutrients not found in commercial dog foods.

I have one dog, a dachshund, who is going to be turning 11 years old shortly. He has had four spinal surgeries. I notice a few short weeks after starting him on salmon oil, he moved more freely and is actually acting younger.

And salmon oil is not just for older dogs. It can help build better brains and bones in younger dogs. Studies have shown that it may also help keep brain functioning sharp in aging dogs.

It is recommended for dogs with skin allergies and to help various skin conditions heal faster. I know this from personal experience. I have another dog, a dachshund as well, that has suffered from skin allergies for years no matter what I tried. It all seemed to come to a halt after I started her on Salmon oil. Another added bonus is that it has the same effect on her as my 11 year old dog. She started acting younger. She is 10.

Salmon oil as a cancer fighter has been studied by Dr. Oglivie DVM at the Colorado State School of Veterinary Medicine. Some home prepared veterinary diets include large doses of the oil. About 1000mg per 10lbs of the dog’s weight. According to Dr. Oglivie, it also appears to slow cancer cell growth and helps cachexic dogs maintain their weight. (Note: Cachexic is the muscle wasting associated with some forms of cancer.)

For those who feed their dog a raw diet, fresh salmon can be fed to dogs on a regular basis. Canned salmon contains about 7000mg of omega-3 per can and can be spooned onto a dog’s regular food. DO NOT FEED RAW SALMON! There is a very high risk of Salmon Poisoning Disease by doing so and you dog COULD die!

I have tried many salmon oil products on the market. I could see some results, but not as fast or as productive as I would have liked them to be. It was not until I stumbled on this brand that the results were astonishing. You might want to give it a try too. I don’t think you will be disappointed.



A wonderful new product. Flex Complete Vegetarian Liquid Joint supplement.

by Sue on September 16, 2014

This stuff works! Speaking from personal experience. This is also safe for dogs with corn allergies as the allergens have been removed.


100% Vegetarian Dog Joint Supplement

 1,600mg Glucosamine    1,500mg MSM    100mg Vitamin C

100mg Bromelain   30mg Manganese    25mg Omega Oil 3,6,9

10mg Boron   10mg Grape Seed Extract   Hyaluronic Acid.

Specially formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs

Our Glucosamine is derived from corn not shellfish or beef like most supplements

FlexComplete is Manufactured in a USA Based GMP Certified Facility.

 Advanced Joint Support Therapy

 Contains No Shellfish, Beef, Gluten, Wheat, Milk, Soy, Sugar, Starch, Yeast or Salt

 Supports HEALTHY And FLEXIBLE Joints and Connective Tissue.

Guaranteed – See Results or its FREE!



A fantastic new product you should try!

by Sue on August 14, 2014

My Service Dog, Gunny, at almost 11 years of age, is still going strong. I atttribute this to many things, but four key ones.

#1 Top quality food and regular visits to the Vet.

#2 Daily grooming including teeth brushing.

#3 His love of his job and the relaxed way he goes about it as though he was born to do it.

#4 But most of all a good joint supplement.

The problem with most joint supplements on the market is that I just never got the results that I really wanted. I did find a couple on the market that, while I got noticeable results, gave Gunny such bad gas that it would literally make my eyes water. Try traveling in a vehicle or sleeping with THAT! So I finally stopped using the one that was giving me noticable results and went back to the one that gave me partial results. I figured that partial results and no gas was better that good results and getting gassed.

Then along came “Flex Complete” by Barker Labs.

Now granted, this is a product that we do sell. BUT! I am not writing this from a salesman’s standpoint. I am writing this from a consumer’s standpoint.

Gunny is taking this now and is having great results. Not to mention the best part of all. No gas!

Now here’s the strange thing. Gunny does NOT have a sensitive stomach at all. As a matter of fact, he can pretty much eat anything. So the fact that these other supplements, which are as good as “Flex Complete”, were giving him gas, it kinda got me to thinking “What the heck is in those others that make him have gas?” And the more I pondered on that, the more I thought “Do I really WANT to know what was in there?”

I think I’ll just stick with this good quality supplement that does not have any ill effects.


And, by the way, I am also giving this to two of my other dogs. Once which DOES have a sensitive stomach and other that has food allergies. They are having no ill effects from Flew Complete either. It’s just an all around good supplement.

Sussie and the Weiners


This weekend.

by Sue on May 23, 2014

We will be closed this Monday in observance of Memorial Day. Stay safe everyone.


What type of Emotional Support Animal do you have?

by Sue on May 8, 2014

Here at Service Dog Tags we have made ESA tags for not only the usual, dogs and cats, but also everything from rats to goats.

What type of animal do you have for an ESA and why did you chose that particular animal?


In Spite of Recent Criticism, Therapist Argues Emotional Support Animals are Invaluable Help for People with Psychiatric Disabilities

by Sue on April 22, 2014

By Michael Halyard, MS, MFT

Emotional support animals provide tremendous benefits to psychiatric patients, but recent news stories have painted them in a bad light.
Recent articles in the New York Times, The Press-Enterprise, The Salt Lake Tribune, and a variety of other sources on the Internet, have brought skepticism to the growing use of emotional support animals (ESA’s).

ESA’s are animals that provide therapeutic benefit to their owners through devotion, affection and companionship. As more psychiatric patients learn about their rights, more are exercising their rights and obtaining such animals.

However the rights are limited to commercial air travel and housing. Contrary to what some people believe, there are no legal protections for disabled people to bring their ESA’s inside commercial establishments, like Lowe’s Home Improvement, where a child was recently bitten by an alleged ESA in Southern California.

“People are confusing service animals with emotional support animals. Service animals are trained to perform specific tasks that benefit the disabled person, and are therefore protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Emotional support animals are trained only as much as an ordinary pet, and are not covered by the ADA,” says San Francisco psychotherapist Michael Halyard.

Halyard is a San Francisco Marriage and Family Therapist and can be found on the websites and

People with disabilities are allowed to bring their service dogs into commercial establishments, government buildings, and public places—but that does not apply to emotional support animals.

The two federal laws that regulate emotional support animals are the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 (ACAA) and the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (FHAA). The ACAA and regulate emotional support animals on commercial aircraft and the FHAA regulate emotional support animals in housing

“The protections for ESA’s are limited to commercial airline travel and a person’s residence. If a disabled individual wants to bring his ESA into a commercial establishment, he has no legal right to under Federal law, and it is up to the discretion of the establishment whether to allow the ESA in with the individual,” adds Halyard.

There have been a number of recent stories in the media that doubt the validity of people bringing ESA’s on commercial airlines and tenants exercising their right to have their ESA in their homes.

“The skepticism around ESA’s is unfortunate, because the vast majority of people who have prescriptions for ESA’s have bona fide psychiatric disabilities, and gain tremendous benefit from being able to have these animals,” argues Halyard.

“I guarantee that a commercial airline passenger would rather be next to a relaxed psychiatric patient with an ESA than next to a psychiatric patient without one having a panic attack. People with extreme anxiety around flying–who would normally need a strong tranquilizer–are able to fly fine with their emotional support animal,” argues Halyard.

The bottom line is that people are getting tremendous relief from their psychiatric symptoms by having ESA’s serve as their companions–whether it’s at home or on a commercial airline.

Emotional support animals should not be confused with psychiatric service dogs. The latter referring to dogs that require special training to perform specific tasks that help a person mitigate the effects of a mental illness–like turning on the lights for a person with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“Emotional support animals provide emotional security, unconditional love, and act as a secure base for their owners,” explains Halyard.
“Many people struggle due to trauma that triggered a psychological inability to function in day to day activities. Other people have biological-based psychiatric disorders that affect their ability to function. For all of the above, the company of a beloved pet serving as an emotional support animal can considerably diminish or eliminate their symptoms,” adds Halyard.

Halyard says whether it disorders like Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Agoraphobia, Panic Disorder, PTSD, Autism Spectrum Disorders or Schizophrenia, people who have psychiatric disabilities can benefit tremendously from having an emotional support animal present in their lives.

“For some people, their emotional support animal is the one thing keeping them stable in spite of suffering from severe mental illness,” argues Halyard.

Landlords are required to provide reasonable accommodations to allow disabled tenants to have an emotional support animal even when there’s a “no pet” policy if they have the proper documentation. Landlords must waive security deposits for pets, but the owner can be charged for any damage caused by the emotional support animal.
Airlines are accustomed to people bringing their emotional support animals and have policies in place. Most airlines don’t charge an extra fee for emotional support animals, but they do require the proper documentation and notice 48 hours prior to the flight.

In order to have your pet become an emotional support animal, you need to get a letter from your physician or licensed mental health professional recommending the emotional support animal to help with your disability, and the pet has to be able to live peacefully with people without being a danger or nuisance. For airline travel, most people bring their animal in a pet travel crate.

“It’s important to train your animal so that it doesn’t bother other people, as there are still establishments that will allow let them to accompany you–but it is now up to the establishment,” says Halyard.
“People get such tremendous benefit from their emotional support animals! Emotional support animals reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and even can return a person to a higher level of functioning. A person who has a major mental illness may be able to live a fairly normal life,” explains Halyard.

“If you already have psychiatric condition that substantially limits at least one of your major life activities, you may qualify to designate your pet as an emotional support animal,” adds Halyard.

Michael Halyard, MS, MFT is a San Francisco psychotherapist and specializes in LGBT issues, depression, anxiety, addictions and couples counseling in his San Francisco private practice. He can be found on the websites and



All and all not a bad article. However there are a few bits of misinformation.

The disabilities that he listed…”Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Agoraphobia, Panic Disorder, PTSD, Autism Spectrum Disorders or Schizophrenia” are actually recognized disabilities that you may use a Service Dog for.

The statement…“If you already have psychiatric condition that substantially limits at least one of your major life activities, you may qualify to designate your pet as an emotional support animal” is true. However if you are using your dog to control that, it is also considered a service dog. Keep in mind that the ADA states the following in their list of what service dogs can do… “helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors”

ANY ESA or Service Dog MUST be well behaved in public! The fact that the child was bit has nothing to do with the fact that the dog was an ESA. The dog was not properly controlled or should just not be out in public period. Unless of course the child provoked the dog then the parents are to blame for not controlling the child.


A message from the owner of

by Sue on April 17, 2014


A new video about one of our hottest selling vests

by Sue on April 15, 2014