by Dr Peta Railton, Pet Medical, Milsons Point, NSW
Barkaroo is a healthy dog treat made from dehydrated kangaroo fillets. We are an accredited low-stress handling clinic and have found theses treats are a great way to relax dogs and get them used to the environment in our clinic.
What’s good about it
Dogs find this product absolutely delicious—I’m yet to meet a dog that won’t eat it. I use it to relax the animals and to help them feel more comfortable in the clinic so that when I examine them, their experience is a good one. Usually I give them a piece of Barkaroo as soon as they walk through the door. We don’t start an examination until the dog has eaten.
We also use Barkaroo during puppy school and training but its main purpose is as a sweetener when dealing with dogs that are having treatments. From an animal’s perspective, a lot of what we do is invasive and sometimes painful. We try to marry that experience with a high-value treat that tastes amazing. A lot of people use roast chicken but that goes off quickly and must be kept in the fridge. Barkaroo can be kept on a shelf and is ready to go.
When a dog visits the vet, it should be more that just being pushed around, prodded and stuck with needles. We let them settle, relax, have some treats and then do what we need to do. There is no doubt that the dogs we see are happier and easier to handle by going through this process.
What’s not so good
The only negative is that Barkaroo can’t be fed to some dogs that have dietary allergies.