When Tammy Doak’s two cats died due to a pet food recall in 2017, she was frustrated and heartbroken that her pets’ low-quality food may have led to their deaths. She made it her mission to help other pet parents avoid tragic outcomes by educating them about animal nutrition and providing healthier pet food options.

After opening Bark Avenue Market & Bakery in 2009, Doak furthered her education to become certified as an Animal Naturopath with the goal of helping more dogs and cats thrive. The company also features a bakery where fresh-baked homemade treats are made. Bark Avenue takes birthdays very seriously as they are always stocked with birthday cakes, cupcakes and cookies for customers’ best friend's special day.

“I'm able to help so many more pets, because [pet owners] come to me when they have gotten to the end of their rope on not finding any answers to their pet's health problems,” Doak said. “By spending some time getting to know the history of a customer's pet, we are able to work together to come up with some potential solutions.”

When pet owners bring their furry friends in who are having some difficulties, Doak first recommends a pet intolerance test, which tests 200 food triggers, 100 environmental triggers and energetic imbalances, such as an overgrowth of yeast.

The goal of these tests is to figure out what factors are causing pets’ issues and help Doak and her team come up with a plan.

Because yeast overgrowth is a particularly common and persistent issue in pets, Bark Avenue Market & Bakery offers many options that can target the issue including probiotics, herbal and homeopathic remedies that target yeast specifically.

“Our goal is to get to the root of the issue rather than suppress the symptoms,” Doak said. “We believe that just like humans, health starts in the gut with a healthy microbiome. Feeding high quality fresh food while avoiding toxins can support the immune system, which can lead to a healthier pet.”

Doak said many pet parents do not realize how many toxins our pets are exposed to on a daily basis including pesticides and heavy metals. This makes it more important than ever to include a regular detox as part of their regular routine.

Bark Avenue Market & Bakery specializes in nutrition and carries a variety of fresh-frozen, raw, lightly cooked, freeze-dried, dehydrated foods, high-quality kibble and cans.

Doak says fresh food is healthier than traditional kibble as many lower quality kibble is cooked at very high heat, which cuts down on the nutritional value of the food.

“No matter how good a brand is, about 40% to 60% of a bag of kibble turns into sugar, because it's carbs,” Doak said. “Part of the reason is because in order to make a kibble stay as a kibble, a starchy binder is added. And just like with us, diets high in carbohydrates, can lead to inflammation in the body."

Doak said while pets are cute, cuddly and domesticated, their dietary needs are still that of a carnivorous animal.

"DNA-wise, dogs are 99% related to gray wolves,” Doak said. “We wouldn't question what a grey wolf would eat in the wild. By feeding our pet carnivores a species-appropriate diet, we can see a completely different pet.”

The business also carries raw goat’s milk, which has a variety of nutritional benefits and can be particularly helpful for dogs that are not eating due to sickness.

Doak said her mission at Bark Avenue & Bakery is to help as many pets as possible live longer, healthier lives, and the store is much more than a bakery. The business carries high-quality pet foods and supplements, making it closer to a Whole Foods Market for pets.

“We are about really helping change animals’ lives,” Doak said. “Everything we carry is vetted by me, and I’m very strict about what comes into my store. I hold a high level of responsibility for selling these products, and if I can help people avoid going through what I went through, that’s what’s most important to me.”

Bark Avenue & Bakery is located at 5615 Colleyville Blvd., Ste. 230, Colleyville. As part of Doak's mission, she started a podcast called Pets Who Thrive! which focuses on all things natural to help our pets thrive. The podcast can be found on Spotify and Apple.

For more information about the foods, supplements and dog treats as well as beds, collars and more, visit barkavenuemarket.com or call 817-656-2275.

The above story was produced by Senior Multi Platform Journalist Summer El-Shahawy with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of its "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.