Saturday, December 20, 2014

Non-Profit Spotlight: Fences For Fido

A while back, I wrote a blog post about a non-profit organization called Dogs On Deployment. I have been thinking about this organization lately and it gave me the idea to spotlight organizations that are doing exceptional work. Today, I would like to draw attention to Fences For Fido. This 501(c)(3) non-profit is base in Portland, OR and their mission is to create safer improved conditions for chained dogs by providing shelter, a fenced yard instead of a chain, veterinary care, and spay/ neutering services when necessary.

This organization was first started in May of 2009 and since then, they have unchained over 800 dogs!! They do not have any paid staff and rely completely on donations of money, material and labor. Fences For Fido also does not pass judgement on their clients. There are a lot of reasons dogs end up on chains. FFF simply wants to remedy the situation, strengthen the bond between humans and dogs and educate. They even visit families after the initial fence and shelter are built in order to make sure dogs remain unchained, safe and healthy. If for some reason, the dog/ human relationship is not working out, Fences For Fido provides foster care for the dogs until a home is found.

If you would like more information about this organization, please visit their webpage. They also have a wishlist up on Amazon if you would like to donate supplies that are much needed!

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Scoop on Poop

 I know, I know, this is not exactly a glamorous post. Nobody likes to talk about poop, unless you are my 5-yr-old and 10-yr-old human kids. But recently, I got into a discussion with a friend on why it is important for doggy daycares to clean up dog poop and pee immediately after it happens. Contrary to popular belief, dog poop is not a natural fertilizer. Quite the opposite, it is the #3 cause of water pollution. The EPA has deemed that dog poop can be as toxic to the environment as chemical and oil spills. Our waste water treatment systems are not designed to filter dog waste and 1 gram of dog feces is estimated to have 23 million fecal bacteria. This include:





  • Campylobacteriosis (symptoms: fever, vomiting and swollen lymphnodes.)
  • Salmonellosis (symptoms: fever, shock, lethargy, dehydration and more.)
  • Toxocarisis...aka.. roundworms (symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea and worms in feces.)
  • Coccidia (symptoms: bloody diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.)
  • Cysticerosis (symptoms: anemia and anorexia.)
  • E-coli, Giardia and Parvo (symptoms: diarrhea and vomiting.)
These bacteria can contaminate our beaches, lakes, streams and drinking water by seeping into the soil. It is recommended that dog owners clean their own yards every 1-7 days in order to keep bacteria at bay. Our natural ecosystem can handle about 2 dogs per square mile. A daycare has WAY more dogs than that and cross contamination can occur very easily. Dogs can step in it, roll in it.... EAT it.  In fact, if fecal matter is not properly taken care of it can linger in the soil for years. Then humans can contract it through gardening, walking barefoot in the yard, playing sports, ect... This kicks off a harmful cycle that can affect your human family and pets.

Let's face it, no one likes to pick up dog poop. It's gross. And in the winter, it is easy to just let your dog outside to do business while you stay warm inside. But, then it snows..and freezes... and snows again... and you can't find your dog poop. Then, in the spring you have a big toxic wasteland. That's REALLY gross. My advice, if you are trying to choose a daycare for your four-legged family member, check the cleanliness of their yard and ask about their dog waste policy. If you notice piles of dog poop everywhere or pee all over the floor, they probably or more interested in making money than your dog's well being. Or, they are in over their heads and have too many dogs per staff ratio.

Let's all do our part to keep ourselves, pets and environment healthy!






Monday, November 3, 2014

Canine Candy Store!

 Bark City has been planning and plotting some super secret ways to make our facility an exciting experience for both you and your dog. We will be announcing different additions throughout the next year (We like to keep our customers on edge and guessing with anticipation!) Our first announcement happened this Howl-ween:


Yep, that's right. We will be opening a candy store for your canine family members. We figured there is enough candy around for humans, but our little pups get left in the dust. We want to change the phrase, "Like a kid in a candy store." to "Like a puppy in a candy store." (I am coining that phrase as of now...) If you happened to stop by our facility during Howl-ween for the costume contest, you probably saw a glimpse of what some of the treats will look like:



Aren't they great?! Aside from the candy, we had some great costumed pooches come in for our contest. You can see all of the costumes on our Facebook page. Here are the top three winners:

3rd Place goes to:


Kolea and Abe the Monsters. They will win a $50 credit to Bark City's Candy Store. 

2nd Place:


Zoey the Dancing Taco. She will win a year subscription of BarkBox.

And the 1st Place Winner is (drum roll........):


Winston as Marilyn Monroe!!! He will win a 20 full day daycare package! 


Last but not least, I am going to leave you with some sneak peeks at some of the super secret happenings:

This is our new prospective Manager getting some butts in line. I am going to keep you guessing on why I have 40 dog butts lined up on my counter. 



She takes her modeling career very seriously. These are some totes. We got the idea off of Wear The Canvas. I put my embroidery skills to the test...seriously.

This is the back of the tote, because we have to advertise somewhere....



We like to start training our future employees early. Besides cloth dog ears can always make good "Vogue" mittens.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Sun-Dried Tomatoes= Pizza Dog Treats

It's that time of year when ALL the tomatoes come in at once. I've made spaghetti sauce, I've canned, I've made salsa, I've done pretty much anything and everything you might be able to do to a tomato and I still have more. So, I decided to try to "sun-dry" them in the oven. Usually, my experiments in the kitchen turn into absolute disasters, but these actually turned out! And, it's a relatively painless procedure that involves a lot of wait time.

Preheat the oven to 200-degrees, cut up your tomatoes and de-seed them by gently pressing the seeds out of the pockets with your thumb. Then, sprinkle with salt, add a bit of cut up fresh basil and bake...for about 8-hours. The result....

Sun-dried tomatoes that don't have that weird funky taste like some store bought! It's been about three-weeks since I made mine. I put them in a jar and they are still looking good!

After I made my sun-dried tomatoes, I started to reminisce about my childhood. My parents owned a Pizza Parlor that my sisters and I worked at throughout our teenage years. We had most of our biggest, epic fights in the back of that restaurant. My parents eventually had to schedule us on different shifts for fear of scaring the customers away. What can I say, that's the price you have to pay when you are raising three headstrong girls that all want to be leaders!

One of those memories was about raising Golden Retriever puppies. We had a huge litter of them and it happened to be around Fourth of July. The small town we grew up in had a parade every year, so we decided to advertise our Pizza Parlor AND our puppies by marching down the street with a wagon full of little PUPperoni's pizza's. It was the cutest thing ever!

In memory of those little PUPperoni's, I made pizza dog treats this week. I got the recipe off of Cottage Market. They turned out pretty good. The only change I made was using cheddar cheese, because that's what I had in the fridge.




Friday, September 19, 2014

Staff Training

Owners are often relieved when their dog(s) pass the temperament screening test and are allowed to participate at a doggy daycare. But, the question that most owners do not ask the daycare is whether or not their staff is trained to handle a large group play structure. At Bark City, our staff is trained through "The Dog Gurus" program. Today, I would like to share with you a bit of their promotional material!

This is the staff training program that we make all of our staff study. You could say they are enrolled at Bark City University...


These are the two founders of "The Dog Gurus" and their credentials:

Robin Bennett is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer who founded one of the largest dog training companies in Virginia. Her first book, All About Dog Daycare is the number one reference on opening a dog daycare.











 Susan Briggs owned a large pet care center in Houston, TX for 12 years and was an early pioneer of dog daycare services. She began teaching other pet professionals to speak dog and understand dog play at her Academy in 2005.
















 Both Susan and Robin are authors, consultants and experts on dogs! They have been “reading dogs,” teaching families how to train dogs, and working in the pet care industry helping others keep dogs safe for over 20 years. Co-authors of Off-Leash Dog Play… A Complete Guide to Safety and Fun, and an extensive staff training program called, Knowing Dogs.

Remember when choosing a doggy daycare, always ask if the staff is trained. For more information on choosing a doggy daycare, visit this past post!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Maple Bacon Ice Cream

Yes... I actually did it. I made maple bacon ice cream... and I actually liked it. At first I was up in the air on whether or not I liked it, but I found myself coming back for one more bite. Then one more. And one more. It's not something I would have on a daily basis as my standard "go-to" dessert. But, it is something I can share with my four-legged friends and feel ok about.

I am all about making food for my animals, but I am also realistic. I have to make food for myself. Let's face it, it's better to hit two birds with one stone. When I saw this dairy-free maple bacon ice cream recipe on Apron Strings, I had to give it a try.
 



Two of the ingredients in this recipe are considered "super foods": Coconut and maple syrup.

  • Coconut oil has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. That is a lot of "anti". Because of this, it can protect your canine against illness and help speed the healing process. You can read more about it here. (and all the other amazing health benefits.)
  •  Maple syrup is rich in Manganese, zinc and natural antioxidants. It also has a lower Glycemic Index than regular sugar which means it will be absorbed into your body at a slower rate. You're less likely to get that sugar high. But let's face it, sugar is sugar and it's not entirely good for dogs. They should only have it occasionally. Artificial sweeteners are poisonous to dogs, so skip that all together. I would suggest only giving your dog an ice cube sized portion of this ice cream every once in awhile. 
** Notes: The recipe does call for a bit of sugar. I omitted the sugar and just used the maple syrup. The ice cream tasted very sweet and I am wondering if it might be better with a bit less maple syrup? This recipe also has eggs in it. I did see an egg free recipe as well that I want to try (compare and contrast on texture and flavor).

This is the first time I have tried to make a coconut milk based ice cream. I plan on experimenting with some other flavors in the near future... probably not with bacon (I'm kind of over it...I'm sure my dog would like more bacon added... to everything.). Roasted peach? Or an Apple Cobbler flavor?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Feral Cat Statisitcs

How to deal with feral cats in your neighborhood is a very controversial issue. It often elicits fights amongst neighbors, because if affects the whole neighborhood. In fact, it affects a lot more than just your neighborhood, it's an ecological problem. It In this post, I am going to give you a few statistics and websites for educational purposes. I am an animal lover, I have two cats of my own. As a cat owner, I feel it is my responsibility to educate myself about how my actions as well as my pet's actions affect the environment and others. As a side note: This post mostly refers to cats in an urban setting. I realize that on a farm in the country, cats serve an entirely different purpose and some rules/ stats don't necessarily apply to all scenarios. 




Cat Stats: 

First, I need to clarify the difference between a feral, stray and free-roaming house cat. A feral cat is a wild cat. They are scared of humans. A stray is a cat that is not scared of humans, but is lost or has been abandoned. A free-roaming house cat is a cat that has a home, but it's humans let it go outside.
  •  Cats are very territorial and often live in colonies.
  • A cat can become pregnant at 5-months-old.
  • A pair of breeding feral cats and their offspring can produce 420, 000 kittens over a 7-year period. 75% of the feral kittens will die by 6-months of age.
  • Outdoor feral cats can transmit diseases to other wildlife as well as humans. These diseases include rabies, toxoplasmosis, fleas and other viral and parasitic diseases.
  • Deadly diseases that feral cats can transmit to your house cat are: Felin Leukemia Virus, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, Kidney Disease/ renal failure, Feline Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper) and Feline Rabies. To read a bit more in depth about these diseases, click here.
  • Each year 9-million dogs and cats are euthanized a year. Approximately 25,000 healthy, adoptable cats die in shelters each day. 
  • Cats kill wildlife at amazingly high rates. In a recent report, cats are the single greatest human linked threat to wildlife in the nation. They are killing machines. They can kill 1.3- 4 BILLION birds and 6.3-22.3 BILLION mammals ANNUALLY. Birds help pollinate plants, distribute plant seeds and control insect populations. They are a vital gear in our environmental machine.


So, what can you do?

Solutions?

  • If you have a house cat that is driving you crazy by constantly bolting out the door or yowling to be let out, there are ways to provide a more stimulating house through "Catification". You can also try a pheromone plug-in or leash walking (I know, it sounds kind of "Crazy Cat Lady-ish"). Please do not just let your cat roam the neighborhood. It is very unsafe. Your cat could get injured by another animal, vehicle, poisoned or bring the above diseases home.
  • For Feral cats, find out if your community has a Trap and Release program (TNR). These programs will humanely trap a feral cat, fix/ neuter it and then release it back into it's territory. This at lease will cut back on the amount of reproduction and overpopulation. TNR programs cost about $50/ cat as opposed to $100/ cat for euthanizing. If you are feeding a feral cat, please be responsible and have it spayed/ neutered.  




Extra Reading and Where I got my Info:



Friday, July 18, 2014

Minty Dog Treats

Last spring, I planted a few innocent mint plants in my garden in order to ward away pesky bugs that were eating my bean plants. Being a novice gardener, I did not realize how rapidly mint can spread. This year, I have enough mint to start my own mint farmer's market. I've become very innovative on different ways to use my mint.


Minty Dog Treats

Ingredients:
  • 3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c. beef broth (If you want to make your own broth you can follow these instructions, but substitute a meaty beef bone from your local butcher instead of chicken)
  • 1/3 c. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. powdered milk
  • 1/3 of a banana mashed
  • 2 Tbs. of minced fresh mint leaves
Preheat your oven to 350-degrees. Mix all the ingredients together. If the dough seems too sticky to roll out on your counter, add small amounts of flour to your dough until it is the right consistency. Then, simply roll out your dough and grab a cookie cutter! Cut out your favorite shapes and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the treats in to cool while the oven cools. This will give you a crunchier treat.



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dogs on Deployment

I would like to share with you one of my favorite 501(c)(3) organizations: Dogs on Deployment (DOD). This organization helps military members find foster homes for their animals while they are on deployment. This is a need that most of us that are not in the military probably don't even think about. But often, if a military member cannot find someone to look after their pet while deployed, their pet ends up in a shelter.


DOD was started in 2011 by husband and wife, Shawn and Alisa Johnson, after they ran into their own obstacles while trying to find a way to keep their dog and fulfill their military commitments. (Read full story here) Since then, DOD has successfully place over 500 military owned pets into foster care. AND:
  • Have awarded over $15,000 in financial aid to military members to help with pet care during times of hardship or emergency. 
  • They help active duty, veterans and Wounded Warriors. 
  • Assist all branches of the Armed Forces.
  • They are open to all animals (not just dogs!)
  • Promote awareness for the benefits of service dogs for those suffering with PTS.
  • Advocate standardized military pet policies.
  • Promote lifelong companionship between owners and their pets.  
For more information, please visit their website or "like" them on Facebook!  


Monday, June 9, 2014

Pupsicles!!

The summer heat is slowly creeping up on us and it's time to remember to keep your dog cool during these next few months. Last summer, I wrote a post on ways your can Keep Your Dog Cool. Today, I am going to list a few of my favorite pupsicle recipes:


There are actually five different recipes on this link from The Dogington Post. There is whole fruit pupsicles (featured above), Apple-honey, bacon, chicken and Banana Peanut Butter.



These Gourmet Pupsicles are from Wear. Wag. Repeat. and have THREE ingredients: peanut butter, yogurt and blueberries.


Another simple three ingredient recipe for doggie ice cream brought to you by  Dog Milk. The Ice cream pictured above is strawberry, but they also have a recipe for peanut butter. If you are feeling a little crazy, you could probably add carob chips to make it peanut butter, "chocolate" chip! (Remember to always use carob chips for dogs! Actual chocolate is poisonous to our four-legged friends.)




I think the giant label on the the photograph speaks for itself... but here is a clickable link for the recipe.

On the same topic of keeping our dogs cool, we also have the winner of last month's photo contest!


Meet Barney the sweet St. Bernard that ALMOST takes up the whole pool. (We need a bigger pool, I guess...) You can see another dog's paws politely waiting their turn in the corner.

Remember to vote for your favorite picture every month! These pictures are taken by our employees. The employee who takes the winning photograph gets a gift certificate to a local business of their choice! Like us on Facebook and VOTE!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dog Park Etiquette


Dog Parks can definitely be a fun place to take your dog for exercise and socialization. But, there is also a certain etiquette that must be followed to ensure you are not "That One Dog Owner" that all the other dog owners are whispering about. Etiquette is also to keep all dogs safe. Here is a list of  "Do's and Don'ts" that will make your trip to the dog park successful and fun.

  • Pick up after your dog! Usually dog parks provide baggies, but sometimes you may need to bring your own. If you are unfamiliar with a new dog park, come prepared!
  • Exercise your dog before going to the park. I know, this sounds weird and you are probably asking yourself, "Isn't the purpose of the dog park to exercise your dog?" A dog park is a place to bond with your dog. If you bring Fido to the park with pent up energy, you are just asking for a doggy meltdown. An overly excited dog + a million other dogs and wide open areas= OVER STIMULATION.
  • A dog park is NOT a place to train your dog. Your dog should be trained beforehand. The reason: In case all mayhem breaks loose, you will have control of your dog. 
  • Don't let your dog steal other dog's toys! It's OK if they are playing TOGETHER. But, stealing another dog's toy is an aggressive behavior that could result in a dog fight. 
  • Take any pronged collars off before entering the dog park. Playing dogs can break teeth or get injured on these types of collars.
  • Don't keep your dog's harness or leash on in the off-leash zone. This will just make your dog feel vulnerable and trapped when all the other dogs are zooming around. 
  • Retractable leads are a HORRIBLE idea. These things are notorious for getting tangled around people and things. Not to mention, it gives your dog a sense of "freedom" that ends up hurting. How would you feel if you were running and ended up clothes lining yourself? OUCH. 
  • Please don't bring children to the dog park or let your dog jump on people.
  • Make sure your dog is over 12 weeks old and vaccinated.
  • Do not bring a female dog in heat or pregnant to the park.
  • Mixing small dogs with big dogs can be a bad idea. Some big dogs may view a smaller as prey. If you are an owner of a small dog and you encounter this problem, picking up your dog could cause an escalation. It mimics the "prey" being up a tree. 
  • Don't let your dog be a bully! This includes those playful pups that keep trying and trying to play with a dog that doesn't want to play, mounting other dogs, overly sniffing another dog and running up to a dog right when they enter the park. This is all rude behavior in a dog's world.
  • Take along water, not treats or food. Especially if your dog has resource guarding problems. If these guarding problems extend to you being considered a resource, the dog park may not be a place you can take your dog.
  • Don't have the mind set that dogs will "work it out".  Resolve the problem before it gets out of hand.
  • Do not be critical of another dog to it's owner! Handle your own dog and be responsible for your own dog's behavior. If your dog is encountering a rude dog, politely remove your dog from the situation without insulting the other owner. 
  • If your dog is arthritic and old, please do not take him/her to the park. This will only make them feel vulnerable. It may also cause a dog fight. 
  • If your dog seems scared, leave the dog park. Don't assume they will get over it. It could get worse. 
With all this in mind, your dog should return home from the park happy, healthy and TIRED.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New Prices and Services!


Aside from the slight increase in prices, we now offer Special Attention Services: Leash walk, 1-on-1 time, personal photo updates (via email) and Laundry services.  Our intact male policy has also changed a bit: We will try intact males in our groups up to 12-months-old. All intact males over 12-months-old will no longer be allowed in group until neutered. Intact males also have a slightly higher boarding fee.



Just marginal price increases on the Luxury Boarding, but still the same awesome services!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fancy Dog Cookies


These are the fancy dog treats I made last weekend to support my son's little league team's bake sale (geez, that's a mouth full!)... And they sold out! They are relatively easy to make and have lots of good things in them. I had a bunch of pictures showing the process of making them, but alas... I have lost my camera cord. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients
1/3 c. rolled oats
2 1/3 c. unbleached flour
1/4 c. pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp. flax seeds
4 carrots
1 apple
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 tsp Better Than Bouillion Vegetable base
1 Tbsp honey
1 egg
4 pieces of bacon (cooked)
1 Tbsp bacon grease

Step 1:
Using your food processor with the grating blade, grate the carrots and apples. Transfer them to a medium sized bowl.
Step 2:
Swap out the grating blade on your processor for the standard blade. Add the rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and bacon to your processor. Grind them up. Add them to the carrot apple mixture.
Step 3:
Add the remaining ingredients to the medium bowl and mix. Once everything mixed thoroughly, transfer to a floured surface. Roll out your dough. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and place on a greased cookie sheet to bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. When the cookies are done, you have a choice to make: For a softer cookie, take them out of the oven. For a crunchier cookie, leave the cookies in the oven, but turn it off. Let them cool down together.

 FROSTING!
Once every thing is  cooled, you can frost your cookies! To make the frosting you will need:

2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp water
1 tsp honey
3-5 drops food coloring

 Mix all these ingredients together in a bowl. You won't be able to mix with a spoon, so be prepared to get your fingers messy. It will have that strange consistency cornstarch gets when mixed with a bit of water- Not a liquid, but not a solid. Once mixed, you are going to pick up a "chunk" of your frosting and place it on top of the cookie. From there, it will "ooze" over the cookie.

DONE! Add sprinkles if you wish!

Once I find my cord, I promise I will update this post with pictures of the actual process. In the meantime, you can look at last month's winning employee photo!



Remember you can vote for your favorite photo by "liking" it on Facebook! The employee whose photo gets the most "likes" wins a gift certificate to a local business!
 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Zogoflex = Awesome

Have you ever witnessed a dog DESTROY a toy in what seems like less than a second? Imagine how many toys a doggy daycare could go through in just a day! Not us. We use a special toy from local West Paw Design. These toys are made from a material called Zogoflex.



Zogoflex lasts a long, long time. They bounce, float, bend and stretch (great for tug-of-war, fetch and swimming!). They are BPA-free, phthalate-free, non-toxic and FDA compliant. Eventually these toys do start to break down. But unlike most toys, they do not end up in a landfill. They can be recycled almost indefinitely!  To learn more about West Paw Design's "Loop", click here.



PLUS... they made us movie stars!!!



We also use West Paw Design's beds in our facility. These beds are great because they are SEWN BY HAND in the USA and the stuffing is made from a material called IntelliLoft. ItelliLoft is an extremely fluffy material made from recycled plastic bottles.


See how comfy this dog looks? Or you could be this dog and prefer a hose....
 





Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Unspayed Females



Since we have a bunch of really cute photos from our Valentine's party, I thought they would be useful for the topic of boarding intact females.Whether you, as the owner, decide to spay or neuter you dog is entirely up to you. We won't stand on any soap box and preach one way or the other. It's your business. But if a female comes into heat while at Bark City, we have the obligation as the responsible caretaker to kennel her. It is for her safety as well as for the other dogs.

A dog that is in heat, will release pheromones that will drive dogs CRAZY with frustration.  It is not uncommon for a male dog to scent a female in heat from a mile away. Male dogs will MOVE MOUNTAINS to get to the desired female and will become aggressive competing for her. The female in heat may also become aggressive with other dogs in order to drive them away from a chosen male and/or  because she might be experiencing some pain during ovulation. The female must be kept under constant supervision to make sure there are no "oops puppies". Like I said, male dogs will move mountains...








What is the most logical step for your intact female? I would recommend keeping track of her cycle and to not board her when she is going to be in heat. A female will generally start her first cycle anywhere between 6-24 months old (No, we do not expect you to wait two-full years to board your dog! That is a bit unreasonable!). Typically, the smaller the breed the earlier. The cycle will last approximately 18 days. Males will be attracted to the female the whole time, but the female will only be receptive for about half of it. You can expect your dog to go into heat about twice a year (approx. every six months). There is a lot of good information via the web about what to expect when your female goes into heat. I would recommend reading up BEFORE it happens! You WILL need to be prepared...




Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Plantain Fritters.... and Photo Contest Winner!!!

The temperatures have dropped again. It's cold outside. One of my favorite comfort foods that are easy make are Plantain Fritters (Yep, your dog can eat them too!.. in small quantities). Plantains are those "giant bananas" you see in grocery stores. Here are the ingredients:
  •  1 cup of flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 ripe plantains (you can also substitute bananas. Today, I used one plantain and one banana)
Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and puree. Then fry the batter by dropping spoonfuls of the batter into heated vegetable oil (or any oil of your choice).




To flip them, I use a fork as a spatula.


 Once done, I take them out of the oil with a pair of tongs and place them on a paper towel to absorb some of the extra oil.


 This is my dog version with no extra thrills.


And these are for me. I sprinkle powdered sugar on the top. As sides, I like to dip them in my homemade cranberry sauce or the whiskey marmalade my husband brought back from Ireland. You should  not give your dog all these extras. Keep them simple and plain for Fido... and try to limit the quantity eaten in one sitting since they are fried!

... and last, but not least... THE JANUARY PHOTO CONTEST WINNER GOES TO....


Hardi's "Selfie"!!! 

The Bark City Employee that took this picture won a gift card to Rib and Chop House. February's photos are already starting to be posted! Be sure to vote on your favorite picture via Facebook. The employee whose photo wins will get a gift card to a local business!!


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Friendly Reminder!

Do you ever have days where you feel like this?


You just don't want to get out of bed. You feel tired, lethargic and you're thinking you might be coming down with a cold or flu? It happens to all of us... unless you live in a bubble. It also happens to dogs.

Canine Influenza is a virus that is transmitted from dog to dog. Humans cannot become infected. Symptoms are similar to human flu: coughing, sneezing, runny nose and fatigue. Worst case scenario is that your dog will develop a high fever, difficult breathing, pneumonia and/or bleeding in the lungs. Sometimes dogs can be asymptomatic (they carry the virus, but show no symptoms). If you suspect your dog is under the weather, please take them to the vet. They can test and diagnose whether or not your dog has the flu. There is also a vaccine. The vaccine won't help if your dog already has the flu. It's similar to a human flu shot...it just eases the blow to the body. If your dog has the flu, your vet will have to decide the appropriate treatment (rest, lots of fluids... rest and rest... and quarantined to the house with no contact to other dogs until they recover).

Please remember that if your dog is under the weather, vomiting or has diarrhea, please keep them at home until they get better. Also remember that if your dog does get a cold or flu, these things happen sometimes (My human kids seem to bring a cold or flu home every other month). The only way you can be completely sure your dog will not catch a virus is to isolate them from all dog contact and that would be a pretty lonely life. We at Bark City try REALLY hard to keep our facility clean and sanitized to reduce the risk, but sometimes those asymptomatic dogs can be sneaky.

This dog isn't really sick. He is just really tired from playing too much at Bark City.