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...
I have been noticing for a few years now that there is a trend amongst pet owners to stop buying kibble for their pets and to start making their own food. It is a very controversial topic, but a lot of owners swear that it has helped to alleviate health conditions in their pets, such as arthritis and food allergies. The other benefit is that it is often less costly than buying premium dog/cat food. Two of my favorite blogs that I have been following and can give you more information are:
The Pet Foodie, whom I follow on Facebook. It seems that their blog is just getting up and running, but their Facebook posts usually have good recipes and information.
Feline Nutrition Education Society has a WEALTH of information if you would like to start feeding your cat a raw diet. They also have a Facebook page that you can "like" through their website.
I also thought that with these blogs, I should should post some recipes I have been meaning to try:
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....
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!!