The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel loves dogs of all shapes, sizes, and colors, but did you know that your dogs color may be correlated to health issues and a shorter life span? A new study from the University of Sydney indicates that chocolate labs have a 10% shorter life expectancy than their yellow and black lab counterparts. 

The University studied more than 30,000 labradors from the UK and found that the most common health issues are obesity, ear infection, and joint issues. Lead researcher Paul McGreevy, says "The relationships between coat colour and disease may reflect an inadvertent consequence of breeding certain pigmentations," he said. "Because chocolate colour is recessive in dogs, the gene for this colour must be present in both parents for their puppies to be chocolate. Breeders targeting this colour may therefore be more likely to breed only Labradors carrying the chocolate coat gene. It may be that the resulting reduced gene pool includes a higher proportion of genes conducive to ear and skin conditions."

For everyone looking to adopt a new furry friend you may want to consider color and breeding methods before making your final choice. If health is a major factor for you consider the breeds below. According to PetMD these are the healthiest dog "breeds":

  • Australian Cattle Dog
  • Foxhound
  • Chihuahua
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Mixed Breed (Mutts!)
  • Havanese
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Labradoodle 

Click Here to read the full article from University of Sydney

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: Wellness Wednesday

THe ark's trained & certified crew

Today is Wednesday and so with that it's time for another Wellness Wednesday post. Today we wanted to focus on our hard working, trained and certified crew members at The Ark. If you have been on the fence about leaving your pet at The Ark hopefully this post will help you know that your pet is always in good hands once you drop them off with us!

Working at The Ark isn't just another job. We take new hires seriously at The ARk. We believe that our crew is what brings pets and pet parents back time and time again. The Ark has alway sought out pet lovers, first and foremost, to man its crews. We strongly feel that you can't teach someone to love pets, but you can teach them how to monitor behaviors, clean properly, and work well in a team environment. 


Did you know each crew member is required to go through several different training classes before they even work with the pets? It's true, each crew member has to be certified in the following...

  • CPR & Pet First Aid
  • Dog Body Language
  • Play Group Management

We feel strongly about each and every pet that comes through our doors. Being certified in these areas helps our crew members be able to act quick in any situation. The Ark's crew members use an industry leading training system called Dog Gurus. Each crew member has to go through Knowing Dogs 101 and 201. These two training modules are on both dog language and group play. While going through the training our crew learns how to:

  • Understand dog body language basics
  • Facilitate successful human-to-dog & dog-to-dog greetings
  • Assess dog emotions
  • Reduce dog stress
  • Lead with authority
  • Safely manage dog playgroups
  • And so much more...


Sarah Speer, our Director of Operations is a certified instructor in pet CPR and first response. She has trained all of our General Managers. Each of The Ark GMs are certified professionals in pet CPR and first response. Once hired, each crew member is Ark certified by the General Managers in both CPR and First Aid. The GMs also make sure that the more experienced crew members are always reiterating what they learn and make sure they are held responsible for always being on top of their certifications and training. Each Ark location holds quarterly safety meetings in which they review pet first aid, pet CPR, fire and emergency safety. 


The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel is ammeter of the International Boarding & Pet Services Association - IBPSA. The IBPSA is the industry leaders in pet service education and advocacy. As a member of the IBPSA we are always in contact with knowledgeable professionals in the per service industry. We like to be sure we are staying ahead and are prepared for the future in the fast-growth pet care industry. Our corporate crew attends the IBPSA conference each year to stay up to date with our membership and to make sure we are always evolving in our industry. Below are just some of the benefits of being members of IBSA. 

  • Provides business resources
  • Industry expertise
  • Staff education
  • Staff training
  • Staff certifications
  • Legislative support for the pet care service industry

We hope that you found this wellness post beneficial. Knowing that our crew is highly trained and certified should put your mind at ease. We love being your go to safety net with it comes to all things in the pet service. Thank you for allowing our crews to watch over your furry family members when you are away. 

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: Pet Wellness

10 fall safety tips for pet parents

Fall  is officially upon us! That means cooler weather, fall foliage and fall holidays. But with each season comes new things to keep an eye out for with your furry friend. Below is a fall check list of you fur parents. Be sure to read over this list and keep these things in mind when hanging out with your canine companion this Fall. 

1. KEEP THEM WARM - Though the temps in the South don't drastically change once fall hits, it does in other parts like up North. If your dog spends time outdoors during the fall, it's a good idea to leave a blanket to where your dog can cuddle up to while playing outside. Also, if you think it's too cold, do't leave them out for too long. Especially in the mornings and late evening when the temps are cooler than normal. 

2. BE CAREFUL AROUND MUSHROOMS - Fall is common to bring out the mushrooms. If you hike with your dog, they are especially common in the woods. You can also see them in your yard. While some of these fungi are safe to eat, others are highly toxic to  your pet. Be sure you are supervising their independent play and keeping them close during off-leash walks and hikes. This will help prevent a trip to your vet. 

3. WATCH OUT FOR WILDLIFE - Since we are close to hibernation season, wild animals such as skunks, bears and snakes are out and about preparing for their winter snooze. If you are out on a hike with your pup be sure to keep a close eye out for these creatures and keep your distance from them.

4. LET THERE BE LIGHT - With the time change just around the corner your afternoon walks will start to get darker sooner. It's a great idea to invest in reflective gear for yourself as well as your dog. 

5. CONSIDER THEIR JOINTS - With the cooler weather, it is common for your pets to experience more discomfort in their joints. Be sure you are keeping an eye out for signs that could be displaying this type of discomfort. A couple of signs are: limping or reluctant to exercise. I your dog whimpers when they move, it's a good idea to seek help from your veterinarian. CBD products are  a great option to look into as well. They are beneficial to dogs who have sore muscles and joint problems. 

6. CHECK FOR TICKS - Just because summer is over doesn't mean the ticks go away. It is said that some species of ticks can survive well into winter. If you are in the woods or under shade be sure to check for those ticks on both you and your fur friends.

7. AVOID ALLERGY AGGRAVATES - Ragweed and most are common fall allergens to keep an eye out for. These allergens can cause your pet to itch, sneeze and cough all season long. I you suspect your pup has season allergies, talk to your veterinarian about getting them tested to determine the best natural treatment plan. Benadryl is helpful to have on hand. Dogs can take 1mg per pound. Knowing your dogs weight is a must if you are going to use Benadryl. 

8. PROTECT THEIR PAWS - Don't forget about your pets' paws over the next few months. With each month the temperatures will only get colder. Ice, snow and salts are going to be the greatest danger to your dog's feet, so protection is key. Be sure to wipe paws off after walks to remove debris, chemicals or salt. 

9. KEEP THEIR NUTRITIONAL NEES IN MIND -  Chances are, your dog will be livelier now that the air is fresh. Be sure to take their activity level into account when reassessing their diet for the season. Questions that might stand out are: does your dog need more calories or should you be rotating protein to ensure they are getting the nutrients they need during the fall. These are great questions to talk to your vet about so be sure to ask at your next checkup appointment. 

10. DOG-PROOF YOUR ENVIRONMENT -  Doing a daily sweep of your yard to ensure the area is safe for your pup to run around and be a pup. Clean up rotten fruit that might have fallen off trees. Break off any bare sticks that your pet could get caught in while playing is always a good idea and in return you might have a good stick fro them to play with . And if the temperature drops drastically and anti-freeze is needed for you to prepare for the first frost, be sure that no spills have pooled anywhere that your dog can access. 

Keep this list in mind when you are out and about with your pup. We hope that you get out and enjoy the fall time with your sweet dog. Cooler weather is definitely something that both humans and pets can agree is always welcome. I you need new dog food for the fall be sure to stop by any of our Slobberbones Bakery & Market that are located inside each of the Chattanooga Arks. We also have reflective collars and leashes that will be good for those late afternoon walks. Mention you read this blog and receive 10% off your Slobberbones purchase. Happy Fall from all of us at The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel and Slobberbones Bakery & Market. 


Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: Pet Wellness



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"A Safe Harbor For Pets While Their Parents Are Away!"