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Dear Boston Burkey

Weekly online column where Boston Burkey answers your questions about Boston Terriers or Your Boston Terrier's questions!

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Come back on Thursday to see updates!

Dear Boston Burkey:
I have 2 females they are almost 4 months old.  I am getting conflicting advice about having them spayed.  My vet says to wait until they have had a heat cycle and their teacher says it is not necessary to wait.  So, who is right?

First off, I AM NOT A VET. There are many conflicting views on this subject, but it has been my impression that the majority lean towards spaying before the first heat when possible. You need to ask yourself one basic you trust your vet? If the answer is yes, then follow his advice. If you have your doubts, my I highly recommend you simply call several other local vets and find out what they recommend for their clients. Use that information to make your decision.

What chew toys do Bostons like best?  He loves to chew, but the pig's ears don't seem to be a good choice.  Thanks!

My favorite have always been nylabone products.....the standard nylabone tops the list (it comes in a few colors, as well as "flavors" like chicken and liver). Gumabones & puppybones are also good choices. Some people also like their edible bones, but I have found they get sticky and leave a residue on carpet/furniture and some BTs are known to devour them quite quickly. If you do decide to try one of these, pick one that matches your carpet or restrict your BT to the kitchen. Monitoring your BT would be a good idea too, at least the first few times. For strong chewers you can't beat the Galileo bone, it's one of the hardest (man-made) products out there. We had an quite an aggressive chewer who loved her Galileo. I used to also recommend plain old marrow bones. But with the recent developments of mad-cow and foot & mouth disease I've been leary. Just be sure you are confident with the source of the marrow bone if you go this route.

I am interested in helping out with rescue. How do I go about getting approved to foster BT's or to help get them out of shelters?

That is great!! The best way to go about getting started is to contact a current rescue volunteer that is close to you. (The internet is a great resource for this...just search for 'boston terrier rescue'.) They will probably want to get to know you a little bit. Don't be surprised if they ask to visit your home, contact your vet, and/or references. Once you've been approved your "mentor" will let you know what standard procedures are in your area. It's possible you will be put on contact lists at area shelters or be added to an available foster home list, it really depends on what things are needed most in your area. My hat goes off to all those who put forth so much effort into rescue of any breed. Good luck in your future endeavors!