Tag Archives: dogs


The Top 5 Cutest Breeds of Dogs

Whether you are a dog lover or a cat person, there is no denying that puppies are simply adorable. There are a lot of cute dogs out there, but which breeds can claim the superlative?



The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is an easily trainable, people-oriented dog. This adorable pet needs exercise and interaction with people to remain happy. According to WebMD, Pembroke Welsh Corgis avoid many of the health problems associated with other small dogs due to the fact that they are a dwarf breed. One of the few downsides of Corgis? They shed. A lot.







Shih TzuTwo_red_and_white_haired_shih_tzu_littermates

As a tiny, fluffy dog, this breed is one of the most adorable out there. According to Woofipedia they were the pets of Chinese royalty for hundreds of years. And no wonder – these dogs have beautiful coats that make their nickname, the “lion dog,” no surprise. A Shih Tzu is the perfect canine companion for someone living in an apartment or small house.







These intelligent pets make up in personality what they lack in size. Although they tend to bark frequently, they are very intelligent and trainable. Another perfect pet for an apartment setting, Pomeranians are ideal for people who want a little companion.





basset houndBasset Hound

Ears hanging low, this breed is a very friendly, gentle one. Unlike the previous two cutest dogs, their coats require little maintenance, which makes a Basset Hound ideal for someone who does not want to spend a lot of time on doggy grooming. Always eager to catch a new scent, a Basset Hound loves outdoor walks!






According to the American Kennel Club, the adorable Beagle is a people puppy, loving the company of humans and other dogs. Historically a hunting dog, Beagles love to sniff out new scents. While Beagles come in different sizes and colors, the most famous Beagle of all is the black and white Snoopy.







Whether your dog falls into one of these breeds or is completely different, make sure to give your pup the best care of all and check out Bark Magazine for special dog owner tips!

Is there another type of dog that deserves to make the list? Let us know below!


Creative Games for Your Dog

Lately, we’ve been focusing on our health, our families, and delicious desserts. While all of these topics are all well and good, our furriest family members are left out of the fun. Take a moment to honor man’s best friend by checking out these puppy-approved games!

Is your pup a little too plump for his britches? A treat ball like one from PetSmart is perfect for dogs who get more treats than exercise. Put treats in the middle of this hollow ball. You can also put dog goodies in the easily-accessible outside craters if your dog deserves double treats. With the alluring scent of the dog treat holding his attention, your pup will entertain himself for hours, all while getting much-needed exercise.

PuppyThis doggy version of “hide and seek” takes a twist on a childhood classic. Doggy hide and seek is simple to set up, easy on the wallet, and perfect for a rainy afternoon. Thanks to Disney’s Babble for this DIY idea!

All you need are small-to-medium-sized empty boxes, your dog’s favorite treat, and little quality time to spend with your pup. If your canine friend is on a diet, substitute treats with toys. Place the boxes around a room, or multiple rooms if you want to take the game to the next level, and place a treat under each box. Tell your dog to “go find” the treat. Keep in mind that you might have to point to a box housing a treat the first few times you play so that your dog can learn the game. It will not take long for your dog to learn to find and flip over boxes hiding the treats! Kids love setting up this game, too.

Lost KeysOnce you and your dog are doggy hide and seek pros, stimulate your dog’s brain with this game from DogProblems.com that is incredibly useful for the household humans. This game is a twist on doggy hide and seek but adds a little more complexity to the mix. Do you have problems with losing your keys from time to time? This doggy game will solve your problems!

  1. Attach a small piece of leather to your key chain. Spend two minutes pinching the leather between your thumb and index finger. This will transfer some of the oil in your skin to the leather and link your “scent” to it.
  2. During your next game of doggy hide and seek, substitute your key chain for the treat.
  3. When your dog finds the bucket that hides your keys, lift the bucket to reveal your keys. At this point, abundantly praise your dog for his feats and make a big deal about your dog finding the keys. You may also want to give a rewarding treat to your dog, at least at first.
  4. Finally, you can start hiding your key in other places around the room, away from the buckets. Start out easy. Place them on the floor, next to the couch, or anywhere your dog can almost stumble upon them quite easily.
  5. After a few days, you should be able to hide your keys in some really difficult places, and your dog will be able to find them for you.
  6. Imagine how handy this trick will become when you really lose your keys!

Give your dog the tender loving care that he deserves with games that will keep his tail wagging for hours. For more dog tips, check out our collection of canine reads that will help you be as loyal to your dog as he is to you.

What other games does your dog love? Share below in the comments!


4 Reasons Why I Love Austin

Blogger Summer Huggins shares what she loves about Austin and the can’t-miss hot spots for music, dining and more for living like a local in the Lone Star State’s capital.

My parents and I lived in Austin for a couple of years when I was a kid, I mean a little kid, around 3 years old. I don’t remember much about life here then, but I love hearing the stories. For instance: I danced on stage with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble when I was a toddler. Stevie Ray picked me up, sang to me and danced with me in his arms. Oh, how I wish there were pictures around to show off to my friends.

Kids who live in Austin today should encourage their parents to carry cameras with them when they visit local music venues. Then such stories will have photographic evidence to back them up.

We Love Live Music

Known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin has no shortage of singers and songwriters on their way to fame. Who knows when you might waltz into the right place at the right time when you’re visiting and see such a headliner! From restaurants to outdoor venues to internationally famous stages, great music can be found around every corner.

For great music, don’t miss:

The Continental Club on South Congress Ave., open since 1957.
Stubb’s BBQ on Red River. Incredible outdoor stage, plus a smaller indoor stage for Gospel Brunch on Sunday mornings.
Gruene Hall, Texas’ oldest dance hall, just about 20 minutes outside of Austin.

Get Outside and Play

Before you head out for music, why not have some fun outdoors? Austin is an active and healthy city, filled with state and national parks, beautiful lakes and lots of outdoor activities. From walking and hiking to relaxing in the cool grass and watching more than a million Mexican free-tailed bats fly overhead, there is always something to get into on the town.

With so much to choose from, it might be a hard decision to make, but if you want to head outside, don’t miss:
— Stand-up paddling on Lady Bird Lake. A great way to see the city and get some exercise at the same time.
— A bike ride on the Veloway or the Shoal Creek Bike Path.
— A cool dip in Hamilton Pool, Barton Springs Pool or Deep Eddy Pool, Austin’s favorite natural wonders.

Eat Well

Grab a bite to eat from one of Austin's 1,500 food trailers.

I don’t even know where to start when it comes to dining out in Austin, but if you come to town and eat at a national chain restaurant, you’re not trying very hard to enjoy our delicious city. Tex-Mex, pizza, burgers, bar-b-que, sushi, international cuisine, even gourmet doughnuts. If you’re craving it, Austin can serve it up. Perhaps it comes out of a trailer, it can possibly be delivered, and you might even be able to enjoy a good movie (and a beer) while you eat.

If you’re heading out for a bite, don’t miss:
The Alamo Drafthouse. With several locations around town, the “Alamo” is the only way to catch a movie. While you watch the best of blockbuster movies and independent films, enjoy a local draft beer, veggie burger, grilled cheese sandwich, specialty salad or even fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies (and, oh so much more).
— BBQ, burgers and beer. Find a hole-in-the-wall dive bar for a cold one, and chances are you’ll find good food inside too. Chicken-fried steak at the Broken Spoke? Yes, please!
— Food trailers. See that food trailer over there? There is probably something delicious and surprising cooking up inside. The last number I heard was 1,500. Fifteen hundred food trailers in town ready to feed your belly.

Austin Loves Pets

Go just about anywhere in Austin, and you’re likely to see a dog or two. Walking around downtown, shopping in pet-specific stores or lounging on patios at our favorite local restaurants, dogs (and other pets) are simply a part of life around here. Don’t be surprised when you see horses walking around town either.

If you visit Austin with your whole family — including the four-legged members — don’t miss:
— Auditorium Shores. A quick walk from downtown, Auditorium Shores is a beautiful outdoor music venue that doubles as a doggie paradise. Dogs can run and wrestle with each other off-leash, swim and retrieve tennis balls from the lake.
— Bow-Wow Chow. Yep, even the dogs have their own food trailer now.
The Canine Center for Training and Behavior offers multi-week courses for dog agility and training, but their calendar is also full of camping weekends, full-day hikes and even yoga with your dog. Doga!

Come visit Austin. Eat well, play hard, enjoy the music and bring your dog! I know you’ll want to visit again. That’s if you can ever make yourself leave in the first place…

For even more visuals or to create a travel board for your trip to Austin, check out our latest Pinterest board featuring Summer’s picks!

5 Tips for Living With an Aging Pet

5 Tips for Living With an Aging Pet

dog named Bugsy by Summer Huggins

My Dog Bugsy / Photo credit: Summer Huggins

It’s never fun to watch a beloved pet age, but Summer Huggins offers five tips for making the process a little easier.

Bugsy–my oldest “boy” and first puppy love–turned 15 this year. Sometimes it’s hard to believe. When I watch him chase his sister or shake for a treat, he still looks like the smart, vibrant and silly dog I’ve had all these years. Other times, when I have a hard time waking him to go outside for business, I realize that he is, in fact, 15 years old.

In the past year, I’ve really started to notice that he’s slowing down a bit. He seems to get grayer by the day, and he sleeps far more hours during the day than he’s awake. But during those waking hours, I’m doing all I can to make sure his “retirement years,” as we call them, are full of health and happiness. Here are the five areas that I’m focusing on right now:

  1. Food. Feed your aging pet the best quality food, keeping in mind any health issues. We have to keep an eye on Bugsy’s fat intake after a bout with pancreatitis years ago, and he’s also on a food specially formulated to be gentle on his kidneys. It may cost a little more, but it’s totally worth a few extra cents to feed him what he needs.
  2. Exercise. Unless your vet has said otherwise, your older pets still need daily exercise and activity. Bugsy does like to sleep more these days, but we still start every day with a walk and some fresh air. Some mornings I can even see a little pep in his step.
  3. Routine. Bugsy eats dinner every evening at 5:30 and goes to bed each night by 10:30. He likes to walk the same two routes in our neighborhood. We haven’t rearranged any furniture and don’t plan to. I don’t want to upset Bugsy’s routine. Since his eyesight and hearing are starting to go, we want him to be as comfortable in his environment and routine as possible.
  4. Vet care. Keeping a pet up-to-date on vaccinations and examinations is vitally important throughout their entire life, but it becomes even more critical as they age. Our relationship with our vet, Dr. Garza, goes back almost 10 years, so she’s very aware of Bugsy and his history and is almost as good at noticing new lumps and bumps and changes in his personality as we are.
  5. Love. I hate to even think about it, but we probably don’t have much more time with Bugsy. There’s just no way to guess at this point. So every day, I make sure he is loved and comfortable and happy, and he does the same for me.

It’s all about quality at this point. Quality of his food, his care and the love I give him. On all fronts, I’m giving the Bug-man all I can!

How to Keep Your House Spotless When Living with Spot

How to Keep Your House Spotless When Living with Spot

Dog Fancy magazine March 2012

Cover of March 2012 Dog Fancy magazine

The March issue of Dog Fancy magazine offers homemade remedies to cut through the toughest messes your canine compadre can create.

I hate to admit this publicly, but we’ve scrubbed puke out of the carpet three times this week. Nope, we don’t even have kids. But with three dogs and two cats in the house, accidents happen. Thankfully, I have my carpet-scrubbing routine down to a perfect science.

Other areas of our house, however, haven’t been quite so easy to keep clean. But with the help of the March issue of Dog Fancy magazine, a bit of baking soda and vinegar, almost any dirty-dog area in my house can sparkle like new–even that dingy grout in the kitchen by the dogs’ bowls.

To clean that grout, for example, Dog Fancy suggests mixing equal parts baking soda, ammonia, white vinegar and water. Then all you have to do is scrub. Once clean, place a large mat or towel under the bowls to keep the filth at bay in the future. Easy enough!

Scratches on the hardwood floor? That cleaning trick includes a bit of coffee. A couch full of dog hair? Wet rubber gloves. Gross squeaky toys? You’ll need a little more of that vinegar.

From the entryway to the screen on the back door, this issue of Dog Fancy has cleaning tips for every thinkable dog mess. Now, if I could just keep everyone from getting the house so dirty in the first place …

Modern Dog magazine winter 2012

How to Peacefully Introduce the New Baby to the Family Dog

Modern Dog magazine winter 2012Whether you’re planning your next tattoo or preparing to introduce a new baby to the family dog, the winter issue of Modern Dog magazine is a must-read!

Off all the blurbs on the front of the Winter issue of Modern Dog magazine–women wanting dogs while men need them, an update on the Michael Vick dogs and doing yoga with your dog–my eyes immediately when to the small text about dog tattoos.

Don’t tell my grandmother, but I have three tattoos, and I’m ready for another one. I’ve even been considering something dog-related. I just can’t decide yet.

After being distracted by and dreaming about new tattoos, I gave the issue my full attention. One article in particular struck me as very important reading for the moms-to-be out there.

“Pregnancy, Babies and the Family Dog” was written by behaviorist/trainer/veterinarian Jennifer Messer. If anyone would know the best way to introduce a new baby to an 11-year-old pit bull, I’d think it would be her.

Messer offers five great pieces of advice, all of which require a bit of planning. One of my favorite tips involves downloading baby sounds online–babies crying, babies laughing, babies screaming with hunger. Messer suggests giving the resident dog some delicious treats while listening to those sounds. Charlotte, her pittie, prefers chicken hot dogs as she gets accustomed to the new and strange noises that will soon infiltrate her home.

I wish them all a happy and healthy life together.