Tag Archives: pets


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!


How to Make a Cuddle Sack for Your Small Pet

Photo by Summer Huggins

Make your small pets feel special with their very own cuddle sack. Blogger and animal lover Summer Huggins gives step by step instructions for this craft project for your pet.

We adopted a new kitten Saturday. He is four pounds of adorable spunk! His name is Rusty, and he’s already telling his siblings—including a Rottie mix and a German Shepherd mix—who the boss is.

Rusty loves napping on our king-size bed, but since he tends to get lost in it, I wanted him to have his own special little place to sleep. He needed a cuddle sack to be exact, so I decided to make one for him.

A custom cuddle sack for your small pet is easy to make. Whether it’s for a kitten, a rabbit or a ferret, a cuddle sack is a crafty and fun project that comes together in just about an hour. I raided by fabric stash for some striped fleece for the lining and a sturdy canvas for the outside. Here’s all you’ll need:

— 2 pieces of material for the lining, cut square
— 2 pieces of material for the outside of the sack, cut square
— coordinating thread

Step 1. Cut your fabric squares in a size appropriate for your pet, making sure they have plenty of room to get comfortable inside. Add one inch to the length of the lining material. My fleece squares for the lining were 20×21″. The canvas for the outside of the sack was 20×20″. That extra inch in the lining will make sense as your cuddle sack comes together.

Step 2. With the right sides of your lining together, sew up the two longer sides and along the bottom, leaving one side open. Then with the rights sides of your main cuddle sack fabric together, sew along three sides, leaving one side open. If the squares of your main fabric are perfectly square, it won’t matter which three sides you sew.

Close-up of cuddle sack detail. Photo by Summer Huggins

Step 3. On the lining, clip the two corners where you’ve sewn your squares together, careful not to clip through your stitches. Do the same to the fabric for the outside of your cuddle sack, and turn that piece right side out.

Step 4. Slip the lining inside the outer fabric and line up your seams. The lining should stick out the top by that extra inch.

Step 5. Fold the lining fabric half an inch down toward the outside fabric. Then fold another half inch down to create a hem. This will capture the outside material inside the hem you just created. Sew, securing the two pieces together. I used a zig-zag stitch here just for fun. Fold the sack back a few inches to provide a welcome opening for your pet.

Rusty loves his cuddle sack! I have enough fleece and canvas left over that I’m planning to make a few more to donate to the kittens at the shelter still waiting for their forever homes. I hope your smallest family members will enjoy theirs, too.

How Socks Lead to Peace: Introducing a New Cat to An Old One

How Socks Lead to Peace: Introducing a New Cat to a Resident Cat

Natural Health magazine April/May 2012Introducing a new cat to the resident cat can be intimidating, but the April/May issue of Natural Health magazine provides tips for making the transition a smooth one.

I’ve done my fair share of introducing new dogs to each other, but I’d be stumped if I had to introduce our two resident cats to a new one right now.

If you’re considering adopting a new cat and are wondering how in the world to smoothly introduce her to your current feline, cat behaviorist and author Mieshelle Nagelschneider encourages you to keep these three things in mind:

  1. Smells. During the first week or so, while you’re still keeping the cats in separate rooms, pet the resident cat with a sock and place the sock in the new cat’s living area. Then, pet the new cat with a different sock and put that one in the resident cat’s living area. This gives both cats the chance to smell and get used to each other’s scents. If that goes well, pet one cat with a brush and then the other with the same brush, letting them get used to the scent of the other actually touching them.
  2. Sights. After a couple weeks of living separately, let the cats see each other for brief sessions, using a baby gate that they can easily see through. Keep these sessions short and always end them on a neutral or even positive note, not waiting for hissing or growling to escalate.
  3. Playtime! When steps 1 and 2 go well, it’s time to let the cats interact for the first time. Offer up toys and treats for each so they know that being in the same space can be fun and delicious rather than scary.

Good luck on your peaceful transition!

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!

Can a Rat Really Make a Good Pet?

Can a Rat Really Make a Good Pet?

Natural Health magazine February 2012Does a rat really count as a pet? With Natural Health magazine in hand, blogger Summer Huggins explores the question.

My husband and I visit New York City almost every fall during the three days that include both of our birthdays, with our anniversary smack dab in the middle. We eat; we see the sights; we try to live like the locals. Last fall, living like locals meant seeing our first NYC rat.

We were in the subway station, and this long, dark, gray creature was scurrying around the track. It was inevitable after all the years we’ve been visiting, and I was just glad our first sighting wasn’t in one of our favorite restaurants. Did you know that some people actually keep rats as pets?

Not those dirty NYC rats, of course.

The February issue of Natural Health magazine points out that movies and urban legends about rats can make them seem like scary animals, but as social and intelligent critters, they can actually make great pets.

“Rats can relate to and interact with you almost as much as a dog or a cat–but they require a lot less time and space,” says Zachariah Maule, director of North Star Rescue in Northern California.

Maule has three tips for caring for a pet rat (should you decide to get one):

  1. Pair them up: Though they thrive on human interaction, rats also like having a rat buddy.
  2. Tidy up their space: Maule suggests using recycled cardboard as their bedding instead of pine or cedar, which can stress their respiratory systems.
  3. Play: Check out the bird toys and accessories at the pet store. “Bird toys are great for rats because they’re both intelligent animals that like to destroy things for fun,” says Maule.

I had a couple of hamsters as a kid, so I’m no stranger to small, fuzzy pets. I just don’t think I’m ready for a rat. I’m gonna stick with dogs and cats for now.