posts by topic


How To Help Your Nervous Dog With Car Rides

I recently read a fantastic book called How to be Your Dog's Best Friend: A Training Manual for Dog Owners by the Monks of New Skete. The part that stuck with me after reading that book is the emphasis on the fact that to you, your dog is your best friend. But to your dog, you are the leader of the pack - their source of socializing, of friendship, of belonging. I really took that to heart. Yes, I work a full-time job and I hate leaving my dog at home, but I do my best to include her when I can. Short trip to the grocery store? Hop in. Let's go for a ride. The pack is on the move! Continue Reading >

Working Dogs And Their Jobs

They don’t call a dog “Man’s best friend” for nothing. When it comes to our four legged friends, finding constructive ways to keep them busy isn’t always as easy as it seems. Whether you own a toy poodle or a Doberman pincher, almost every dog needs something to do that burns off their excess energy and keeps them out of trouble. Continue Reading >

Louie’s Club – A Dog Sitting Exchange Community

My wife and I adopted Louie when he was just an adorable 8-week old puppy in April 2015. From day one, he brought so much love and joy into our lives; definitely one of the best decisions we ever made! We quickly grew super attached to him (and vice versa), which made it really hard to be away from him when we had to travel. Not only did we want his boarding environment to be safe, but also one where he would be loved and cared for (just like at home). Continue Reading >

April 19, 2017 | We Love

Gift Ideas For The Dog Lover In Your Life

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are right around the corner and Barkswell has been lucky enough to have some awesome companies looking to give discounts for their work. Whether for upcoming celebrations, special occasions or just to show some extra care to those you love, here are some choice gift ideas for the dog lover in your life. Canine themed or not, these gifts are right up our alley Continue Reading >

April 14, 2017 | We Care | Tips from Elaine Coe

Canine Diabetes: Symptoms and Complications

One morning my husband and I were getting ready for work when he called out from the kitchen, “Did you spill a glass of water? The floor is wet.” Of course, I didn’t: I would never not clean it up. We dismissed it as something Chloe, our beagle, probably knocked over (her water bowl, a cup she swiped from the table, etc.). Continue Reading >

How Loving A Single Cat Saved A Few Dogs

Ok, why do we have a story about a cat posted here on Barkswell? Bear with me. I'll bring this around to dogs, trust me. Some time ago my husband and I decided to go take a look at the local shelter. We weren't particularly looking for a new pet, we just needed to be around animals for a bit. You know, show them a little love while they wait for their forever homes. Continue Reading >

March 31, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Jane Meggitt

4 Tips For Picking A Hybrid Dog

Purebred or mixed breed? That's the question many would-be dog owners ask when deciding about adding a four-legged friend to their family. Hybrid dogs – resulting from the crossing of two different canine breeds –have certain advantages over purebreds. They are generally not as expensive to buy, and also benefit from hybrid vigor. That means that a dog of mixed genetics is likely to have fewer health problems than one from a long line of purebred dogs with shared genes. Continue Reading >

March 22, 2017 | We Learn | Story by Denzel B.

What Does Your Dog Really Think Of You?

Have you ever just sat there looking at your dog sleep and thought: “I wonder what he/she thinks of me?” First of all, when you come into the room, I wonder what our dogs mentally say to themselves to acknowledge our presence. Is it positive? Like “here comes (insert awesome dog owner name)” or is it more personal like “wow he/she’s put on weight” or “really? You wore that outfit last weekend”. Continue Reading >

March 20, 2017 | We Care | Tips from Richard Bryant

How To Keep Your Old Dog Feeling Young

Getting old… it hurts. Even for your dogs. It’s important as a pet owner to keep up with your dog’s growing needs as he develops from an adult to a grand-dog. Just like humans, dogs will go through similar growing pains as they get older and their bones begin to lose density and joints become unbalanced. But there are ways to help your older dog feel young again. Continue Reading >

March 17, 2017 | We Recall | Story by Tara Renner

My Besenji: The Dog Who Was A Cat

I’ve never lived without a dog, usually with multiples of dogs. Living in a home without a dog is a state of existence I couldn’t really even contemplate. When I finally (more or less) entered adulthood, and became engaged to my fiancée, we made the decision to continue living with our parents for a while. This was not because we were old fashioned, but cheap. We would stockpile some cash until we could afford to move out. I couldn’t wait to pick out our first dog together. Continue Reading >

March 10, 2017 | We Learn | Story by Cathy E.

3 Things You May Not Know About Poodles

If a poufy hairdo, nail polish and little pink bows come to mind when you hear the word “Poodle,” you’re missing the point. While it’s true that some Poodle parents still favor the foppish look of leg and tail puffs, big hair and various adornments, most people who share their home with Poodles appreciate the breed for characteristics other than their foo-foo potential. Continue Reading >

How To Eliminate Fleas

If you have a pet dog, fleas can give you sleepless nights. The one thing that most pet owners dread are fleas. Dogs can get infected if they come in contact with other animals or fleas in the environment. Before you start with any kind of remedial treatment, clean your home and items used by your pet. Continue Reading >

How To Introduce A New Baby To Your Dog

Here’s the situation. You love your four legged friend, he’s been there for you since you were living in that small apartment with only Ben & Jerry to keep you warm…well, cold at night. Now, you’re married and guess what — pregnant! Yay! But wait, how will Spot take to the baby? Is it safe? Should you let your sister keep him until the baby has her shots? Fear not, mama bear. With adequate preparation, there’s nothing to worry about. Continue Reading >

March 1, 2017 | We Love | Story by Evan Mbogai

A Dog Without A Spleen

Later that evening me and my kids were taking care of Rick. It was kind of funny explaining to my two kids the importance behind Ricky’s surgery. They were a little unable to understand how one can survive without an internal body organ. At one point they even thought that Ricky would be handicapped. At the end of the day as Ricky slept peacefully I could not help but reflect on the relationship we have built with Rick for the past four years. This interesting dog with a unique personality definitely is a darling and a blessing to me and my family. Continue Reading >

February 22, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Cathy E.

The Two Things I learned About My Local Shelter

If you’re like me and you have a less-than-progressive animal shelter nearby, chances are you’ll do anything to avoid setting foot in the place. Especially if it’s a kill shelter. No matter what terms they may use—euthanize, put down, PTS (put to sleep)—the staff destroys dogs, cats and other pets simply because they’re unwanted. Almost nothing makes an animal lover more upset. Continue Reading >

February 17, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

Building Motivation

One of the most common things I have clients tell me is that they don’t want to have to use treats for the rest of their lives. Building the intrinsic motivation for your dog to want to work with you takes time and trust and continues to be fostered throughout your training program. Continue Reading >

February 15, 2017 | We Love | Story by Kasturi Das

Love Heals: Bridging The Communication Gap

I moved to my home city from Bangalore in October last year, to live with my parents. Out of the 28 years of my life, 10 were spent living away from home. So when my father was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment, I knew I had to come back. My mother wouldn’t be able to juggle everything at home – chores and emotions - on her own. Continue Reading >

February 13, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Diane Driscoll

Agility Training And Your Dog

“My dog could never do that!” I hear that a lot from people when they first see an agility team in action. It usually bursts out of them when the dog is flying through the weave poles, executing a task that seems impossibly difficult. I said something like that myself the first time I saw it, but, actually, most dogs can learn to do agility if they are physically able. Continue Reading >

February 8, 2017 | We Care | Tips from Lerma Pere

Top Food Safety Tips

People often think of their four-legged pals as superheroes. Who wouldn’t when we’ve seen them rescue men, help blind and older people cross the streets, save people from drowning, or even protect babies from the abusive nanny. They have been so celebrated as heroes that owners can easily forget that their stomachs are just as vulnerable to certain microbes as ours. Continue Reading >

February 6, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Denzel B.

How To Use Your Dog To Find Love

If you start to find that your nights are beginning to consist of you wrapped up with your dog, watching a sad movie and wishing somebody was there to agree on its sadness (“Why didn’t she just move over?! There was room for Jack!!”), then it may be time to go out and find somebody you can lay with. No not like that, get your minds out the gutter! I meant on the couch while you watch titanic for an epic 9th time. Continue Reading >

February 3, 2017 | We Care | Tips from Amy Freeman

Help Your Dog Cope With Separation Anxiety

You get up off of the couch to walk to the kitchen for a glass of water. Your dog follows you. You go into the bathroom to shower and soon hear the familiar scratch-scratch of his paws at the door. When it's time to leave for work in the morning, your pup starts frantically barking and trying to stand between you and the doorway. While you're gone, he might make a mess, chew up furniture or try to find a way out. Continue Reading >

January 27, 2017 | We Love | Story by Sarah Lucas

My Dog Was Hit By A Car

When Bentley, my pitbull terrier, was only 1-year-old he got hit by a car and survived. It wasn't really anyone's fault. The problem was that Bentley was an escape artist. As a puppy, a week couldn't go by without him breaking out of the backyard through a hole in the fence or running out the door when someone was coming or going. And once he was out, it took a long time to get him back. Continue Reading >

January 25, 2017 | We Care | Tips from Jessica Walter

How To Identify Dangerous Food Ingredients

I am writing because knowing what to feed your pet, especially your dog, is difficult. When we chose a dog to join our family - my husband and two daughters, we thought it would be simple. All we had to do was go to the pet store, get some dog food, make sure she did not eat too much, and that’s mostly it. However, our puppy got sick and we found out the dog food we were buying contained some pretty bad ingredients. Since then, we’ve learned a lot and Bonnie is much happier. Continue Reading >

January 20, 2017 | We Care | Story by Makenna Lenover

English Bulldogs And Breeding Problems

English Bulldogs are some of the most popular dogs in the world right now. Many people desire them for their adorable scrunchy faces and fat bodies. Selective breeding by humans has lent the breed towards these “smushed” faces, compact bodies, and oversized heads. Unfortunately, that cute look can actually cause a lot of health problems. Continue Reading >

January 16, 2017 | We Love | Story by Evan Mbogai

A Loving (And Naughty!) Dog – A Personal Story

Apart from annoying, Ricky is very lovable. Well he’s annoying because he has been happily destroying all the locks in the house for the past four years. It’s even a shock why we haven’t been robbed yet. Apart from that, the young lad can be terribly obnoxious when put on leash. When we visited our small town I was impressed at the number of dogs owned by the natives in my hometown. They are just as many dogs living there as the people on the streets. The coexistence was so impressive; the dogs were just as friendly to each other as their owners were. There must be a secret universal code among the dogs, genetically running in their brains that coordinate how they respond to each other. Continue Reading >

January 13, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Timothy Fox

Two Tips For The Best Dog Hygiene

Just like us, our four legged friends need to practice good hygiene to stay healthy. The practices are generally the same, we take care of their teeth, we bathe them and we keep them brushed. There is one area we fail sometimes to pay attention to, and that is their food and water bowls. Sure, you may rinse the water bowl out or wash the food bowl when it gets extra furry, but this can be a major growth place for bacteria. Also, pay attention to what you are putting in their bowls. Continue Reading >

January 11, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Hilary Fosdal

4 Tips To Survive A Shared Pet-Relief Area In An Apartment Building

One of the increasingly common amenities offered in high rises is a dog relief area. The concept is one of convenience, yet sadly, the reality is something slightly more disturbing. I’ve rarely visited one that didn’t resemble an outhouse. Flies buzzing. The stench crawling up the walls. Feeling the need to secure everything to your person before entering the area, lest it get dropped onto the ground (which is a step up from losing it down the pit for good!). Continue Reading >

January 9, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Barbara Rivers

How The Army Crawl Can Keep Your Puppy Safe

Having two puppies move in with us back in 2011 was quite the experience. After all, I had never owned dogs before, let alone raised any. My perfectionist nature demanded as much prep work as possible before the arrival of our two fur babies Missy & Buzz, so one day, while browsing various dog books and magazines, I came across an invaluable tip I never would have come up with on my own. The Army Crawl. Continue Reading >

January 2, 2017 | We Learn | Tips from Sandy Kenrick

Never Say This To A Dog Owner

There is an unspoken truce between an owner and a dog that will transcend every other relationship. It’s not uncommon for a dog owner to make their social arrangements according to whether their hosts have pets or not and will begrudgingly accept those where humans are the only social creatures available. When entering the domain of the dog lover, however, there will be a slight change of rules and the proper etiquette will need to be adhered to. Continue Reading >

December 30, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Patricia Jones

How To Make Sports And Recreation Safe And Fun For Your Pets

It’s football, basketball and other sports and recreation season! While plenty of people get excited about the fun and games that fall and winter bring, it’s not always the most fun or safest time for your pet. Loud noise, chaos from house guests, new smells and people, and other activity can be exciting – or terrifying –for your pet. There’s also a risk that your furry loved one might be accidentally let out of the house or yard, frightened, or in some cases, injured, during the festivities. Continue Reading >

December 28, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Diane Driscoll

Hotel Etiquette With A Pup

Dog owners love to travel with their dogs, but few hotels welcome them. Are you doing everything you can to make sure that you and your dog are good hotel guests, so that hotels that accept dogs will continue to do so? Set an example of responsible pet ownership when you stay in a hotel with your dog. Help keep the welcome mat out for pets. Continue Reading >

December 26, 2016 | We Love | Story by Ashley McLeod

Multi-Dog Family-A Personal Story

"Growing up, my home had always been a single dog home. There were usually multiple animals, including cats, guinea pigs, snakes, and most things in between, but it had always been one single dog. So when I moved into my new residence, a home with two dogs, I wasn't sure what to expect. Now I live with a Havanese (or, in this house, a Muppet) and some sort of pug/chihuahua mix. Continue Reading >

December 21, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Cathy E.

Winter And Your Dog

Many people consider their dogs to be pretty resilient creatures—and generally speaking, they are. But for those who live in colder climates, it pays to think about the safety of those four-legged family members as winter weather draws near. After all, if you’re uncomfortable, you may not be the only one. Continue Reading >

December 19, 2016 | We Love | Story by Jesse Ellyson

Bad Dog-A Personal Story

In my travels I have come across some hard people. Mean people with horrible histories. People who committed crimes as a matter of course. People who had so little good left in them that the rest of us could tell at a glance that they were people to stay away from. One such person was a fellow named Keith. Continue Reading >

December 16, 2016 | We Love | Story by Pamela Hunt

We Meet New Friends

On our regular four-mile loop through the city yesterday, Archie and I encountered several of the regulars: Charley, the feisty puggle; the border collies who twirl and spin into each other as we pass by; the delicate toy poodle who squeaks ferociously at us from his window seat perch. Continue Reading >

December 9, 2016 | We Learn | Story by Tara Renner

When Rescue Goes Wrong

You’ve probably heard of hoarding. Maybe you’ve seen a news report, or your neighbor’s mother-in-law has a problem. Someone whose house is impassable, a fire hazard. He or she is a collector of things that would be considered mostly junk to the rest of us, but for some deeply, psychologically inexplicable reason, these things are precious and necessary treasures to that individual. The collection piles up and up, until only narrow passageways are navigable, or not even that. The authorities are called. Television shows are filmed, and we gaze in horror and amazement. Continue Reading >

December 7, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Richard Salgado

Three Tips To Find The Perfect Dog Breed

If you are in the market for buying a dog – congratulations! Being the owner of a dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the entire world. If you have not heard this yet – prepare to hear it a lot! What you are going to be embarking upon a journey with a furry friend of adventures, travel and unconditional love! Now, before we can get to that point, there is one vital piece of information that is needed: picking out the perfect dog breed! Don’t worry though, we got you covered. Here are Three Tips To Find the Perfect Dog Breed! Continue Reading >

November 23, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Sarah Lucas

Pet Insurance: Why You Need It

Caring for dogs can be expensive. At the very least, they need shots every year, flea and tick treatment, and heartworm prevention pills. If your dog hurts themselves, has an allergic reaction, or breaks a bone, you're looking at a trip to the vet and a large bill. Just diagnosing problems can be expensive, with X-Rays running up to $500 and MRIs running up to $2,500. Continue Reading >

November 21, 2016 | We Love | Story by Zoraida Pastor

A Dog’s Purpose

What is the duty of a dog? They are not born from us. They are removed from their mothers and siblings after a few weeks from birth and chosen to accompany us in this journey called life. As puppies they enter our homes, making sloppy messes, soiling the carpet, and chewing our favorite slippers. Yet, they warm our hearts with their cold, wet noses. Continue Reading >

November 18, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Kristen Brady

How To Get Pet Stains Out Of Your Carpet

Pets and carpets are not a great combination. If your carpet is stained due to the activities of your pet, it is often an uphill task to clean it properly. Apart from the dirty looking stains, dog urine has a distinctive odor and if the carpet is not cleaned properly the smell may continue to linger and cause a lot of discomfort. Continue Reading >

November 14, 2016 | We Love | Story by Jacqueline Rotteveel

Two Chihuahua Rescues

I rescued Timmy on Valentine's Day 2014. I'd never had a small dog before, but I fell in love at first sight. My previous dog was a beautiful golden retriever who was trained as my service dog for many years. After he retired I felt pretty lost. So, Timmy was a bundle of blessing. Continue Reading >

November 9, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Patricia Jones

3 Ways To Help Enforce Animal Cruelty Laws

Earlier this year, it was reported that animal cruelty is now a felony in all 50 states. It’s a win for animals as well as people. Statistics have shown that many of those who engage in criminal activity of all kinds also abuse animals, too. With the new laws in place, law enforcement can better track and maintain records of those who abuse animals – and potentially prevent other crimes from happening. Continue Reading >

November 7, 2016 | We Love | Story by Jesse Ellyson

I Want To Be A Dog

Way back in the 70s there was a TV show called Run, Joe, Run. It was a great show. It was similar, in a way, to The Incredible Hulk. Each week the hero would find himself in a new place surrounded by new people with a new problem to solve. And at the end of the show, like David Banner, Joe would leave the town alone, always alone, moving on to the next episode by himself. Continue Reading >

November 4, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Max Willner

How To Prepare For A Hike With Your Dog

The mountains are calling and I must go.” The words of John Muir ring true for many of us - the crisp, cool air, the overwhelming panoramic views, and the sense of adventure continue to grip us and pull us away from our homes and into the embrace of the great outdoors. It is truly an awesome thing to get out there and get away from our jobs, our cell phones, and our problems. Whether it's your favorite hike or a brand-new trail - it's always an adventure. Have you considered taking your four-legged friend? Continue Reading >

October 31, 2016 | We Love | Story by Daniel Falconer

Milo On Holiday

A Doggy Holiday. This week I’ve been looking for a place for Milo to stay when I attend a wedding at the beginning of November. Unfortunately, he can’t come with us and I don’t want to put him into kennels at such a young age, so I’ve been scouring local dog sitters to find the perfect place for him to stay for a few days. Continue Reading >

October 28, 2016 | We Love | Story by Kim McCallum

Jamie And Me: A Dog’s Tail

Everyone is gifted with someone special in their lives, whether that be a friend, a relative, or even a pet. Many people have argued that animals have a deeper bond with people than we fully understand and usually at the pinnacle of these arguments is man's best friend, Canis Lupus Familiaris, or more commonly known as The Dog. Continue Reading >

October 26, 2016 | We Care | Tips from Denzel B.

5 Signs Of Health Issues With Your Pup

Dogs love to jump up on us, sprint around the park and generally play around so much that it is easy to forget that they can also get sick. And just like any other animal or person that gets sick, they need help. Your dog may not be able to talk (no, dog language does not count) but they will still show you signs that they are not in the best health. Continue Reading >

October 17, 2016 | We Love | Story by Daniel Falconer

Milo, A Wonderful Comfort

Moving into week three of life with my new best friend and companion Milo, I was starting to get into the rhythm of things and really enjoy every moment I spent with him. He was a quick-learner, extremely smart and kept me laughing. What I wasn’t expecting this week was to fall sick, and especially not my pup’s reaction to that… Continue Reading >

5 Reasons To Foster A Dog

Everyone knows adopting a dog from a shelter saves lives but many people are unaware that fostering a dog can be just as beneficial. When you foster, you provide a temporary home for a shelter dog for a certain amount of time; often until they are adopted by another family (or you, which is known as a “foster fail”). But, fostering is so much more than that. Here are just five of the many reasons to become a dog foster parent! Continue Reading >

October 10, 2016 | We Love | Story by Daniel Falconer

Milo Is Getting Snappy!

So, week two of having the pup in the house and I can gladly say that the entire family have fallen for him! He’s had more visitors than my mum had when she gave birth to my sister and brother! My Great Aunt from Texas is also in the UK visiting and she’s completely enamoured with him. He knows exactly how to wrap people around his little finger – he’s learning from his Dad fast… Continue Reading >

October 5, 2016 | We Learn, We Care | Tips from Cathy E.

How To Build A Dog First Aid Kit

You probably have a first aid kit for the people in your household—or at least a collection of supplies—why not have one for your dog? In case of an emergency you may still need to visit your veterinarian, but having a few items ready to treat your dog will help both of you manage symptoms and stress. Continue Reading >

October 3, 2016 | We Love | Story by Daniel Falconer

Milo On The Move

Meet Milo. He’s a sweet-natured brindle French Bulldog I’ve decided to dedicate the next decade or so of my life to! I do love a challenge… As a freelance writer and somebody who knows that a lot of people on the internet can’t resist a good post about a cute pup, I thought I could share his story and new life with the rest of the world. So how has Milo’s first week been with me? Let me talk you through the whirlwind of a ride we’ve had so far... Continue Reading >

September 30, 2016 | We Love | Story by Patrick Regal

Hungry Hearts, Helping Dogs

San Francisco is missing out. I live in Roanoke, Virginia, a town most recently in the spotlight for NOT being the Roanoke featured in the latest season of American Horror Story. Roanoke is in southwest Virginia, near the corner of the state. According to Google Maps, my house is 1 hour and 28 minutes (which makes for a nice day trip) away from the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia. I am a big Shakespeare nerd and try my best to go to every show, dragging along anyone I can convince to come with me. I love going there. In fact, to quote Shakespeare himself in As You Like It, “I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it.” Continue Reading >

September 20, 2016 | We Recall | Story by Marie Aymard

Old Dog, New Tricks

There is no easy way to accept the fact that dogs’ lives are never long enough. When the aging process begins to become more evident, it can be a heartbreaking transition, or it can be one of the most inspiration processes you have with your dog. Continue Reading >

September 19, 2016 | We Love | Story by Marshall Weston

The New Addition

As I write this, there is a 2 year old, (but 2 months new-to-us) rescue Catahoula Leopard not more than three feet from me (Go ahead, look up a Catahoula Leopard and don’t feel bad, I’d never heard of one either. This dog breed that I had never heard of is the State Dog of Louisiana). My wife found him at an SPCA adoption event and fell in love with him immediately. Continue Reading >

September 16, 2016 | We Care | Story by Ingrid Saunders

The Story of Five Rescues

About seven years ago after moving away from San Francisco and all of the city life, I moved into a rural area. My home was just under one acre, so I knew I would be able to finally have a few pets. Little did I know that I would end up having five wonderful dogs with their own unique personalities. Here is my story of how I ended up getting five rescue dogs. Continue Reading >

September 7, 2016 | We Learn | Tips from Marie Aymard

Socializing A New Dog

Bringing a new puppy home is an incredibly exciting time for the entire family. Socializing your new fuzz ball is always a challenge every person faces, and it is a crucial component to ensuring your new pup is a well-balanced member of society as they grow up. Socialization is one of those buzz words that can mean something different to every person you ask. Continue Reading >

September 5, 2016 | We Recall | Story by Marshall Weston

The Dog That Rescued Me

Being 55 plus years old now, and looking reflectively back at my life, I cannot remember a time where I was dog-less. I have always been dog-more, not less. I have my reasons for always having at minimum one dog panting nearby, deep seated, in the blood and marrow, reasons. You see, I would not be here today if it wasn’t for a black as coal lab mix named, Phoenix. Continue Reading >

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