5 Ways to Celebrate Your Dog’s Birthday

It’s so easy to use the BarkHappy app to find ways to indulge your pet, and yourself on your dog’s birthday… and any day!

Revisit the Place Where You Found Each Other

Go back to the original place where you first met your dog and your dog met you!  If it was an animal shelter, give them a donation; and then give your dog and your family a treat and remember how lucky you were to have found each other.

Take a Walk to a Favorite Park or Restaurant Patio

Take your dog to visit one of your favorite places.  Look for a park that allows dogs to run free – or venture to the water.  Get your paws wet if you dare.  Nothing feels better than running without a leash; especially on your birthday!  This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a wonderful meal out at a restaurant and having your dog being admired by well-wishers.  If you are looking for a new dog-friendly place for your pup, check out the dog-friendly map in the BarkHappy app.

Celebrate with a New Toy

Play with a new game or doggie toy that you’ve been saving just for this occasion.  If you’re lucky enough to have a specialty shop near you, indulge your best friend with a new Frisbee, chew or ball.  See which one your dog would like by letting him select the new one he wants at the store!  And then, pull out the special biscuits you’ve been saving for this milestone.  Your dog will love it and so will you.

Commemorate with a Birthday Photo

Put on a big smile and take some great photos for everyone to enjoy.  You can make it a selfie together or find a local photographer to create a professional keepsake.   Don’t forget to post your new birthday photos to your feed on the BarkHappy app to share them on Instagram with #barkhappy.

Throw a Doggy Birthday Party!

Let BarkHappy help you to host an event .  Invite all of your doggy friends and find a dog-friendly restaurant patio or a dog park.  Plus, you can create the event and post it in the BarkHappy app to invite your other pack friends. Today is your day and you can sit on chairs and wear party hats while you enjoy specially made cakes.  If you’ve reached your 13th birthday, you can call it a ‘bark mitzvah’!


It’s fun to get together with friends and discover more and more dog-friendly ways to celebrate.  If you have some more ideas, send them into us in the comments below or on Facebook.   And don’t forget to tag your birthday pictures with #BarkHappy and your pooch might get featured!  The BarkHappy app makes it easy to enjoy your birthday or any day!

Say Cheese: Five Tips for Photographing Your Dog Using Your Phone

Capturing your dog’s priceless expressions or defining moments takes patience and a little luck.  A few simple tips can help you meet the challenge. Think about your dog’s special qualities. What would you like to remember? You can use your dog’s unique personality for photo inspiration.

Use Natural Light – The right lighting can make a big difference. Take advantage of natural light by photographing outdoors. Early morning or late afternoon produces softer shadows with less contrast. For indoor shots, photograph near a large window that lets in plenty of natural light and avoid using a flash that can startle or produce red-eye.

Document special features ─ Shoot straight-on and close up and personal when you want to record a special feature. Maybe it’s your dog’s eyes, a dainty paw or just an overall expression of joy. Whatever it is that defines your dog can make for a fun and playful photo.

Get down to eye level ─ Avoid taking photos from above. Lying on your stomach or crouching helps you to see the world through your dog’s eyes. Use a wide angle lens or aperture to keep the composition tight and exclude distracting elements in the background.

Use the Rule of Thirds ─ Many professional photographers use “the rule of thirds” to compose a shot. Rather than place a subject smack in the middle, they use the top, bottom or sides of the frame for the focal point. Bottom right has the most focal weight because it’s where the eye is naturally drawn. You can also keep the rule of thirds in mind to crop photos in interesting ways.

Capture daily routines ─ Whether it’s romping with playmates at a dog park or people-watching at a pet-friendly restaurant, daily routines offer lots of photo opportunities. They are often occasions when your dog is most happy and serene. Use the BarkHappy app to arrange special play dates, find pet-friendly hangouts and make new friends. Have your camera ready and take advantage of the situation.

Once you’ve produced a great pet portrait, Inspire others by tagging #BarkHappy on Instagram and Facebook to showcase both your fur baby and your photography skills. You can also use it as your dog’s BarkHappy app profile picture and share his unique personality with the rest of the world.


Make your dog a BarkHappy Ambassador for your city!

We are now taking applications for you and your dog to become BarkHappy Ambassadors for your city!  For those of you who love using the app, want to get more involved and get some great benefits see below! We will only pick a couple for each city to join the BarkHappy Ambassador Program.

Every Local Ambassador Gets:
– Ability to create public events in the app (no longer just private) to host public meetups anytime
FREE tickets/admission to any BarkHappy events nationwide
– BarkHappy Swag for you and your dog ( like Shirts, Bandanas etc)
– Featured on the BarkHappy Instagram
– First access to future versions and builds of BarkHappy before others

To Be Considered:
– have at least 25 Wags or more in the app
– have at least 10 Pack Friends or more
– use the app regularly and follow us on Instagram and Facebook
– have a sweet/friendly BarkHappy pup

TO APPLY: Email us at INFO@BARKHAPPY.COM  with your Name, City, and a screenshot of your dog’s BarkHappy Profile.
Please put “Ambassador Program” in the subject line.


NOTE: If you dont think you qualify yet, no worries! You can always get more activity in the app and apply again later. Remember the best way to get more wags is to send them- you’ll get to know other users to add them to your pack


Planning a wonderful weekend with your dog using the BarkHappy app

Summer is winding down, but there is still plenty of time for weekend fun. What better way to spend a weekend than with your best four-legged friend? Here are some ideas on how to make the most out of those two days using the free BarkHappy app.


  • Find a perfect patio for a meal. Treat your dog to a meal at a dog-friendly restaurant for brunch, lunch or dinner. There are lots of fabulous patios that allow dogs. Many restaurants have bowls for water, and a few even have special menu items for pups!
  • Plan a playdate. Set up a time with a friend so your fur children can play together. Take a walk, explore a park or just hang out at home. If all of your buddies are busy, look for a new friend on the BarkHappy app.
  • Hit up dog friendly bars for a drink. You will make friends and so will Fido. Not sure which bar will be the best for you and your bestie? The BarkHappy app will tell you everything you need to know!
  • Attend a dog friendly event. BarkHappy hosts fun events in cities all over the US. Most events feature complimentary goodies for your dog. Check the Events section of the app for upcoming events in your community. If there are no events coming up, the app lets you host your own private play dates with your friends! So create one today!
  • Explore local off-leash parks. With fall approaching, playing outside with your dog is a great idea! Your pup will get some exercise and learn to socialize. Bring a ball to play fetch with Fido.
  • Shop til you drop! Treat Fido to a new toy or snack at your local pet store or explore any dog friendly store. Not sure where that is? The map inside the BarkHappy app has a list of stores close to you that will allow your pup to join in on the shopping fun.
  • Plan ahead. Do your research to find out which local businesses allow dogs. Use the app to explore dog friendly shops, restaurants, bars and other fun dog friendly spots.


What did you and your dog do this weekend? We want to see your adventures! Tag #BarkHappy on Facebook and Instagram to be featured!

Top 5 Things to do if Your Dog Gets Lost

BarkHappy, New Mobile App for Dog Owners Launches Nationwide

Free social app connects dog owners with dog-friendly places, events; provides lost-and-found alerts.

AUSTIN, Texas, June 8, 2016 – BarkHappy®, a location-based, crowd-sourced mobile app created to help dogs and their owners discover the dog-friendly world around them, launched nationally today. The app offers a unique and creative way to socialize dogs and help communities better engage their four-legged family members by showing dog-friendly places, dog-friendly events, and even has lost-and-found alerts. The app is designed to foster an active and connected community of dogs and dog owners through real-life experiences while also creating a platform for dog-friendly businesses and events.

“Dogs are social by nature. They are happiest when they are out with their owners and other dogs.” said Ninis Samuel, CEO and founder of BarkHappy. He was inspired by his rescue named Kerby, and believes a socialized dog is a happy dog. “We’re trying to change what it means to live life with your dog: they don’t have to always stay home anymore. There is a dog-friendly world out there that BarkHappy can help you discover!”

Find Dogs Nearby to Meet New Friends
Already seeing success in its three trial cities – Austin, Portland and Seattle – BarkHappy has quickly found its way into thousands of dog owners’ lives by enabling them to make new friends in their area. Users create profiles for their dog , including information such as age, breed and even their personality traits – such as whether they get along only with small dogs. Profiles can even feature an Instagram account link. Users can browse other dogs nearby, send “wags” or messages to other dogs, search by breed, see their owners’ information, or even schedule a play date with others.

A Dog-Friendly Map to Go More Places
The BarkHappy map features over 20,000 dog-friendly places nationwide, with various categories including restaurants, bars, parks, vets and hotels. Each listing has its own profile information that dog owners have difficulty finding today without extensive research or phone calls. For example, users can quickly identify whether a restaurant has water bowls, treats, covered seating, or if dogs are allowed on the patio. Users can leave ratings, comments, or report a problem with a listing. Dog-friendly businesses are listed at not cost to them, and the map is crowd-sourced – thus growing every day. Any user can add a missing dog-friendly place to the map themselves and share with the community by simply holding their finger down.

Attend Dog-Friendly Events, or Host One
The events feature in the app shows upcoming public dog-friendly events from BarkHappy itself, its charity partners, and others. It even allows users to host their own private group play dates. Users can schedule a group play date and invite friends in their “Pack” from the app. Invitees can then invite others in their network. BarkHappy has already gained a reputation for fun events in its first three cities, such as BarkHappyHour events at at restaurants, weekly meet ups, and even dog-friendly bar crawls. BarkHappyHour plans to continue these efforts in major cities across the U.S. as part of its expansion.

Lost Dog Alerts
The app also features a “Lost Dog Alert” system. This free service allows users to create a lost (or found) dog report with key information about the dog, including photos and contact info. Most importantly, users can also pinpoint on the map where their dog was last seen. BarkHappy then sends a lost dog alert to all BarkHappy users within a radius of that location – posting the dog’s photo and owner’s contact information. A similar report system is available when a dog is found by other users.

“The most likely person to find a lost dog is another dog owner,” says Samuel. “Today, when someone loses their dog, they exhaust the previously available channels, like distributing flyers or posting on Facebook. But with BarkHappy you can now make sure the word gets out, in real-time, to the exact kind of people that can help: other dog owners!”

About BarkHappy:
BarkHappy Inc. was founded in by Ninis Samuel and is headquartered in Austin, Texas. Ninis spent 12 years as a marketing executive at Fortune 500 tech companies – including Microsoft, Lenovo and Nokia HERE – launching software and hardware products around the world and leading product management, consumer marketing, and strategy. Ninis combined his tech-savvy with his love for dogs to create the BarkHappy brand and appointed his dog Kerby as “Chief Puppy Officer.” The app launched in July 2015, with Austin, Texas as its first trial city.

The app is available for free in both the iTunes App Store and Google Play store.

For more information on BarkHappy:
@barkhappy on twitter and Instagram (see #barkhappy)

Press Contact:
Jessica Nelson
Cohn & Wolfe Public Relations

Best Stores to Shop for Your Dog in Austin

Looking to buy something new for your best friend? Search no further! We’ve compiled a list of our favorite local shops so you can find exactly what you need. You can expect stellar customer service from everyone listed below. Most allow dogs to shop too, so bring Fido along for the trip!

Lofty Dog – Food, apparel and supplies with a focus on local products are found at this outlet in North Central Austin. They also host events regularly that help raise awareness and funding for local area animal rescue groups.


Bark ‘n Purr Pet Center- This long running, neighborhood pet supply outlet offers natural dog food, plus treats and toys in Central Austin. Bark ‘n Purr has been open since 1955!


Healthy Pet- Specializing in holistic and natural food and supplies, with two locations in Austin. And whether it’s for playtime, comfort or safety, Healthy Pet digs up the coolest products. They also have a dog wash station for Fido’s bath time. Healthy Pet frequently hosts events to benefit local rescue groups. A healthy pet is a happy pet!


Woof Gang Bakery This downtown store specializes in salon-style grooming, treats made in-house, a variety of top-of-the-line foods, toys and accessories for your furry, four-legged friends. If your pup wants the ultimate in pampering and polish, this is the place to go!


Phydeaux & Friends At Phydeaux & Friends, you’ll find the best quality products at reasonable prices for your dog. With 30,000+ products in a spacious store and knowledgeable staff, you’re sure to find exactly what you need!


Tomlinson’s Feed- With several locations around the city, Tomlinson’s is a local store for natural, healthy pet products. They have been open since 1946 and are celebrating turning 490 years old (in dog years). J


We’d love to see photos of your pup shopping! Tag us with #BarkHappy on Instagram and we may feature you.

Best Stores to Shop for Your Dog in Portland

Does your pup need a new collar or maybe some new food or a special snack? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite Portland shops so you can find exactly what you’re looking for and keep it local. You can expect awesome customer service from everyone listed below. Most shops allow dogs too, so bring Fido along for the trip!


Furever Pets  – Furever offers upscale and unique toys and accessories, lots of healthy treat and food options near downtown Portland. It is independently owned with super friendly and knowledgeable staff.


Healthy Pets Northwest – They boast a great selection of healthy and holistic food choices, along with large bulk treat buffet. This shop is helpful when looking for recommendations for alternative and preventative healthcare for pets.


Pets On Broadway – This locally owned shop is less swanky, but offers lots of options for all different kinds of pets. They have a great return policy, and are environmentally and community conscious.


Meat for Cats and Dogs  – Focusing on raw and natural food for cats and dogs, this highly specialized store focuses on holistic nutrition for pets. They also carry a wide variety of toys, leashes, clothing, chewies and anything else your furry friend might like.


NoPoPaws – With an emphasis on local and eco-conscious supplies, NoPoPaws partners with charities and rescues organizations donating 10% net profits to them. This pet-supply shop sells locally made items for dogs & cats, with coats, toys, food & other products.


Sellwood Pet Supply – This is a huge store full of local items as well as fresh and natural food for both dogs and cats. Plus it feels good to support a local business. On Saturdays each month, they offer nail-trimming sessions.


Hip Hound The Hip Hound is a pet supply boutique dedicated to providing the finest holistic pet food and treats, quality toys, stylish clothing and collars, custom beds, and much more!


We’d love to see photos of your pup shopping! Tag us with #BarkHappy on Instagram and we may feature you.

Tips for traveling with your dog

It’s officially Spring! There are lots of wonderful events going on this time of year, and plenty to do outside with your fur kids.  Don’t leave your best friend at home – bring him along to explore and enjoy your vacation together! Here are some tips for successful travel:


Road Trips


Make it comfy. Ensure your dog feels at home in the car with a bed, pillow or his favorite blanket. Bringing his much-loved toy is a good idea too.


Plan for pit stops: Frequent stops help your dog stay stress free. Don’t forget those poop bags!


Safety First:  Consider a doggy safety belt or attachment that will help keep Fido safe and secure in his seat. Dogs should not travel in pick up beds


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Pet in Cabin: Most airlines allow small dogs to travel in cabin as long as they can fit under the seat in front of you in a carrier. Call or check each airlines pet policy online. There are also fees and limits on how many dogs each flight allows in cabin.


Get the right carrier: Be sure your dog is comfortable and has room to turn around. Give your pup a small blanket and toy.


Bathroom before and after: Take your dog to the bathroom right before your flight and limit water intake. On your way out, most airports have a pet relief station outside baggage claim. Your pup has been holding it in, so be sure to take him straight outside first, then go back and wait for your luggage.





Check Pet Policies: Use the BarkHappy app to check a hotels pet policy. Each one is different, but there are almost always dog friendly hotels to choose from in every city!


Travel Bowls: Pack some small, collapsible travel bowls. They are great when in hotels, but some awesome hotels include pet beds and bowls for their furry guests.


Dog friendly activities (dont just leave them in the hotel)


Parks: Check out the local dog parks and plan some fun outdoor time for your pup.


Restaurants: The barkhappy app has thousands of dog friendly restaurants and bars, so you can plan ahead to take your best friend exploring and to meals with you.


We hope you and your dogs enjoy some fun trips this Spring and Summer!


Be sure to tag your travel pics with #BarkHappy on Instagram and we may feature you!


Six Super Seattle Dog Friendly Restaurants and Bars

Hooray! It’s time to eat and explore your city! Now your best friend can join in on the fun too. Bring your pup on your next outing to enjoy one of these dog friendly spots in Seattle.


Belltown Pub

Craft beers, a gastro pub style menu, and pool, make this a super fun spot for you and Fido. This low-key pub is dog friendly, and even has a menu for dogs! Don’t worry about the weather – well-behaved pups are allowed inside too!



Norm’s Eatery Ale House

This is a laid back, dog friendly, neighborhood pub with an American menu and fun events like trivia night. This Fremont spot is named after a dog, Norm, and his food special is dubbed the “Doggie Bowl.” Dogs are permitted inside and are often seen sitting right at the table.



Shelter Lounge

Looking for a great bar and restaurant spot in Ballard or Green Lake? Look no further. Shelter is a contemporary lounge with unique and delicious food. Dogs are allowed on the patio and you’ll stay warm with heat lamps, a fire pit and delicious s’mores.




Flat Stick Pub

This simple pub grub offers 9 holes of mini-golf in a modern, warehouse like space. There are only two rules at Flatstick Pub: drink local and have fun. Sounds pretty perfect. Dogs are allowed inside, and they even have a “Yappy Hour” on weeknights and all day Sunday. Flat Stick offers tasty pub snacks or you can bring your own food or get food delivered.




Beveridge Place

Craft ale, cider and rotating local beer on tap, along with board games and shuffle board, make this dog friendly spot a winner. Well-behaved pups are allowed inside and on the patio. Beveridge also offers a diverse food selection – without a kitchen! They have a menu book with selections from local restaurants for delivery or take-out. You can also bring your own dinner for you and Fido.




Pecado Bueno

Who doesn’t love brunch? Pecado features a fabulous brunch on the weekends, with a casual atmosphere. The west Seattle location has a really nice, uncovered deck. All locations allow dogs inside and on the patio.




These are just a few of the many wonderful, dog friendly spots in Seattle. To find more near you, download the BarkHappy app today. BarkHappy will show you the amenities offered at each spot, like water bowls, treats and covered seating. You can also connect with other users to meet up and explore Seattle’s dog friendly spots together.


Do you and your dog have a favorite restaurant or bar in Seattle? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook! Tag your photos of Fido out on the town with #BarkHappy for a chance to featured.

Awesome Dog Friendly Restaurants and Bars in Austin

It’s that wonderful time of day – mealtime! If you’re anything like me and my dogs, you LOVE to eat and try new places together. We are lucky that Austin boasts several dog friendly spots. Here are just a few of our favorites:


Lustre Pearl East

The former Rainey Street spot has a new home in East Austin. What sounds better than an old converted house with drinks, snacks AND a jukebox? Lustre Pearl East also features a huge backyard with picnic tables and games. You’ll find their patio filled with pups, who are also allowed inside.




The Park

Who loves brunch? We love brunch! And The Park does brunch right with their famous brunch buffet. The Park is also a sports bar with plenty of TVs for you and Fido to watch the game. Locations on South Lamar and the Domain are both dog friendly with covered and heated patios. The Park is a great place to bark happy.





Star Bar

If you’re downtown with your pup, check out this relaxed, modern bar. You’ll enjoy Jenga, craft beer and patios for people watching on Sixth Street. The Violet Taco food truck is also onsite for totally tasty tacos. There is outdoor seating and also covered patio seating in the back with an artificial turf.




Shake Shack

This hip, counter serve chain offers a gourmet take on fast-food classics such as burgers and frozen custard. Shake Shack has a location on South Lamar and another in the Domain. Both Shacks allow dogs on their large patios and have plenty of seating. They even have a yummy sundae especially for doggies – the Poochini! Thanks to The Domain location for hosting a Yappy Hour with a special treat for BarkHappy users! All of our pups just loved their Poochinis!





A renovated home on Rainey is now a bar with specialty cocktails and local beers. The large backyard is dog friendly so your pup can listen to some live music with you.




Yard Bar

It’s time to play! Austin’s first restaurant and dog park brings together great food, great drinks, dogs and wifi. What more do you need? They have a “Dog Foods” section on their menu so Fido will be full too. Dogs need a day pass or membership to play in the off-leash dog park. Leashed dogs are welcome on the dining patio.




These are just a few of the many wonderful, dog friendly spots in Austin. To find more near you, download the BarkHappy app today. BarkHappy will show you the amenities offered at each spot, like water bowls, treats and covered seating. You can also connect with other users to meet up and explore Austin’s dog friendly spots together.


Do you and your dog have a favorite restaurant or bar in Austin? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook! Tag your photos of Fido out on the town with #BarkHappy for a chance to featured.

Portland’s Best Places to Eat with your Dog

Since your dog is as awesome as you, he probably has excellent taste in food. Wondering where you and your pooch can grab a bite to eat in PDX? Luckily there are lots of dog friendly bars and restaurants nearby. Here are a few of our favorites:


StormBreaker Brewing

The outdoor patio is dog friendly and has a covered, heated tent area along with fire pits so you and your dog stay toasty warm. They also have a large projection screen incase your pup wants to watch the game. StormBreaker serves high quality food and handcrafted beer.




Tin Shed Garden Café

This is a cozy brunch and breakfast spot, although I’m sure any meal is delicious here. Tin Shed even has a doggie menu and an indoor area especially for your furry friends. Dogs are welcome anytime, but Tuesday night is Dog Lovers Night! Check out their website for specials.




Lucky Labrador Brewery

Pub food and house beers are served at this dog friendly brewery with enough space for groups. We are lucky to have this nice spot to grab a cold drink with Fido on the covered patio. Lucky Lab has several locations in PDX and all love dogs! They also have dog themed bike jerseys for sale.



The Lompoc Tavern

This is a laid back joint for pub grub, house-brewed beer and booze. They have a covered and heated patio that is enclosed and dog friendly. Lompoc has multiple locations around Portland and all welcome Fido.



Radio Room

A remodeled gas station is known for its American fare, Radio Room offers a weekend Bloody Mary bar and rooftop patio. Currently the upstairs bar is covered, heated and open for dogs. During the summer, the outside patio is partially enclosed and a fabulous spot for your pooch.




Salt & Straw

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! This is a super fun ice cream shop with a sweet design. Their ice cream is made by hand using local ingredients. They offer several unique flavors, including some your puppy might like to sample! Dogs are allowed inside at all locations.



Laurelwood Brewing Company

Besides great beer and burgers, Laurelwood also makes dog collars and leashes for your furry friend. They even feature a handy dandy bottle opener, perfect for a visit to the brewpub! The restaurant has a covered patio and a seasonal rooftop that is dog friendly.




These are just a few of the many wonderful, dog friendly spots in Portland. To find more near you, download the BarkHappy app today. BarkHappy will show you the amenities offered at each spot, like water bowls, treats and covered seating. You can also connect with other users to meet up and explore Portland’s dog friendly spots together.


Do you and your dog have a favorite restaurant or bar in Portland? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook! Tag your photos of Fido out on the town with #BarkHappy for a chance to featured.

Dos and don’ts for dining with your dog

Did you know there are thousands of dog friendly restaurants across the country? The next time you head to brunch or dinner, consider taking your pup with you! Here are some tips on how to do so the right way:



  1. Find the right place. The easiest way to do this is using the BarkHappy app. Open a restaurant’s profile to see if they allow dogs on their patio or indoors, have water bowls, treats or amenities like covered seating. BarkHappy helps you find the best spot for Fido!


  1. Go potty before. Make sure your dog has a chance to go to the bathroom in advance to avoid accidents. Bring a leash and bags to dispose of waste.


  1. Play and exercise first. If Fido has a lot of energy, exercise him before your meal so he isn’t too rambunctious.


  1. Bring treats. Be prepared to keep your pooch occupied while you eat. Bring his meal in a puzzle toy and have some treats on hand to reward him for good behavior.


  1. Post pictures! Support your favorite dog friendly spots by showing them some love on social media. Restaurants adore cute photos of their doggie patrons. Plus, we all want to see your dog looking #BarkHappy!



  1. Bring an aggressive dog some place crowded. If your dog usually can’t handle being in crowds or in close quarters with strangers or other dogs, it’s smart to ease them into dining out. Timing is key. Plan to eat before or after peak times so the restaurant isn’t totally packed.


  1. Give up. Practice makes perfect. If your first doggie dining experience doesn’t go well, work with your dog to improve their behavior and try again.


Happy dining! We look forward to seeing your photos out and about in Austin, Seattle and Portland. Make sure to tag your photos #BarkHappy to be featured on Facebook and Instagram.

Socializing Your New Puppy is a Must!

Did you welcome a new furry family member into your home over the holidays?  While puppies are a wonderful addition, it’s important to be prepared to train and socialize your pup as soon as he comes home.

Why socialize

Socializing your dog is not an easy task, but it is totally worth it. Having a dog that is used to different people, animals, places and experiences is priceless. Dogs who are exposed to many different things as puppies, are more adaptable, easy going and secure as adults. Many new dog parents know they need to socialize their puppy, but don’t realize how important the early days are for doing so.

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When to socialize

Puppies are genetically disposed to exploring everything around them until just over 4 months old. Their brains develop a great deal during the first months of life. Because of this, the first 100 days are key to socializing your puppy. The goal is for your puppy to experience 100 positive new things in the first 100 days after you adopt him.

How to socialize

Introducing your puppy to as many people as possible is fun and key to this socialization process. Your puppy should meet men, women, boys, girls, babies, old people, large and small people. He should meet people with sunglasses, big coats, beards, moustaches and people of all races. Your puppy should also meet dogs of all sizes and colors. He should visit many different environments – parks, pet stores, lakes, restaurants and noisy areas. Basically you should expose him to anything he might encounter later in life. Check out this list from our friends at Good Dogs & Co for a complete list of ideas for 100 positive experiences.

BarkHappy can help

One of the best ways to socialize your puppy is to download BarkHappy, an app made for socializing dogs. It allows users to connect with other dogs nearby to make friends or play dates. Users can look for dogs that are the same age and/or get along well with small dogs. Check out the BarkHappy meet ups for a fun and easy way for your puppy to meet new friends. The app is free and currently available in the Austin, Seattle and Portland areas now for both Android and iOS.

Meeting puppy pals

When introducing your puppy to new furry friends at the park or a BarkHappy Meetup, make sure to:

  • Start slowly so you don’t overwhelm your puppy.
  • Scope out the other dog’s demeanor before introducing your puppy. If he shows signs of aggression, find another new pal.
  • Keep a close eye on your puppy as he meets new friends
  • Find friendly dogs by using the search feature on the BarkHappy app
  • Hit the dog park when it’s not too crowded the first few times.
  • Bring treats to encourage positive behavior

–     Consult your veterinarian about the best time to introduce your puppy to other dogs based on his vaccination schedule.

Continued socialization

Once you’ve introduced your puppy to 100 experiences, don’t stop there! Continue to build his positive disposition by showing him different aspects of life. The BarkHappy app will also introduce you to dog friendly restaurants and bars to explore with your pup. Make sure to share your 100 positive experiences on Facebook and Instagram and tag your photos #BarkHappy to be featured. Happy exploring!

10 reasons we are thankful for our dogs

As the holidays get closer, we always take a moment to think about what matters most. There is a lot to be thankful for and our dogs are at the top of that list year after year. There are so many reasons to be thankful for our four-legged children, but here are a few of them.

  1. Dogs put a smile on our face. No matter what kind of day we’ve had, dogs make us feel better. Their sweet faces and playfulness are always a mood booster.
  2. They encourage us to exercise. Walking with dogs is a great way to get in shape and keep our dogs fit too. Plus we get to check out all the awesome dog parks in Austin. Now that the temperatures are cooler, there are no excuses!
  3. They easily forgive and forget. Ever make your dog mad? The great part is they don’t hold a grudge…at least not for long.
  4. Dogs are great listeners. Sometimes we just need to vent. Telling our dogs about a hard day is therapeutic. They listen carefully and never talk back. Just getting our worries off our chest is enough most of the time.
  5. They are the best cuddlers. Lower temperatures means extra cuddles! Dogs love sitting on the couch with us, cuddling up with a soft blanket. They don’t care if we’re binge-watching Netflix, working on our laptop or cheering on our favorite team.
  6. They aim to please. No matter what. And it’s wonderful. Sit. You got it. Stay. Sure, why not. Shake. Done. Fetch. You betcha. Who else has this mentality their entire life?
  7. Dogs give us a reason to get out and enjoy the city . Exploring is the best dog parks and dog friendly bars and restaurants is a wonderful way to spend the weekend. There are so many fun places to try and it’s much more enjoyable to explore with a four-legged friend.
  8. They are extremely loyal. They stick by us through thick and thin. It’s comforting to know our dogs will always be there for us.
  9. They accept us just the way we are. Dogs don’t care if we didn’t get that promotion at work. They don’t mind if we’re out of shape or our home is a mess. Dogs don’t mind if the dinner we made was a disaster. They love us for being us.
  10. Dogs provide unconditional love. They are the only creatures that love their owners more than themselves. And that is truly amazing.


Don’t forget to show your dog how thankful you are for them this Holiday Season. Do something fun around town that you’ve never done before. The BarkHappy app will help you do this with your pup in Seattle, Portland, and Austin.

How to take holiday photos of your dog that are worth sharing

It’s the most wonderful time of the year- cooler temperatures, festive holiday decorations, sugar galore and plenty of family time. It’s also the time of year when family photos flood your social media feeds. Maybe you even still receive some holiday cards via snail mail. If you’re like the BarkHappy family, you’ll want to include your fur children in your holiday photos. Here are a few tips to ensure your photos are top notch.


  1. Grooming – Give your dog a bath, making sure to thoroughly clean trouble areas like paws and faces. If your pup has long hair, brush it. If this seems like too much work, bring your fur kids to the groomer, or better yet, have a mobile groomer come to you. Make sure to plan in advance as good groomers get booked quickly this time of year.
  2. Attire – Ok, this one is a bit controversial. If you’re feeling festive, dress your dog in a holiday sweater. If that is not your style, there are super cute accessories like bow ties, scarves, hats and collar decorations. A pop of color is always fun. Make sure it doesn’t clash with your outfit and try it on your dog before picture day. Of course, your fur kids also do a lot for your two-legged kids besides improve their health.
  3. Location and lighting – Getting Fido to pose isn’t always easy so chose your location wisely. Avoid crowded outdoor areas with lots of distractions. Make sure the location is well lit. Natural light is best. Early morning and late afternoon usually offer the best light without shadows. Can’t make it outdoors due to weather? Turn your home into a studio by draping a solid colored or holiday themed sheet over your couch. Place this setup near a window for the best natural light and no shadows. Prefer a more relaxed look? Follow your pup around your home, yard or park and wait for the best shot in their natural habitat.
  4. Props – Holiday related props are a great addition, but be sure to avoid anything dangerous to dogs. This includes tinsel, ribbons, mistletoe and fragile ornaments.
  5. Say cheese – Bring cheese. Just kidding, any snack or dog treat your pup likes will work. Use it as needed to get your dog to look at the camera, and as a reward for good behavior. If you have an excessive drooler, skip the snacks. You could also bring a squeaky toy or whistle to encourage your dog to look at the camera.
  6. Have fun! – Don’t be too concerned with getting the perfect photo. Sometimes it’s the imperfect ones that capture the moment the best. On the flipside, if you are a perfectionist like me, consider hiring a professional to photograph your fur kids.


Have any tips for capturing a holiday photo of your pup? Share your ideas and your favorite holiday images on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by tagging #BarkHappy.