Six years ago today, we adopted a sweeter than sweet, six-month-old puppy we named Tiki, and we officially launched DogTipper.com! It has been an amazing ride, one in which we’ve had the chance to meet so many great fellow pet lovers. Although we’d been blogging since 2000 with our travel websites (and writing professionally for magazines and guidebook publishers a decade before becoming online publishers), the switch to pet writing in 2008 is one that marked a really special time in our lives.
In these six years, we’ve grown DogTipper into a large site (over 10,000 pages), and we’ve reached a lot of dog lovers through both the site and our social media channels. Through our Adoptable Dog of the Day feature, we’ve shared adoptable dogs through our social media accounts and know of several pooches that, as a direct result of YOUR sharing, have found forever homes! And we know that Irie and Tiki have helped draw attention to all the great mixed breed dogs that are seeking homes in shelters everywhere.
During this period, we’ve shifted much of our freelance work from travel to pets as well. We still maintain and update several travel guidebooks, and we continue to write magazine articles on travel–but today much of our freelance work involves pets. We now write regularly for pet360.com and FIDO Friendly magazine, and this past year we wrote two books for commercial publishers: DogTipper’s Texas with Dogs for Open Road Guides, distributed by Simon & Schuster, and The Healthy Hound Cookbook for Adams Media. And for 14 months, I co-hosted the Dog Travel Experts show on the Radio Pet Lady Network.
As we’ve grown, we’ve also formed great relationships with companies whose products and services we believe in and use for our own pets. This past year, I became the Pet Blogger for Tuesday Morning stores and the Pet Ambassador for Skype. DogTipper welcomed sponsors that we’re so proud to partner with: Nutrish, Kurgo, Snuggy Boots, and Vivamune. We are incredibly proud to be supported by these fine businesses.
Now that we’ve reached 10,000 pages, we’ve also decided to refine our site both to fit our interests and YOUR interests. After an extensive reader poll (thank you ALL so much for your thoughtful comments and ideas), we’ve sharpened our focus to concentrate on tips for dogs, at home and away. We’ll be bringing you tips on helping your dog enjoy the best life possible whether you’re at home or on the road. And, as always, we’ll do it with a budget very much in mind.
And, speaking of budget, as you know our Irie underwent TPLO surgery this past week. It’s an expensive operation; thank goodness we have pet insurance but, even with that, we had a significant bill. Her injury made us refocus our plans–and expand our business goals. We’ve had some plans in mind for a while but this incident pushed up our plans!
So what’s next for DogTipper–and for us? Drumroll, please…
In November, we’ll be launching a new quarterly DogTipper Magazine, available in print and online! We’re so excited about our newest venture! Each issue will feature tips for dogs, at home and away (you guessed that, didn’t you), a recipe to pamper your pooch, dog travel, an extensive gift guide, and more–including photos of YOUR dogs.
This fall we are also celebrating the grand opening of our online store which will feature DogTipper products including our books and an extensive collection of pet-themed cookie cutters, with expansion into other products to follow.
And, true to our book publishing roots, we’re launching our own book publishing company. We’ll be offering both consumer books as well as custom books for the pet and travel industries.
We are so excited about our new expansion plans! We’ve got some great projects underway so please stay tuned for more as we roll out more news every week. First, though, we want to thank all of you who share part of your day with us here on DogTipper as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. We cherish our family of fellow dog lovers and really want to thank you for making these such an incredible six years for us, Irie and Tiki–and we can’t wait for you to be a part of all that lies ahead!