DogCentric Spooktacular Canine Halloween Happy Hour to Benefit Homeless Animals

Washington Animal Rescue LeagueDogCentric’s biggest event of the year is back!  Get your dog’s best costume out and join them at their canine happy hour as they celebrate Halloween with their dogs and raise money for homeless animals! Event will be held on October 26, 2010 from 6:30pm – 8:30pm on the outdoor patio at Tommy Joe’s Restaurant (4714 Montgomery Lane, Bethesda, MD 20817) and the dog costume contest will start at 7:30pm.

Treats and water will be provided for dogs and happy hour specials on drinks and food will be available to humans.  Entry fee is $10 at the door – all proceeds go to the Washington Animal Rescue League (pay by cash or check made out to Washington Animal Rescue League). Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners of the canine costume contest and you can buy raffle tickets for other great prizes too!

This event will be rain or shine. There will be outdoor heaters if the weather is chilly. Dogs must be kept on a leash (no retractables please!), up-to-date on vaccinations and well-socialized. Humans must be over 21.

Socialize with other dog lovers and enjoy the costume contest, raffle, and dog treats all while helping the animals at Washington Animal Rescue League!   To RSVP please email bark@dogcentric.com.

DogCentric, Inc. is a professional dog walking service offering private mid-day walks to the residents of  Northwest DC and southern Montgomery County.  DogCentric takes a personalized approach to dog walking with an emphasis on the health, happiness, and safety of the dogs in their care. DogCentric provides their clients with peace of mind when they are away from their homes and consistent care for their pets. DogCentric is bonded, insured, and is a member of Pet Sitters International and the Better Business Bureau. They are the official dog walking service for the Washington Animal Rescue League. For more information, visit www.dogcentric.com.

The Washington Animal Rescue League is a non-profit animal rehabilitation and adoption center and an innovative leader in the field of animal protection.  Since 1996, the League has also operated a full-service, low-cost Medical Center for the companion animals of low-income area residents, making it the only facility of its kind in the mid-Atlantic region. Founded in 1914, the League is the oldest animal shelter in the metropolitan area.  In 2006, a $4-million renovation made the League one of the world’s most humane, animal-friendly facilities for dogs and cats in transition.  The League is located at 71 Oglethorpe Street, NW , Washington , DC . For more information, visit www.warl.org.

Bernal Hill Dog Park at Bernal Heights in San Francisco

Bernal Hill Dog Park San FranciscoBernal Heights Park, located atop Bernal Hill in San Francisco, California, is so much more than a peaceful place for humans to relax. Here, the canine is king. Every day, many residents flock to Bernal Hill to enjoy the fresh air and a little quality time with their canine companions. During the winter months, Bernal Hill offers visitors a lovely array of green hues and pleasant atmosphere while the summer washes out some of the natural color.

When visiting Bernal Hill dog park, do not expect to be surrounded by trees and ground cover. The park is actually not well known for the vegetation it contains, which is relatively sparse aside from lush grass. The true eye candy lies in the breathtaking views that surround the park’s borders. Visitors can take a seat as they view the city skyline. The northern end of the park offers a nearly birds-eye view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin headlands, all the way down to the East Bay hills. The park has perfectly positioned benches that are set up specifically for dog owners to take in these eye-catching panoramas.

In order to access the off leash dog park, visitors must make their way along Folsom Street, past Ripley. A turn off of Bernal Heights Boulevard on the right presents a handful of parking spaces and the entrance to the dog park. The park itself stretches across an admirable 39 acres of doggy play area.

Canines and their human companions can often find plastic “pick up” bags at both park entrances. It is always recommended that visitors still bring their own, just in case. While enjoying Bernal Hill dog park, visitors must remember to clean up after their pets so that others can enjoy the natural setting and relaxing atmosphere as well.

If you’re looking for a dog walker in Bernal Heights, you can find a number of them on DogWalker.com.

Photo: Flickr

Dog Walker Marketing in Miami

Miami Beach Dog WalkingI had a conference in South Beach, Miami this past weekend, and I figured that I would pass out some DogWalker.com magnets to spread the word about the website in this area.  Miami is a great city, and there are a lot of dogs and dog owners that live in the greater Miami area.

The weather in Miami for the past couple of days has been beautiful. I read one thermometer that read 78 degrees, but it seemed closer to the low to mid 80s.   Compared to the mid 50s in New York City, it was quite a big change for me. It probably would have been a nicer change had it been a couple months later, but what can you do!

I walked by many of the hotels I’ve heard so much about – the Gansevoort, Delano, Setai, W, and everything else in between.  My conference was at Loews on Collins Avenue, and I was able to get a great rate at the Palms (awesome hotel if you’re in the area).  Since the hotels were about 1.5 miles apart (and I love walking), I spent quite a bit of time walking back and forth on the South Beach boardwalk.

During my walks on the boardwalk, I passed out a number of doggie poop bag dispensers the city of Miami provides for dog owners and dog walkers.  Luckily, I was able to place magnets at nearly all of these dispensers.  The goal was to let dog owners know about DogWalker.com, and hopefully visit when they need to find a dog walker in Miami.

If you would like to share any great marketing ideas with me, please send me an email!  I am doing what I can to help promote DogWalker.com online and

Tri County Pet Sitting / Dog Walking

I do daily dog walks, over night stays, go to dog parks, give dog baths, take care of cats, and birds. I am fair with prices and willing to negotiate. I have been around cats, dogs, and birds my entire life and love what I do!!!!! I will even board dogs at my place, depending on the size of the dog, if they are quiet, and get along with my roommate’s poodle mix and mini chiwawa. I am very nice, understanding, easy going, and outgoing. I will make sure your pet has EXCELLENT care!! Please visit my website for more wonderful services I will do for your pets!!

When to Become a Professional Dog Walker

Dog walking is getting popular as a way to make a living or in a smaller scale, of making some extra income. If a person is an animal lover, especially – loves dogs, and has a need to increase his/her income that is a good sign that dog walking might be something to consider.

Dog walking goes beyond just walking dogs. It can be very profitable, depending on the level that the entrepreneur wants to take it. If a person wants to walk their dogs themselves – a great way to start learning the business – putting ads in the local papers, flyers and making a few business cards will start generating some clients. Word of mouth from friends, family, and co-workers will also generate a few leads. Advertising on websites like DogWalker.com is also a great way to get clients.

Many dog walkers find themselves in the situation of having more dogs to walk than they can handle. In this situation, a person can branch out and start a larger endeavor, hiring other qualified animal lovers to walk the other dogs. This process will continue as the need for more dog walkers increase. The possibilities for this type of business are immense and so is profitability. However, there are certain issues to consider, especially when hiring other dog walkers.

The issue of registering a business is one of them.

Deciding if growing the business or keep it a one-person business.

Considering the amount of time to devote to the business.

Deciding how to be competitive in the existing dog walking market when pricing your services.

Learning about different dogs breeds and learning about first aid, just to be prepared in case of an emergency.

Checking backgrounds of the people a person hires.

Deciding if those people are to become employees or are independent contractors.

Considering business issues and cost such as insurance, payroll issues, financial records, taxes, training if hiring employees, setting up an office, and other costs such as equipment (leashes, treats…).

Expanding the advertising to include website, informative blogs, professional ads, and other sources.

Expanding to offer other services such as pet sitting, boarding … and learning the requirements for those types of businesses.

These are only a few considerations and will vary depending on the size of the business. But basically, to start, a person needs to have a love for animals, the need for extra income, and be very responsible as pet owners are entrusting a much-loved pet in your hands. For many pet owners their pets are family and equal to having kids.

Riverside Park’s Annual Doggie Halloween Party

FLORAL - Friends and Lovers of Riverside Area LifeThe Friends and Lovers of Riverside Area Life (FLORAL), an organization that helps maintain the Riverside Park dog runs on the Upper West Side of New York City, will be holding its 16th Annual Doggie Halloween Party. The fun event will be held from noon to 3pm on October 30, 2010 at the Riverside Park 72nd Street Dog Run.

There will be a dog Halloween costume contest open to all dogs, with an entry fee of $10.00. The judging for the costume contest will begin at 2pm. This is always a fun event, and it’s a great opportunity to show off your dog in his or her Halloween costume – and great prizes will be awarded.

In addition to the dog costume contest, there will be other fun things happening during the Halloween Party. There will be a market to buy cute dog-related items (called the “Flea-Less” Market. Refreshments will also be served at the party – for people and for dogs.

Admission to this fun annual party is completely free. Raffles will be held during the event. Proceeds will benefit FLORAL, which helps maintain the dog runs and keeps them in great shape year after year.

Fort Funston Dog Park in San Francisco

Ft. Funston Dog Park - San FranciscoFort Funston Park is a unique dog park located in San Francisco, California. The park gives dogs and their owners the chance to stretch their legs on sandy dunes along Ocean Beach. While most dog owners keep their dogs on leash while at Ft. Funston Park, you will see some pups running off leash. Voice controlled walking is allowed in the park.

The water fountain is a stopping point for humans. Water dishes can be found here for thirsty dogs, too. Fort Funston Park is a great place to relax while allowing your dog to meet other canines for socialization and play. Access to the beach offers a place for dogs to swim and there’s plenty of room in the grassy areas to run free or play games with your pooch. Other dog watering areas are in the parking lot.

Waste bags are available at the pooper scooper boxes. Pick up any waste material your dog has and deposit in the pooper boxes when you leave the park.

The entire park includes 35 acres of hilly, grassland terrain. Most of the trails are paved. However, trails leading to the beach are not. Special sand ladders were built to accommodate access from the steepest dunes to the beach. Ft. Funston Dog Park is a great place for a dog walker in San Francisco to take his or her pet clients.

Photo: Flickr

Churchill Field Dog Park

Churchill Field Dog Park in ChicagoThe Churchill Field Dog Park in Chicago, Illinois is located on N. Damen Ave., between Churchill Street and Bloomingdale Avenue in the Bucktown neighborhood. This dog park is an open area where dogs and people can run and play. It is in an enclosed area and also includes a kiddie pool and water hoses for pooches and people to cool off during the hot months.

The park is that it is primarily asphalt, so dog owners should beware that it can be harder on dogs’ feet and joints, possibly causing blisters or other joint issues. A separate area filled with gravel is commonly used as the area where dogs can relieve themselves, and baggies for cleanup are readily available.

Renovation projects are expected in the future to add artwork and trees in addition to the brand new water fountain completed recently.

The Churchill Field park is a popular place with Chicago dog walkers, and most who regularly bring animals in report that the majority of the owners who frequent the area with their dogs are polite, respectful and clean up after their dogs well.

One commonly noted downside is a lack of shade, though some helpful owners have been known to bring umbrellas and share them with others in the summer months.

Photo: Flickr

Emma Long Metro Park in Austin

The Emma Long Dog Park in Austin, Texas, is for active dogs who love hiking, playing in the water or both. Visitors to the park’s off-leash trail, officially called “Turkey Creek,” will routinely see dogs splashing in the creek and happily walking free with owners.

The 2.5 mile trail crosses the creek more than a dozen times, with natural rocks and man-made stepping stones. Bio-degradable “Scoop the Poop” trash stations can be found along the trail.

The dog park is part of the Emma Long Metropolitan Park, one of the largest parks in Austin, Texas. Dogs are allowed to swim off-leash in the lake but must remain on leash elsewhere in the main park. Some areas are restricted to pets, so you should get to know the rules, posted on the city of Austin’s website.

Areas where dogs can play off-leash extends from the fence boundary on the west to City Park Drive. Turkey Creek is on the western side. As with most public dog parks and dog run, all dogs must wear collars at all times and have proof of vaccination tags. Leashes must be six feet or shorter.

Emma Long Dog Park is a great place for a dog walker in Austin to take his or her dogs.  The Dog Park is located at 1600 City Park Rd in Austin, Tx. Hours are from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily. Parking for Turkey Creek is two miles past the park’s entrance sign. There are also a number of other dog parks in Austin, Texas if you’d rather go elsewhere.

Photo: Flickr

Joaquin Miller Dog Park

The Joaquin Miller Dog Park is located in the beautifully rustic area of Oakland Hills, California and is set amidst hundreds of oak and redwood trees. In general, regular visitors of both the two-legged and four-legged variety agree that the dog park and surrounding area is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get a bit of exercise and meet up with friends. It’s a popular spot for Oakland dog walkers to bring their dog clients.

At Joaquin Miller Park, there are designated fenced areas with wood chip terrain for both large and small dogs, with plenty of room to play and socialize. These areas can get muddy however, so do bring along a towel to wipe off muddy paws. Water bowls and faucets are available for the dogs, as are extra bags in case you’ve forgotten to bring your own.

Easy parking and an overall uncrowded atmosphere are also amenities for this dog park. If you are planning to visit the area, you should be aware that while the fenced dog areas are designated as off-leash, you must keep your dog(s) on a leash from the parking area to the entrance gate.

The park is open from dawn till dusk year-round, but does close occasionally for maintenance during the summer, as well as during specific dates that coincide with concerts or other events within the Joaquin Miller Park area. Bulletin boards are provided for closure postings and lost or found notices.

Photo: Flickr

Dog Areas at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

Dog Area of Golden Gate Park in San FranciscoA visit to San Francisco with a canine companion would not be complete without a stop at Golden Gate Park. This sizable green haven is the largest and most popular park in the city. One of the most intriguing aspects of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is its utility.

This particular park is intended for more than just canines, horse lovers, horticulturists and many others can enjoy the diverse collection of options available here. Every day, you’ll see people playing with their dogs, owners jogging with dogs, and plenty of San Francisco dog walkers out with their charges, enjoying the lush green and ample space.

The actual dog park area of the Golden Gate Park is not a large portion of the Park. Dog owners and their pets are given a total of four off leash runs in which to play. The scenery is relaxing and it is definitely a plus to have somewhere to let your dog run free, although it may seem a bit limited compared to the other regions of the park. The rest of the park is for dogs on leash only, and with so many attractions, dog owners should remember to keep a close eye on their pets.

Visitors can find each of the four off leash dog runs in different areas of the park. One is positioned in the western region, between Martin Luther King, Junior Drive, Middle Drive West, and 34th and 38th Avenue. Another is found at Fulton and 28th Avenue. The third is placed to the northeast between Fulton Street, Conservatory Drive East, and Stanyan Street. The fourth dog run is found to the south east by 5th Avenue, 7th Avenue, Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and Lincoln Way.

The Golden Gate Park offers visitors over 35 acres of land to explore, although most if it requires a leash. Visitors can enjoy the benefit of many additional attractions to keep busy. The landscape alone is well worth the visit.

Photo: Flickr

Turning a Hobby into a Business: Becoming a Dog Walker

Many dog lovers do not realize that they can take their love of canines and start dog walking business. Dog walkers can earn income while doing something they enjoy. It’s very important that the dog walker know a great deal about the animals they exercise. Taking the job seriously will help you grow your business.

With all that being said, how do you begin turning your love of dogs into a dog walking career? Here are some suggestions on turning your hobby and/or passion into a business:

Commit to Available Times Each Week

Come up with a schedule that works with your existing commitments. For example, if you have a job or attend classes, your dog walking career will have to work around these things. Make sure you do not spread yourself too thin and only commit to hours that you can comfortably work with.  Dog owners will also appreciate your reliable schedule as you get into a routine.

Find Dog Walking Clients and Jobs

If you’re going to make a living walking dogs, you are going to need to have enough clients to support your business. You can meet other dog owners in dog parks, pet stores, and other pet friendly places. Let your friends know about your new business, and word of mouth advertising will be helpful. You also may want to set up a website and advertise on a website like DogWalker.com.

Learn About Canine Behavior

Dog walking doesn’t require a degree, however a good dog walker will take an active role in learning about canine behavior. This information is invaluable as you handle multiple dogs that come from different backgrounds. Also keep in mind you may encounter other animals and canines as you walk. Knowing how to read dog body language could help you avoid a dangerous situation. Learn from experience and a few good resources so you know how to handle many different canine personalities and expand your dog walking career.

Set a Reasonable Dog Limit

Obviously, walking more dogs at once will earn you more income. However, a newcomer to the dog walking profession should not expect to handle a large number of canines while learning. Doing so could have dire results which could be at best, an uncomfortable time walking, and at worse, an escaped or injured canine. Consider how many dogs you have walked in the past. Keep in mind size, weight, strength and energy levels should be factored in as well. One large, energetic puppy may be nearly unmanageable for you while three small adult dogs may be fine.

Take Business Classes

Running a business on your own isn’t easy. You’ll need to keep good accounting records, probably start a company (maybe LLC for example), invest in equipment, and do other things that business owners need to do. Many community colleges offer courses for people to learn how to start a company, and there are also online courses and schools available. In addition, an organization such as dogTEC can be helpful.