Watch Out for Loose Halloween Candy

Dogs and CandyA fear that many children have during Halloween is the same one that dog owners fear the day after Halloween…  lost Halloween candy on the ground. While kids are trick or treating in the dark, aided generally by flashlights and the light of the moon, it’s inevitable that they will drop some loose Halloween candy, which won’t be found until the light of the following day.

Almost always, the first people to walk around the morning after Halloween will be dog owners and dog walkers who are out for the morning walks. Armed with their very sensitive smelling capabilities, dogs will easily sniff out assorted candies and chocolates that fell out of the pillow cases and bags of trick or treaters from the previous night. Chocolate can be deadly to dogs, especially if the dog is small or consumes a large amount of it.

While walking Lucy this morning, we came across a whole bunch of candy, some still in its packaging and other pieces seemingly broken into smaller pieces along the sidewalk. I was very careful to make sure Lucy didn’t eat any of the loose candy, but it was a difficult battle since she is strong and she LOVES to find bits of food on the sidewalk.

Just remember that Halloween was last night, as you are waking up and taking your favorite dog out for his morning stroll. Make sure he doesn’t sniff out some good chocolate that was lost or discarded.

Photo: Flickr

Brooklyn Bridge Park Dog Run in New York City

Brooklyn Dog RunNew York City has many dog friendly locations, which makes travel with a pet much easier in the big city. Brooklyn Bridge Park is one popular stop for dog owners, Brooklyn dog walkers, and their furry companions. The dog runs found in the park are a great way to keep a pet well exercised while keeping him or her safe from the typical city and traffic related dangers.

Brooklyn Bridge Park’s dog runs were designed with attention to detail in terms of functionality and cleanliness. Just like other dog parks, these city off leash runs are fenced in and designed by a Parks Department architect and maintained with the assistance of volunteers. The layout and landscape features are positioned for ideal drainage while encouraging healthy vegetation growth and safe lighting for park visitors and their pets.

Visitors staying in New York City can find the Brooklyn Bridge Park at Adams Street and Plymouth Street. It’s positioned across from the southernmost tip of Manhattan, along Brooklyn’s waterfront area. The scenery adds to the breathtaking views accessible within the park’s borders. Newcomers may want to bring along a camera as they enjoy Brooklyn Bridge Park with their pet. Children can accompany pets and parents because the park also includes a playground with a boat shaped sand box, snail décor, and plenty of climbing equipment.

The park also allows off leash play in certain designated areas from the time the park officially opens until 9 am as well as from 9 pm until the park closes for the evening.  Dogs must still be properly vaccinated and licensed and the owner must have total control of their pet at all times. Visitors are advised that they must bring proof of their pet’s rabies vaccination before entering the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Forest Park Dog Run in Queens, New York

The Forest Park Dog Run in Queens, New York City offers up a convenient location to enjoy some quality time with a pet. The park has a lot to offer, with lots of green stretches to enjoy a run or a casual walk. Visitors, including Queens dog walkers, find that Forest Park presents some of the most beautiful landscape, highlighted by local wildlife, geological attractions, and lush vegetation which sets the stage for a relaxing excursion outdoors.

The terrain in Forest Park consists primarily of small hills and wooded area. The park perimeter encompasses over 500 acres, including 165 acres of tree growth. The eastern region of the park is full of winding trails for hiking and horseback riding. Two private stables offer horse rentals that allow visitors to access more areas of the park in less time. Pet owners should keep in mind that when renting a horse, their pet should be kept elsewhere to avoid a potential accident. The City of New York maintains the dog run.

Forest Park includes a fenced in dog run area where four legged residents to the city can unwind. Visitors can find Forest Park along Myrtle Avenue, Park Lanes, and the Union Turnpike. The western portion of the park offers up a number of fields and courts for various sports, such as tennis, baseball, and handball. A 110 acre golf course can also be enjoyed, and is recognized as the most challenging course in New York City.

Dog owners should remember that four legged visitors are not permitted in certain areas of the park, including playgrounds, fountains, swimming pools, zoos, and ball fields. The designated off leash areas often include clean up bags to help dog owners maintain the lush appearance of the park for other pet owners. When leaving the dog run, pet owners should remember to re-attach leashes to ensure the safety of their pet and others at the park.

No More Homeless Pets by 2015

Homeless PetsGuest article written by Sari Reis, owner of Mission Valley Pet Sitting Services, a San Diego dog walker and pet care company.

Three weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending Best Friends’ Animal Society’s No More Homeless Pets National Conference in Las Vegas Nevada. Over 1150 participants attended sharing in the excitement and camaraderie. They came from all across the country representing shelters, rescues, animal control agencies, feral cat groups, low cost spay and neuter organizations, government agencies, and every other form of animal 501c (3) you can think of. The commonality of a passion for animals is what brought us all together and the shared belief that we could make No More Homeless Pets a reality by 2015, spurred us on.

The speakers were amazing. It was an honor to be in the same room as Richard Avanzino, the CEO for Maddy’s Fund, Karen Green, the senior director for the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs, Betsy Banks Saul, co-founder of and Gregory Castle, one of the founders of Best Friends Sanctuary and its current CEO. And the list goes on. But the most awesome people there were the attendees; individuals like you and me who made a decision that what was happening to animals in their community was not okay with them. Instead of just verbalizing they decided to do something about it. And they took action. And then others came to join them and they put their voices together and started a movement.

One couple I met from the mid-west decided to reach out to the pets of the homeless in their community. They bring them food for their dogs once a week. They have been doing it religiously every week for months paying for the food from their own pockets while they wait for their non-profit status to be approved.

Another wonderful woman I met started a rescue for senior dogs so that they could spend their final golden years happily in a loving home …because every dog deserves a happy ending.

Emma Clifford founded Animal Balance, whose mission is to organize free, high volume, community-based sterilization programs to humanely reduce and manage cat and dog populations. She single-handedly took on the government in the Galapagos Islands, who were poisoning cats and dogs as a means of population control, and successfully converted them to a spay/neuter program. After that success she moved on to the Dominican Republic, American Samoa and the Independent State of Samoa. Cuba is next on her list. If that isn’t passion and Chutzpah, I don’t know what is!

Almost every person I sat next to during the workshops or luncheons had a rousing story to tell. But they were not only inspirational, they were empowering It was impossible not to get caught up in their passion and enthusiasm I came home determined to make a difference in the No More Homeless Pets by 2015 movement.

Getting to no-kill by 2015 is not only possible…it is probable! Will you watch it happen or be one of those who make it happen?

Ways to get involved:

  1. Volunteer at a local shelter, rescue group, low cost spay neuter clinic in your community. If there isn’t one, how about starting one?
  2. Encourage people who are interested in getting a pet to adopt from a shelter, rescue group or to go to
  3. Good breeders do not sell puppies to retail stores. Every puppy purchased in a store came from a puppy mill; maybe not directly but that’s where they come from. Start a protest group at your local pet stores that still sell puppies.
  4. Write letters to your local and state representatives to enact laws that promote kindness to animals and prosecute animal abusers.
  5. If you have a feral cat community start a TNR ( Trap Neuter Release) program and arrange for people to provide food and fresh water and if necessary temporary shelters for the cats.
  6. Volunteer to foster a cat, dog, puppy or kitten.
  7. Use every opportunity to educate the public that adopting an animal is for a lifetime!
  8. Support your local pet food banks by getting donations of food from other dog and cat lovers.

If none of these things appeal to you create your own idea for how to be part of this movement and go for it.

For more information or to share ideas contact: Sari Reis, Mission Valley Pet Sitting Services,

Photo Flickr

dogTEC Announces Upcoming Class Schedule

dogtec.orgIf you are thinking about starting a dog related business (such as a dog walking company), you might want to consider signing up for a dogTEC class. Although the organization is based in San Francisco, they are offering classes in cities throughout the United States, and you can become dogTEC certified.

dogTEC can help people and companies who would like to grow their hobby, part-time business, or full-time business into a larger business. The organization offers a variety of classes throughout the year, and the upcoming schedule is listed below. Contact dogTEC for more details about classes.

Dog Walking Academy

Duration: 4 days: Th & F evening, all day Sat & Sun
Size: Limited to 16 students
Cost: $650

An intensive 4-day workshop leading to professional dog walking certification. Graduates come away fully equipped to start a dog walking business—or advance an existing one. Expand your knowledge of canine behavior, learn new pack-management techniques and fight protocols, and go through the A-Z of running and marketing a dog walking business.

San Francisco:   February 3-6, 2011

February 10-13, 2011

April 28-May 1, 2011

October 20-23, 2011

October 27-30, 2011

Arlington, VA: March 24-27, 2011

December 1-4, 2011

Seattle, WA: May 26-29, 2011

September 1-4, 2011

Madison, NJ: August 4-7, 2011

Business Workshop

Where: Nationwide
Duration: 1-day or 2-day
Cost: From $85 to $195

Learn how to run a successful dog business from the industry’s leading business consultants. Relevant for dog trainers, walkers, sitters, vet techs, daycare operators, boarding facility operators, groomers, and anyone who dreams of working with dogs for a living.

Fairplay, MD  June 26, 2011

Web Seminars

Interactive, inexpensive web-based classes you can take from the convenience of home.

Our web seminars are taught by the industry’s top business consultants. We have worked with over 500 dog professionals in 7 years—dog trainers, dog walkers, pet sitters, daycare and boarding facility operators, as well dog photographers, pet accessories boutiques, and a dog nanny.

November 17, 2010:  Tips for a Successful Day Training Program $20

December 7, 2010:  Be a Full Time Dog Pro $20

January 12, 2011: Master the Growlies Redux $20

February 9, 2011:  Time Management Workshop $20

March 3, 2011: Got Referrals? $20

Downloadable Seminars

Building a Successful Puppy Class Program
Pre-recorded download, 3hrs: $65

Dog Pro Marketing Workshop
Pre-recorded download: $20

Is Social Media Right For You?
Pre-recorded download: $20

Curriculum Design Workshop

Where: East & West Coast
When: Twice per year
Duration: 6 days
Size: Limited to 10 students
Cost: $750

A rare opportunity to learn to design and teach the most innovative and effective dog training classes in the industry. Your clients will retain learning better and be more successful with their dogs—and giving the best classes in town will create repeat business and rampant word of mouth for you.

San Diego, CA – April 10-15

Keene, NH – June 6-11

Master the Growlies

Where: San Diego
When: Once per year
Duration: 2 days: Sat–Sun
Cost: $185

Learn successful training and business practices for dog-dog aggression cases. Relevant for dog trainers, behaviorists, walkers, veterinarians, and others who work with on or off leash dog-dog aggression, as well as anyone with an interest in the professional side of dog-dog aggression.

February 19-20

Boston Commons Off Leash Dog Park in Boston

Off leash dog park in Boston, MassachusettsDog owners in Boston, Massachusetts can stop by the Boston Commons off leash dog park. This park is a little trickier than some in other cities. The area is not fenced off, so safety is a concern and pet owners should feel confident in their dog’s obedience training before removing the leash. The area is great for a quick excursion to exercise pets and get a little fresh air.

Boston Commons off leash dog park gives visitors plenty to look at during their stay in Boston. Upon entering the park, many visitors feel as though they are at the center of the city, with healthy green trees silhouetted against the cityscape. Locals make the park a frequent visit for quality time with their pets and family. Boston dog walkers also frequently visit the park with their four legged clients in tow.

The Boston Commons Park can be found between Charles Street and Boylston Street. Newcomers should be warned that only specific areas of the park are actually considered the dog park area. Exploring outside of these regions with pets off leash could result in a fine. The rather small off leash dog area can be located between the State House on the hill and Frog Pond. New visitors should look for other pets roaming off leash to verify that they have found the right area.

Dogs can stretch their legs and enjoy a pleasant evening or morning of play time at the Boston Commons Park.  Off leash hours are divided into two times, starting with the first session at 6:30 am until 8:30 am then again in the evening from 5 pm until 7 pm. Pet owners with obedient canines can really enjoy the views at the Boston Commons Park off leash dog area.

Photo: Flickr

Group Dog Walking

Group Dog WalkingWhether you are new to the dog ownership world or a long-time pooch owner, making the decision to hire a dog walker may be stressful. Is the person experienced? Will they follow your instructions about exercise, discipline, and dog clothing? Even after you’ve found the perfect dog walker, they may ask you if you want individual or group walks.

Here are some issues you need to consider before making the decision about whether your dog should be walked in a pack.

How large and energetic is your dog in comparison to the others of the group? If you own an aging chihuahua, walking her alongside a boisterous, sixty-pound Golden Retriever could lead to injuries. Even if the larger dogs are sweet-tempered, slow oldsters may get hurt unintentionally. The same goes for a young Great Dane or Greyhound that may unintentionally harm others in the group just by trying to play. Ideally, the other dogs in the walking group would be around the same weight and activity level of your dog.

Are the other dogs all up to date on their shots, de-worming, and flea and tick treatments? Is everyone desexed? Even if your dog is up to date, sick animals may lash out when stressed by new arrivals. If your dog is not spayed or neutered, then obviously walking with any intact dogs of the opposite sex is not a good idea. Intact dogs must also be kept on-leash at all times. Don’t assume that all un-neutered males will fight. This is absolutely not true, but aggression must be watched for closely.

What breed are the other dogs? No, not ever Pitt Bull Terrier is hard-wired to murder other dogs! However, some breeds, such as ChowChows, are very territorial. If possible, meet the other dogs in a neutral place, such as a park, and see how they interact before signing your dog up for the walking group.

In short, safety, health, and the relationships in any dog walking group will determine if it’s a good fit for your canine friend.

Photo: Flickr

Dog Walker Bill & Co., LLC

Customized, reliable service from a husband & wife pet care team!

Golden Gardens Dog Park in Seattle

Dog Park in SeattleVisitors and residents in Seattle can stop by the Golden Gardens dog park. Here, visitors can give their dogs a little off leash run time before heading off to their next destination. The park offers a nice balance of features, cleanliness and size to make the visit enjoyable. Golden Gardens park offers visitors many other amenities, from rental facilities to play areas, restrooms, fire pits, walking trails, and picnic areas. The area makes a great stop for families as well as those with pets, and Seattle dog walkers can always be found here.

The Golden Gardens Park presents a number of natural attractions that draws in many visitors every day. Recent restoration projects have restored two wetland regions and created a short trail. A part of the restoration effort has also revived the park’s northern beach. For canines, the off leash dog run area includes cedar chips, which really helps keep the enclosure clean for dog paws and human shoes. The off leash area also includes a fence for added pet safety. Dog owners can feel at ease while their pets get some much needed time to roam and play.

The off leash dog park in Golden Gardens can be accessed in the upper northern area. Visitors can park their vehicles and walk along a short trail to find the entrance. Those who hike up to the dog park should keep in mind that elderly pets may have a difficult time managing the hike. When visiting after a rainy spell, visitors should also keep in mind that mud can be a problem in the park. Packing spare shoes or a few towels can help with the clean up effort before departing.

The Golden Gardens dog park in Seattle is a popular attraction for many visitors and residents. Anyone stopping by with a pet should try the park to exercise their pets while taking in some of the most beautiful natural views in the area.

Photo: Flickr

How to Train Your Dog to Not Bite the Leash When Walking

Leash TrainingLeash training is often one of the most difficult parts of training your dog. Dogs love to bite on leashes, as they make great chew toys for teething dogs, and it can be annoying for a dog owner or dog walker. However, this is a problem that can turn serious if it is not taken care of quickly, and it can go on for an extended period of time if a young puppy isn’t leash trained.

If you (or your dog walker) use a nylon leash, dogs can sometimes chew right through the leash and break it when walking. Below you will find some helpful tips for training your dog to not bite on the leash while walking.

First of all, consider purchasing a different kind of leash. If you typically use nylon leashes, try using a metal chain leash for a while. Dogs won’t chew on these, and if they try, they will realize that it is not possible. This may break your dog’s habit of chewing on the leash when walking. You can also purchase a heavy duty nylon leash to ensure a dog biting the leash doesn’t rip it.

Spraying sour apple spray on the leash where your dog bites it is a tactic that may also work for you. Most dogs don’t like this spray and it will keep them from biting the leash. This also works on other household items that your dog might bite as well.

The best tactic is to work with your dog to get him to stop biting the leash. Each time he starts to bite the leash, stop walking and get your dog’s attention. Let him know that that is not appropriate behavior. Reward positive behavior with treats and praise.

When our dog bites her leash infrequently, we will drop the leash and step on it, not moving until she drops the leash. Once she lets go, we resume our walk. We continue to do this until she understands it’s not appropriate.

Your dog will eventually learn that biting on the leash is not an acceptable behavior.

Photo: Flickr

Challenger Bark Dog Area in Challenger Park

Challenger Park Dog AreaChallenger Park in Chicago offers pet owners a unique opportunity that many miss. The area is very small, which must be stressed. Compared to other off leash dog parks in the country, Challenger Park is quite limited in size. As a result, many dog owners do not realize the area is there. For some, this is a plus because it makes the area great for training a new dog to learn the ways of the off leash run and dog parks in general. Dogs can still get plenty of exercise, which is the point of a dog park anyway.

The dog park in Challenger Park is very secluded. For some pet owners. The park is nestled between the wall of a cemetery and train tracks. The area itself is nice for a quiet, peaceful afternoon with a four legged friend, and Chicago dog walkers who know about the area can be found letting their dogs run free. The park is usually sparsely populated, which can help lower stress levels for pet owners that are concerned about taking their pet to busy off leash areas.

Visitors can find the Challenger Park dog area nestled between the eastern wall of the Graceland Cemetery and the Red Line rails. As I mentioned, the park is very tiny so navigating it is simple. Canines and humans have very few places to go once they arrive. There are dog prohibited areas, but these are clearly marked with signs so visitors know they are in the right place.

Challenger Park in Chicago is a decent place to take pets for a little exercise. The park is small and secluded, so pet owners are advised to use common sense and not travel alone or in the dark hours. Unfortunately, dogs will generally receive minimal (if any) socializing opportunity here, but it is an ideal location for burning off canine energy.

Photo: Flickr

Waggy Walkys Pet Care

Established in 2002, Waggy Walkys is the premier pet care company in the Washington DC Metro area.

Services We Provide:

* Dog Walking
* Pet and Dog Boarding
* House Sitting
* Pet Sitting
* Dog Park Play Groups
* Trail Hikes

What sets us apart and why should you choose us?

* Trusted Pet Sitter’s Since 2002, serving VA, DC, and MD.

* Our Company is Licensed, Insured and Bonded.

*All staff are trained, uniformed and follow a detailed company handbook covering a comprehensive list of safety and professionalism policies. Staff are required to carry this handbook while working which covers protocols to deal with most situations that could arise out in the field as well as a list of vets (address and contact info) in the area in the event of a pet illness or emmergency. This alone sets us apart from the majority of the other businesses and independent walkers out there.

* We are members of NAPPS, PSI, and ABKA and participate in Red Cross CPR and Pet First Aid courses.

*All staff are required to carry first aid kits when working.

* Complimentary Pet report logs for every visit so you know when your pet sitter arrived, details for the visit and when they have left.

*Professional Pet Sitter client database that you can login to from anywhere in the world via the internet, where you can:
1) Update your client details, pet profiles and vet info 24/7. This sends an automated email instantly to all management and staff that are involved with your pet(s).
2) Book new reservations as well as review and make adjustments to your existing schedules quickly and easily 24/7 with instant emails sent out to all pet sitters and management involved.
3) Schedules are also emailed out nightly between 2-3 A.M to pet sitters and management for the next day so there is never a question what visits are covered next day.
4) You can always simply call or email us as well to make any changes or book reservations!

* We are readily accessible via the web and phone for reliable and professional customer service.

* All of our staff must pass a comprehensive criminal background check in all 50 states, screening, questionnaires, reference checks, and field training to insure they are a good fit to be taking care of our clients and their pets!

* Online staff Bios with pictures, testimonials, and location availabilities so you can select who you would prefer to take care of your pets!

* Veterinarian release forms for every client so in the event of a pet illness or emergency, your pets are covered and the Vets have authorization to perform procedures and have your information on file!

*Back up pet sitters and an emergency boarder policy in the event that one of our sitters or boarding staff can’t provide coverage.

*And last but not least compassionate, we have polite and caring staff across the board, which will always treat your pets with the utmost care and TLC. Most of our staff have their own pets or have grown up with pets and are true animal lovers who will treat your pet as their own. Our mission above all else is to keep your pets healthy, safe and well cared for at all times when you can’t be around due to busy schedules and travel. When you hire us, you can rest assured your pet(s) are being well cared for and have the best quality care that is available in the industry. That is our promise to you.

Christmas Tip for Dog Walkers

Dog Walker tipHow much should I give my dog walker as a tip during Christmas?”

If you are like almost every other dog owner, each year around Christmas, Hanukkah and the holidays, you ask yourself if you should give a tip or bonus to your hard working dog walker. It’s a question we ask as dog owners, and people ask us for advice on this as well.

Christmas time allows us all to experience the joy of giving gifts to those people who mean the most in our lives. Many of us may put a tip or card in the mailbox to give to our mailman, but what about the person who regularly walks our dogs?

Dog walkers are just as important as the mailman or any other person that you may give a tip to during the holiday season. The dog walker will take our dog out to be walked and exercised when we can not. Because the dog walker is creating a healthier life for our pet during their daily or weekly rounds, it’s a good idea to give this special person a tip during the holidays as a way to say “thank you” for helping out during the year.

Many people may not know what a good price is when giving their dog walker a tip or bonus for Xmas. But what exactly is a fair amount to give to someone who shows our beloved pets so much love and warmth whenever they come over to walk our dog?

As a general rule, a weeks worth of salary for your dog walker will prove to be a fantastic tip this holiday season. Some people might even give one or two visits worth of pay to their dog walker as a tip. You can give the holiday tip to your dog walker in a holiday card in either cash or check. Alternatively, you may want to give them a small gift or a gift card to a fancy restaurant. Keep in mind that during these harsh economic times, any tip or bonus you give to your dog walker would be appreciated.

Photo: Flickr

What To Include On A Dog Walker’s Resume

Dog walkers require a resume like almost any other profession. Pets are considered family members in many homes, so pet owners need assurance that they’ve picked a dog walker who is reliable and good with animals. To land as many clients as possible, be sure to include the following on your dog walking resume:

1. Certification: If you haven’t earned certification, look for a course right away (dogTEC for example). It doesn’t take long to complete the certificate and it assures pet owners that you’re serious about your business. List things you’ve mastered by earning the certificate, such as interpreting the body language of dogs, leash skills and obedience training.

2. Bonding: Because you may be in the client’s home when they are not present, it is important you have a surety bond listed on your resume and business cards.

3. Insurance: Not only does insurance protect you, it protects your client. Find out what your state’s minimum requirements are for small business insurance. Also, research the average pay-out for a dog bite lawsuit to determine what level of coverage is right for you. Make sure you disclose your dog walking insurance as well as other business insurance coverage.

4. Affiliations: If you haven’t already, join a professional organization, such as the International Association of Canine Professionals. Again, this shows your dedication to the profession. Another benefit to joining professional organizations is that insurance companies often give discounts to national club members.

5. Other Services: Most dog walkers offer clients additional services for a few extra dollars, such as picking up the newspaper, cleaning up dog waste, grooming, overnight pet sitting, taking out the garbage, etc. Many clients may not know these services are available unless you list them on your resume.

6. Experience: Share how long you’ve been dog walking. Also mention other animal-related jobs or volunteer work you have done in the past.

7. References: List the names and contact information for references and referrals. These can be both past dog walking jobs as well as work experience at pet care companies.

Tip to Hire a Dog Walker for Thanksgiving

Dog Walking on ThanksgivingIt seems that every year, we wait until the last minute to find a dog walker for Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday shopping, and the rest of the holiday season. More often than not, our regular dog walkers have their own plans and are unable to walk the dog for us, so we need to find an alternate dog walker. This isn’t always bad, since having a back up dog walker can be great for the rest of the year.

The best answer (and the most obvious answer) is to contact your dog walker as early as possible and make plans or reserve a time for walking the dog. If you are hosting people for Thanksgiving, it is a good idea to let your dog walker know ahead of time so he or she will be sure to be on time for your dog’s walk, and so your Thanksgiving meal won’t be interrupted.

If your dog walker already has plans or is fully committed, may we suggest that you have a look through to contact other dog walking services in your area? It’s not ideal to search for a dog walker at the last minute like this, but neither is having to leave your Thanksgiving meal to go home and walk the dog!

Unless you want cousin Sam or Aunt Martha to walk your pooch, you better get in touch with a dog walker ASAP. This is now the last minute to make a reservation for most dog walkers!

Photo: Flickr

Prospect Park Dog Area in Brooklyn

Dogs in Prospect Park BrooklynMany people fall in love with Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York. Not only is Prospect Park a pure paradise for humans, it’s also a haven for man’s best friend. The expanse of vegetation includes many lengthy stretches that are great for running and playing. It’s a pleasant surprise in New York City.

Unlike many other parks with dog areas, Prospect Park even provides visitors with a swimming area for canines. As long as a visitor adheres to the leash rules and other canine-related requirements of Prospect Park, they can have an enjoyable time with their furry friend.

The lush green hues and leafy vegetation along with soft grass makes Prospect Park one of the most visually and sensually attractive destinations to bring a pet while in the city. The park allows canines to roam off leash with the supervision of their owners or dog walkers between 9 pm and 1 am and again from 5 am to 9 am in the Long Meadow, Nethermead, and Peninsula areas. When visiting any other area of the park, dogs must remain on leash or the owner may face a $100 fine.

Prospect Park in Brooklyn can be found at 95 Prospect Park West. As visitors enter the park, they can find the designated canine swim area close to the Long Meadow ball fields. Most visitors enter from 9th street for easiest accessibility.

Anyone staying in Brooklyn or near by should check out the Prospect Park. Those with canines can really appreciate the attractive appearance and atmosphere of the park, which is described by some as nearly intoxicating. The park also includes unique features for pets, like the canine accessible swim area. Some areas are also permitted for off leash play during certain hours of the day. Overall, Prospect Park dog area in Brooklyn is one of the finest the city has to offer.

Photo: Flickr

Christmas Gift Ideas for a Dog Walker

Xmas gift for a dog walkerChristmas shopping can be complicated! What to get Aunt Susie who has everything, little Billy’s teachers, the co-workers, and of course, the people who make your life easier like your dog walker. Without your dog walker, Rover would be whining and prancing all day long with pent-up energy to spare.

But what do you get the person that you trust to keep your pooch in shape and loved while you can’t be there?  Here are a few ideas and tips to make the shopping season a little more bearable.

Since dog walking can be very physically demanding, think about giving the gift that will pamper. A gift certificate for a spa day or a massage is the perfect thing for tired feet and sore arms. Consider giving a gift amount for services that can be split into several trips to the same place for an extended pampering experience. Make sure your gift will cover the cost of the primary services. You don’t want your dog walker to have to pay a big amount of money in order to use your gift.

You can also think outside the box and give a gift that will actually help their job. Give a gift card to an athletic store for a new pair of shoes or a sporty outfit for those long walks. Chain stores like Sports Authority are great because your gift card can be redeemed both online and in-store.

Look for a meals-made-to-order establishment and give your dog walker a certificate that will allow them to have a gourmet meal ready for them with no effort on their part. Also, since food is always a good option, you could bake several batches of homemade cookies or other treats. But don’t forget the dogs! Make a batch of canine-friendly treats they can take with them on their walks!

This Black Friday and until Christmas Eve Day, keep your dog walker in mind when you’re shopping for Xmas gifts. If you’re looking for advice on giving a Christmas tip to a dog walker, can help.

Photo: Flickr

‘Pawdicure and Portraits’

Fluff and LaceCalling all sophisticated Miami lady dog owners – Fluff and Lace proudly present ‘Pawdicure and Portraits’. Bring your beloved pooch to the Salon treat yourself to a manicure and/or pedicure whilst your precious pet has a ‘pawdicure’ done by a top dog groomer from Miami Beach Pet Spa and has their portrait painted on the spot by the celebrated British artist – Robert Clarke.

Lace Nail and Beauty Labs brings to South Beach a superior nail and beauty service that offers its clients the latest in beauty technology with a sprinkling of old school glamour. Lace Beauty is located at 500 S Pointe Drive in Miami Beach, Florida.

Anna founded Lace Nail Lab in 2005 and launched Lace Beauty Lab in 2008. Anna’s vision of creating a classy and glamorous nail salon, that could rival South Beach’s spas, has been a fabulous success. Not only do Lace Nail and Beauty Labs participate in an array of prestigious local events, for example FunkShion Miami and the Mercedes Benz Swim Show but it also fulfills the pampering needs of celebs such as Brook Hogan, Jamie Foxx and Anna Kournikova.

Leading publications such as Ocean Drive, Marie Claire, Lucky and Spanish Vogue has recognized Lace’s unique style and class providing first-rate service to a discerning clientele. The ‘pawdicure’ show is just another example of how Lace Nail and Beauty Labs keeps the ‘treating yourself’ experience extravagant and exciting!

About Robert Clarke:

Robert was schooled at the prestigious St. Martins School of Art in London. A highly skilled draftsman and visual artist, he has worked in various fields of Creative industries, including a senior art director at a leading London advertising agency. His artwork as been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the UK. Paul Smith store showcased a complete series at their flagship store in Sloane Square.

Robert began his dog journey ten years ago, when his girlfriend suggested them getting a Jack Russell. As a child, Robert was actually scared of dogs and had to cross the road in fear of a Bull Terrier called Nike, who had a nasty temper and ferocious bark.

Luckily, Robert agreed to get the pup and entered the delights of the dog world. He went along to puppy class, where you get to pass round your puppy like pass the parcel and they ask you to put your hands into their mouths and touch their paws. It was an awakening experience for him and he began to embrace the whole dog community, celebrating this world in drawings and paintings. As he states, ‘you take the dog to the park and you meet all sorts of fabulous people you wouldn’t come across everyday…I was hooked…I started to draw and the paint and then really its been a voyage of canine discovery ever since’.

This series presented a Lace Salon as part of the ‘Pawdicure and Portraits’ event during Miami Basel, shows Robert’s deep affection for our four legged friends, his quirky and even whimsical renderings captures the distinct personality of each pouch in a loose and painterly style set off against a bold color plan background.

A commissioned portrait of your pet is something a bit different and special. Robert likes to meet each dog to gauge the canine character then works relatively quickly in order to immortalize the hound, forever.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Dogs

Christmas gifts for dogsThe thing to remember when buying Christmas gifts for your dog is that they don’t really anticipate the holiday season like the rest of us do. They may enjoy the parties, and they may also enjoy having everyone around petting them and sneaking them some table scraps here and there, but they don’t really know that this is the day we get presents.

So the trick is to build anticipation. This means that whatever you get your dog for Christmas, making sure they can smell it or hear it isn’t a bad idea. For this reason, we recommend that you make sure it can fit in a stocking. Even the most obedient, polite and well trained dog won’t typically be able to resist the temptation to open their present early when their present smells like beef jerky.

Squeaky Toys

Squeaky toys are great because you can give your dog a hint as to what’s in the sock by giving it a squeeze now and then. Of course, any type of toy is fine, but a squeaky toy is great for building anticipation. Give it a squeeze when you walk by and get your dog wondering what the heck that is so that the puzzle can finally be solved come Christmas morning.

Dehydrated Treats

Any kind of dry meats are basically a dog’s best friend, and great for Christmas as they give off a strong smell. Combine this with a milk bone and they’ll be having as much fun as the kids on the big morning. Combined with the festivity of everyone opening presents, your dog will love Christmas morning.

Photo: Flickr

Make It Easy on Clients: Accept Paypal

Dog walking has almost always been known to be a cash business. Most clients pay their dog walkers either with cash or checks after a walk or at the end of the week, making it easy and quick for dog walkers to be paid. There’s no need for a merchant processing account for credit cards, and the money can be had instantly to pay for other expenses or to deposit into a bank account.

Accepting Paypal might be a smart idea for dog walkers, and it could make it easier for dog owners to pay without having to have cash on hand or having to write a check. This transaction could be done instantly and the dog walker will have control of the funds soon after payment. It’s faster than waiting for a check to clear, and there’s much less of a chance that payment will be lost or stolen.

One of the additional benefits of being paid with Paypal is that it’s better for bookkeeping purposes. It’s much easier to track Paypal payments than it is to track cash or check payments. Instead of wondering if a client has already paid for services, Paypal payments can easily be tracked. There’s also an option that allows the payor to pay the fee, so that doesn’t have to be eaten by the dog walker… a nice advantage.

Paypal is simple to use, and it can be a tool that benefits a dog walker’s business.