Why Your Dog Walking Service Should Have Insurance and Bonding

Dog walking and dog sitting have become very lucrative businesses, as more career-minded people need someone to take care of and walk their pup during their working hours.

It’s important to realize that starting your dog walking business isn’t just about strapping on the leash and taking the dog out for exercise and bladder relief. Although dog walking is a fun way to be your own boss, make your own hours and earn money, there are some important business aspects you should consider before making dog walking your career.

Treating your service as a business from the start is an excellent preventative measure. Since businesses carry risks, it is extremely important to obtain both insurance and bonding for your service.

Setting up your business with liability insurance protects you and any potential employees against various types of lawsuits. It also protects you and your staff against any personal injuries that may be suffered on the job.

Bonding is another important, preventative measure for your business. A surety bond will protect you and your business against any accusations of employee theft. Whether you branch out and hire employees to work for you, or you remain an independent dog walker, bonding gives your company a leg up on other dog walking services by showing your clients you’re serious about your business.

If you love dogs, starting a dog walking business can definitely have its rewards. If you run your business in a professional manner, you’ll attract more clients and increase your profits.

Brush Prairie Dog Park

Many dog owners and dog walkers frequent the Brush Prairie dog park near Portland, Oregon (located in Brush Prairie, Washington). This area features a nice ten acre spread of land dedicated to canines. Visitors rate the Brush Prairie dog park highly and recommend it to other pet owners staying in the Portland area.

Dog owners can enjoy the park feeling reassured by the presence of fencing in dog run areas. Overall, the Brush Prairie dog park presents visitors with a great opportunity to have good, safe fun with their furry friends. Portland dog walkers also love coming to the park with their dogs.

Terrain in the Brush Prairie dog park is primarily flat. The lack of hills might be preferable for visitors with older pets that cannot get around as well as they used to. The fences help add an element of safety for pets and their owners.

The park is divided into two main areas. The primary area is larger and ideal for most dogs while a smaller area is fenced off for small or timid pets. Both portions are surrounded by a wood chip covered walking trail so pets and their owners can enjoy a stroll together after playing in the off leash area.

Visitors can find the Brush Prairie dog park at North East 149th Street and North East 101st Street in Brush Prairie, Washington. The park isn’t as sizable as others, spanning about 10 acres. However the smaller size also makes Brush Prairie relatively easy to navigate. Despite its smaller size, the park still presents ample area to run and play.

The Brush Prairie dog park is maintained by DOGPAW. Visitors can find many helpful amenities, such as canine clean up bags, strategically placed trash cans, double gated entry ways, and even accessible water sources. The park offers plenty of flexibility to accommodate pets of all sizes and their doting humans.

Dog Walking Services vs. Pooper Scooper Services

Although there are a few companies who perform both dog walking services and pooper scooper services, each one is a specific kind of business. A pooper scooper service is concerned with keeping the yard in your home or business free of dog waste. A dog walking service is generally more concerned with taking care of your dog and making sure it gets exercise, in addition to relief.

A pooper scooper service comes to your home or business to remove dog poop. They come on a weekly basis, bag it up, and place it in the trash or bring it to their facility to use as fertilizer. Usually your dog can stay in the yard while they work. Most companies sanitize their equipment to keep from cross contaminating your yard from other customers.

A good service will let you know if they see unusual stools or if your dog ate any objects that came out in their poop. The services who do the extras even refill a dog’s water bowl. This kind of service is beneficial if the family has children that also play in the yard. Not all pooper scooper services offer these additional services

A dog walking service makes sure that your dog gets his exercise. For busy pet owners a dog walking service is invaluable. A professional service will offers play time with your dog as well as a walk to stretch his legs and get out of the house or yard. For pet owners who are busy or away traveling a dog walker can offer the attention the dog needs. Dogs that are neglected may chew, destroy objects or dig up yards. An overweight pet can also benefit from the extra exercise.

Dog owners need to determine whether they need to hire a dog walker or a pooper scooper, although sometimes both might be in order. Those who let their dogs run free in their yard might prefer a pooper scooper, while those who prefer that their dog get a set regimen of exercise and/or attention should choose the services of a dog walker.

#1 on Google Within Hours!

Dog Walker in Chula Vista

Dog walkers and dog walking services sometimes ask me why they should get listed on DogWalker.com, and the answer is that I believe a listing can generate new business that will exceed the annual listing cost.

One way DogWalker.com is able to help dog walking companies is that the website ranks well in search engines. I believe this is due to a combination of proper search engine optimization as well as having the exact match domain name when people are looking for a dog walker.

I want to share an example of how DogWalker.com can help a dog walking business. Doggie Round-Up of Chula Vista, California created a listing early this afternoon. Within hours, the listing was #1 in Google for a search of “dog walker in Chula Vista.”  When someone searches this phrase, the DogWalker.com listing comes up #1 right now.

From my experience, this is how many people search for a dog walker online, and having the #1 ranking will help drive more traffic to the listing, and ultimately it can help bring new clients to this business.

Of course, Google rankings are fluid and often change, but I think this is a good example of how DogWalker.com can help dog walkers.

dog*tec’s Dog Walking Academy Heads to New York

dogtec.orgAfter establishing a successful dog walker’s certification program in San Francisco, it was only a matter of time before we exported it to New York, the East Coast hub of professional dog walking. We held the first Dog Walking Academy in California in 2003. Since then we’ve graduated four classes a year, with a long waiting list for each section the last several years. We’ve had students travel from all over the East Coast to attend, as well as from other countries—New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Spain, to name some.

In 2010 we added classes in New Hampshire, New Jersey, and just outside Washington, D.C. to lighten the travel for East Coast dog pros. We’ve now found a terrific location in Hudson, NY, a lovely resort area a couple hours’ drive from New York City. Denise Mazzola, our East Coast DWA instructor, is excited to address the particular challenges of urban dog walking, New York-style.

The Dog Walking Academy is a comprehensive professional dog walking certification program aimed at anyone wanting to start a successful dog walking business, and established dog walkers wanting to see their businesses grow or learn to solve dog-related problems.

We cover technical subjects like canine body language, pack composition and management for on and off leash groups, dog screening, how to handle and prevent aggression, leash handling and walking tips, teaching critical obedience such as coming when called, First Aid certification, etc. And we give attendees a solid understanding of the small business practices and creative approaches to marketing necessary for long-term financial stability and success.

The new Hudson, NY program will be taught by Denise Mazzola. Denise served for 10 years as the Head Trainer and Director of Business for the Monadnock Canine Academy where she designed and taught a 6-day program for beginning dog trainers. She now dedicates herself to helping career changers become dog trainers and dog walkers, and to helping established dog pros get more from their businesses and careers with dogs.

The first New York Dog Walking Academy takes place March 18-20.

For more information or to sign up for the Dog Walking Academy, visit http://www.dogtec.org/dogwalkingacademy.php

Hiring a Dog Walker vs. Dog Day Care

Many people consider their dogs to be a precious part of their family. Deciding whether to hire a dog walker, or to take your pet to a dog daycare can be a big decision to make. Therefore, it is best to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before making one.

A dog day care center has the benefit of giving your dog attention while you cannot. You dog will also be able to socialize amongst other dogs of different sizes. Additionally, your dog will be fed on a normal schedule if necessary, and if you run late, most dog daycares are able to provide for your dog, giving you added flexibility.

These daycare advantages comes with a number of disadvantages. At a dog day care center, your dog will be just one of the many dogs that need to be cared for. It is likely that it will not get the full attention that it craves. Not only that, but your dog has a greater chance of being exposed to illnesses by other dogs, although most dog daycares screen for illness and other infectious diseases.

A dog walker can be a good solution if you are willing to let your dog stay home while you are away. The dog walker will take your dog to the bathroom, as well as get it some exercise. Although the dog will be with a dog walker instead of a family member, it will not be placed in an unfamiliar environment. The familiarity with its surroundings should keep it from being stressed. Not only that, but it will also help your dog to become friendly around other people. This will make it easier for the dog each time you are not able to be there.

In terms of cost, hiring a dog walker is usually much cheaper than paying for dog daycare. Dog daycare centers have to charge more because they house your dog on a full-time basis and provide more attention than a dog walker can. Most dog walkers are flexible and can give your dog extra attention or exercise if requested. Hiring a regular dog walker can be a good solution if you’re out during the day.

Dog Walking Jobs: How to Find Them

Dog Walker JobsDog walking can be a fun job, either part time or full time, or even temporarily. You get to hang out with dogs all day and you get your exercise and your work done all at once. But finding dog walking jobs can be a little tricky at first. Here are a few tips to find a job as a dog walker:

Work  for an Established Business

You might be able to find an existing dog walker who needs an assistant, or a business looking to hire on a new hand. You can either visit pet shops and doggie daycares that offer dog walking, or you can call and see if any positions are available. Some companies post wanted ads on sites like Monster.com or the DogWalker.com job board.  Ask around, you might be surprised to know who is hiring.

Post Ads on the Web

There are plenty of ways to advertise locally on the web (DogWalker.com for example). Go ahead and post some ads, and come up with a name for your new business. If you go on your own, you’ll want to make sure you are licensed in the municipality in which you live. You’ll also want to make sure you have insurance and are bonded.

Ask Your Friends and Family

Just ask around. People who know you, or who know you through a mutual friend, will be more likely to entrust you with their pooch than total strangers, and you can use these dogs to help get your business going before moving on to look for other clients. Just put the word out.

Announcing the Launch of DogGroomers.com

Dog GroomingNewly launched website will help dog owners find local dog groomers

It is no secret that we lavish our dogs with love and attention. We buy them holiday gifts, spoil them with gourmet treats, organize play dates, take trips to the dog park, and pamper them with medicated baths, massages, and designer toys. As a direct result, the pet care industry has experienced growth while most sectors of the economy have continued to stagnate. In 2010 alone, the American Pet Products Association estimates that we will spend a total of $47.7 billion on our pets, $3.45 billion of which will be on pet services, including boarding and grooming.

DogGroomers.com promises to streamline the process of finding and selecting the best local dog groomer for the millions of pampered pups across the nation. The easy-to-use interface will allow dog owners to find a groomer or grooming service by city, neighborhood, or zip code. Once a local dog groomer is located, a searcher can can contact the groomer directly from the site.

DogGroomers.com is looking to match the success of its already popular sister site, DogWalker.com, which has proven to be a valuable resource for dog owners seeking local dog walking companions for their dogs. Now entering it’s second year of existence, DogWalker.com has over three hundred dog walkers and dog walking services listed, and a great deal of information for dog owners and people interested in becoming dog walkers.

“When I had the chance to purchase DogGroomers.com a couple of months ago, I jumped at the opportunity,” said Elliot Silver, founder of DogWalker.com and DogGroomers.com. “DogWalker.com now gets around 7,000 visits a month, and I know that DogGroomers.com will be able to help dog owners find local dog groomers.”

All indications are that the pet products and services industry will continue to flourish in the years to come, and DogGroomers.com is in the perfect position to be a valuable resource for millions of Americans and their canine companions.

Congressman Bill Archer Bark Park

Houston Dog ParkFrom throughout the greater Houston area, people are coming with their best four legged friends for one special attraction, the Congressman Bill Archer Bark Park. This Houston dog park is a fun place for a dog owner to take a dog walking during the day – especially on the weekends when the park is full of other dogs.

Located at 3201 State Highway 6 North, the Bark Park is 17 acres of fenced in fun for your dog to run off leash, right in Harris County. There are lots of walking trails, and even fire hydrants for when your pooch just has to go.

This very special dog park is friendly to all different types of dogs, with 3 of the 17 acres set aside as separate areas for smaller dogs to help keep them safe from any over excitement. There are also different sized ponds for your dogs to swim in, rinse areas to keep your buddy clean, and plenty of shade trees for dogs and owners alike. You can also find agility equipment so that your dog can have fun and exercise, and benches for when owners just can not keep up.

This highly regarded dog park is named after William Reynolds “Bill” Archer, Jr. Archer served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1967 to 1971. He later served as Texas Congressman in the United States House of Representatives for 30 years, from 1971 until 2001. During his last six years in office, Archer served as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

The Congressman Bill Archer Bark Park is open for fun from 7am until dusk, and has restrooms available for owners for those longer visits. The park is named after Bill Archer, who was first elected to the House of Representatives in the year 1970.

Photo: Flickr

Volunteer Dog Walking

If you’re an animal lover, nothing breaks your heart like an animal in need. There are many dogs that are currently in crisis: there are hundreds, maybe thousands of dogs across the US cooped up in animal shelters and kennels, and they could all use the love and attention of someone with a generous heart and a little spare time.

Volunteer dog walking is a great way to pay it forward and give hope back to abandoned or neglected animals. Most animal shelters require no training beyond a simple orientation, so it’s easy to get started. By taking shelter dogs for daily or even weekly walks, you can provide them with the affection and socialization they need to become healthy, happy pets to an adoptive owner someday. It can also provide you a great sense of purpose and personal fulfillment, knowing that you’re really making a difference in the lives of these dogs.

If shelter work isn’t feasible for you, you can also volunteer around your neighborhood or community. Consider posting flyers that advertise your willingness to walk dogs or pet-sit for free. There are plenty of busy people who could benefit from the service – and the dogs will thank you too!

Dog Walker Job Board Now Live

Dog Walker JobsI receive quite a bit of correspondence from people looking for dog walking services, and I am able to direct them to relevant local listings on the website, or I scout out some local dog walkers and let them know about the request..

I also get a number of emails from people looking for dog walking jobs. This is more difficult since I don’t actually operate a dog walking service or company that has dog walkers, so I am not usually able to help, aside from making a few recommendations on where to look for a job. This is frustrating for me because I want to help people find a job, but it’s never been plausible to do so.

This has now changed!

I am happy to announce the launch of the DogWalker.com job board, which is powered by Simply Hired. I no longer will need to send people away from the site empty handed. Instead, I can direct them to the job board where they can search for dog walker job opportunities in their area. I also added a link to the job board in the sidebar to make it easy for people looking for work.

Are you hiring?

If you happen to be hiring at the moment, you can add your listing to the job board for just $9 a month, cheaper than most other job boards. As a special offer, you can save 50% off your listings for the next month when you use this code on the post page: save50dec (case sensitive). Let DogWalker.com help you hire a dog walker!

Shuffletown Dog Park in Charlotte

Charlotte Dog WalkersShuffletown Dog Park is located in Charlotte North Carolina, and it provides a number of appealing features that make it consistently popular with local dog owners, Charlotte dog walkers, and their canine companions. It’s one of those sunrise to sunset parks that doesn’t charge for entry or usage, so it’s much more accessible than those with hour restrictions or high accompanying fees.

Shuffletown boasts a huge four acre enclosure that allows owners and their large dogs to run around offleash to their hearts content, with a smaller area for small dogs off leash as well.

A varied landscape also means that Shuffletown is as stress-relieving for humans as it is for their four-legged friends. The partially wooded terrain helps keep visitors out of the sun, and it creates a more explorable environment for curious dogs. Shuffletown is actually ideal for longer visits that provide bigger chunks of quality time for animals, owners and especially families who want to strengthen their bonds.

You can usually get into Shuffletown starting around 8:30 AM when the gates open. In addition, frequent special events make coming to this dog park even more fun for the family. Sunday evenings are host to a weekly Yappy Hour affair that provides an opportunity for pet-parents get to know other mutt-minded individuals while their dogs romp and play with others of their own kind.

If you live in the greater Charlotte, NC area and own a dog, you should check out Shuffletown sometime. Your favorite canine will thank you for it!

Photo: Flickr

Dogs Beware: Danger of Ice Melting Chemicals & Salt

Deicing chemicalsDuring the winter months, dog walkers and dog owners have to be especially cautious when walking their dogs. When it snows or sleets, dogs are often exposed to ice melting chemicals spread out on sidewalks and streets to help people with traction by melting the ice. The most common ice melting chemicals are calcium chloride and sodium chloride. These salts, sometimes called rock salts are used by the department of transportation and homeowners who need to clear the roads, driveways, and sidewalks.

Although the spreading of the deicing chemicals are beneficial to humans, they are unfortunately very dangerous to dogs. The salt, which usually comes in pellet form, can adhere to a dog’s paws. As the ice begins melting, and the chemical reaction takes place, heat from the reaction causes irritation to their paws. A dog can also be internally effected when they lick their feet to sooth the burn. Upon ingestion, a dog’s mouth and digestive system can become ulcerous.

A dog can also ingest the chemicals when they eat snow rather than drinking water, or possibly drinking from puddles that may contain the chemicals. In order to prevent a family pet from suffering from burns or sickness, they should only be walked or taken to an area that does not have any chemicals. If you must pass an area that has deicing chemicals, it’s best to carry your dog or put covers on your dog’s paws.

For those that must melt snow and ice, there are several pet safe deicing chemicals available for pet owners.

Photo: Flickr

New Years Eve Dog Walking

Hire a dog walking service for new years.Just like people are advised that they should have a designated driver back up in case they happen to drink a bit too much while celebrating on New Years Eve, it’s also important to have a dog walker for your dog in the event that you can’t take your dog for a walk. If there’s a chance you will miss a walk or a feeding, it’s best to hire a dog walker just in case.

Whether you may be out a bit too late to take your dog for his or her final walk of the day, or if you won’t be home in time to give your dog his or her dinner, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and hire a dog walker. You won’t have to worry that your best furry friend will be left whimpering for food or a walk, and you also won’t have to think about leaving your party too early or having to leave in the middle to go home.

Depending on your New Years Eve plans, it might also be a great idea to hire a dog walking service for the next morning so you can sleep in. Whether you need to sleep off last night’s drinks or if you might just be out too late to wake up for the 7am walk, your dog walker will be more than happy to accommodate your needs, especially if you plan ahead.

We wish you a very happy and healthy new year, and we hope you are able to find a dog walker with the help of DogWalker.com. If it happens to be too late to reserve a dog walker for your new years eve party now, hopefully you will keep this in mind for next year!

Photo: Flickr