Elliots Tester

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Possible Scam Email Being Sent to Dog Walkers

Someone informed me that he received an email that appeared to be a scam, and I want to share it with you. The reason I am posting this is because I saw a similar email about child care on the Daycare.com forum, which was posted just a couple of weeks ago.

The email the dog walker received was from a Yahoo.com.hk email address (Hong Kong). Here’s the content of the email:

My name is Greg Mason and my wife’s name is Jenny Mason we are both busy parents, we are blessed with 2 Children 1 boy and 1 girl, the boy’s name is James 7 years old and the girl’s name is Mary 3years and six months old. and bobby our pet, which is 9 and a half months old, We are relocating to your your city and i want to make inquiries about your pet care facility, what are your charges and how do you take care of your pets, do you do indoor or out door services.



Also, for comparison purposes, here’s the email that was reported to the Daycare.com forum. It’s almost identical, aside from the need for daycare vs pet care.


My name is Greg Mason and my wife’s name is Jenny Mason we are both busy parents, we are blessed with 2 Children 1 boy and 1 girl, the boy’s name is James 7 years old and the girl’s name is Mary 3years and six months old.

We are relocating to your city , I want our little Daughter to enroll in your day-care as soon as we arrive there on 5th of August. Let me know what time your day care opens in the morning and what time is the closing hour, how many days a week does your day care work?
and what is your price per hour?



If you happen to have received this email, be cautious and be sure it’s a legitimate request. Since the person is able to tell where you are located from your listing, the zip code question should not be asked. Additionally, note that the email does not mention an exact city or type of pet.

July 4th Weekend Special Offer

I want to make a very special offer to dog walking services who haven’t yet become listed on DogWalker.com. If you sign up during the long Independence Day holiday weekend (right now through July 4th, 2011), I will make a $20 donation to your favorite non-profit pet organization!

To take advantage of this special offer, please do the following:

  • Register for an account on DogWalker.com
  • Sign in to your account
  • In the top menu, click the Post an Ad link
  • On the Post an Ad page, enter the website of your favorite organization in the field asking “How were you referred to DogWalker.com?”
  • Finish creating your listing and when you receive your confirmation, I will send the donation

If you happen to be a non-profit pet organization, please feel free to send this special offer to your members so you can make some extra money this weekend.

DogWalker.com ranks well in Google, is easy for dog owners to remember, is simple to navigate, and has received over 13,000 visits in the last 30 days. One new client could pay for the annual listing fee. Still not convinced? Please see some of the nice things dog walking service clients have said about their experience with DogWalker.com on the testimonial page: http://www.DogWalker.com/testimonials

Your Dog May Be Scared of Fireworks

Fireworks and dogsEvery July 4th, Americans celebrate Independence Day. In most communities around the United States, fireworks displays take center stage after the various parades, festivals, bbq cookouts, and other parties that celebrate this great country. Unfortunately for most dog owners, the noise from Fourth of July fireworks can be very scary for a dog.

During the days leading up to the Fourth, especially on weekends like this year, people set off rounds of fireworks and fire crackers. Because most dogs have such great hearing, they are able to hear these loud bangs from near and far, and it can scare the heck out of them. In fact, my dog spent half the evening on Saturday hiding out under a bed and cowering next to us because of the neighborhood fireworks.

If you go out for the Fourth of July, you should always keep your dog in mind knowing that the loud noise from the fireworks may be very scary and traumatizing for them. Make sure you keep your dog indoors during the display and that all doors and windows are secure. Dogs have been known to try and escape, so a screen door may not keep your dog inside when he or she is very scared.

One important precaution for those of you who don’t always have your dog’s collar on is to ensure it is secure during the Fourth of July. Even if you’re with your dog, he or she may panic and run away as a natural reaction to the fireworks. If the collar is on, it’s likely someone will return your dog to you – or at least be able to call you to let you know they have your dog.

If you are going out to watch the fireworks or for a party and you know your dog will be alone during the fireworks display, you should probably close the doors and windows (leave the air conditioning on) and put on some music or the television that may drown out the fireworks. This may keep your dog more comfortable and less scared.

When you are celebrating July 4th, keep in mind it can be a scary event for dogs of all ages.

Photo: Flickr

How to Keep Your Dog Healthy This Summer

Dog staying coolWith the arrival of summer the opportunities for dogs to romp around the great outdoors can present some unique health challenges. That’s why it’s up to dog owners to make sure that the summer months are a time for making sure that Fido both has fun and stays healthy. Here are some tips for keeping your dog healthy this summer.

Pay Attention

What sets summer apart from the other seasons is, of course, the heat. Dogs are particularly vulnerable to higher temperatures because, unlike humans, dogs have no sweat glands – they pant to regulate their body temperature. For this reason, the responsible pet owner knows to pay attention to how much their dog pants in warm weather. If your dog constantly pants it’s a sign that he is particularly vulnerable to heat related problems.

Be Cool

Take steps to help your dog beat the heat. Make sure he gets plenty of water. Avoid walking him during the hottest part of the day. And, while he will naturally shed much of his coat during the summer, you may still want to take him to the vet or the groomer for that close cropped summertime look. He’ll look funny but he’ll be glad to be rid of the excess insulation. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your dog is at a healthy weight. If he’s carrying around excess fat, he’s going to be that much warmer.

Watch Out for Nature

If you let your dog roam near a creek or any place where there are foxtails or other kinds of hitchhiking flora, know that he is in danger of picking up burrs. After a walk or outdoor playtime, give him the whole body once over, paying particular attention to paws and ears and nostrils. Caught early, burrs tend to be easier to remove. Left to burrow, the result can be a trip to the vet.

So enjoy as you follow these simple guidelines for keeping your best friend happy and healthy during the dog days of summer.

Photo: Flickr

Don’t Try to Draw Attention From a Dog You Don’t Know

Dog WalkingWhen I walk my dog on the streets of New York City, you wouldn’t believe how many people try to get her attention. They blow kisses, make calling noises, reach down to pet her, or do other things they hope will get her attention. I think dog lovers should exercise restraint and not do this for a few reasons.

I think the first reason is quite obvious. If they don’t know the dog, they have no idea if it’s aggressive and could jump on them or bite them when incited. The dog could also be very anxious and bite them as a defensive mechanism, since the dog could be fearful that the encroaching person might hurt him. Additionally, the dog could be sick and may become aggressive as a result.

The second reason may be less obvious, but it should be almost as important. When a person is out walking the dog, they may be trying to train the dog. Someone trying to get the dog’s attention will make it more difficult to train a dog, and that’s not very thoughtful.

Finally, a dog owner or dog walker may be doing his or her best to get the dog to goto the bathroom. Nobody likes being outside in the freezing cold or the heat and humidity of the summer, and it’s especially frustrating if the dog is meandering and not doing his or her business. The last thing a person wants or needs is for the dog to be distracted and take longer to do his or her business than he or she is already taking!

Please be considerate when you see someone walking a dog. It’s great for you to look at a dog from afar, but please keep your distance and refrain from trying to draw the attention of the dog. It really doesn’t do anyone any good, and it can be very frustrating for the person walking the dog, let alone possible a danger to you.

Photo: Flickr

Dog Walkers: 5 Tips to Stay Healthy This Summer

Drinking waterAlthough walking dogs in the winter poses many challenges (depending on where you live), dog walking in the summer has its own set of challenges and risks. We always seem to pay more attention to the health of the dogs in our care than ourselves, but there are some things we need to do to stay healthy this summer. Here are 5 tips to staying healthy this summer:


Heat stroke is a very real problem for people who spend lots of time in the hot summer sun. Dog walkers should always carry a water bottle for themselves or ensure that there is access to water on breaks. I’m not a medical professional so I’m not going to advise you on how much fluids you need, but you should drink water or a sports drink whenever you can. Make a point of having a drink of water or a sports drink at each stop you make.


I am sure your mom told you this when you were growing up, but it’s very important to remember this during the summer. Always wear sunscreen when you’re walking the dogs, and don’t forget to put it on all of your exposed areas! Yes, having tan skin may look appealing and healthy, but it can be very damaging. Sun spots and leathery skin are two results of over exposure to the sun. Protect your skin from the sun and always wear sunblock, even if it’s cloudy.


With the hot weather, there’s the temptation to wear flip flops or other open toed shoes. Not only are both not usually good for the feet, but they also make you prone to injuries. In addition, if you goto a gravel filled dog run, do you really want to expose your feet to that? Wear comfortable sneakers at all times! You should also wear socks with your sneakers since bacteria can build up in your sneakers without your socks. That’s unhealthy and certainly won’t smell very good.

Hat and Sunglasses

Believe it or not, your vision can be damaged by the sun. In addition, you can get wrinkles next to your eyes if you squint too much. Protect your eyes with sunglasses, and protect your face with a hat. It may be a bit warm when you have a hat on, but it will protect your face from the sun.


Dark clothes tends to attract the sun, so make sure you wear something that is white or a light color. Cotton and sports shirts can help whisk away any sweat that accumulates. Linen is light and may also be good to wear during the summer. Jeans, long sleeve shirts, and other heavy materials can leave you hot, tired, and at risk for heat stroke.

Photo: Flickr

Mizner Bark Dog Park in Boca Raton, Florida

Mizner Bark Dog Park in Boca RatonMost people in Boca Raton, Florida likely know about the great shopping and dining at Mizner Park. However, many do not know that there is a fantastic (and free) dog park that is a part of Mizner Park. The Mizner Bark Dog Park is a great place to bring your dog to have fun with other dogs. At Mizner Park, your dog can play with other dogs while you talk with their owners. The dog park is a nice place to meet people and can be a wonderful social experience for you and your pet.

The Mizner Bark Dog Park allows you to let your dog off its leash to play with other dogs of the same size. There are three separate fenced areas for dogs of all sizes. There is an area for small dogs that are 20 pounds and under, one for medium dogs that weigh 20-50 pounds and one for large dogs that are 50 pounds and over.

You should supervise your dog at all times while at the park and never leave your dog unattended. Be sure to put the leash back on your dog before you leave the park, as all dogs must be leashed when entering or leaving the fenced areas. Also, your dog must be wearing its current dog license on its collar. If you have more than one dog, feel free to bring them both, but there is a two dog limit per person at the park.

There are benches scattered throughout the park, as well as six stations for dog waste removal. The dog park supplies the dog waste bags and you are required to clean up after your pet (please be nice to others!). The park is handicap accessible and no smoking is allowed. There are water fountains and wash stations available, but no restrooms. Parking permits are required and are free for Boca Raton residents.

The park is located at 751 Banyan Trail in Boca Raton and is open every day from 7:30 a.m. to dusk, except Wednesdays, when they open at noon. If you are looking for a Boca Raton dog walker, we can certainly help you find one! There’s also a great pet shop called Love My Puppy in Mizner Park.

Photo: Flickr

1st Annual Delray Dogtacular

Delray DogtacularThe first annual Delray Dogtacular in Delray Beach, Florida promises to be a great event that will be fun for your dog and for you! Delray Dogtacular will include raffles, silent auctions, a pet fashion show, dog singing contests, ask a vet booth and so much more!

This fun event will also serve as the official launch party for Pet Nanny & Nurse, a new pet care company in south Florida. The company offers Delray Beach Dog Walking, Dog Park Excursions, Pet Transportation, Treatments & Medicating, Nail Trimming & Grinding, and Bathing.

The dog that wins the most contests will be awarded with Best Dog of Delray 2011, and prizes will be awarded. Prizes to the best dogs and dog owners will include local restaurant gift cards, massages, free yoga memberships, and lots of doggie goodies and treats.

Dogs and their dog owners are invited to network with the most creative minds in Delray Beach on July 31, 2011 from 4pm to 7pm at Atlantique Cafe, located at 777 East Atlantic Avenue in sunny Delray Beach, FL. Tickets are $25 each, and it includes all the fun listed above, food, and two drinks of your choice. You need to purchase your tickets in advance by clicking this Microgiving link.

Sponsors of this fun event include:

  • Cohen, Peterfriend Trail Attorneys
  • City Oyster, Roccos Tacos
  • Keratin Complex, Luna Rosa
  • Rub a Dub
  • Jen Scoz Design
  • Many more!

Piedmont Park Dog Park in Atlanta

Piedmont Park Dog Park in Atlanta, GeorgiaPiedmont Park Dog Park is located near the heart of downtown Atlanta, within the larger Piedmont Park Conservancy. The dog park boasts a dog run that covers nearly three full acres, and it is one of few places in Atlanta where dogs can run freely without a leash.

The park features separate enclosures for large and small dogs. These enclosures do not even share a fence, so owners can relax and allow their dogs to explore fearlessly. Only dogs under 30 pounds can use the small dog enclosure, keeping the little pooches away from the big ones.

Piedmont Park also caters to the human friends of dogs, featuring updated landscaping and walking trails, as well as benches and restrooms. The park also provides convenient doggie waste bags, making it easy for owners to keep the park clean.

Piedmont Park Dog Park also hosts a number of special events each year, including a Splish Splash Doggie Bash, during which dogs are allowed to swim in a designated pool. A number of other events and promotions are held each year to raise money to maintain the park.

The Park does have a few rules designed to keep owners and dogs safe. Owners must take responsibility for their dogs’ actions and use the park at their own risk. Aggressive dogs are not allowed in the park and no dogs can be left unattended. Any serious problems that cause injury must be reported to the park staff immediately. Also, food other than bite-sized dog treats is prohibited, and swimming in Clara Meer is forbidden for both dogs and people.

The park is most popular on weekend afternoons, especially on Sundays, when barks and yaps fill the air as owners bring their pups to the park to socialize. All types of dogs, from large to small and from pedigree to shelter mutt, can be found happily wagging their tails at the Piedmont Park Dog Park.

If you’d like to find an Atlanta dog walker to take your dog to Piedmont Park, you can find one on DogWalker.com.

Photo: Flickr

Dealing With the “Heat Dome” While Dog Walking

Dog in PoolThis is likely some advice that’s more common sense than anything, but I want to give it to you anyway. Whether you are a dog walker or a dog owner, if you bring a dog to a dog run or dog park in this “heat dome” heat wave much of or country is facing, make sure you have adequate water for the dog and enough water or sports drink for you.

Surprisingly, there are many dog runs and parks that do not have a fresh water source for dogs. Some parks and runs do have water available but the pipes may be old and your dog may be exposed to the germs of other dogs when using a communal water dish. Its a good iddea to bring a water bottle with cold water and ice, and if necessary for your dog, bring a dog dish to make it easier to drink.

On these hot days, you’ll want to make sure there is a shaded area for your dog to rest and get out of the sun. It’s probably most advisable to visit a dog park during the early morning or evening hours when the temperatures are the coolest. You might want to scope out dog parks with a lake or water body for your dog to cool off. Some parks have doggie pools that can be filled with water for your dog to chill out. Make sure to use fresh water.

If you aren’t a dog walker, you may consider hiring a local dog walking service so you can stay out of the hot sun the next few days. DogWalker.com has hundreds of dog walker listings across the United States, so there’s probably a dog walker right in your neighborhood or zip code.

In this opressive heat, stay well hydrated and a as cool as possible.

Photo: Flickr

Average Annual Dog Walker Salary

Annual Dog Walker SalaryDog walking has increasingly become a popular job for many people. There are relatively low start up costs, ample training opportunities, and millions of dog owners across the United States need to hire a dog walking service on a daily basis. One thing many people ask before becoming a dog walker or starting a dog walking company is “how much does a dog walker earn in salary every year?” It’s a good question to ask, and hopefully we can shed some light and give some insight.

There are quite a few factors involved in determining a dog walker’s salary. For instance, some dog walkers work independently while others work for established dog walking services. Furthermore, some dog walkers have occasional assignments whereas others walk on a regular basis (specific clients use them each day).

As with many other professions, a dog walker can earn more money by establishing a favorable reputation and building a substantial client base with regular dog walking engagements. Dog owners who are looking for someone to walk their dog want a reliable, energetic individual that gets along with their dog(s). In addition, the person must be familiar with the ways of a dog and be able to anticipate conflicts with other dogs that are out walking or playing in the parks.

Most dog owners consider their dogs’ members of the family and endeavor to find a trustworthy, accountable dog walker. Once a dog walker has successfully served a few families, he or she will begin to establish a reputation for reliable service. Furthermore, a dog walker who is familiar with the personalities and exercise habits of several different dog breeds is likely to earn more money than other dog walkers.

Generally, the typical rate for a dog walker is anywhere from $10 to $30 per 30 minute walk, but that really depends primarily on the location and additional services that may be provided, such as going to a dog park via pet taxi, walking more than one dog at once, or other daycare services. The annual salary for a dog walker would depend upon how many hours the person works per week walkin dogs.

For the sake of figuring this out and estimating a dog walker’s average annual salary, let’s use an example of a dog walker that can walk two dogs an hour for $15 each walk. They may be able to walk ten dogs per day, and we’ll assume that person works five days a week. This would amount to $150 per day, and $750 per week. The annual salary in this case would be $39,000, which does not include any vacation time or tips. Of course this really varies since some people may be able to walk more dogs or fewer dogs, while others may be able to charge more than $15 per walk.

This estimation of the earnings potential of a dog walker doesn’t include overheard like gas and car repairs, business licenses, insurance, and other costs associated with running a business. Importantly, it also does not take taxes into consideration either.

In short, dog walkers who dedicate themselves to the occupation are likely to find themselves in great demand.

Photo: Flickr

Marketing Tip: Wear Your Logo on Your Clothes

Think about your last trip to the local dog run or dog park in your city or town. There were likely dog owners playing with their dogs, and there were also probably plenty of dog walkers as well. Could you tell the difference between those who owned dogs and those who were walking them? Maybe, but it’s very likely that they all blended together. Perhaps a giveaway would have been someone with many dogs, but other than that, it’s difficult to tell the difference.

If you are a dog walker or if you operate a dog walking service, one way to get new business is to wear t-shirts, jackets, hats, and other clothing with your company’s logo printed on it. Chances are very good that while the dogs are playing, you will have the chance to meet with and talk to dog owners who may be in need of a dog walker. If other dog owners see you interacting well with the dogs in your charge, they may seek you out to walk their dogs when they are in search of someone to walk their dog.

Custom print clothing is not very expensive to purchase, and you can either do it online using a website like Vista Print or CafePress, or you can find a local screen printer to print clothing and other collateral material you can hand out (like water bottles, magnets, business cards, and just about anything else you can imagine). By wearing your shirts on your walk, whether down the street or in the park, you are essentially a walking billboard.

You may also consider having the dog walkers who work for you wear gear with your logo on it. You need to make sure those dog walkers know they are always representing your business when they wear your logo, so they always need to be on their “A game.” If you are having your employees wear clothing, make sure it’s as comfortable for them as their own clothes.

When ordering for your employees, here’s a tip to make things more comfortable for your employees and you. Set up your logo on a site like CafePress and let your employees know they can spend a certain amount of money on clothes, hats, jackets and other materials. They can pick their own sizes (and maybe even colors) and don’t have to worry about telling you what size they wear. They can also choose materials and clothing types that would be most comfortable for them.

Wearing clothes with your logo on them is a fantastic way to market your dog walking business, and it’s fairly inexpensive.

Snaggle Foot – Minneapolis

At Snaggle Foot Dog Walks & Pet Care, we understand that there’s no place like home. When you entrust us with your beloved family members, we come to them … caring for your dog, cat, and other pets in the comfort of the place they love best. Our goal is to provide high-quality service that meets your pet’s specific needs and fits into your schedule.

We have a full line of customized services including:
Daily Dog Walking Service
Pet Sitting/Vacation Visits
Puppy Breaks and Senior Care
Pet Taxi and Transport
Medicine Administration
House Sitting Service
Backyard Clean Up
Plus Customized, “Royalty” Services

In-Home Pet Care Services:
We provide a generous array of services to bestow upon your four-legged family members so they receive the exercise, attention, and care they deserve when you can’t be there for them. If you work long hours or have a schedule that has your dog craving some extra attention and exercise, our mid-day dog walking service is a great way for your pup to burn some extra energy and get the attention he or she deserves. Our menu of services also includes mid-day breaks designed specifically for puppies or elderly dogs who may not need a full walk, but just a quick break outside while they work on housebreaking or are on medications.

Pet Sitting as an Alternative to Kennels:
Heading out of town and wondering what to do with your pets? Our pet sitting service is a great alternative to boarding facilities and kennels. With our in-home pet sitting service, your pets will receive specialized, one-on-one attention and care all where they are most comfortable–in their own bed, on their own schedule. Not only that, our pet sitting service provides the peace of mind and element of security that comes when a professional is caring for your home.

Our Client Commitment:
When you sign on with Snaggle Foot, you will have the peace of mind that your pets and your home are receiving the best of care. We are trained in pet CPR and first aid and have accounts set up with local emergency veterinary offices, just in case. And before joining the Snaggle Foot team, our staff members are trained and must pass a thorough background check and drug screen. We currently serve pet owners living in SW Minneapolis, Calhoun-Isles & surrounding areas of Near North Minneapolis, St. Louis Park & Edina.

Bocce’s Bakery: Surprise in Central Park

Central ParkMy wife and I try to spend the early part of Saturday and Sunday mornings in New York City’s Central Park with our 3.5 year old puggle, Lucy. We live on the Upper West Side, so we typically stay in that general area, where we let Lucy run off leash, playing with many other dogs in the neighborhood (dogs are permitted offleash in the Park before 9am every day).

This morning, I needed to make a trip to the Apple store, so instead of exiting at 72nd Street and Central Park West, we decided to leave using the 67th St. exit, right next to where the famed Tavern on the Green was once located. As we were exiting, we noticed a street cart that looked a bit different from the standard street carts you find all over the city.

It was, in fact, very different. Instead of selling the typical street fare like hot dogs and knishes, this cart was selling all natural dog treats. It turns out that the street cart is owned by Bocce’s Bakery, a New York City based dog treat bakery that specializes in baking all natural dog treats. The bakery has a a large selection of dog treats that are available at the cart, at the bakery, online, and at a whole bunch of shops and stores throughout the City, including Whole Foods and even Shake Shack.

Bocce’s Bakery was founded four years ago by Andrea Tovar (and her dog Bocce), and it looks like the company has grown quite rapidly. Based on how quickly Lucy devoured her large treat, this growth and popularity is not surprising!  If you want to check out Bocce’s Bakery, you can visit the company website, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

Knowing Lucy, I have a feeling she will be pulling us back to the cart every weekend!

Shelton City Dog Park

Shelton City Dog Park in Shelton, CTDogs and their human companions are welcome to enjoy the Shelton City Dog Park, located on the corner of Route 108 and Nell’s Rock Road in Shelton, Connecticut. Consisting of almost 2 acres, the park is fully fenced and divided into a play area for small dogs (under 25 lbs) and another, much larger, run and play area for dogs of all sizes. For safety, the entry is double gated. Please be sure to close each gate behind you as you enter.

Parking is available in two lots, one at the entrance and the other by the Port-olet. For safety and access reasons, please do not park on the entry road or near the park entry gate.

The park is a great place for dogs to run and play, with lots of opportunities for jumping, dodging trees, rooting around in the undergrowth and just generally having a great doggie time. There are benches for humans and lots of shady areas for both canines and humans. For canines and humans who like to hike, there is a lovely level, surfaced walking trail that runs alongside the park, leaving from the main parking area next to the road.

Dog Park in Shelton, ConnecticutTennis balls are available for games of doggie fetch and water bowls are available for drinking, however, you must bring your own water. To prevent the spread of disease, please do not allow your dog to drink out of a standing water bowl. Please dump the water and fill with fresh. There are plans underway to install a water pump, so there will soon be fresh water available at all times.

There is a Portolet for human use. Canines are asked to have their human companions poop scoop if they go anywhere on the property (in or outside of the park). Dogs must be properly vaccinated and licensed. Please do not bring dogs with contageous diseases to the park. Dogs and children must be properly supervised at all times. Please don’t allow your dog to bark excessively, as there are park neighbors and fishing nearby. Park is open 7 days a week from dawn to dusk.

Visit the Friends of Shelton Dog Park website for more information to to find out about our fundraising efforts and upcoming park events. If you are looking for a Shelton dog walker, please allow DogWalker.com to help you find one!