Unleashed: Dog Walker Web Series Episode 5

Unleashed is a comedy web video series that follows Heather Posen and her Los Angeles-based dog walking company, LEASH. Every Tuesday, a new episode is posted on YouTube and on the WatchUnleashed.com website. For your entertainment, episode fuve is embedded below. We recommend checking out Unleashed episode oneUnleashed episode twoUnleashed episode three, and Unleashed episode four before viewing episode three. It’s pretty awesome and we hope you enjoy it!

Humane Society Hurricane Irene Animal Rescue

During every major storm, there are pets and other animals that need help. Sometimes the owners aren’t able to care for them immediately after the storm, or they become displaced as a result of the storm.

Almost immediately after Hurricane Irene in August of 2011, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) began helping animals in need, including dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, and everything in between. The Animal Rescue Team’s operation in Pamlico County, North Carolina is detailed in the video embedded below.

You can learn more about the Humane Society of the United States on the organization’s website.

Dog Walkers Should Leave Good Notes

Dog Walker NoteMany dog owners use a dog walker to help take care of their favorite pet while the owner is away at work, on a trip, or doing other business. Dog walkers are extremely valuable, as they help care for a very important member of the family. Oftentimes, dog walkers leave a note for the owners after they are finished walking the dog. A note or report is something many dog owners expect and it is helpful.

Leaving a note for the owner is always a good idea for many reasons. It’s important to let the dog owner know if there was any odd behavior or occurrence that happened during the walk. This is important because it lets the owner know of any potential health problems. For example, if a dog that is normally excited and energetic the entire walk is instead slow and lethargic, it may be a sign something is wrong. The dog owner won’t necessarily recognize the decrease of energy, so the dog walker leaving a note can help take care of potential health problems.

It’s also a good idea to leave a note so the owner knows whether or not the dog has been fed or gone to the bathroom recently. This helps the owner know whether the dog needs to go outside again, and whether he should be fed again, which helps keep the dog happy and healthy. Also, many dogs do a “one” and a “two” a specific number of times a day. If a dog didn’t poop in the afternoon, the owner knows to ensure the dog does his business later on at night so there aren’t any accidents.

Dog walkers should also be careful with the notes they leave. It’s important to leave a good impression with dog owners. Dog owners are trusting walkers to be in their home with their dog, so they want to be sure the walker can be trusted. Make sure to be extremely professional to show the owner that you can be trusted, to ensure the owner continues to feel comfortable having the walker take care of their pet and spend time in their household.

One other thing to keep in mind is that dog walkers should leave a note in the same place every time. Dog owners want to be able to find these notes quickly and without any problems.  Perhaps a dog walking service could distribute branded sticky notes with their logo on it to stand out from other memo pads. The dog walker could then stick a daily note on the refrigerator.

Photo: Flickr

Pet Check Technology™ Provides Peace of Mind to Dog Walking Customers

Dog WalkingNew Software and Mobile App Provides GPS Tracking and More for Dog Walks
Dog walking customers can now find out exactly what time and where their dog was walked.  Pet Check Technology™ is the first and only software and mobile application solution for the dog walking industry to provide both dog walking companies and dog walking customers with 100% transparency of when and where their dogs are walked.

With Pet Check Technology dog walkers simply scan a barcode when they arrive and depart their client’s home using their mobile device.  Customers receive an email alert each time the barcode is scanned, and can track the walks online using GPS mapping at any time during or after the walk.  The technology is available to dog walking companies to offer their clients.

According to the 2009/2010 American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey, there are 78 million dogs in the U.S., and many of their owners work long hours and must rely on dog walking services.

“As a long-time owner of a successful dog walking company, I saw first-hand how much my clients love their dogs, so I wanted to ensure that they could be fully-confident in the dog walking that they were paying for,” said Pet Check Technology founder Doug Simon.  “Pet Check Technology looks forward to providing all dog walking customers with the peace of mind of knowing that their pets are truly receiving the care they deserve.”

Sarah Hoffmann of Chicago has recently started using this new service.  “I work long hours, and knowing exactly what time my dog was walked is both reassuring and helpful in planning when I have to come home from work”  said Sarah.  “When my dog walker started using Pet Check Technology, going to work became a little easier because I had more control of my dog’s well-being, and it gave me peace of mind to know that my dog walker was spending the full amount of time that I paid for with my dog and that she wasn’t just walked to the corner and back.”

Pet Check Technology is the first and only business management solution combining mobile barcode technology, email alerts, GPS tracking, online scheduling and automated billing options for the dog walking business owner.

Pet Check Technology will soon be available nationwide.  For more information, please go to www.petchecktechnology.com; e-mail info@petchecktechnology, or call 312-953-5999.

Support National Search Dog Foundation

“I was buried alive under the rubble of my collapsed apartment building for 3 lonely and frightening days; I had given-up all hope of being found. On the fourth day, I heard a faint bark and I felt the debris on top of me being carefully removed. Then I saw Molly’s soft brown eyes reassuring me that I was going to be fine. Molly is the fearless rescue dog, who saved my life. I just cried with relief and hugged Molly’s neck in appreciation.”

This same scenario is reenacted each day across the U.S. Countless lives are saved through the efforts of trained rescue dogs; these dogs were themselves rescued from shelters, then recruited to search for people who are buried alive in the wreckage of disasters.

Organizations like the National Search Dog Foundation are linked with the Disaster Response in America, which was founded in 1996. They partner their search and rescue dogs with firefighters and other first responders; together these teams bring hope to those who are lost and alone in the wake of disasters.

This non-profit and non-governmental organization is based in Ojai, California. It provides professionally trained canines for search and rescue work, while maintaining a continuous training program, at no cost to fire departments. They also ensure the lifetime care of every dog in their program. Currently there are 74 search teams in California, Florida, Nebraska, New York and Oklahoma.

The Search Dog Foundation relies completely on the generosity of individuals, schools, companies and organizations, who give selflessly of their time, effort and resources. Monetary gifts are received annually from endowments. These contributions help pay for the adoption fees, the trainer’s time, obedience training, boarding and so much more. There are opportunities to give at the workplace, through Animal Charities of America. Communities sponsor fundraising events, such as “Cans for Canines” and “Coins for Canines.”

If you have the resources, your extra car, truck or RV can become a tax deductable donation. Sponsors for dogs and volunteers are always needed. They help ensure that search dogs will always be there when disasters occur.

2012 NAPPS Annual Conference

National Association of Professional Pet SittersOne thing I’ve noticed is that many DogWalker.com listed dog walking services are members of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), an organization that provides support, education, and training for pet sitting and pet care service providers.

The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters is an organization built of close-knit members. Every year, the organization holds its annual conference where everyone is welcome, members and non-members. At the conference, attendees can meet other pet care professionals, get special training, and meet service providers that can help grow their business more efficiently and profitably.

NAPPS annual conference features a variety of workshops from which attendees may choose. There are a number of workshops that would be beneficial to dog walkers and people running dog walking services. Some workshops focus on self defense, which could prove useful for employees or people who work for a dog walking service. Self defense is an important thing for a dog walker to know, and it’s  workshop topic. Animal laws is another thing covered in workshops that could greatly benefit a dog walking service. Dog walkers should be knowledgeable in animal laws in general so they don’t unknowingly break any laws while walking a client’s dog.

The 2012 National Association of Professional Pet Sitters Conference will take place between January 27th and 29th. It will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Flamingo Las Vegas hotel. In addition to attending the conference, people can also enjoy the services the Flamingo hotel has to offer. They have a wildlife habitat and 15 acre water playground in the hotel, providing a perfect environment for people to unwind after the day’s events.

Costs for the conference are relatively affordable. The Flamingo hotel will likely cost under $100 per night (depending on when you book), and attendees are eligible for the conference rate. The conference itself costs $350 if you’re already a member of NAPPS. Non-members will have to pay $400 and you have to register by November 28th. If you miss the deadline in November, you have until January 13th to pay the late registration, which is $375 for members and $425 for non-members.

What you will gain in knowledge makes the whole conference worthwhile. You’ll be able to improve your dog walking services by knowing the animal laws among other things you will have learned at this conference. You will become a better professional pet sitter or walker in whole. The best part of all is you get to connect with other like minded people and make new friends and connections, which will last for years to come.

Kimpton Hotels Are Dog Friendly

Dog FriendlyThe Kimpton Hotel chain understands that your dog is a member of your family, and the company makes pet care a priority for employees. Located in 100 of the top vacation spots in the U.S., Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants is prepated to host your entire family in style, including your dog.

There’s no need to leave your beloved dog at home or in a kennel, stressed and wondering where you are and if you’re ever going to return. When you make your Kimpton Hotels reservation, ask about their special pet packages and let them know you’ll be bringing your dog on your trip. You’ll be able to choose from a variety of services and products to make your stay an enjoyable one for you and all the members of your family; human and canine.

You’ll appreciate the sincerity of the hotel’s dog-friendly policies from the moment you enter any of its unique hotels. My wife and I stayed at Kimpton’s Harbor Court Hotel in San Francisco, and we were immediately greeted by dog treats and a water bowl right next to the front desk. They really do make your dog feel welcome from the moment you walk through the door.

No deposit or extra fees are required for your furry friend either, and the hotels welcome every breed and number of dogs, with no weight restrictions. Your room should equipped with water and food bowls for your four-pawed best friend (be sure to let them know you’re bringing your dog in advance). A doggy bed and a selection of dog toys can be provided at your request.

Going out for a long day of sightseeing and prefer to leave your dog at the hotel? That’s no problem. The Kimpton chain of hotels offers pet sitting services from qualified, pet loving staff members. And there’s no reason for your dog to miss out on their own exercise when you sign up for the hotel’s dog walking services. You can always use DogWalker.com to find a dog walker, but it’s even better if the hotel walks your dog for you!

Do you have an older dog or one who just loves to be pampered? Sign them up for a doggy massage. Does your pet have special dietary requirements? The hotel’s dog friendly cuisine can be customized according to your pal’s taste.

At the Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants chain, you can enjoy all the comforts of home and more, surrounded by the ones you love. You can find out more about the Kimpton Hotels on the company’s website.

5 Simple Start up Tips for Dog Walkers

It’s an exciting time to start a dog walking business.

Why?

Even when consumers fret over the economy the pet industry continues to thrive.

The pet industry encompasses everything from veterinary services and pet food to pet sitting and dog walking.  The pet industry is expected to generate $51.6 billion this year and that is up 1.3 percent over last year, according to industry research firm IBIS World.

What does that mean for you if you are starting your dog walking business?

There are enough dogs and money to go around for all of us dog walkers!

Here are 10 dog walking business tips to help you start your business started in the right way from the very beginning:

1.    Choose a business name that you LOVE.

Naming a business is as important as naming your kid. Maybe even more important! Why? Because your kid can change his name eventually if he decides to at some point but trying to change a business name down the road is a very challenging process. (I changed my business name after a year so I’m speaking from experience.)

What I recommend is that you pick a name that you really can see yourself using ten or twenty years down the road should you be in business that long.

Don’t call your business “Bakerville Dog Walking” if you even have an inkling of a desire to perhaps, someday expand to the surrounding areas. You’ll be stuck in Bakerville! But if you are really clear you want to stay small then go for it.

Do describe your service in your business name. I don’t recommend pet care—it’s too vague. If you offer both dog walking and pet sitting then add those services to your name: Bakerville Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Service. In my opinion it’s better to have a business name that is long than not descriptive enough so clients will know exactly what you do.

Six-Figure Success Tip: Do as much searching before committing to a business name to make sure you are not ‘taking’ another local dog walking company’s business name.  Check your local phone book and do Internet searches. 

If you have found that no one in your county is using the name that you want to use then it may be yours to use in your area. If you find that the business name is being used in another city or state then contact your local city hall to see what the laws are around name usage.

If you think that you may want to create more branches of your company in other counties then I recommend that you do a name search at the U.S. Patent and Trademark website at: http://www.uspto.gov

Make certain there is no trademark on the name you are interested in. If there is it is best to pick another name so that you are not ‘stealing’ someone else’s name and having to deal with possible legal action from that same-named company down the road.

2.    Get a Business License / Fictitious Business Name

Next on the agenda is getting a business license.

Before you get your business license you’ll have to decide if you want to be a sole proprietor, an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) or a Corporation. Check with your accountant to find out what is best for you. With the help of your accountant, once you’ve decided what category of business you’d like to create you are now ready to get a business license.

In some cities you may have to get a county business license and a city business license if you are providing pet sitting for different cities within your county while also working from your home office.  Call City Hall to find out how and where to get your business license.

If you are named Jerry and your business is called Jerry’s Dog Walking Service you will not need to get a fictitious business license. But if your name is Amanda and you want to name your business “Jerry’s Dog Walking Service” or if you want to call yourself “ Bakerville Pet Sitting and Dog Walking” then you will need to get a fictitious business name.

Why? Because your name is not part of your business title and city and state laws require that all businesses that don’t have the owner’s name in them get a special license so the city and state can determine exactly whom the owner is.

3. Get a business-only phone number.

Do NOT give out your cell phone to clients! I work with so many dog walking business owners who have been in business for years who are so stressed by clients calling them when they are out trying to have a life!   Giving clients your cell phone number now is the same as putting a leash around YOUR neck and keeping it on (and then they get to pull it). Don’t do it.

Especially in the beginning of starting your dog walking business, it is a good idea to answer your business phone directly as much as possible so have your business line forwarded to your cell phone if you like. If you do this make sure that you have a blocked or private number on your cell phone otherwise clients will inevitably you back on your cell phone even if you leave.

4. Figure out your pricing for each pet service you offer.

Are you confused on what to price your various pet services? Do an online search for the different dog walking services in your area. If you are just starting out in your dog walking business I recommend being in the middle of what the going rate seems in terms of pricing in your area. Not the highest, not the lowest but right in the middle.

Create a pricing sheet for all of your various services. Post it where you can see it so that when clients call you will know how to respond.  Do role-playing with friends and have them call you and ask for pricing for different numbers of dogs and/or different dog walking services. Have them rate you on how confident, trustworthy and personable you came across on the phone.

As your business increases you can raise your prices to the high medium or low high as you see fit.  Let clients know you have space for more business. Reward them with a free dog walk or pet sit visit if they refer you.

5.  Membership to a Pet Sitting Association:

At this point you’ll want to become a member of a national pet sitting and dog walking association. Why? The most important reason I’ve found to join an association is to get a lower rate for business insurance due to a group policy that associations offer. You’ll also have the opportunity to get discounts on other business items as well as use the association as a valuable resource to answer any questions you might have about pet sitting or the general start up questions.

My own personal experience is that the National Association Of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) offers valuable business information for pet sitting business owners. I’m committed to helping pet sitters and dog walkers become knowledgeable about how to run a business, not just how to take care of pets and I find NAPPS to be excellent in the area of business and pet care education. Please note that there is a yearly membership fee to join and this more than pays for itself with the substantial discount that you will receive on business insurance.

Enjoy starting your dog walking business!

Kristin Morrison is the owner of a large and highly successful pet sitting and dog walking business since 1995. Kristin Morrison is also the founder of the Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy™ and the author of “Six-Figure Pet Sitting: Catapult Your Pet Sitting Business to Unlimited Success”. She is a featured speaker at the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters conference. Kristin has coached hundreds of pet sitters and dog walkers from around the country on the fine art of creating a successful pet business and a rich and meaningful life. Her website is: www.SixFigurePetSittingAcademy.com

Free Dog Product Reviews

Do you have a unique product or service that you’d like to have reviewed by dog owners or other dog professionals? If so, we are happy to either review a product or service or put you in touch with a professional dog walker or dog walking service to review it for you.

As a dog owner, I use a variety of products and services pretty much on a daily basis to keep my dog happy and in good health. Although we have our favorite products already, I am more than happy to try something different and post an article about our experience with the product.

Some products or services we are more than willing to try include:

  • Dog food
  • Dog treats
  • Dog beds (our dog LOVES to chew!)
  • Leashes and/or dog collars
  • GPS tracking units
  • Dog toys
If you’d like us to test out your product or service for a free review, please contact us. The company also owns other dog-related websites such as DogPark.com, DogGroomers.com, and CatSitter.com.

GPS Tracking Device Benefits For Dog Owners

Today, recovering a lost dog has never been easier since the introduction of the Global Positioning Satellite, (GPS), tracking devices for pets. Now more affordable than they once were, they have grown in popularity as opposed to conventional micro-chip implant methods.

This brief overview will mention just some of the many applications for GPS tracking devices which can help an owner find his furry companion more quickly and effectively.

Lost/stolen Pets

By simply snapping on the apparatus to a collar or attaching it to a harness, owners can securely track the dogs for up to a mile within a pre-set perimeter “wall”. However, if a dog goes beyond the set perimeter, updates are sent to the owner’s hand-held monitor.

Hunting Dogs

Now growing in popularity in hunting circles, the devices are especially effective when dogs run in packs on a deer path property tracking down their game. Typically, deer run the same path. By carefully monitoring their dogs via their hand-held monitors, hunters will know which path the deer will dart through with the dogs in chase.

Dog Walking Fraud

Used primarily to track the time/distance consumed by paid “walkers”, this is a means to catch any attempted fraud by a dog walker. Owners can now easily and accurately monitor when/where the walk began and ended.

Seeing Guide Dog Enhancement

Improving a blind person’s seeing guide dog experience, these devices serve to keep track not only of a guide dog, but its owner as well. With the device, an owner can actually receive voice recognition directions from his present location. This lessens chances for an owner to become separated from his dog.

Today, with GPS tracking devices, dogs can be monitored anywhere Internet and/or mobile phone coverage is available. Growing in popularity, they are the recovery method of choice for many dog owners.

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