Special Offer for Dog Walkers!

I believe the listing price on DogWalker.com is very fair, so I don’t make this kind of offer very often. Today, I am going to make an exception though and give you a special offer that is very easy to obtain.

In honor of the launch of DogPark.com, a sister website to DogWalker.com, I am going to offer a $10 discount to any dog walker who signs up for a new listing on DogWalker.com after posting a dog park review on DogPark.com. The review can be positive, it can be negative, it can be very short, or it can be in depth. I just want to help people learn about local dog parks, and your knowledge can help.

To recap, if you want to save $10 on your new DogWalker.com listing, all you need to do is visit DogPark.com, find your local dog park or dog run that is listed on the site, and post a review (positive or negative). Once you’ve done that, sign up for your listing and in the referral field on the sign up form, mention “DogPark.com review” and I will send you a $10 refund on your listing.

Saving Shelter Pets Holding Auction

Saving Shelter Pets is a small, all-volunteer, 501c3 non-profit animal welfare organization that helps homeless dogs and other pets in need, mainly in rural northern Georgia (where pet overpopulation is a HUGE problem!).  Every spring and fall we run an online auction fundraiser to support our work helping the animals.  Our Fall 2011 auction is currently open for bidding, and runs through Monday, November 21.

The link to the auction home page:  www.biddingforgood.com/savingshelterpets

Our auction features some great deals on good stuff – books, games, jewelry, housewares, stuff for your pets, and more!!  Check it out!!

This event benefits our Puppy Promises program, which provides safe rescues for litters of unwanted puppies (as an alternative to them being surrendered to a high-kill shelter).  The puppies in this program are fostered by their owner for their first few months.  During that time, they receive shots and veterinary care, paid for by Saving Shelter Pets.  And when they are old enough to be separated from their mother, they are transported to a no-kill rescue group for adoption into a forever home.  The mother dog stays with the owner.  To prevent future unwanted litters, she receives a spay surgery, also paid for by Saving Shelter Pets.  And any other dogs or cats in that owner’s household are spayed or neutered by Saving Shelter Pets as well.

We are especially proud of this program because it provides a reactive solution to the immediate problem (by providing rescue for the unwanted puppies) and also proactively works to reduce pet overpopulation through spay & neuter.

Friends of the DogWalker.com blog who want to learn more about Saving Shelter Pets can check out our website, or our Facebook and Twitter pages:

Website:  www.savingshelterpets.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/savingshelterpets

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/sspets

Why a Dog Walker Should Pay for a Listing on DogWalker.com

There are hundreds of dog walking services that have paid for a listing on DogWalker.com. These companies purchase a listing and renew it annually for one main reason: DogWalker.com helps them make money. Many dog walkers and dog walking services realize that one new cleint will almost certainly pay for the listing after just a few dog walks. Everything else is gravy.

I want to let you know why paying for a listing on DogWalker.com is a smart business decision.

Because of the website does what it promises and because people find the website beneficial, DogWalker.com has achieved strong Google rankings. At the present time, if you do a search for “dog walker,” “dog walkers,” “dog walking,” “dog walking services,” and many other related searches, this site ranks #1. The strong rankings help to drive traffic, and that traffic is actual people looking to hire a dog walker. This means it will bring business to dog walkers who advertise.

In addition to the great organic results that DogWalker.com currently has in Google, Yahoo, and Bing, we also spend lots of money on search engine marketing. We want to make sure when people look for a dog walker using terms where we may not rank highly, they will see our advertisement. We do all we can to get people to know about the site, so when they need a dog walking service, it’s their first stop.

DogWalker.com is one of the few premium dog walking service directories. As a result, there are fewer listings in cities across the United States, making it easier for dog owners to find a dog walker and easier for dog walkers to get new clients. Free website listings are full of spam and/or defunct listings, and as a result, it’s much more difficult for dog owners to use. I guess you get what you pay for 🙂

We do quite a bit of website marketing on relevent dog websites and social networking sites. We pay for advertising on other, complementary websites to help drive traffic to the site. Additionally, DogWalker.com has a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook. The primary goal is to engage people and let them know about the website.

All of this brings thousands of visitors every month, which brings business to dog walkers who are advertising on DogWalker.com.

Black Friday Dog & Pet Deals

The official holiday shopping rush begins the day after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday (This year, Black Friday is November 25, 2011). It is considered the best shopping day of the year by many consumers who may spend weeks strategizing where they will shop and what bargains they hope to find. Amazing deals on electronics and clothing are typically high on most shoppers’ lists, but others have something quite different in mind – their dogs.

Black Friday is not just a great day for picking up gifts for the humans on your Christmas shopping list. Dogs can be pampered with these bargains as well. Many of the major pet retailers across the nation will be opening their doors long before the crack of dawn on Black Friday. If you want to get in on some of the best deals, then be prepared to be up early and be determined.

Petsmart is one of the best and biggest pet product retailers throughout the year and they always bring out their Black Friday sales. There are many Dog Gifts at PetSmart.com that you can purchase for your favorite four legged friend. Dog beds, dog treats, and other dog products make great gifts and stocking stuffers.

Of course, Petsmart will also be reducing prices on things like holiday themed toys and ornaments to help decorate a tree, hearth or table. Shoppers will also find deals on products that are not seasonal in nature. Premium dog foods and basic necessities like food dishes and leashes will also figure prominently in their sales.

Petco is another favorite with pooches and their people. Like Petsmart they will also be opening early and raising the sales banners high. Petco’s special Black Friday promotions often prominently feature products that make it easier to travel with your pet. Shoppers at these stores will generally find price breaks on carriers and kennels as well as dog beds. Now is also a great time to pick up a new blanket for your furry friend. A blanket helps ward off the winter chill and dogs certainly look adorable when they are all bundled up!

Other major retailers that typically supply pet products will probably also provide deep discounts on Black Friday. Stores like Walmart and Target may offer more limited selection, but they nonetheless can promote outstanding deals on basic dog necessities, toys and food.

Wherever you choose to shop on Black Friday make it a fun experience. For those of us who love dogs few things are as pleasurable as spoiling our pooch. Black Friday is a great opportunity to do a little extra spoiling.

Dog Walkers Should be Cautious of Canine Flu

The recent outbreak of canine flu in parts of New York have dog walkers flustered. Combining the multiple dog factor of walking services with the virulence of the canine flu risks a worsening of the problem. It’s rough for people who run dog walking services, who now have to make sure they’re not encouraging the spread of canine flu while still making sure that the dogs are cared for.

The virus is not transmittable to humans, but can still be spread to other dogs via contact with bodily substances that may get on human skin, clothing or footwear. Canine flu is not normally a life threatening illness in healthy dogs, but it could possibly be hazardous to puppies, elderly dogs and those with weak immune systems.

Symptoms of Canine Flu

Symptoms of canine flu come in one of three forms: Mild, severe and none. Mild symptoms usually consist of coughing, a green, viscous discharge from the nose, mild fever and fatigue. Severe symptoms include a high fever, as well as the threat of pneumonia and worsened cough. Some dogs may be infected, but show no outward symptoms at all.

Tips for handling the canine flu outbreak

1. Don’t let dogs share toys or food and water dishes unless they’re from the same household.

2. Clean up after the dogs. Excrement carrying the virus can be tracked into homes via paws and shoes.

3. You may wish to avoid taking dogs to places like pet stores with a “pets welcome” policy, dog parks and anyplace else there is likely to be a lot of other dogs running around freely.

4. Recommend the newly available vaccine to your clients.

5. Don’t allow dogs to drink from public water bodies such as ponds, fountain or puddles. Sick dogs may have been drinking there.

6. Finally, be selective about the dogs you walk. If one of your charges shows any obvious symptoms of canine flu, it’s best to have him or her stay home until they’re better.

Video of Dog Chase on Arizona Freeway

After a car crash in which one car was involved in a rollover, a small dog escaped from the back seat of a car and began running on the side of the freeway in Tempe, Arizona. The scared dog ran past a good samaritan who had tried to get in her path, and she continued to run down the off ramp and next to speeding traffic going 70mph.

Arizona Department of Public Safety officers on motorcycles sped up, blocked off traffic, and DPS Officer Martin Bennett eventually caught the dog after a short running pursuit. It’s a heart stopping video that has a very happy ending.

The full back story about this dog chase on an Arizona freeway can be read on ABC15.com

Hire a Dog Walker for Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Thanksgiving, though a time of delight and celebration, can be a stressful time. Revelers wishing to host a spectacular meal complete with turkey, gravy, ham, stuffing, vegetables, fruits, desserts and football will have to get an early start. Those doubling down on holiday duty might also choose to brave the crowds during Black Friday. Those two days alone is enough to spend the weekend in bed.

With so much planning and preparation to be done, something invariably gets overlooked. Purchasing the food, ingredients and writing an extensive shopping list is one way to get organized. But those taking on so much responsibility can easily be caught off-guard when they realize their furry friends will be copped-up for hours on end during the festivities.

What to do about Fido? Kennel him? That will be a costly stay over the holiday. Perhaps send him out to the backyard. But how many hours will he spend pacing, waiting to indulge what his nose detects? Maybe, put him up or down stairs while the feast goes on? But that’s really no different than leashing him outside.

Rather than banish man’s best friend into the backyard or some empty room in the house, make plans for his holiday happiness as well. Take time to hire a dog walker before the holidays are upon you and available dog walkers are either off to celebrate with their family and friends or are booked-solid.

How to Hire a Dog Walker:

First, start with references/recommendations from family, friends and coworkers. Compile a list of possible fits and contact each one. Ask about scheduling and explain your dog’s bread and temperament. This will help the walker to get idea of your dog’s personality. Schedule at least one walk before the holidays to allow the two to get familiar. A couple of times out with a walker can make all the difference in the world. A full list of tips to hire a dog walker can be found on DogWalker.com.

When to Hire a Dog Walker:

Start looking a couple of weeks before the holidays, but you can usually find one up to a few days prior to the holidays. Keep in mind, the closer the date, the less the availability for the dog walking service. You may be in luck if a dog walker already has walks scheduled in your neighborhood. If you get in a bind, you might want to ask your neighbors with dogs if they’re using a dog walker, and if so, perhaps the dog walker wouldn’t mind taking more than one dog for a walk at a time.

Ogunquit Dog Park

In late 2009, the Select Board of the Town of Ogunquit, Maine approved the building of a Dog Park on  1 + acres of town-owned land adjacent to the Transfer Station.  The location is one mile west of the village center, off Berwick Rd.

In June of 2010, the Dog Park Committee began to raise funds to build the park, and due to the generosity of many businesses, residents and visitors, enough was raised by December of 2010 to complete stump grinding and fence installation.  A number of local volunteers had already cut down trees and cleared out brush during the fall of 2010.  The Ogunquit Dog Park was completed in late December, 2010.

The Ogunquit Dog Park officially opened on Saturday, January 15, 2011, with a ribbon pulling ceremony and cake & cookies provided by Brownie’s Barkery.  Cars were parked the entire length of Spring Hill Rd. with approximately 50 people and their dogs attending.

Martin Crosby and Tony Maurno of the Ogunquit Dog Park Committee spoke about the Dog Park approval process and thanked many of the businesses and people who contributed to the Dog Park’s relatively quick completion.  Tom Fortier, the Ogunquit Town Manager, and Donato Tramuto, Selectmen Chair, each spoke briefly, but were cut short by excited dogs barking to open the gate.  At 12:10 PM, the yellow bow on the gate was pulled by Ruby, a 7-month old Wheaten Terrier, to officially open the park and a snowy, fun time was had by all.

The Dog Park is open  7 AM to dusk, every day.

The Dog Park is in a wooded area, and the ground is covered with wood chips, which are frequently refreshed.  There is a 5-foot, vinyl coated steel fence, a separate area for small dogs, and triple gates at entry.  Dog poop bags are provided at the entrance.  The Dog Park is organically sprayed for ticks 3-4 times during the spring to fall seasons.  Running water is available mid-April to about November 1.  There are also picnic tables, benches and chairs for humans.

For more information and photos: www.ogunquitdogpark.com.

Have a Back Up Dog Walker

Dog WalkerYou’ve probably taken time to select and hire a capable and caring dog walker to look after your four legged family member. It’s a great feeling to know that your dog will always be in good hands on his or her dog walks.

Unfortunately, there are always going to be the occasional time when your dog walker is sick, on vacation, or has a scheduling conflict that will prevent him or her from walking your dog. Although many dog walking services have more than one dog walker on staff to cover an absence, many dog owners work with individual dog walkers or small dog walking services that don’t have many options.

It’s important for you to have a back up plan and/or a back up dog walker in case your dog walker can’t walk your dog as scheduled.

If you use a dog walking service, you should find out about their plans in case a dog walker is out sick or on vacation. Make sure there is coverage for your dog walks. If you work with an independent dog walker, ask him or her if there’s a back up just in case, and make sure you know and trust that back up before the time comes to use him or her. Be sure the back up is trustworthy, good with your dog, and is bonded and insured – just in case.

If your dog walker does not have an adequate or acceptable back up plan, you should create one yourself. Contact other dog walking services in the area and let them know you use a regular dog walker but need to have an emergency back up. Most companies are happy to accomodate you because they’d love to have your business. If you can’t find a back up, look for a dog daycare facility that you could bring your dog on short notice. Many will require that you have your dog’s health records on hand, so you may want to drop those off in advance.

You won’t want to miss work or a special event because your dog walker is ill or can’t make it to walk your dog. Having a good back up plan is reassuring and a good policy for any dog owner that uses the services of a local dog walker. Don’t wait until the last minute… find a back up dog walker and create your back up plan today!

Photo: Flickr