DogWalker.com Has Moved to Godaddy 4GH Hosting

Websites do not simply exist in the vacuum of the Internet; downloads of page text and graphics and uploads of user data must pass through a specific, physical computer or group of computers somewhere in the world. Web hosting is the service of providing these computers that store the website content and deliver it to site visitors and is, in many cases, the single largest expense associated with operating a website.

Only the largest Internet services operate the own server farms: large buildings that contain literally thousands or tens of thousands of computers consuming large amounts of power and requiring expensive, robust internet connections. For most websites, like DogWalker.com, the option that best balances cost and scalability is to contract with an outside web hosting firm to provide these services.

After three years with its prior web hosting service, and after enjoying significant growth, DogWalker.com has recently switched to the GoDaddy 4GH web hosting service. While most hosting services require clients to pay for a certain amount of hosting capacity (i.e. page views) per month, the 4GH service flexibly allocates resources to match site traffic. This means that DogWalker.com will never have to pay for hosting capacity it does not use, nor be forced offline by insufficient capacity if visitation spikes.

By better allocating its hosting resources, DogWalker.com will be able to spend more on aspects of the site experience that directly benefit end users, like better search tools, more moderation of listings and lower costs, while maintaing a responsive website and minimizing downtime.

Since GoDaddy is a leading provider web hosting services, 4GH hosting will be able to adapt seamlessly to future growth at DogWalker.com. By not having to worry about whether the web hosting solution will be sufficient at every step along the way, Dogwalker.com will be able to focus on its core goal of connecting dog owners to local dog walkers.

The move from the previous hosting company to GoDaddy was seamless, and the technical support and account management team did a great job of assisting along the way, to ensure there was almost no downtime or impact on visitors.  Moving to GoDaddy was a good experience, and the speed and uptime of DogWalker.com will benefit advertisers and visitors.

How Long to Walk a Dog

Walk a dogWalking with a dog is a great bonding experience between the person and the dog. It is also good exercise for both, which is certainly needed by both the dog and the walker. A little caution and common sense can make it a safe and fun event for both.

The amount of time someone spends walking the dog depends on a few factors, especially the breed of the dog, age of the dog, and the weather or temperature. Here are some tips for the amount of time to walk a dog without risking injury or health problems. As with everything health related, if you have specific questions about a dog, speak with the dog’s veterinarian.

Walking a Puppy

Taking a puppy for a walk is a lot of fun. They are so excited at everything. The walker must keep in mind that a puppy needs time to grow before it can handle a lot of activity. A six month old puppy can go for a 30 minute walk with its handler. A month old dog should only be taken for a few minutes at a time. As the puppy grows older, increase its walking time.

Walking an Older Dog

An old dog is sure to benefit from walking, but the owner must make sure the dog does not do too much at first. A good idea is to find a place where the walking is easier also. Avoid too many hills and set a slow pace. Too much walking at first may cause the dog discomfort and it will not want to go anymore.

Walking an Overweight Dog

Walking an overweight dog is a very good idea. It is important not to overdo it at first. Just like a person should not start an exercise routine by running ten miles, a dog should not start with overly long walks. Take the dog for short walks and let it rest when tired. Gradually increase the distance and pace of the walk. Eventually, the dog will be able to walk longer and will probably lose weight in the process.

Walking in the Winter

A dog that walks every day will be better prepared for the winter than one that has spent the fall indoors. In either case, if it cold enough for the walker to wear a coat and gloves, it is too cold to keep the dog out for an extended time. Keep it to a half hour and bring it home. Some of the smaller animals or those with very short coats will need a sweater to wear to help with the cold. In extreme weather, be careful with your dog and do not let it run off into the snow. Animals are vulnerable to frostbite also.

Walking in the Summer

Depending on where you live, the summer months can be brutally hot and there may be very high humidity. Depending on the breed of your dog, you should consider shorter walks when the temperatures soar. Short nosed dogs like pugs and bulldogs shouldn’t be in the hear very long. No matter what breed of dog you have, make sure you carry water in the hot weather.

Photo: Flickr

Dog Harness for Dog Walking

Dog HarnessesA dog harness can be an important part of any walking team. A harness is simply a loop-restraint which can be a better option for dogs that pull or jump on the leash. The harness is used in replacement of the collar, which can be good for commands like “Come” and “Heel”, but is ultimately detrimental for teaching a dog to walk on a leash properly.

When walking a dog with a collar on, the dog’s want to pull is reinforced because when the dog pulls forward, the human follows. However, a harness secures the dog and offers the walker the reins of control via the many contact points on the dog’s torso and shoulder area. When looking for a harness that will fit, it is important to measure your dog’s body length, chest circumference, and neck circumference. Just as the “two-finger rule” is used to fit a collar, you should be able to fit two fingers between the neck strap and the chest strap of the fitted harness.

If harnesses are better for walking, why doesn’t everyone have one? Harnesses cost no more than collars, and can be found as cheap as nine dollars while the flashier ones can go as high as fifty dollars online. Well, not all dogs need the extra direction. It is possible to teach a dog to walk with a collar, but dogs who habitually tangle themselves in their leashes,refuse to walk, or are just uncomfortable need another option.

Most small dog breeds, like pugs, need another option too. Due to their small wind cavities and weak neck muscles, a collar may make it hard to breathe. Handicapped or injured dogs find the harness a better fit than the collar. These dogs appreciate the body support of the harness over the focused pressure of a collar.

Photo: Flickr

Top Five Pet-Friendly Places in Atlanta

As the capital of Georgia and the ninth largest metropolitan area in the country, Atlanta has no shortage of things to do, and with tons of parks, pet boutiques and a number of dog-friendly restaurants in the city, Fido can tag along, too. Whether you’re just traveling through the city with your four-legged friend, or you’ve moved here for the first time, Atlanta’s dog-friendly attractions can’t be beat. To help point you in the right direction, here’s a list of the top five dog-friendly places in Atlanta.

Hotel Indigo

Right across the street from the historic Fox Theatre in Midtown is Hotel Indigo, a centrally located, boutique hotel that also happens to be one of the most dog-friendly establishments in the city. As a completely pet-friendly hotel, Hotel Indigo caters to the canine species as well as their loyal owners. During the nicer months, the hotel hosts Canine Cocktails happy hours, where tail-wagging happy hour guests can enjoy complimentary biscuits and a water bar and humans can imbibe signature cocktails, like the “Off the Leash” or the “French Bulldog” and casual nibbles from the hotel’s 683 Bar & Bistro restaurant.

Where: 683 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308

Piedmont Dog Park

Located in the expansive 189-acre Piedmont Park right in the heart of Midtown, this relatively new off-leash dog park is great for energetic dogs of all sizes who love to run, play and socialize. The park features a 3-acre dog run, separate entrances for large and small dogs, great trails and landscaping for energetic dogs to explore and benches and restrooms for their owners.

Where: 400 Park Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

ParkGrounds

After a long day at the dog park, you might need to recharge a bit. So head to Park Grounds Coffee in neighboring Reynoldstown for a great cup of French roast. If your pup is still up for it, he or she can run around in the large backyard/dog park and socialize with other pets while you relax in the shaded patio or inside on one of the large, overstuffed couches.

Where: 142 Flat Shoals Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

Treehouse Restaurant and Pub

Nestled into a shady, quiet corner of the Buckhead neighborhood is the quaint and cozy Treehouse Restaurant and Pub. The open patio is extremely dog-friendly, and thirsty pups receive large bowls of iced water with free refills. And for their human companions, you can nosh on standard pub fare like fish and chips, tacos and burgers.

Where: 7 Kings Circle NE, Atlanta, GA 30305

Highland Pet Supply

A mom-and-pop pet boutique located in the beautiful Virginia Highland neighborhood of Atlanta, Highland Pet Supply has everything a dog could want or need. From high quality, nutritious pet food from top name brands to locally made products like shampoo, toys and leashes, you’ll find it all here. And if you can’t, the friendly, knowledgeable staff can point you in the right direction.

Where: 1186 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

Getting New Business: Dog Walker Flyer

Dog Walker FlyersStarting a dog walking business is a great way for students and others to earn some extra money doing something they love – caring for dogs. Dog owners who have a busy schedule and are unable to find the time to give their pets the regular exercise they need would likely welcome the assistance of a helper who could assume some of the dog walking chores for them.

One of the best ways to start rounding up clients for your new dog walking service is to print up some flyers and post them around your area. The flyer should be friendly, introducing yourself (first name only) and perhaps saying that you’re a student looking to earn some extra money doing something you love. Include any experience you have, the days and times you’re available, the neighborhoods you’re willing to go to and your rates. Finally, include the telephone number(s) at which you can be reached. Putting a picture of a cute dog on the flyer can also help, as it’s likely to capture the attention of passing dog owners.

While some dog walkers put flyers up on telephone or street-sign or light poles, there are better locations for posting flyers. Many pet stores and shops have bulletin boards for pet service advertising, and this is a good spot to post a flyer. Grocery stores, animal shelters and veterinary offices are also good places for your flyer if they’ll allow you to post one.

If you have families in your neighborhood that keep dogs that’s a great place to start advertising your service, close to home. Parking lots at malls can also be a place where you can put a flyer under a car’s windshield wiper blade, especially if you see a dog in the car.

Photo: Flickr

Dog Walking Employment: Find a Job!

DogWalker.comIf you love spending time with dogs and have a lot of free time in the middle of the day or on the weekends, dog walking could be an excellent job for you. You get plenty of exercise, can hang out outside all day, and get to spend time with lots of dogs. If you are looking for a dog walking position, there are a few ways to go about it.

The first thing to try is to become an employee of an existing dog walking business. Check out pet shops or pet daycare centers in your area that offer dog walking services. They might be hiring and will offer you a position. Even if you don’t see an advertisement for a dog walker job, ask if they’re hiring.

Search for Dog Walking Jobs right now!

If you have difficulty finding employment with an established dog walking business, consider starting one on your own. Start small by printing fliers and business cards to hang on community bulletin boards and slip in the mailboxes of neighbors who have dogs. You should also start talking about your plans to start a dog walking business with family and friends. It is easier to start your business by working for people who already know and trust you. Then you can count on them to help spread the word about your new venture and the stellar service you offer.

If you decide to start your own business, one of the first things to think about is how much money you want to charge to walk dogs. Look at dog walking ads posted by others in your neighborhood to get an idea of the going rate. Resist the urge to undercharge because it might make people think your service is lacking. If you provide great service, are good to the dogs, and find the right price point for your service, you will be working as a successful dog walker in no time.

Photo: Flickr

Dog Walking Rates

Finding a dog walker is not very difficult, especially when you’ve already come to DogWalker.com, which lists hundreds of local companies and services. There are also other ways to find a walker – like referrals, friends, and recommendations from your pet care providers. With so many sources to choose from, it is a good idea to compare different price ranges, as well as the types of services dog walkers offer.

Price Per Walk

Many dog walkers charge per walk. A walk might be anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour. A good rate for a dog walker is between $8 and $15 per half hour, although this may be more expensive depending on where you live. Cities such as New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and others are likely more expensive – from $15 – $30 for a 30 minute walk.

If the dog walker has to travel to your house to pick up your dog, there will likely be an additional charge because of the transportation and time involved. It is best to look for a walker who lives within your five-mile radius. Weekday walks are normally cheaper than weekend walks, and you can save when you use a dog walking service frequently.

Price Per Week

Most dog walkers have packages for walking dogs for the five days of the work week. This will usually be a slightly reduced charge for each day. Depending on the dog walker, you might save 10% by committing to the dog walker for weekly walks. In addition, if you use cash instead of credit card, checks, or Paypal, and/or if you pay in advance, you might be able to save more.

Ask About Additional Duties

If you need your dog played with, taken to a local dog park, fed, or given medication, the dog walker might charge extra. Normally, there will be a reduced fee for additional pets.

Before Hiring A Walker

Before you make your choice, interview a few walkers in person so you can meet them and they can get to know your dog. Ask for references, and call their references to make sure everything checks out as you would expect. A compatible walker is a natural dog person and will always be reliable.

Be a Dog Walker!

Dog walking as a job is not just giving the dog exercise. A professional dog walker has to love and understand dogs. Walking dogs requires both knowledge of dogs and business skills.

Since this is a freelance job, a person does not have a college degree to be a dog walker. A person can expand their business and client list by give evidence of their experience and dependability in caring for animals.

Business cards are a necessary item. The cards advertise the business and availability to potential customers. The business card should contain business information. This includes contact information, location of dog walking, and plan for dealing with particular issues with each dog. The business card expresses your professional approach to the dog walking business and builds customer’s trust.

Any self-employed worker starting a business should know how to operate a business. A beginner might want to take classes in small business administration. Ideas to consider in establishing the business should include whether there will be other employees, how many clients the walker can handle without forgoing quality, any training that will upgrade the client service, hours and frequency of service as well as charges.

The next step is determining what supplies and equipment will be needed. As a professional dog walker, not much is needed. Most dog owners provide the collars, leashes and dog treats.

The dog walker must decide how extensive the dog-walking job will be. This depends on whether the job will be part-time or full time. It all hinge on how much time the person has to dedicate to the job, based on other responsibilities. On the other hand, if this it to be a full-time job, then consider the work hours and number of days a week. Extensive hours result in additional clients and the possibility of referrals to further clients.

Becoming a dog walker can start out with the personal enjoyment of being with and walking dogs. With experience, people can build up their client list and expand their dog walking business.

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