Kickstarter Project: Simplifying Walking Your Dog

I want to share information about an interesting Kickstarter project I recently learned about. If you aren’t familiar with Kickstarter, it is crowdsourced funding platform, and visitors can fund various products or projects. I asked the inventor of ShaPooPee, a product that can benefit dog walkers, to discuss his product and why he turned to Kickstarter for its funding. Here’s what he had to say:

My name is Guido Bonelli, and I am the proud inventor of a new dog product I like to call ShaPooPee ™!! Let me explain what it is and how it helps, and why I need your help!

The Problem-

I love walking my dogs, it is something which I feel is very important for my petsí well-being and fosters a close relationship with them. Seeing their little tails wag in the anticipation of going out makes me smile every single time!

However the one part which I do not enjoy is all the items which you need to carry when you take your pup out for a quick walk.

How many times have you gone out of the house and realized, ďUhÖI forgot my poop bagsĒ, or “my flashlight” or worse ďmy house keysĒ. Well, I solved the problem and want to bring it to the masses!

The ShaPooPee ™ Solution-

In an effort to combat this I turned to the internet, bought several items which I didnít end up using as they were too bulky or would have required me to have custom jeans with 27 pockets to carry it all. This is when I decided enough is enough; Iím going to design my own dog walking utility tool.

The Features

1) Super Bright White LED flashlight to light your way or ummmÖ poop at night. Some words on the tech part! ShaPooPeeTM Sports a single super bright white 7150 mcd (milli-candella) LED, powered by a super-efficient lighting engine which slowly sips power from the replaceable 1.5V battery.

2) Built in spare Key/Money holder- Oh yeah I went there! Have you ever took your little guy or gal out in a hurry because he/she is doing the pee-pee spinning thingy. Just screaming ďI canít hold it much longer mom or dad!Ē So you just grab your furry kid, leash, a poop bag and close the door behind you. Only to return after your walk and realize you are locked out??? Donít worry furry parent, we have all been there. I’ve even made the key storage compartment a wee bit over sized so you could fit up to 3 keys or 1 key and a few dollars. You never know when your walk may be a bit long and you need to buy yourself or your little guy/gal a drink.

3) Built In training treat storage area- Avoid losing out on training opportunities by always having training treats at hand. I’ve included an extra deep storage area for training treats when your on your walk or just out for a quick potty break.

The Doggy Poop Bag Issues…

Current dog waste bag holding dispensers all suffer from the same issues which are: tearing off a single bag, seeing how may bags are left and pinching the bags through a small hole. Lets look at how ShaPooPee fixes it all!

4) “I just want to rip off a bag easily”- I wanted a way to rip off the perforated bags easily, one at a time. Which isn’t so easy when your little guy is wrapping the leash around your legs in anticipation of a treat. So I’ve added a way to tear the bags by adding teeth to the bag dispensing area.

5) “Umm.. How many bags are left?” Have you ever taken your furry kid for a walk thinking that you have enough bags because you can see at least one coming out of the container? Only to find out mid-walk that you were actually looking at the last bag in the canister and now you’re out? What if you live in an area which fines you if you don’t pick up after your pet? I’ve seen people resort to some pretty “unique” ways of dealing with being out of bags and ummm… none of them are pretty. I fixed this by adding a window on the side of ShaPooPee which allows you to peek through and see exactly how many bags are left.

6) The bag loading conundrum- Current dog waste bag holders require you to load the fully rolled bags into the canister and pinch out the first one through a very small whole. This isn’t always the fastest thing to do when the “pee-pee, poo-poo dance” is in full swing.

By providing a slit all the way through the bag loading area, you are able unfurl the bags before placing them in the container and quickly load them in!

7) How do I carry it? ShaPooPeeTM is small and light enough to be carried via a wrist strap. So you can walk your dog with one hand and carry ShaPooPee TM with the other.

So Why do I need Kickstarter?

All parts thus far have been printed on my own 3D printer to allow for fast development time.

While my prototypes look and work great, they are not mass producible. Just one ShaPooPeeTM takes me about 8 hours to print and assemble!.

Now that the design is complete, I am ready to move to the next stage and create Injection molded parts! This is where your help comes in. In order to make my dream come true of bringing it to the masses, I need help. Please visit my kickstarter campaign to help make ShaPooPee come to life.

Pet Watchers

We are a Professional Pet Care Service that provides Daily Dog Walking while you are at work and Pet Sitting in your home when you are away. We are Bonded & Insured for your security and are Veterinarian Recommended. We maintain a staff of 20-25 dedicated and caring professional Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters who are available in your area on a regular or intermittent basis. We are available 7 days a week, 365 days a year from 7:00AM to 11:00PM. We accept checks, cash, Visa and Mastercard.

Walking Your Dog For A Relaxed Moment

With over 12 years of dog training experience Tony Collazo and Cherie Marquez owners of†Dog Training-Miami†have had the ability to train all sorts of different breeds of dogs, Tony Collazo started training dogs and learned through South Eastern Guide Dogs. This is a guest post from Tony.

Coming from a dog training stand point we at Dog Training-Miamibelieve a walked dog is usually a well behaved dog.† Itís not only due to the exercise that we are giving our dogs but itís due to a wide variety of reasons.† Hopefully weíll be able to coach here in this article the real importance of walking our dogs.†† We know we all lead busy life styles, however, itís for the sake of our dogís lives and for that matter ours too, wouldnít you agree?

Our clients always have problems with their dogs, if they didnít we wouldnít be in the business of coaching humans and training dogs, right?† Well, what if I told you that by simply walking your dog you can have that well behaved dog everyone always wants?† Itís true!† Letís think about what happens when you have walked your dog.† Letís think about all the distractions that happen while on your walk.

Waking causes mental stimulation.† Mental stimulation creates the dog to be even more tired therfor creating a sense of relaxation in your dog.

Sounds too good to be true?† Do this for the next week; take your dog out on daily walks at the points in time that you know your dog might get overly excited, Iíll name a few:

  • Walking in the door after a long day at work
  • When family or friends visit
  • During dinner time (for humans)

BEFORE any of these scenarios happen take your dog out on a nice 15-20 min walk.† Hereís whatís going to happen.† Your dog will now have received the mental stimulation needed for him/her not to be at 100 miles per hour.† Your dog would have first relieved him or herself sufficient enough times and would have picked up on many different scents getting your dog stimulated as we humans would probably do after reading a book maybe.† Your dog on that walk would have come across distractions (cars, other dogs, other people, etc) that will make him or her now not as hyper as if the first people he would have seen other than the immediate family.

Mental stimulation and exercise is what we are looking for.† A little dog training will also come in handy during those walks so that you as the owner can always have control of your dog.† When walking your dog there are only a few commands that need to happen during this time.† These commands are:

  • Heel
  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Leave it

Try these simple steps and youíll see how much more relaxed your dog will be during those hyper scenarios.† All it takes is a little consistency and repetition and you too can have that well behaved dog even during the most distracted moments in your home.

Dog Walkers: Advertise and Get New Clients

Dog walking referrals are great, and they are probably the lifeblood for most dog walking services. Sometimes, though, referrals aren’t enough to keep a dog walking business afloat. It is especially difficult for new services to get referrals, even if the person has been walking dogs for many years.

DogWalker.com is a website that can help dog walkers and companies get new clients, and I want to let you know how we can help your business grow.

Did you know that DogWalker.com had around 125,000 visits in 2012? So far in 2013, we have had nearly 50,000 visits. Many of these visitors are searching for a dog walker, and it’s quite possible that these visitors are looking for someone to walk the dog in your area. These people search by city, town, zip code, and neighborhood. If there aren’t listings in the area, unfortunately, we can’t help them and they have to look elsewhere.

Having a listing on DogWalker.com can help bring you new business. Instead of only relying on referrals, you can ramp it up and get new clients online. Sign up and create a listing today! I bet one new client will pay for your listing many times over.

Take a look at the phone book (if you still have one). Under pet care services, there are probably lots of dog walkers listed.

How Square Can Help Dog Walkers

Business owners across the globe have been blessed with a convenient device that will make their transactions free from hassle. Square is a small device, no larger than a postage stamp, that allows merchants to sell their products and services at the drop of a dime. I think it makes collecting payments on time easier.

It can be conveniently attached to a smart phone or tablet. You can then use Square to instantly swipe the credit or debit card of a customer, providing a simple payment that will post to your account within one or two business days. Customers provide their signature by etching it out on the touch screen. Instead of hoping for a check to clear or awaiting a Paypal payment, your client will be able to pay right away.

The novelty of this device and application is that it’s wonderful for those who are constantly on the go. Freelance merchants like dog walkers will benefit from the ease of securing a payment with any potential customer. Not having to fiddle with cash opens the door to new clientele and a more thriving business. Cards have become an increasingly more common method of payment, and some people use them exclusively. Square allows for all the benefits of a stationary register and computer system on the go.

A dog walker will be able to meet her next client and accept payment without having to carry anything larger than a phone. This enables her to do her job with simplicity and and satisfaction. Square is also a cinch to set up. You can have the device sent to you free of charge, and the application will download to your phone or tablet within minutes. If you own a dog walking service, I recommend getting the device for your walkers and paying for them to download the app.

In no time you can take advantage of all that Square has to offer, and the best part is that there are no hidden fees or contracts. You’re not locked into any scary commitment, so don’t hesitate to give it a shot. In our rapidly expanding world of technology, innovations like Square only make it easier to enjoy our lives and live to our fullest potential.

In case you are wondering, Square was founded by Jack Dorsey, who is probably more well known for founding Twitter.

If you’ve been considering opening your own dog walking business, Square will help you on your journey, and it will ensure that you collect more of the money you earn with less of the hassle.

DogWalker.com Top Searches

Dog walking services often ask me what cities and towns have the most searches on DogWalker.com. Although the general answer, “all over the United States” would be accurate, I wanted to give you an idea of the top ten city searches DogWalker.com has seen in the last 30 days. The results change frequently, often because of changes with Google, but it’s interesting to see how various cities rank in terms of number of visits in the last 30 days.

Top 10 Dog Walker Searches (last 30 days):

  • †Los Angeles, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Long Island, New York
  • New York City, New York
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Indianapolis, Indiana

One thing to keep in mind is that I am not tracking zip code or neighborhood searches, so some of the searches are probably light. For example, if someone searched 10023, the zip code for the Upper West Side neighborhood of New York City’s Manhattan borough, I did not count it because there are a ton of zip code searches and that would be very difficult to track ūüôā

Another thing to keep in mind is that there are many thousands of people who search DogWalker.com every month, and lots of these searches are for dog walkers in cities and towns of all sizes.

Finally, as you check out the search results in the most highly searched areas, you’ll notice that some have 10 or fewer local listings. If hundreds of people search DogWalker.com a month in large cities, and there are 10, 8, or even just 5 listings, think of the odds of those advertisers getting calls. Pretty good if you ask me, especially considering the cost is under $50 a year. In some mid-sized cities with just a few dog walker listings (and some with NO listings yet), there is an even bigger and better opportunity for new clients to find you.

Compared to other dog walking service websites, I think DogWalker.com can bring you a good return on your advertising dollars. Have a look at some of the testimonials to see what others have said about the site.

Hope you try it out! If you’re ready, sign up for an account on DogWalker.com and create your listing now!

Happier Hounds Dog Walking

Happier Hounds Dog Walking service knows that one of the things a dog enjoys most in life is a good walk. You know that too. But in today’s busy world, sometimes our best buddies don’t get to go on enough walks. You wish you could do more for you dog, but time is limited, or maybe you are just too tired to go on a walk. Maybe you feel bad about that. If you do, that is the time to call Happier Hounds Dog Walking and schedule a dog walk or 10 dog walks. The more the better, for your dog and you.

Dog Walking Discounts for Veterans

Everyone loves to get discounts. That’s why you see so many companies giving “discount days” or “discount coupons” or even enrolling customers in programs where they earn discounts after they spend certain amounts. You might not think so, but giving discounts can actually increase your business. Customers remember when they’ve been treated well, and they’re much more likely to use your dog walking service again and recommend you to their friends.

One of the most important discounts you can give is to members of the military and to veterans. These men and women have sacrificed a lot for our country and if anyone deserves special treatment, it’s these hard-working people and the families who stand behind them. When you give back to them, it’s especially appreciated. With so much world conflict, America has become more patriotic and more aware of how much our soldiers and veterans do for us. And when you show that you support them, you’ll not only feel better, but you can be even prouder of your business.

In addition, being there for the family of an active military serviceman or servicewoman who is currently serving our country abroad is a nice thing to do. Money may be tight, and a single parent household may not be able to give the dogs as much attention as needed, especially with children at home. Making a dog walk more affordable is a great way to give back.

Word gets around, too. A huge home-supply chain store gives special military and veteran discounts, especially on Memorial Day, and their business soars. Military people not only rush to take advantage of the discounts and select that day to make big purchases, they also spread the word and keep coming back. Not only does the chain get more customers, but they enjoy a reputation for concern, a reputation that influences even civilians to shop there.

Never underestimate the power of goodwill to increase your customer base. People would much rather hire a professional who’s known to concern himself or herself with the community. So feature your military and veterans discounts in your ads. Mention them to potential and existing customers. You’ll be doing good for them and for your dog walking services!

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