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.
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-Miami believe a walked dog is usually a well behaved dog. It’s not only due to the exercise that we are giving our dogs but it’s due to a wide variety of reasons. Hopefully we’ll be able to coach here in this article the real importance of walking our dogs. We know we all lead busy life styles, however, it’s for the sake of our dog’s lives and for that matter ours too, wouldn’t you agree?
Our clients always have problems with their dogs, if they didn’t we wouldn’t 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? It’s true! Let’s think about what happens when you have walked your dog. Let’s 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, I’ll 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. Here’s what’s 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:
- Leave it
Try these simple steps and you’ll 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.
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!
I love walking my dogs, it is something which I feel is very important for my pets’ 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, “Uh…I forgot my poop bags”, or “my flashlight” or worse “my house keys”. 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 didn’t 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; I’m going to design my own dog walking utility tool.
1) Super Bright White LED flashlight to light your way or ummm… 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 “I can’t hold it much longer mom or dad!” 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??? Don’t 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.
One of the downsides to having a dog is picking up dog poop and throwing it away. When we walk our dog (Lucy, a 6 year old puggle), we pick up her waste with a standard dog poop bag, and we throw it in the garbage can after tying it up. No matter how good the poop bags are, the dog waste inevitably smells by the time the garbage truck comes to take away our trash.
I want to share an idea with you that I had because of our 13 month old daughter. For Hailey’s dirty diapers, we use something called the Diaper Genie, which is made by Playtex and available everywhere from baby stores to Target and Walmart. According to the Playtex webpage describing the Diaper Genie, “This pail has a convenient hands-free design and is the only diaper pail with antimicrobial protection to inhibit odor causing bacteria.”
We keep the Diaper Genie in our daughter’s bedroom, empty it about once a week, and it hardly ever smells. It’s one of the best things we bought after having the baby, and I would recommend it without hesitation. I also think it could work for your dog poop bags.
What I recommend, and what I will be doing, is putting a Diaper Genie in the garage, right next to your garbage cans. When you bring in your dog poop bags, throw them right into the Diaper Genie. The poop bag prevent some of the foul smell from escaping, and the Diaper Genie will do the rest. Because poop bags are generally much smaller than dirty diapers, you probably won’t have to empty the Diaper Genie more than a couple times a month, and even if you choose to empty it more frequently, you won’t use that many refill inserts.
Although the Diaper Genie was made for baby diapers, I think it will be great to use for dog waste bags, too!
Spring is in the air, and with the warming weather, ticks are starting to come out for the summer. If you are responsible for walking dogs at the park or any other outdoor area, even in the city, you need to be aware of the areas where ticks are most active, and you should remind clients of the steps that dog owners can take to protect their pets from these troublesome pests.
Ticks become active outdoors when the temperature exceeds 40 degrees. At this time, they come out and begin searching for mammals on which to feed. Ticks prefer areas with long grass, where they “quest,” searching for signs of body heat and carbon dioxide from passing animals. When they sense these indicators, they let go of the grass, drop onto the animal, bite, and feed on the animal’s blood. Once they finish feeding, usually after a few days, they fall off.
Ticks transmit many illnesses to both dogs and humans, including rocky mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis. It can be tough to see a small, brown tick buried deep in a dog’s thick coat, so it’s easy for the ticks to go undetected as they feed and transmit illnesses. Most veterinarians recommend that dogs that visit areas that may be infested with ticks be treated with a topical tick repellent such as Frontline or Advantix for 6 to 12 months out of the year.
Check with your clients to make sure their pets are protected. While the best approach is to treat dogs with tick repellents during the warm months when ticks are active, some owners may choose not to take this step for whatever reason. Some people prefer not to use chemical pesticides, while others feel their dogs do not tolerate the repellents. If your clients choose not to use tick repellents, you should take steps to ensure that those dogs are not exposed to ticks.
Ticks can be found even in urban areas and back yards, so you can never completely avoid exposure. However, walking unprotected dogs in paved areas away from long grass and woodland landscaping can be helpful. Good communication between dog walkers and their clients can help dogs lead happier, tick-free lives.