Archive for the ‘Dog Walking’ Category

Dog Sitters: How Many Dogs Should You Have at One Time?

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

dog walkers city mega

The dog sitting and walking business is currently booming particularly in metropolitan areas where owners spend long days at work or travel frequently. The process of hiring one of these professionals should be one that is well thought out and if possible, hired by word of mouth as there is a lot of valuable and reliable information a pet owner can get from referrals.

Although dog sitters made a decent living, committing to only one or two dogs is likely not going to pay the bills and this is why most have numerous clients at one time. It is common for sitters to also have to take care of several pooches all at once so that they can manage theirs and their client’s expectations as well as earn more money.

So how many dogs at one time are too much for the sitter? And as the pet owner, how many other dogs should you allow that sitter to supervise at the same time as yours? Here are some basic guidelines for both pet owners and sitters to follow so that the job remains through and manageable.

Laws of Dog Sitting

Though some regions such as the UK do have strict laws about how many dogs can be sat for or walked at one time, most US regions do not. The unwritten rule in the dog sitting community is that anyone, owner or sitter, can walk or sit for as many dogs as they can safely handle at one time.

Having said that, there will be differing definitions of ‘properly handling’ and the number of dogs in one’s care. It is a dog sitter’s responsibility to ensure that they are giving proper care and attention to each of their client’s pooches and just as with kids, at a certain point if that number is too great, something will be missed and the quality of care will naturally decrease.

Lots of things should be taken into consideration when deciding on how many dogs one should sit for at one time.

The Breed Matters

Just like people, dogs have their own quirks and personalities and not all of the different breeds will mesh well or get along. Some dogs are naturally more aggressive such as American Pit Bull Terriers and when put in the same areas as other breeds, it could be like mixing oil with water. Chances are if you are house sitting for several dogs at one time, the owners have already acclimated the different breeds to one another, but this may not always be case.

Sizing up the Situation

Regardless of how well the dogs in one given area get along, there are other factors that also need to be considered when accepting a dog sitting job. The first is the size and weight of all the dogs that you are expected to sit for.

Larger dogs that are weightier will be more difficult to handle and care for than if you are supervising a room full of poodles, whose average weight is about 5 to 9 pounds. The bigger canines will usually be more challenging unless they are aptly trained and this is especially the case when taking them out for walks.

running dogs

Each dog should have its own lease and take into consideration your own weight against that of the multiple dogs you are sitting for and walking. Even the best trained dogs can become startled or excitable and if they should decide to jet, if your weight isn’t enough to balance the weight of them trying for a fast getaway, you could easily lose control of one or all of them.

It is also important to acknowledge the size of the home in comparison to the number of dogs you will be sitting. Larger dogs should not be contained regularly in small spaces, while smaller, pint size dogs which don’t require as much roaming room or exercise may be perfectly content in an apartment.

Rambunctious dogs have the ability to hurt, even unknowingly, other smaller dogs as well as owners and dog sitters because of their sheer size and weight. If there are a mix of large and small dogs within one habitat they will need to be monitored closely and all should have enough space within the home to roam freely for at least part of the day.

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The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

Dog Collars for High-end Luxury and Comfort

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Pet owners take very good care of their companions and accessorise them to make them stylish and unique. They purchase exclusive pet accessories to make them comfortable and fashionable. Pet lovers not only buy pet jewellery, but also collars for better control and mobility. All such pet accessories make pets look more beautiful. Today, there are different types of pet accessories available in the market for dogs, cats, fish, birds or other pets. You can easily choose the one that suits your pet in a distinguished manner.

One essential aspect to consider is that pet accessory should not harm your pet in any way. It should be according to your pet’s size, health and physical features. The different pet accessories that are available in the market offer high-end comfort to the pets without harming their skin. Pet boutiques commonly offer collars, purses, necklaces, harnesses, clothing, beds, leashes, bracelets for vests and much more.

However, pet lovers should understand the very requirements of their pets and then purchase pet products. In addition, a pet product should be extremely soft and made up of pure material so that it cannot react with the skin or harm pets in any way.

Dog Collars

Dog Collars

One of the most commonly purchased products is dog collars. Dog collars are perfectly adjustable and available in different shapes and sizes according to the size of the dog. These are available in various designs, soft leather material and are usually hand crafted to reflect exclusivity. Most of the people prefer high-end luxurious pet collars that offer extra padding, durable buckles, many hand set crystals and chrome plated hardware. These exclusive looking dog collars give exceptional look to the dogs. Even people feel well from inside after giving such exclusive gifts to their dogs.

In order to exhibit high-end opulence people buy specially made collars that deliver zing like nothing else. Figuratively, it looks ideal for your small companions! You can see class excellence in design, materials as well as craftsmanship in sophisticated collars. These boast latest fashion trends and exhibits unparallel brilliance & perfection.

Designer Dog Collars

If you want more luxurious pet products and specially dog collars, then online super stores or online pet boutiques are the finest option to consider. They not only provide different types of dog collars, but offer discounts, and other free gifts to their customers.

About Author:-

James Smith is a ghost writer and has written various articles on pet accessories, wholesale pet products, online pet boutiques, pet toys, designer dog clothing, and etc. for many years.

 

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Dogs and their jobs

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

For most of us, a dog is a beloved family member, and a pampered pet.  We provide our canine companions with luxury dog beds, an abundance of squeaky toys, and the best pet food we can find.  However, not all dogs live pampered lives in return for performing the occasional trick to impress the next door neighbour.  Some dogs hold down full time jobs, using their strength, or their sense of smell, to earn their keep.

dogs and their jobs

Here’s a quick look at some of the jobs that a well-trained dog might do:

Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs, or emotional support animals, are used to comfort people who are stressed, traumatized, or depressed.  They are used to help the elderly in nursing homes, calm young people testifying in courts, and offer support to survivors of natural disasters.  Some airlines allow emotional support animals to travel with their passengers, providing comfort for those who are scared of flying.

Military Dogs

Dogs have been used by the military for many, many years, and some of them have even been awarded medals for their bravery.  Today’s military dogs are highly trained, and are almost as well equipped as the humans they’re working with, being given bulletproof vests and high-tech cameras so that they can provide intelligence to their two-legged co-workers, whilst staying as safe as possible themselves.

Service Dogs

Most of us are familiar with guide dogs for the blind, but there are lots of other service animals.  People with epilepsy often have a service dog that will attempt to warn them of impending seizures, and fetch medication for their owner if a seizure occurs.  There are also hearing dogs for the deaf, and dogs that are trained to help patients in wheelchairs, and fetch items for them.

Racing Dogs

Dogs can be professional athletes too!  In Alaska, the Iditarod long-distance racing competition is a huge event, with entire villages turning out to watch the dogs (and the sled riders) pass through their village.  Teams have avid supporters, and the breeders consider training and caring for their dogs to be a full-time job.  Alaskan huskies are tough, strong, and have thick coats of fur, enabling them to survive in the difficult conditions of the Alaskan highlands.

Sniffer Dogs

Dogs have a far better sense of smell than humans do, and this makes them incredibly good at detecting illicit substances.  Police train dogs to sniff out a range of things, including drugs and explosives.  Dogs are also used in search and rescue missions, and customs officers use dogs to detect foreign produce that tourists might unwittingly (or dishonestly) try to bring into the country.

Medical Dogs

While this isn’t an official “job” yet, it could well be one in the future.  German researchers have ran some small scale trials to see if dogs could detect lung cancer by sniffing a patient’s breath.  The dogs had a 71% accuracy rate of detecting cancers, and a relatively low false positive rate too (just 7%).  More testing is needed, but it’s entirely possible that we may see dogs used in the diagnostic process in the future.
Guest post written and contributed by dog lover Amy Fowler, on behalf of House of Paws, specialists in luxury dog beds and other cat and dog accessories.

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The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

Training Your Puppy without the Classes

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Choosing to get a puppy is a massive decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. As well as all the costs and commitment, a puppy also requires a great deal of on-going training to ensure it grows up to be a healthy and happy dog.

Before you can train a puppy, you need to develop a mutual respect for one another. A dog won’t always do as you ask it to without a reward, whether this is a treat or plenty of attention and affection. Quite often, a puppy will seek a master in which it can follow and aim to please. This is usually the person who walks and feeds it, not necessarily smothers it with love and affection all the time. This relationship needs to be developed from an early stage to ensure your puppy looks to you for instruction.

Training Your Puppy without the Classes

House Training

So first things first, you will need to teach your puppy some basic house training rules to ensure it uses the toilet outside as oppose to inside on furniture and expensive flooring. Puppies, like babies do not know there is a right or wrong place to relieve themselves, so you need to teach them this. Under no conditions should you result to violence to correct your dog in any aspect of its training, as it can encourage vicious behaviour.

House training is usually achieved over a considerable amount of time, there is no short cut and there is bound to be slip ups from time to time as well. Encourage your dog to go outside at regular intervals, and when it does choose to urinate outside, reward it and give it affection. Take your puppy outside throughout the day, from the moment you wake up, before and after its meals and of course before bed time. This minimises the likelihood of accidents and also teaches your dog a positive routine.

Eliminating Biting

Puppies will usually bite and chew as it is a natural reaction to their teething process. Sometimes biting will be playful, other times out of boredom, and in some cases when your puppy is feeling a little tired and irritable. Again, avoiding using violence, encouraging good behaviour and discouraging bad behaviour will send the right message to your new four-legged friend that you and your belongings don’t appreciate being chewed or bitten, and that this will not earn it affection and rewards.

Another option is to encourage your pup to chew something else when you see it gnawing on your favourite piece of furniture. Supply it with a durable chew toy to keep it occupied, and in time your dog will learn that this is what should be chewed and played with, not the furniture.

Taking your puppy to training classes is of course not compulsory and by training your dog yourself; you will also save a great deal of money and build your very own bond with your dog. Training will be an on-going task throughout the dog’s life as its learning will never be complete and like humans, can occasionally make mistakes too.

Photo Credit: Adam E. Cole

This article was written by Sarah MacLeod on behalf of My Pet Stop, a UK based dog boarding company offing puppy training, dog grooming and much more.

 

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The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

Why you should bake your own dog treats

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

We understand that you love your dog.  They don’t call dogs “Man’s best friend” for nothing!  They bring us joy, make us laugh, and comfort us when we’re feeling down.  They miss us when we’re gone, and get so excited when we’re back that you’d think we were gone for a year!  That’s why we are pet parents, not pet owners.  Our dogs are our children, and we love them as such.  So, why not feed them like we would feed our own children?  It’s easier than you might think, and a great way to get the kids involved!

There are a number of reasons to bake your own dog treats.  To start with, you are in control of exactly what is in your treats.  For anybody who has ever had a finicky dog, you know that there are some things they just don’t like.  This is especially true in the case of most treats you buy at the store; your pooch would much rather eat the burger out of your hand than chew on cheap, overly-processed treats that have an ingredient list a mile long.  So, why not compromise?  You can easily bake dog treats with peanut butter, pumpkin, cinnamon, or anything else you can think of, and those treats will be much better for your dog.

Why you should bake your own dog treats

Baking your own treats is healthier because you aren’t loading them with preservatives and importing them from some “kitchen” that may or may not care just how good those treats are.  Think of it like fast food; sure, you can get a burger through the drive through, but if you did that every day, your body wouldn’t be feeling quite as good as it would if you baked something healthy at home (and, honestly, who doesn’t love a good home-cooked meal?).

You also don’t have to worry about your dog having an allergic reaction, or developing allergies if you’re making the treats yourself.  Dogs can be just as sensitive as humans, so we should pay attention to what we give our pooch so they can live a long, happy, and healthy life.  Frequent allergies include beef, dairy, pork, soy, fish, eggs, and more.  Many popular dog treats contain these ingredients, too, limiting your choices if your pooch is allergic to any of these.

Now, you may argue that you’re not a whiz in the kitchen.  That’s perfectly understandable. Many people have grown up with a microwave oven being their primary food preparation device, so turning on the oven and baking something can seem like a foreign idea.  However, baking your own dog treats isn’t hard.  We’ve actually taken out a lot of the hard work and created something simple to bake.  If you’ve ever made a box brownie mix, you can bake your own dog treats.  That’s where Pupolicious comes in!

Pupolicious is a dog treat and icing mix, much like those boxed baking mixes you see in the store, that is quick, simple, and most important of all – healthy.  It comes with everything you need to start baking your own dog treats, and has 3 simple steps; mix, bake, and decorate.  The only things you need to make Pupolicious is a mixing bowl, rolling pin, baking sheet, a spoon, oil, water, and of course, an oven.  You can also easily flavor your treats, and http://www.pupolicious.com has flavoring suggestions and simple instructions for just that purpose.  It doesn’t stop there, however; Pupolicious is a great way to get the kids involved with the quick & easy icing mix (after all, what kid DOESN’T like decorating treats), so it’s something the whole family can do for your furry friend!

With Pupolicious’ safe, simple ingredients, you can easily bake dog treats at home, making it easier to show your dogs just how much you love them.  That’s why we call Pupolicious “the dog treat you bake with love.”

 

Author’s Notes:

Pupolicious is a new dog treat and icing mix available and made in the U.S.A.  You can read more and purchase Pupolicious at www.pupolicious.com

 

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The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

Aggression in Dogs – prevention is better than cure

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Dog aggression can be a very serious behaviour trait in dogs and if you are choosing a dog or puppy you should be aware that some dog breeds are more prone to aggression than others. The most common causes of dog aggression is poor choice of breed, poor breeding, poor training and lack of socialization. Some little known facts show evidence that most cases of dog aggression are actually involving the family pet . children are particularly vulnerable and can often suffer serious damage and scarring. Dogs tend to show aggressive tendencies from an early age. The chances are your dog will show warning signs of aggression even as a puppy. Nervous timid dogs can be prone to aggression as can dogs that have not been socialized and are not used to people.

Agressive dogs - the warning signs

The average pet owner doesn’t really know the signs of dog aggression and puppy games such as tug of war where the dog wins may seem harmless for puppies but a big dog showing signs of dominance and aggression to his owner is a different matter. It is the owners responsibility to correctly train and socialize their dog. There are a few aggression types that you should be aware of if your dog is showing aggressive behavior. The types are fear related, dominance related , territorial aggression and predatory related . Dominance aggression is when you let your dog or puppy dominate such as in play games such as tug o war or play fighting. The dog is a pack animal and not training your dog properly will leave him thinking he is above you in the pack (which is in his eyes your family) this could lead to signs of aggression toward you or your family if he feels you are challenging his dominant role. He will probably try to challenge other dogs and strangers with the same aggressive reactions. Early warning signs of aggression in dogs could start with growling and escalate to snapping and even biting.

Aggressive dog behavior should be curbed as soon as you recognize it even in a puppy train your dog properly so that he understands and acts on your commands . Never play dominance games where he wins and make sure he does not learn that he has dominance over family members especially children. Interestingly a large amount of dog bites are from smaller dogs as these sort of dogs are often more snappy and aggressive, people often choose small dogs if they have children thinking they are less likely to be aggressive this is often a mistake. Owners are more likely to ignore and overlook aggression in small dogs passing it of as cute but if your dog is large or small they can still inflict a lot of damage. Always beware smaller dogs are nearer the size that can snap at a child’s face. Dogs being pack animals and having their behavior dominated by their natural pack instinct you must take these points into count when allowing a dog into your family.

Aggressive dogs - guest blog post for Dog Walkers City

Catching these symptoms in the early stages is a must as it is much easier to stop a puppy acting aggressively than it is a fully grown dog especially larger dog breeds. a dog usually turns aggressive because a few reasons:

1. The breed has a history of aggression

2. A lack of training and socialising with other dogs or people

3. A nervous or timid disposition

4. They believe or have been taught that they are higher in dominance in the pack your family than you or other members of your  family.

5. Mental health tumours or other medical conditions

If you find your dog is showing signs of aggression get them trained if possible by a professional either a dog training class or at home. if you believe they have a medical condition or you are worried their aggression is more serious then seek advice from a vet who may well recommend a dog behaviorist (a sort of dog psychologist) a dog behaviorist can often counsel you in ways of correcting aggressive behavior in dogs.

This article was contributed by Taron at everythingdogtraining.com resource for dogs and pet health

 

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The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

How to Deal with Neighbourhood Dogs

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Stephen Burroughs is a writer, blogger and Humane Society volunteer. He enjoys blogging about everything pertaining to dogs and responsible pet ownership. Stephen writes for All-Dog-Beds, a site that specialises in dog beds of all shapes and sizes.

The following scenario has probably happened to you whether you’re a dog walker or just a person walking a dog: you’re approached by one of the neighbourhood dogs, a pooch you usually see behind a fence, through a window or on someone else’s leash—and you start to fear the worst. Some of these encounters can end up in physical harm and heartache, but they certainly don’t have to go in that direction. There are several steps you can take to prepare for encounters with neighbourhood dogs and even a few steps you can take in the event that something bad does happen.

Dealing with neighbourhood dogs

Meet and Greet

If you walk dogs in certain neighbourhoods, chances are that you recognise at least a few of the dogs that call that area their home. Maybe you’ve even met some of them. If you foresee encountering any of these dogs, it might be best to go meet them (and their owners) before the next time you walk any dogs into that area. I know that I had to meet my neighbour’s boxer mix and let him get to know me before he was comfortable with my Min Pin and I walking anywhere near his house. Now that I’ve met him he’s just fine. If you can, always talk to the dog’s owner first and get a feel for both of them. Many dog owners will let their dogs run around the neighbourhood without a leash, but sometimes the dog just gets out by accident. Ask the owner which one is the case. If you’re a dog walker, you already know the etiquette for meeting a new dog, so make sure that you always practice good behaviour. If you meet a few dogs in the neighbourhood and it goes well, chances are that they will remember you and not give you any trouble other than bringing you a stick to throw.

Use Caution 

It’s inevitable that a situation will arise where you just don’t know a neighbourhood dog and what he’s capable of. He might be territorial, he might be afraid, he might be mistreated at home and he might be aggressive. He might also be a completely friendly, loveable goofball who gets along just fine with dogs and people. You just don’t know. When faced with the dog, take cognisance of his body language. Avoid running, yelling or trying to touch the dog. Never approach the dog, and try to circle around him instead of walking straight toward him. Keep very calm and make sure the dog or dogs you’re walking know that you’re doing okay—it will help them to keep calm as well. If you’re a dog walker, you already know how your four legged clients react in certain situations, so keep that in mind. If the strange dog does approach, turn your body away, keep still and stay collected. Most dogs are just curious and really have no interest in hurting you. If you do need to get away, back away without letting the strange dog out of your site. Above everything else, make sure you keep a handle on the dogs you’re walking and stay calm. If you do have a close encounter with a neighbourhood dog, consider taking an alternate route next time or consider just staying away from wherever you perceive that dog’s territory to be.

In Case of Emergency

Unfortunately, sometimes things will go sour and the dog will want to attack you and the dogs you’re walking. The best thing you can do is still act in a preventative and defensive manner. If the dog is barreling toward you with his head neither raised nor lowered, chances are that he’s going to attack. Being prepared is, again, the key here. If you’re a dog walker, you’re probably the type of person who hates the idea of causing harm to an animal. If that’s the case, it’s wise to keep a walking stick or umbrella on you so you have something to keep in between you and the marauding dog. Dogs have short attention spans and will often give up on you if they’re not making any progress in their attack. You can also use a coat or jacket to distract the attacking dog, try throwing a treat or using grocery store lemon juice (the kind in the green and yellow squirt bottle) aimed at the dog’s nose, mouth and eyes. The goal here is to make sure that an encounter with a neighbourhood dog never turns into a full blown attack. There are several articles on the internet (with several different theories, some more humane than others) about how to separate fighting dogs and how to escape an actual attack. Let’s be proactive and never let it get to that point.

Most of the time, encountering a neighbourhood dog is never anything more than a nuisance. There’s even a possibility that you and your dogs might make a new friend. It’s always best to use caution when you’re faced with strange dogs, however, and prevention is the best weapon in almost every possible scenario. Get to know these dogs and their owners if you can, use caution around these dogs when you don’t know them and have a plan just in case an unfortunate situation does arise. Dealing with neighbourhood dogs can be stressful, but it doesn’t need to end with anyone getting hurt or traumatised.

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The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

How to Tell When Your Dog Needs a Walk

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Humans take words for granted. If any of us need to take a break at the office or at home we can simply say “I need to stretch my legs for a few minutes.” Unfortunately, dogs don’t have the same luxury. Here are a few tips to help you know when your dog needs to be walked:

 

  • Is it time for them to be walked? Dogs form habits very easily, so your dog will get excited around their usual walk time. Try not to walk your dog early if they’re acting up around walk time: your dog may start exaggerating their behavior regularly because you’ve rewarded them for being dramatic. If your dog seems uncomfortable or hyper after you’ve tried to phase out a walk time, you should bring the walk back. Dogs can become anxious if their schedules are altered.
  • If your dog makes a beeline straight to you when you get home, it means they’re feeling very emphatic about telling you something. It probably means your dog needs to go for a walk. Dogs are tense when the walk in direct, straight lines and relaxed when taking curving paths towards their goal.
  • If your dog has recently put on weight, extending the length of their walk or adding a walk to their schedule is a great way to help your dog lose weight.
dog needs a walk?
  • Has your dog been having accidents? Your dog may have Cushings disease, or another issue with their elimination system.
  • If your dog is displaying anxious posture and looking at you with whale eye (large, circular shaped eyes with their whites exposed) this means your dog is very tense. If your dog is standing near the door, or alternating their gaze between you and the door, your dog is most likely telling you they feel tense because they desperately want to go outside.
  • Conversely, your dog may try to show you they need to go out by getting very excited. If your dog trembles, keeps going into “play bow” posture, or becomes extremely rowdy, your dog is probably trying to tell you they need to get out of the house and burn off some energy.
  • Puppies often touch their noses, or touch their paws to their mothers when they need something. If your dog keeps putting his paw on your knee or keeps touching you with his nose, your dog is trying to tell you they need something. That thing they need? It may be a walk.

Those are some simple ways to tell if your dog needs your attention. Remember that your dog will be less anxious and behave well if they’re walked and getting enough exercise. However, never let your dog order you to take them on a walk with frantic or disruptive behavior. It’s equally important that your dog know that you’re the boss at all times.

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The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

Promoting Your Dog Walking Business (Offline)

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

This weeks blog post is a follow from last weeks online advertising guide (If you missed it you can read it here). Today we’ll look at some more traditional forms of advertising and promotion. In last weeks blog post we discussed mainly free techniques, which is what the internet is perfect for. But in the real world advertising for free becomes a bit more challenging. That being said you can still get the word out effectively on a relatively low budget.

I think one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard is utilizing the free advertising already at your disposal – YOU! As a Dog walker I assume you’ll be out in public places walking Dogs a couple of times a day. This is the perfect time and place to advertise, what better place than where other people walk their dogs? Ok so I’ll get to the point here. Go down to your local t-shirt printing shop (or order online) and get a t-shirt made up with your company name and phone number on – in large text, so that people will see it easily. It’s obviously a good idea to make sure the phrase ‘Dog walker’ is on there somewhere but you get the idea! The t-shirt shouldn’t cost more than £10/$15 and after that – free advertising!

Flyers and business cards are the next items you should be getting printed. Even on a budget, these can be printed relatively cheaply and are easy to distribute. If you have a decent printer and know how to use Photoshop or similar software than you can even do this yourself for free (or ask a friend who you think might know what they’re doing). If you have Microsoft office you could use their flyer templates, found here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT010104295.aspx

 

If you don’t have the know-how, there are websites that you can use to enter your details, choose from a number of templates, and get your flyers/business cards sent to you. Vista Print (http://www.vistaprint.com) is probably the most well known of these sites but there are hundreds of them, or you could use your local printers.

Distributing your flyers and business cards is a matter of being bold and asking anywhere and everywhere you think will be effective. Vets are normally willing to accept flyers, as are pet shops. Ask to put flyers in your local shop windows and on park boards if that’s allowed in your area. Always carry business cards when your out and give one to anyone that’s interested.

Local papers and magazines can sometimes have low cost advertising opportunities. Going down this route will always be a bit of a gamble, and it will be a judgement call on your behalf whether you go for it or not. Personally, I think the smaller the place you live the more effective this will be. Putting an ad in a city paper will probably not be as effective as a cheaper ad in a small town local paper. That being said there will be advertising space and classifieds in almost all papers and magazines so they’re at the least worth having a look at. Business listings in publications like the yellow pages are also worth looking into as they’re sometimes free.

The promotion of any business can be done in a whole range of ways. I think the best thing you can do is be creative and always look out for new opportunities. Word of mouth will probably always be the most effective tool at your disposal so make sure you’re always trying to spread the word about your business.

We hope you’ve found this two parter on promotion useful. Do you have any other advertising techniques that you’ve found effective? What do you think about the ones talked about here? Let us know in the comments…

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The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.

Advertising Your Dog Walking Business Online

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

dog walkers city mega

This weeks post is part of a two part series on advertising your business on a budget…

If you want to expand your dog walking business, there’s really only one way to go about it – get the word out. Depending on where you live, this can mean a few different things. In a village, this is as simple as spreading the word on the grapevine. In a large city you have room to be a little bit more creative – the potential clients are figuratively endless.

Wherever you live, advertising doesn’t have to mean spending money, and even if you do have to you can promote your business very effectively on a relatively small budget. With that in mind, I’m going to talk about a few advertising methods that are effective in this industry. These methods will suit those on a small budget, or no budget at all.

First of all, lets get the shameless plug out of the way – you can advertise your service on this very website for free! And if you haven’t done so yet you can by signing up here. We are continually promoting and expanding Dog Walkers City so we hope you’ll join us!

The internet is an invaluable tool for any small business owner. In the modern age, the web should be the starting point for any advertising campaign. In fact (although I’m a little biased) I’d almost go as far as saying that you can get all of the customers you need online. With that said, we’ll start off with the (2nd) biggest of the Internet’s websites – Facebook.

Facebook is the perfect tool for a Dog walker, as most customers come from friends of friends and of course, it’s free. I’m going to assume you have a Facebook account at this point, as you’ll need an active account to utilize it as a promotional tool. The first thing you’ll want to do is set up a ‘Facebook Page’. To do this, go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and follow the instructions.

Facebook grab

You can add details of your service and images, links, maps etc. Once you’ve set this up you can invite all your friends to ‘like’ your page and when they do, their friends will see that they’ve liked it and so on – viral advertising. You can also ask questions, post updates and post photos, which I recommend you do regularly as they appear on the news feed of whoever has liked your page.

Your next visit online should be to Google Places. This is another great free tool for free exposure. With Google Places, you can mark where your service is based on Google Maps and anyone searching Google in that area can see your listing. To get started head to http://www.google.com/places/ and follow the instructions.

Google screen grab

Another good place to advertise online are classified websites. These are country specific but in the UK – Gumtree is the industry leader (http://www.gumtree.com) and in the US – Craigslist (http://www.craigslist.org). Both of these sites are free to post to and are searched on a lot. Simply browse to your local area and follow the instructions to place an advert. The older your advert gets the further down the list it will fall so I recommend posting regularly. You can also go super local by searching Google for terms like ‘my town+classifieds’. A real life search would be ‘New York Classifieds’. There will almost definitely be a local classified site for your area.

gumtree screen grab

If you have a bit of extra cash to spend on advertising, we highly recommend joining us as a premium member here at Dog Walkers City. For less than the price of a couple of cups of coffee you can upgrade your membership and reap the benefits of being a premium member. These benefits include being shot to the top of our results page, having your own profile page that can be found in Google and having a wealth of extras at your disposal: Contract templates, appointment software, advertising guides and more. If you get just one extra regular client as a result of the premium membership you’ll be making your money back.

To find out more log into the members are and click the ‘Upgrade’ tab. Next week we’ll talk a bit more about advertising on a budget and concentrate on more offline methods.

Do you have any advice for people looking to advertise cheaply? What’s worked for you? What hasn’t? Let us know in the comments…

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The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.