Posts Tagged ‘news’

Dogs In England Must Be Microchipped from 2016

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

It has been announced today that every Dog owner in England must have their pet microchipped from 2016 onwards. In a plan meant to reduce the amount of strays on the streets, the microchips will be encoded with owners details, and those who do not comply with the new law may find themselves slammed with a £500 fine.

The device, which is the size of a grain of rice is implanted into the Dog between the shoulder blades using a syringe, but is no more painful than an average vaccination. The device is made from ‘bio-compatible’ glass which is the same material used to make human pace makers. The device also fuses itself where it’s implanted, meaning it won’t move around the animals body.

lost dog

UK government figures show that in excess of 100,000 dogs are dumped on the streets each year, costing the public and welfare charities more than £57 million. This new law is hoped to drastically reduce these figures. The new legislation will come into affect from the 6th of April 2016.

Currently, charities in the UK such as Dogs Trust and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home provide free microchipping, although having the procedure performed privately only costs around £25. It is still unclear whether the government will pay for the procedure, once the law comes into affect. The Dogs Trust has welcomed the scheme, saying it would make a “huge difference.”

Statistics also show that around 40% of Dogs picked up by charities on the street contain chips with inaccurate data, meaning the animals cannot be returned to their owners. In the European Union, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Croatia, Germany, Austria and Belgium, already have compulsory microchipping laws.

 What do you think of this new law? Do you think it will help the situation? And if you’re from another country would you like something like this implemented? Get involved in the discussion in the comments below!

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.

10 Dog Twitter Feeds To Follow

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Do you use Twitter? If not, you should! It’s great for quick breaks from whatever you’re working on! Here at Dog Walkers City we ‘follow’ a load of Dog related accounts which provide us with photos, news, deals and tips. Whatever you’re interested in, there’s something for everyone. We’ve decided to compile a top 10 list of our favourite Dog related twitter feeds for you to follow. If you’re not on twitter but love Dogs, sign up and follow these accounts – you’ll soon be hooked!

1. The Daily Puppy (@DailyPuppy)

The Daily Puppy publishes a feed of daily puppy and dog photos, along with the occasional information article.

2. Tails Pet Magazine (@tailsmagazines)

Tails Pet Magazine is a US dog magazine full of great stories, news, photos and more. Their twitter feed is always promoting great articles from the Tails Pet Magazine website.

3. K9 Magazine (UK) (@K9Magazine)

K9 Magazine is another great Dog magazine, this time from the UK. Wherever you are though, the feed is still full of great photos, news and articles.

4. Fetch Dog (@FetchDog)

If you’re in the US, Fetch Dog sells all sorts of Dog related products, including collars, bowls, leads etc. There Twitter feed usually informs you of the latest deal or discount.

5. Dog Milk (@dog_milk)

Ok, Dog Milk is one of our favourites! This blog is all about Dog related design and their feed shows off a load of cool products and designs. Well worth checking out.

6. The Kennel Club (@KCLovesDogs)

The Kennel Club are the U.K’s largest organisation dedicated to the health and welfare of Dogs. Their feed is always full of great information, especially if you’re from the UK.

7. The Dog Daily (@TheDogDaily)

The Dog Daily’s Twitter feed has quizzes, articles, photos, tips and news. An all round great feed to follow, wherever you are.

8. Dog Living Magazine (@DOGliving)

Another great magazine, this time based in North Carolina. Wherever you are though, their feed has great information, and a lot of entertaining posts.

9. Kelly Felstead (@kellyfelstead)

Kelly Felstead is a writer for ‘Your Dog’ magazine. She tweets about the magazine and about various Dog related topics.

10. Dogs Trust (@DogsTrust)

Tweets from one the UK best known Dog charities. Dogs Trust tweets about everything from Charitable events to Funny photos.

Which Dog related Twitter feeds do follow? Have any suggestions? 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.

An Interview With A Dog Walker

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Sleeping DogClarissa Dent is a professional dog walker and dog sitter based in South London. With a number of years experience, she has a wealth of knowledge about the industry, and tells us how she made the transition from a part-time dog walker, to a fully functioning, profitable business owner in the space of 12 months. 

Clarissa’s goal is to provide your pets with loving and attentive care and she strives everyday to succeed in providing her human and pet clients with the best quality, stress-free service possible. Clarissa believes in systems and routines to make sure the dogs are safe and secure in their surroundings, her pet care expertise will ensure that your loved ones receive the best care possible while you are away!

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What prompted you to start a dog walking and dog sitting business?

My brother in law runs a veterinary practice in Kensington, and from visiting from time to time with my own dog, I became aware of the huge demand for professional dog walkers and dog sitters. I was amazed at how many people require someone to look after their pet, for whatever reason it be, and saw the potential in turning a hobby, into something I could make a living from. As an avid dog lover, I have always been fond of dogs and have a dog myself, an Affenpinscher called Archie, who I walk everyday. So the transition into looking after somebody else’s dog seemed to come naturally, as I already had experience. I thought ‘how hard can it be’? From here, I started looking after friend’s dogs from time to time, and then later started to get recommendations from my brother in law, when people would ask him if he knew anyone to look after their dog. It naturally progressed to the point where I started to build up a client base and gain more and more confidence, and it occurred to me that this wasn’t just something I could do part time, if I focussed all of my attention to this, I could make serious money from doing something I love! And now, I couldn’t be happier, it has changed my life considerably.

What do you enjoy most about dog walking / sitting?

Well, what is there not to love about walking dogs through a grassy field on a summers day, with smiling faces looking up at you?! I enjoy the freedom it gives me, the outdoor lifestyle, but most importantly, the array of characters and personalities I get to deal with on a daily basis. Every dog is unique, every dog has it’s own quirks and nuances, and to be honest, I have a lot of fun, and I hope the dogs do too!

Are there any negatives of being a professional dog walker / sitter?

To be perfectly honest, I can’t say that there are many negatives at all! The only thing that I personally find is that I often get attached to other people’s dogs, and am sad to see them leave! Luckily for me, the majority of my clients are regular, so I get to see them all again!

Where are your favourite places to take dogs around the London area?

I generally tend to alternate between Battersea Park and Wandsworth common, both of which have large open spaces, but are also more than just a ‘patch of grass’ – the dogs can roam around and follow all of the natural smells and rummage around in the undergrowth, rather than just running around a field.

The pet sitting industry is growing immensely, do you think it will continue to grow and what will that growth mean to the industry?

I see and meet more and more people every day who are doing this for a living. I used to be one of the only ‘dog walkers’ on the common (apart from dog owners, of course!), but now there are many people who are profiting from this line of work. So, yes, I have seen the growth first hand, and it is a real boost to the economy, and a boost to general self esteem, as more and more people have the ‘get up and go’ to make money in a tough financial climate. This consequently results in more competition, but the industry itself is quite personal and friendly, not corporate and cut-throat, so I think people generally just get on with it. I never feel as though someone will ‘steal’ my clients, and it’s always a pleasure to stop and talk to other dog walkers and sitters and share experiences with them. 

How does a dog walker / sitter manage different dogs, all with different characters and temperaments?

I don’t think there’s a definite answer to this question, as no two dogs are alike. From my experience, structure is paramount, I believe routine and consistency when caring for any pet is really important, so the dogs familiarise themselves and feel comfortable from the start. I tend to ask the owners details about feeding times and walk times, and generally try to stick to what the dog is used to, therefore preventing the likelihood of any abnormal behaviour due to changing the dog’s routine. Remember, no two dogs are the same, so never presume you know how the dog will behave, try to get as much information from the owner as possible, as they know their dog better than anyone. 

What sets you apart from other dog walkers / sitters?

Well, I think my years of experience definitely work in my favour, as I have built strong working relationships with my clients, and trust is the most important thing in this industry. People feel safe leaving their dog with me, and I feel confident that I will take good care of them and return them safely and happily to their owners. Also, I feel the family connections with the Veterinary Practice give added security to my clients, as if anything did happen, I have a professional to turn to – thank god it has never come to that but it’s good to know!

What advice do you have for dog owners who are using a dog walker / sitter for the first time?

Ask, ask and ask again! Never feel embarrassed to ask as many questions about the person who is looking after your dog. Ask for references, whether they have insurance and speak to their previous clients in person, as this is the best way to find out about their experience. Don’t always go for the cheapest option, as this may not always be the best. Think about WHAT kind of person and environment you want your dog to be in…some sitters board many dogs at a time, others offer a more personal, private service where your dog may get more one-on-one time. This is up to you, so think about it and try to find the appropriate person for your dog.

What advice can you give to people thinking about starting their own dog walking / sitting business?

I would say go for it, you have nothing to loose! But remember, it’s a full time job that requires skill, patience and commitment. Not everybody can do it, you may think ‘looking after dogs is easy’, which to a certain extent, it can be, but there is a difference in walking someone’s dog as a one off, and running a professional business. There is no room for complacency, you have to be attentive and confident that people can rely on you. You have to give each and every dog the same amount of love and care, unconditionally. After all, the success of your business is down to your reputation, if you start to get slack, this will affect your ability to care for a dog and will show through. People will not feel comfortable leaving their beloved pet in your care. Lastly, enjoy it and have fun! Not everyone gets the opportunity to care for such amazing animals, so respect that and get the most out of it as you can. My philosophy is “I’m doing something I love, and the money comes second”, not the other way around.

Lastly, please can you share a story from your dog walking career?

There are so many to choose from! One story, however, seems to stick with me – I was looking after a small Jack Russell for a week, and took her out to the countryside with my own dog to visit family, who happen to have chickens. After a glorious walk, we returned back and the dog somehow found her way through the chicken fencing to the horror of my sister! Unfortunately, she made the most of this experience and killed one of the chickens! Lets just say my sister was not best pleased….not as pleased as the dog anyway! 

Visit Clarissa’s profile on Dog Walkers City here, or visit her website at: www.dogsittingsouthwestlondon.com

Would you answer any of these questions differently? Or do you have anymore questions you’d like us to ask Clarissa? 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.

Dog Walkers City Premium Membership Offer

Monday, February 20th, 2012

If you’ve logged into the members area at Dog Walkers City recently you may have noticed that we will soon be launching our premium membership package. This package has a number of great features that are sure to further your Dog walking business. To see exactly what we’re offering, simply sign into your account and click the ‘Upgrade’ tab.

Before we launch this package, we need to test the premium membership to make sure everything is working properly and to do that we need your help! We’re going to be giving away a number of free lifetime memberships (usually worth £5/$8 per month) to anyone who lends us a hand. That means if you help us out you can become a free premium member for life!

To get your free lifetime membership all you have to do is link to us (http://www.DogWalkersCity.com) from your website. It’s as simple as that!

So if you want to be participate, simply link to our website from yours then send us a quick message (http://www.dogwalkerscity.com/contact.html) telling us your email address and the page you’ve linked to us from and we’ll upgrade your account.

Remember, the premium membership has a load of great features that are sure to get you more customers, and we have a lot more planned for the future! This offer won’t last long so if you’re interested please act quickly!