Posts Tagged ‘tips’

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.

Pets on Tour – Bringing Your Furry Friend Along For the Ride

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Taking furry family members on holiday has become very popular in recent times, with many places accommodating to animal’s needs, it’s more appealing to take your pet with you than to leave them at home. Here’s a quick to do guide before venturing off on your holiday…

  • Location Considerations: Before you set off on your jolly’s you need to take into consideration your destination and how you are going to get there. Your destination should be pet friendly, so pick a location which is going to cater for your furry friend as well as having plenty of activities for both you and your pet, especially if you are taking your dog along.

 

  • Preliminary Health Checks: Make sure you visit the vet before you set off, a routine check is all that is needed, this just gives you piece of mind that everything is going to run smoothly on your holidays. Furthermore make sure your pet has an up to date microchip, this increases the safety of your companion if anything should happen, and additionally you should have a personalised collar made with a reachable contact number.

Pets on tour

  • Pet-Friendly Transport: Before you travel, it’s advised to get your pet used to the transport that you have chosen this will result in a smooth journey. When travelling by car, make sure you pack the car up before loading your pet. No matter what transportation you have chosen, the last 3 stages are crucial; make sure your pet has had plenty of exercise, enough food for a few hours of travel and that he/she has gone to the bathroom. After these preparations you are ready to go…

 

  • Panic Prevention: Revise the stresses that your beloved pet may encounter on your travels and try to avoid them. These stresses will vary depending on your pet, for dogs they feel most comfortable when with their owners as it gives them a sense of security. Cats however are very different; they are very territorial animals and feel most comfortable in familiar surroundings. Smaller animals have less stresses, and as long as they are comfortable and their habitat (i.e. enclosure or tank) is consistent, they rarely acknowledge a change in location.

 

  • Creature Comforts: Make sure you carry familiar toys and snacks with you, having items which carry the smell of home will comfort pets and will help them settle. When travelling you have the option to cage your pet or allow them to be loose. For small animals and cats it’s a must to keep them caged, this is for both yours and the animal’s safety.

Furthermore if the vehicle has to come to a sudden stop, then anything not secure whether it is a passenger or pet will become a moving risk. For dogs, it’s your choice if you want to secure them or if they are free to move around the backseat or your boot. They do demand more space than other animals and will be more comfortable when given the opportunity to move around.

 

  • Comfortable Conditions: Additionally you also have to consider the different conditions in your car. Windows should be left open when leaving a pet alone in the car. Cars standing in the sun can get very hot very fast and can cause serious problems for animals left inside. Windows should also be kept open when driving giving a continuous air flow; however be careful not to cause a draft.

 

Keeping temperature at a constant is advised.  Make sure you schedule regular stops to stretch out yours and your pet’s legs, allowing for toilet and food breaks too.

There’s nothing quite like sharing your favourite holiday experiences with your pet, so plan ahead and make your next holiday one to remember. It’s vitally important to consider their stress levels and health throughout the journey, and also to check on them at regular intervals to ensure they’re happy.

This article was written on behalf of Pet Health Info. Pet Health Info is a free online resource providing advice for pet owners regarding pet health care.

Photo Credit: Catskills Grrl

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

 

Happy walking! Like this article? Please Share and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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 Types Of Grass Can Make A Difference In Housebreaking

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

When it comes to grass litter boxes, there are two very different options you can choose from. Some grass litter boxes utilize natural grass while others utilize a synthetic solution. Because grass litter boxes are used as a tool to help housebreak a new dog, there are certain characteristics which should be considered before you settle on your particular form of potty terrain.

Dog Training

Synthetics

There are many different brands and styles of synthetic grass. Some utilize fibers that resist scent and others appeal with a texture that matches the real thing. Regardless, of who makes them, there are certain characteristics which make them appealing to dog potty applications.

Synthetic grasses are renowned for their longevity. Unlike natural grass, they don’t have a lifespan, but that doesn’t mean they can’t wear out. Some producers such as the Pet Zoom produce a patch which can last up to three years with the proper care, while others like Pup-Grass take synthetic to a different level, applying every aspect possible, such as fast draining, tear-resistant, and even scent resistant. While each producer has their own synthetic grass format, companies like Pup-Grass strictly produce synthetic grass for dog applications, including the entire yard.

Unlike natural grass patches that can be thrown away or discarded, synthetic grass does still requireits own unique maintenance. Some manufacturers require hand-washing while others can be machine washed without excessive wear. The only issue here is that the material does get dirty and it’s not exactly disposable, requiring that you spend time washing and maintaining it.

This “immortal” aspect does have its downside though, because as you may understand, synthetic grass doesn’t have the natural scent that real grass has. This can make it difficult for a young puppy to accept or adapt to it if they’ve been accustomed to using an outdoor area. In these cases, you may be required to utilize incentive sprays, some of which may not work, leaving you shopping around for a product that works for your dog’s particular nose.

The real thing

Natural grass has certain characteristics which can’t be replicated by synthetics alone. The texture and feel of grass tends to have a natural instinctive appeal to a dog. But because it does have a lifespan, it isn’t always the most cost-effective method for your dog’s long-term potty needs.

Additionally, it also acts as a transitional tool for a dog that is in the housetraining process. If you are working towards motivating your dog to potty outdoors, this can be a very effective way to familiarize your dog with the particular characteristics of where it’s good to potty.

There are many differences between synthetic and natural grass, some which benefit certain applications. If you’re working on housetraining your dog, natural grass is often the simplest solution. Though it does help to find an indoor litter box that can provide either solution so that you can give your dog what they prefer without investing in a completely new unit.

Author Bio:

Brandon Kennington is the inventor and owner of the Porch Potty – the world’s first automatic grass dog litter box. As dog owner and a busy business owner, Brandon invented the Porch Potty when he didn’t want his dog to have to wait all day to go. Porch Potty admires dog owners and also provides great tips for dog lovers on the Porch Potty Blog.

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.

Musings on Professionalism in Dog Walking

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

In this era of austerity brought on by that pesky economic crisis, small businesses
everywhere are suffering the effects of tightened purse strings. As consumers pinch their
pennies, there is less money put towards those products and services which are deemed
to be inessential, and customers are being rightfully deliberate and conscientious about
those services they do engage. Unlike most specialist service providers trying to forge a
path in this variable climate, professional dog walkers are in the unique position of being
threatened by amateurs on their own turf. After all, with dog walking rates spanning
between £12 and £16 per walk, why wouldnʼt Mrs Wilson just toss a fiver to little Billy next
door in exchange for taking Monty to the park for an hour on Sunday afternoon so she can
have tea with the ladies? This is a question worth pondering for pet owners and dog
walkers alike!

In general terms, someone with the occasional commitment in their calendar that distracts
them from their dog walking duties isnʼt likely to need the services of a professional. We
“pros” provide a service which is geared toward those responsible pet owners who realize
their obligation to their petʼs health (and understand the significance of a daily long walk in
maintaining that health!) but who have demanding work schedules and daily commitments
that prohibit them from fulfilling that obligation. For such people, engaging the services of a
professional has numerous benefits: by spreading their responsibility, they can provide
their pooches with the vital exercise and stimulation they need – in a structured and
monitored fashion – while freeing up their schedules in order to meet their other
commitments. A professional dog walkerʼs clients are not simply trading a sum of money
for an hour-long stroll in the park, but are investing in the dogʼs health, their own personal
and professional time, and their peace of mind!

So what specifically can a client expect to gain from the services of a dog walker? It makes
sense to list some of the valued characteristics of professional dog walkers so that
potential clients can refer to them when investigating our services. And it canʼt hurt for us
“pros” to examine the benefits of the services we offer in order to improve on them.

Letʼs take a closer look at professionalism in dog walking by splitting the essential criteria
into distinct categories:

1. Knowledge and experience

• Familiarity with the characteristics and personalities of different breeds of dogs, and their
requirements for exercise, socialisation and mental stimulation (the latter being provided
through outdoor exploration, social interaction and games).

• Experience with leading a pack assertively. Dogs require a confident leader to follow and
this confidence in leadership only comes with practice!

• Knowledge of local neighbourhoods, the green spaces and dog-friendly areas. In other
words, dog walkers need to know a variety of places to go in order to provide their pack
with a safe, open space in which to exercise and play.

2. Organisation and preparation

• Professionals must be fully insured to cover any accidents that may happen on a walk,
and should be CRB checked to reassure the client whose home they have access to.

• Contracts are also a necessary requirement. This way the client understands the terms
and conditions of the dog walkerʼs services and fees. Even more importantly, the dog
owner officially gives written consent for the dog walker to access his property and for
the dog walker to take responsibility in case of an emergency.

• Pet information form – this is something I and other dog walkers I know enjoy using
during our initial consultation with a new client; itʼs essentially a questionnaire to gather
as much specific information about a pet as possible, from veterinary details to dietary
requirements, favourite toys and preferred hiding spots (in case we canʼt find Monty
when we come to pick him up!). Importantly, I also ask for the dogʼs medical history and
get written permission for walking off-lead.

• Dog diary – a daily diary used to facilitate communication between a walker and a client.
This can be a great asset to communicate everything from schedule changes to dog
behavioural issues.

3. Resources

I feel that many clients overlook this aspect of the dog walkerʼs cache; resources are very
important for the dog walk and involve regular expense to purchase and maintain (thus
contributing to the cost of the walk). The most important and expensive of the dog walkerʼs
resources is going to be the van!

• Dog-friendly van, to transport the pack from home to the nearest local green space.
Often these will have custom in-built kenneling for the comfort of the dogs, and air
conditioning for hot summer months.

• Toys, leads, poop bags (preferably biodegradable!) and healthy snacks to make the walk
go smoothly.

4. Responsibility and reliability

Dog walkers have an ingrained awareness that they are taking responsibility for the health,
well-being and happiness of their clientʼs beloved, four-legged family member. Not only
does the health of the dog come down to us, but in most cases the smooth functioning of
the clientʼs daily schedule does, too. To maintain both of these aspects, the most important
characteristic is consistency (which is why there are no “sickies” in the dog walking
business!)

• Never miss a day – good dog walkers always have a back-up plan for any contingency! If
a walker is unable to make a walk on a particular day, advance notice is required for the
client and a back-up walker should be arranged for them.

• Reliability in times of crisis – for example, pet illness or injury (and the knowledge,
experience and resources to be able to handle it).

• Flexibility – a very important characteristic, allowing the walker to be able to
accommodate the whims of a clientʼs busy schedule.

While there are doubtless further criteria to be considered (and if you have a suggestion, I
encourage you to leave a comment!), I hope the points raised above will provide a good
general overview of professional dog walking for potential new clients, while inspiring
those of us who walk dogs for a living.

In closing, Iʼd like to include one further important characteristic to bear in mind, which
applies to any successful business owner: the desire to improve! We dog walkers have a
duty of care towards our clientsʼ animals, and we should be striving to give the best service
and experience possible at all times.

Happy walking! Like this article? Please Share and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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.

Tim Adams runs Big City Dog Walkers operating in London, UK. Click here for a Dog Walker and Pet Sitter in Stoke Newington and Hackney.

How To Clean a Dog Leash: Home of the Germs & Flea Eggs

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Leash cleanliness (or lack thereof) is undoubtedly one of the most overlooked aspects of health and well-being for you and your pup.  Whether you live in the big bustling city of New York or a small fishing village in Japan, attention to proper leash care can lead to more sanitary living conditions for you and your dog.

How to Clean A Dog Leash

Consider this: How many of us wash our hands before a dog walk?  During any given dog walk , we clip the leash to the harness or collar, open the front door (and/or push an elevator button), pick up poop, perhaps switch no matter how temporarily, the hand that we are using to hold the leash, and also handle our house keys, which are all major sources of germ transfer.  That’s at least six different germ transfers per walk.  It’s not an understatement that it’s slightly gross and disgusting when you think about how many other unwashed, germ invested hands have also interacted with those high use items.

The question remains- how can you break the cycle of all of these germs getting onto the dog leash?  For some of you it may be months of germ and dirt buildup. For others of you years.  Germs, dirt and bacteria left to fester can lead to the slow erosion of the leash, be breeding grounds for flea eggs to hatch, and also to can also be an accessory to the spreading of colds and the flu. Multiply this by the number of people that use the leash (the dog walker, your children, spouse) and the number of people they interact with on a weekly basis.

If you follow a few precautionary steps, you will see how simple it is. First off, start by sanitizing your cloth leash in the dish washer (or for New Yorkers, in a tub of hot water and dish soap) at least once per week at a temperature of 150 degrees which can kill many bacteria and germs and flea eggs.

If you have a flexi-leash, you can wipe it down with Clorox and water.  To make life easier,  my personal recommendation would be to have three leashes in rotation, so you can get into the flow of regularly washing the harnesses and/or sanitizing the collars at least once per week and also regularly  wash your hands before and after each walk.  When you are at home, take off your dogs harness and collar to reduce the amount of dirt and germ transfer between the harness/collar and the dog.  As for your keys, the door handles and your front door handle- bleach and water.  For a green alternative, you can always use Dr. Bronners diluted with water.

Remember a clean, sanitary leash and getting into the routine of washing your hands before and after a dog walk is a small step towards creating a healthier, happier living conditions for you and your pets.

How often do you clean your leash? And do you have any advice? Let us know in the comments! Like this article? Please Share! 

Cynthia Okimoto is the owner of New York Dog Nanny www.newyorkdognanny.com and has been professionally caring for dogs since 2010.

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.

Like this article? Please Share!  And let us know your thoughts in the comments….

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.

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Separation Anxiety in DogsSeparation anxiety is an issue that can easily go unnoticed or ignored, but is actually something that we should all be looking out for in Dogs. Because Dogs are pack animals, separation anxiety can affect their mental health quite dramtically. The condition happens when a Dog is left alone, and will typically pace around the house, barking, scratching, chewing and whining. The main issue here is that the Dog is highly stressed and it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been gone for a few minutes of a few hours, the stress levels are the same.

Before we look at some of the solutions to separation anxiety, we need to understand some of the causes. The main cause goes back to the ‘pack animal problem’ and leadership. In a pack the leader is allowed to leave on his own if he wishes, however a follower will never leave the leader. If your Dog sees himself as a the pack leader, then you leaving the house can cause considerable mental strain. This is one reason for separation anxiety.

Another – slightly easier to address – cause of separation anxiety is a lack of exercise. If your Dog isn’t getting enough exercise, the small amount of stress it causes them when you leave the house is intensified by a build up of energy. This will result in your Dog getting worked up and acting in a negative way.

These are the two most common causes of separation anxiety, let’s take a look at a few solutions.

1. Give your Dog some space

If your Dog is always around you, sleeping on you and gazing at you, this can be a cause of too much dependence. Get a Dog bed and train them to use it. Feeding, petting, and treats should all be given there, to reinforce that position as your Dogs ‘own home’.

2. Obedience

If your Dog isn’t very obedient, he may not be seeing you as the leader of the pack, which can be a big problem. Take time to train your Dog and make sure they’re responding to commands like sit, lie down, come here etc. Treats, playing, walks and attention should only be in response to good behavior.

3. Exercise

It goes without saying that exercise is extremely important for all aspects of your Dogs life. If you think your Dog has separation anxiety, you need to step it up a gear. Your Dog needs to be calm and relaxed after the exercise session for you to know it’s been enough.

Finally, make sure you’re acting calmly around your Dog, don’t come home extremely excited as this will increase the anxiety. Also, keep the same routine seven days a week. If you spend all day with your Dog at the weekend, the separation anxiety is going to be even worse on Monday. Routine and structure are important to all Dogs lives.

Have you ever had to deal with Separation Anxiety? Have you heard of any other solutions to this problem? 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.

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.

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.