Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
A recent conversation on our San Diego Pet Net discussion list revolved around how hard it must be to walk multiple dogs together. We’ve all seen the photos of dog walkers in New York City being dragged down the street behind a herd of dogs of all shapes and sizes. It's not just hard on the dog walker, but it's stressful and sometimes downright dangerous for the dogs.
At my end of the country it’s unusual to even allow dogs to live in apartments. In New York City, it is the norm. And indoor dogs all need a midday break while their owners are at work. Hence an opportunity ...
Ada Nieves, “New York Pet Social Queen,” and Jill Richardson, a New Jersey veterinarian, feel there is a need for a more customer service-oriented dog walking business in their area, and they have just launched MyDogWalks.com. Both women are experienced pet professionals. Nieves is the founder of the New York City Chihuahua Meetup group (now with over 800 members), renowned pet fashion designer, gourmet treat baker and successful pawty planner. Richardson is an accomplished writer and veterinarian and writes the "Ask the Vet" column for Fido Friendly magazine. Both have columns on examiner.com, and Nieves has a show, "Vida Doggies" on Pet Life Radio online.
Private Dog Walks
MyDogWalks hopes to carve out its own niche, where dog-lovers like themselves cater to the needs of pet owners. This is what makes their business different: they envision professional, polished and uniformed walkers giving private dog walks, unlike the massive groups you often see in the city. By providing a service that they would want to use, MyDogWalks wants clients to RAVE to their families and friends about how truly special their service is.
In visiting with Jill and Ada about their new venture, many issues came up that I had never thought about. Although we provide the same services, it is a different type of business in a major city. Large apartment complexes have a doorman that keeps the keys so you can just pick them up from him on each visit. You can also limit the geographical area you work in by serving just a few major apartment complexes. This will save you a lot of time that would otherwise be spent commuting.
Safety and convenience are primary concerns for MyDogWalks.com. By providing private walks, the dog gets individual attention and is much less stressed at the end of his outing. Clients can also schedule and pay for walks online, a real advantage for busy New Yorkers.
MyDogWalks.com’s main service is daily walks but they also cater to their clients’ pet sitting needs. They are members of NAPPS.
LINKS: Ada Nieves Examiner column
Sunday, December 6, 2009
So as pet sitters gear up around the country for heavy schedules and heavier weather, take a few minutes to be prepared:
• Check your tires.
• Carry chains and sand (or kitty litter) if you are in a snow area.
• Carry clients' emergency phone numbers in your car.
• Be sure someone knows your schedule in case you get stuck somewhere.
• Carry an extra blanket in the car, maybe even a space blanket, some candles and matches to keep you warm if you get stranded.
• Get a neighbor's phone number in case you can't get to your client's home. I once had my husband go with me and cut apart a fallen tree so we could get to a house to get a client's cats. If you can't get in, maybe a neighbor can. Suggest your client give them an extra key.
• Buy a heavy duty spotlight.
Remember the Girl Scout motto: Be Prepared. I will add "Be safe, not sorry."
Photos: My dogs Tank, Sherman and Emma, Shorty (a foster dog) play in the snow in Seattle. My Collie Emma, with snow on her nose.
© 2009 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.