Is your dog a good fit for doggy daycare?


By Erin Schneider, CPDT-KA

The dog daycare industry is big. and it can be overwhelming when trying to find the right place for your dog. There is a lot to look for when choosing a daycare. If you need help, check out Jamie Migdal’s blog on how to choose the best doggy daycare. In this post, I am going to concentrate on whether or not your dog is a good candidate for daycare.

Dog daycare can be great for humans. We feel better knowing that our dog is getting exercise and attention while we work long days. It’s also nice coming home to a tired dog so we can enjoy our evenings in peace. But what is great for us isn’t always great for our dogs.

So here are some ways to tell if your dog is a good candidate for daycare.

Your dog loves other dogs: I know you are probably saying, “Duh Erin! All dogs love other dogs.” But that isn’t true. A lot of dogs don’t very much like the company of other dogs, at least not to the extent that they want to be around them all day. Most dogs are perfectly content being around only their humans. Some dogs only enjoy familiar dogs. Just like humans have different personalities, so do our dogs. If your dog is an introvert, don’t fret. Also, if your dog has any reactivity towards other dogs, they aren’t a good fit for daycare.

You can’t give your dog adequate exercise: There is no judgment here. Sometimes you just can’t give your dog the exercise they need, whether that’s because you work long hours, you can’t physically give them exercise they need or your dog just needs a lot. Sometimes your best option is to send your dog to daycare a few days a week.

Your dog suffers from separation anxiety: Daycare isn’t the best option to help your dog get over separation anxiety, but sometimes you don’t have the time to fix the problem. For example, I know many people who live in apartments and have been issued a notice that they either need to quiet their barking dog or find a new place to live. Sometimes time isn’t on your side and you need something to help while you get the training your dog needs. If your dog does suffer from separation anxiety, make sure you are seeking the help of a positive reinforcement dog trainer.

If your dog doesn’t like daycare or isn’t a good candidate for it, don’t worry! There are plenty of options to tire your dog out.

Dog walker: Dog walkers are a great alternative to daycare. They come to your house, take your dog out for a nice walk and give them some personal attention. Your dog never has to leave the comfort of their neighborhood. Dog walkers are usually happy to work around whatever schedule you desire and will walk multiple dogs if you have more than one.

Individual play groups: Some daycares offer up an individual or family daycare option. This means that they give your dog individual playtime without other dogs around. Or if you have multiple dogs, they will let them play together without other dogs around. This option, if offered, is usually going to cost more, but might be worth it if your dog needs some special attention or doesn’t play well with others.

Sports: If you have an evening or two free each week, a great way to tire your dog out is to get involved in dog sports. Agility and K9 Nose Work are great options. They not only tire your dog out, but they allow you time to bond with your dog.

Remember, doggy daycare isn’t for everybody – and that is OK. There is nothing wrong with your dog if they prefer the comfort of their own home compared to a busy environment. If you do take your dog to daycare, try to limit it to 2-3 days a week so they have plenty of downtime.

Does doggy daycare work for you? If not, what else have you tried?


Erin Schneider 250x300Erin Schneider, CPDT-KA and owner of Touch Dog Training, is a certified professional dog trainer who employs positive reinforcement behavior modification techniques intended to deliver results while building stronger bonds between dogs and their owners. Erin practiced her craft in Chicago for many years as a Senior Trainer for AnimalSense Canine Training & Behavior. There she taught dog training classes and also conducted private, in-home lessons with pets and their owners. In March 2015, Erin relocated to Colorado and is excited to share her knowledge and expertise with dog owners in the Denver/Boulder metro area.

Traveling with your dog? Bring these essentials on your next trip!

dog car luggage

By Elena Sipe

You’ve packed, you’ve planned, the big moment is finally approaching: the day you leave for your trip. You’ve gotten your things together, but what about your dog?

If it’s your first time traveling with your dog, I have some good news! You don’t need to bring a ton of special travel things.

All you need are the things you and your dog use on a regular basis at home—a leash is a good starting point (plus an extra in case of breakage), plus a couple travel-specific items whose presence will make your lives a whole lot easier.

Carrier – This is the Swiss Army knife of dog traveling. Whether you’re flying or traveling by car, you’ll want a carrier that your dog is comfortable being in for long periods of time.

If you’re flying with your dog in-cabin, it goes under your seat. If you’re in the car, put the seat belt or pet-specific restraint around it for an instant boost in car safety. When you get to your destination, it’s your dog’s familiar bed.

Plus, if your carrier has pockets, this is a great place to store smaller dog accessories. Think of it as your dog’s suitcase and their bed!

Collapsible bowls – These often come with a carabiner clip and collapse flat for easy storage. This means you can attach them to a leash, put them in a small pocket, and hang them off a bag to dry. Use a permanent marker to mark the amount of food you normally feed your dog on the bowl before you travel, which eliminates the need to bring a measuring cup.

Poop bags and holder – When you’re rushing around trying to pack, you’re bound to forget things. I prefer to dummy-proof this process by having a poop bag and holder attached to the leash. You can’t forget something that’s attached!

It’s a good idea to bring an extra roll or two of bags (shove them in the nooks and crannies of your luggage) so you don’t run out.

Toys – Bring a chew or activity toy to keep your dog busy while you’re in transit. They take little to no room in your luggage, and even if your dog can destroy the toughest Kong on the market, they’re also readily available at pet stores, so you can replenish along the way! 

Depending on your dog’s affinity for stuffies or fetch toys, you may be able to get away with just one or two. Bring only their favorites. If your dog likes stuffed toys but not fetch, just bring a stuffed toy. If they like both, bring both. A toy is nice because it is something that’s familiar to your dog and it gives them something to cuddle or burn off some energy.

Mess kit – Poop happens. So do other messes. Make sure you  pack wipes, towels, pee pads, and cleaners to clean them up so you can easily move on to the fun parts of your trip!

Vaccination papers, health certificates, and ID tags –  It’s always a good idea to have a copy of your dog’s vaccinations, your vet’s contact info, and an emergency vet at your destination (it may even be a legal requirement to travel through some states). Depending on where you’re going, you may need a vet-issued health certificate. It’s a good idea to keep a digital copy of all this, along with a copy on you and in your dog’s carrier if applicable.

Make sure your dog’s ID tags are current; it’s a good idea to get one for your dog’s carrier as well. If traveling internationally, include an email address and Skype or Google Voice number where you can be reached.

First aid kit – This doesn’t have to be extensive, but should include basic wound treatments, antibacterial cream, tweezers or a tick key, flea preventatives, generic tablets of benadryl for bee stings, and any medications (and prescriptions, if you anticipate needing refills) that your dog needs. If your dog needs a special shampoo or other skin treatment, this is a good place to put it.

Waterproof bag for dog food and treats – Bring along as much of your dog’s food as makes sense. At a minimum, this should be a day’s worth, as it allows you some time to locate dog food at your destination. Putting it in a waterproof, reusable bag helps keep it fresh.

That’s about it!

As you can see, you really don’t need to bring much more for traveling with your dog than what you normally use at home. If you can, take a couple of short trips with your dog before going on longer adventures; you’ll get hands-on experience to learn what you really need to bring with you, and what is just taking up room in your bag. Refine as you go, and remember that you can always replenish at a pet store if needed!


elena-sipe-switzerland-300x276Elena is an adventure-seeker, world traveler, foodie, and all-around nerd person that is rarely seen without her rescue dog, Alfie, by her side. When not hiking or spending time near water, Elena can be found eating, cuddling with Alfie, enjoying nerdy books, and learning, which her and Alfie both love though only one of them gets treats for it.

How to find the right rabbit for you


This is Slim Shady. He is one of Red Door’s rabbits. 

By Bill Mayeroff

Most of the time, I use this space to blog about dogs and dog training. But with Easter coming, I’ve got rabbits on the brain.

At the Red Door Animal Shelter, where I work as a shelter technician, we specialize in rabbits. And we’re bracing ourselves for an influx.

You see, Easter is a popular time for bunnies. People love to give baby bunnies as Easter gifts. But too often, people don’t realize the work and time that go into caring for a rabbit and what winds up happening is people either surrender the rabbits to us or simply release them into the wild, where their chance of surviving more than a month (if the Red Door staff doesn’t step in to rescue them) is very slim.

That’s why I was asked to write this post. There’s a lot you need to know before adopting a rabbit and they’re not a good fit as a pet for everyone. Also, not every rabbit will be a great pet for every family.

So how do you find the right rabbit for you? To answer that question, I talked to Toni Greetis, Red Door’s vice president and head of the rabbit adoption program. Toni is an absolute encyclopedia of rabbit knowledge. I’m convinced that the sheer amount of rabbit knowledge she has accumulated has caused her to forget large chunks of her childhood. If anyone can help you find the right rabbit, it’s her.

Before adopting a rabbit, Greetis says, you need to determine whether a rabbit is right for you. Can you commit to an animal that will likely live between eight and 12 years? Rabbits aren’t like rats and mice. They live a long time. Are you getting a rabbit for your kids? Then you need to consider whether your kids are likely to lose interest once they get into high school and dating and all that fun stuff. Are your kids close to college age? That’s fine, but are you willing to take care of the rabbit once they’re gone?

These are all important factors, as is the fact that rabbits need several hours per day of exercise and socialization.

You also need to consider your own expectations for a pet. Do you want a pet that loves to cuddle? Most rabbits, because they’re prey animals, don’t like being cuddled or held. It’s scary to them. Can you live with the mess? Rabbits are generally clean creatures, but timothy hay, which is a large part of their diet, is messy and while they can often be counted on to use a litter box, they’re unlikely to be perfect about it and you will sometimes have to clean rabbit poop off your floor.

Other factors to consider before deciding to adopt a rabbit:

Little kids. Rabbits aren’t great pets for little kids and while Red Door won’t disqualify a family from adopting for having little kids, it’s a factor that gets considered. “We generally do not recommend pet rabbits for small children because rabbits are delicate prey animals,” Greetis says. “Kids usually want a pet they can cuddle, and rabbits do not like this. Small children do not understand the consequences of mishandling a rabbit or feeding it candy/chips/scraps. Small kids can also be very loud and active; rabbits prefer a quiet home with a regular routine. Also, many kids get bored with the rabbit once they realize they cannot pick it up, or the bun doesn’t conform to their expectations.”

Do you plan to give the rabbit as a gift? Absolutely not. Rabbits – like pretty much any animal – are not gifts. They are living beings and if you want to bring one into your family, everyone needs to be on board with it before adopting.

Are you fastidious about the level of cleanliness in your home? You probably shouldn’t have a rabbit. As I said before, they’re not terribly messy, but they certainly have the potential to be and they’ll never be perfect.

Ok, so you’ve decided to adopt a rabbit.

Fantastic. Now, how do you go about picking the right rabbit for you? That’s where a little knowledge can come in very handy. Potential adopters at Red Door are interviewed by one of several rabbit adoption counselors, each of whom knows all the quirks of each of our rabbits. The goal is to find the rabbit whose personality is the best fit for the adopting family.

Greetis warns that cuteness is NOT a good indicator of whether a rabbit will be a good fit for your family.

“As much as we tell people not to judge a bunny by its looks, we find they will still pick the fancy rabbit over the plain-colored rabbits,” she said. “Red-eyed rabbits are very sweet as a breed, yet the majority of adopters refuse to even consider them because they are creeped out by the eyes.”

Side  note: Red-eyed rabbits are among the sweetest rabbits out there because many were bred to be used for either meat or chemical testing. That means they had to be docile, easy to handle and social. Also, this blogger thinks they’re freaking adorable.

So what do the adoption counselors actually consider when trying to match a family to a rabbit? (By the way, note that I said “match a family to a rabbit,” rather than “match a rabbit to a family.”)

“Once we have done an interview and educated (or re-educated) a potential adopter, we meet them at Red Door and introduce them to the rabbit personalities we think are appropriate,” Greetis says. “The rabbit adoption counselors try to match personality and age to an adopter. Some buns are high energy (babies), some are couch potatoes, some are independent, some are very needy and will follow you like a dog. It’s a matter of asking the applicant about their daily routine, expectations for a pet and setup at home.”

The bottom line is that the more knowledge you have, the better off you’ll be. If you are aware of your own expectations for a pet, you’ll be better equipped to find one that will become a happy member of your family.


Look at these two handsome gents.

After five years as a newspaper reporter in western Illinois and two more as a freelancer in Chicago, Bill Mayeroff‘s life has gone to the dogs in the best way possible. These days, Bill lives in Chicago with his terrier mix, Chester, and works at a small, no-kill animal shelter. He recently graduated from FetchFind Academy and is a Junior Trainer at AnimalSense Canine Training & Behavior. Bill also blogs about his two favorite things – dogs and beer – at Pints and Pups. 


Can you keep miniature goats as pets?


By Mary Beth Miller

Mini goats – Pygmy and Nigerian dwarf goats – can be great additions to the right family. Gregarious and docile, both types are good choices for hobbyists and people who want to keep them as pets. There is never a dull moment with these mini goats, but they aren’t for everyone.

The pygmy goat is about half the size of a regular sized goat, weighing between 55 to 75 pounds. The Nigerian dwarf weighs between 25-45 pounds. Both types of goats can be milked.

Female goats are called does or nannies; intact male goats are called bucks or billies, and neutered male goats are called wethers. Billy goats can be aggressive and have a strong smell; does or wethers are recommended for people who want to keep them as pets.


Anyone who has ever tried to house train a goat will tell you it is impossible to keep them in the house. Aside from the fact that goats eat everything but the kitchen sink (not an exaggeration here), they also have the inability to control their bathroom habits.

Goats are herd animals, meaning that they get lonely if left by themselves. It’s better to have at least a pair, but if you don’t want a growing herd, it’s best to get two females or a female and a wether.

The great thing about keeping mini goats is that they do not need a lot of space (especially in comparison to other livestock). Shelter should be 15-20 square feet per goat, with a hard surface for standing and access to adjacent grazing areas. The shed should have bedding that is replaced regularly, and a higher, dry place for sleeping.

Fencing is key: their housing area should be secured with fences high enough to keep these spirited jumpers inside the fence and safe from predators.


Goats are grazing animals, spending long hours of the day eating a variety of roughage, including dry leaves, brush, bark, and grass hay.

Not all pet owners can provide this type of free-range diet for their pet goats, so a goat mix feed should be provided (check with your vet for recommended amounts and types of feed). Overfeeding can lead to health problems such as scouring and obesity.

Goats make great lawnmowers and the fresh grass is an excellent addition to their diet. However, beware of plants poisonous to the pygmy such as fir trees, laburnum, rhododendron and yew.

Minerals should also be included in the diet; a mineral block, available at any large pet or farm store, should be placed in a dry location where the goats can easily reach it.

Health care

Before you even consider getting goats – find out if there is a veterinarian nearby (or within a reasonable driving distance) who treats goats. Ask the breeder or rescue, check online for large animal vets (especially one that treats small ruminants), call a nearby veterinary college to see what services they offer, or call the county agricultural extension agent and ask for recommendations.  (See resources, below, for online listings.)

Mini goats are generally very hardy and healthy, but there are a few basic care requirements pet owners must do routinely:

Vaccination and medication – goats should be vaccinated against tetanus, pulpy kidney, enterotoxemia and other illnesses common in your geographic location. Ask your vet for the recommended vaccination schedule for your goats.

All  herbivores have a tendency to contract parasitic worms. Administering worming medicine to your goats twice a year will prevent stomach and gastrointestinal parasites. Talk to your veterinarian about your worming needs and the appropriate medicine to give your pet. Worming medication is easily administered by mouth and can be given at home.

Hoof trimming – just like the human fingernail, goat hooves grow continuously and will require trimming about every six to eight weeks.

Financial implications

As with any pet, you must consider the amount of money that will need to be spent to keep your goats safe and healthy. Here are some of the line items everyone should consider before adding a goat to the family (prices will vary by geographic region and how elaborate you want your set-up to be):

  • Health, registration, and transportation certificates
  • Shelter and fencing
  • Bedding
  • Goat feed and hay
  • Annual veterinary costs

Legal requirements

Even if you regard your mini goats as pets, they are legally considered livestock and require owners to obtain documentation such as property and registration numbers and transportation/movement licenses before/upon purchase of the animal. Every county or municipal district may have different requirements; the rescue or breeder should be able to help you get the appropriate documentation squared away before you take your new goats home.

If you live in a city, your first order of business should be determining whether or not you can keep livestock within the city limits. You should also check (and double check) any municipal regulations regarding such things as waste disposal, rodent control, and noise abatement.

There is a lot more to owning goats than you thought!

Although it may seem like a lot, most of the legal requirements and expenses are only necessary right after purchase or adoption. Of course, not every budget, property, or lifestyle meets the requirements for goat ownership. But, with this information as a starting point, you can now make an informed decision about adding mini goats to your family.




mary-beth-miller-pawedinMary Beth Miller is a registered veterinary technician from southeast Iowa. She works in a large/small animal veterinary clinic and also volunteers at the local Humane Society, Emergency Animal Care Center, as well as the Iowa Parrot Rescue. Her passion lies in helping save the lives of animals. Mary Beth has three dogs, a Siberian husky named Rocky and two rescue dogs named Sambita and Nina.

You get what you work for


By Jamie Migdal, CEO of FetchFindpcip-logo

One of my mentors, Howard Tullman, uses this quote:  “You get what you work for, not what you wish for.”

I’m very proud to share that last week FetchFind was selected as one of the top five most innovative pet care companies in the nation. Along with four other very deserving startups, we’ll be heading down to St. Louis next month to work on our business with the help of a whole slew of talented folks dedicated to growth and innovation in the pet care space.

If you aren’t directly associated with one of the five companies, it is most likely just a lot of words that don’t amount to much other than a nod of congrats and maybe a quick read of one of the press releases… And I totally get that. But I would ask that you take a second and think about your life, career and/or business.

Do other success stories make you feel a little envious?

Maybe you’re envious because you know you’re doing things that should be recognized, or because you know you are not taking every opportunity to create your own success story.

If you are reading this blog, I’m almost certain you want to be the best and take all the necessary steps to do that. You want to set and met your goals and objectives. You want to feel proud. Yep. Join the club. But like Howard says: You get what you work for, not what you wish for.

If you are making excuses for not getting your own recognition, awards, money, advances in your career, or anything else you know you want and deserve, I have this advice for you: stop standing in your own way. I am just learning how to do that after 46 years of life, and the results are endlessly brilliant.


Start building your own success story with these resources:

f6sCreate a profile in f6s to search and apply for grants and awards pertinent to your industry and business growth stage. Fill out your basic info set once, and use it to auto-populate applications.


google-bellSet up Google Alerts to get daily or weekly digests tracking industry developments, the competition, topics of interest, and your own press. (This is seriously one of the greatest time-savers ever.)

How to pick the best doggy daycare



By Jamie Migdal, CEO of FetchFind

If you have the kind of dog who loves being around other dogs, then doggy daycare might be the right choice for you! If you’re thinking about daycare, here are some pointers to help you find the best fit for your pup:

Professional associations and certifications. One of the indicators of good facility management is an affiliation with one or more of the major professional pet sitting associations, such as NAPPS, PSI, or IBPSA. Although membership is not mandatory, it says a lot about a business if they are voluntarily willing to adhere to industry-wide standards. (It’s like going the extra mile.) Tip: look for signs that say staff has been trained/certified by experts like FetchFindThe Dog Gurus, or PACCC.

Philosophy. How is the business marketed – is it a “big play group all the time” type of place, or do they offer individualized attention geared to your dog’s personality? Some dogs can run all day long and be happy campers, but other dogs need to socialize (or not) on their own terms. Tip: Make sure play groups are age- and size-appropriate for your dog.

Facility. Doing an in-person visit of the facility (preferably during the day when other dogs are present) is absolutely essential. You’ll want to keep an eye out for such things as hygiene and sanitation (of common areas as well as individual spaces), the staff-to-client ratio, and the general appearance of the space. Tip: Pay attention to the level and quality of the noise while you’re there – happy, well-tended dogs sound very different than stressed out dogs. 

Health and hygiene. It’s very important for all pet care facilities to require the appropriate vaccinations and adhere to best practices when sanitizing the premises. When you’re filling out the application forms, make sure they ask about vaccination records; when you’re touring the facility, ask them about their protocols in case of a canine influenza or kennel cough outbreak. Tip: keep an eye (and nose) out for the prevalence of mop buckets and sanitation stations. 




How to choose the perfect dog walker

cog-walkingBy Jamie Migdal, CEO of FetchFind

Are you in the market for a dog walker? The good news is that there are a ton of options available these days; the bad news is that making a decision can be really overwhelming. But, if you follow these guidelines you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect pro for your pup!

Education. One of the most important things to look for in a dog walker is the training and education provided by the company. Do their new walkers shadow the experienced walkers before going solo? Does the company provide (or require)  first aid  & CPR training? Do they train their staff in basic canine communication and dog handling?

Tip: look for walkers and management staff trained with FetchFind Monthly Pro or  through dog*tec’s Dog Walking Academy program.

Reviews. Check sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and the company’s social media pages before signing on. The reviews won’t tell the whole story, but they are good indicators not only of the quality of service but also how the company handles problems. 

Meet and greet. Always request a meeting with the person who will be your primary dog walker, and have a list of questions on hand for the first meeting. Both you and your dog should feel comfortable with the personnel; if you don’t (for whatever reason), request another meeting with a different person.

Reliability and availability. Every dog walking company has a different business model, and you’ll need to decide if you value flexibility (can you get a walker with two hours’ notice on the weekend?) or consistency  (will you have the same walker every day at the same time?).  Ask for references  – and contact them! Current clients will have the best take on the overall reliability of the company.

Tip: have two companies on speed dial if you need one for regular weekday walks and one for occasional last-minute requests.  If your dog is okay with different walkers, it’s a great way to have the best of both worlds!

This is just a short list of what to look for when you’re in the market for a dog walker. What are your must-haves? Let us know in the comments!


Fido of All Trades: How having so many pet industry jobs helped me fetch my calling


LyndaBy Lynda Lobo, CPDT-KA

Confession time. I started working in the pet industry by chance, not by choice.

I graduated from college in 2008. Needless to say, the job market was rough. I ended up as a bather at a small groom shop and, although I’d always dreamed of working with animals, I thought it was a temporary way to get by.

Things took off from there. My career has taken me from bathing and grooming to daycare to reception to walking to management to training. It took me a while to find my calling, but I’m grateful because all this experience brings a unique perspective to my role as Director of Education at FetchFind.

When I first started out, I was lost. I had four years of college under my belt, but I lacked canine knowledge, despite being a life-long dog owner and lover. To make matters worse, I was given conflicting information, and so was basically left to figure things out for myself.

Essentially, I tried it all. What consistently worked best to help me work effectively with the dogs in my care was using methods based on science, compassion, and a whole lot of patience. Through some research and lots of trial-and-error, I learned how to expertly clip nails, how to get 25 dogs to sit at once, nutrition requirements, what’s the very best gear for dog walkers, how to talk to a client about their dog’s matted coat, and how to train new employees.

I also learned where the gaps are in staff training. By helping to produce content for FetchFind, my goal is to bring awesome, relatable, and practical information to pet businesses so that everyone feels empowered to take the very best care of every animal (and human client!) they meet. More education means higher job satisfaction, lower turnover, and happy clients.

I may have fallen into the pet industry by chance, but I choose it every single day. I love what I do and I want to help others do the same!


Tell us your story!

How did you get started in the pet industry? What do you wish you had known when you started? What do you love about what you do?

Want to Be a Dog Walker? Here’s What to Expect.

Photo credit: dog walker by

We know a lot of pet industry entrepreneurs who got their start in the biz as a dog walker, either as a side job or student employment. Although in most cases you don’t have to have previous experience as a dog walker to get a job as a dog walker, you do need to be able to handle a variety of responsibilities and “non-negotiable” job requirements, such as:

  • Be consistently available during one or more time slots every day (e.g., 11am – 2pm or 4pm – 7pm), and have good time-management skills.
  • Be willing to commit to a certain period of time in the job, sometimes as long as a year.
  • Be willing and able to take on a variety of assignments, from Chihuahuas to Pit Bulls to Great Danes. (Not to mention cats, birds, reptiles, and small mammals.)
  • Be prepared to go out in all types of weather, and be able to get around on foot, by car, by bicycle, or by public transportation.
  • Be willing and able to administer medicine, put on dog booties or coats, and put out food and water as necessary.
  • Be able to respect client confidentiality and privacy expectations, and be comfortable running into clients if they are at home; discretion is the name of the game.
  • Be able to use your smartphone to check in with the head office and inform clients when dogs have been walked, and be willing to take pictures and post on social media, as appropriate. Many companies also require a smartphone for GPS/time tracking purposes.
  • Be willing to develop and practice solid dog handling skills, and be able to exercise good judgment during walks. No one is expecting you to be a Grand Master of Dog Walking when you first start out, but you should know how to handle a variety of dogs on leash.

Jump start your dog walking career with dog*tec’s Dog Walking Academy – classes are offered worldwide!

Compensation: you can expect to get paid around $6-10/walk, depending on duration and time of day. Weekend, evening, and holiday hours tend to have higher rates of pay.

Equipment: a sturdy leash, treats, poop bags, a good pair of walking shoes, and some sort of all-weather coat. Some companies may request that you wear a company logo shirt.

Pros: lots of fresh air and exercise (no desks!) and the acquisition of an impressive array of dog handling skills. You will also get to meet like-minded people (staff and other dog walkers), and owners will absolutely love you because you are allowing them to own a dog and work without feeling guilty.

Cons: holiday and evening hours, no health or vacation benefits, and being outside in all types of weather.



Top 5 Must-Have Apps for Dog Walkers

By Jamie Migdal, CEO of FetchFind

When I started my first business, Out-U-Go, in 1995, we did just about everything on paper. It wasn’t all that common to even have a cell phone, back in the day. (It was a very long time ago.) Those of us who did have one of those fancy StarTAC phones tended to keep emergency numbers on a piece of paper taped to the back, because you could only store ten numbers in the speed dial list.

Now, of course, we’re spoiled for choice in the mobile phone and app department. I can’t help you choose the right hardware, but I can direct you to a few apps and bookmarks that I find particularly helpful (and not just for professional dog walkers).

Pet First Aid – The American Red Cross Pet First Aid app is my favorite; it’s pretty comprehensive and well-organized, and has sections for both cats and dogs. (Available on Google Play and iTunes.)

Hazardous Substances – The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center app is your best bet here. It has listings for dogs, cats, horses, and birds. (Available on Google Play and iTunes.)

Vet Locator – I don’t really like the vet locator apps for either iOS or Android. I do like the website quite a bit, and keep that one bookmarked. and are also pretty good.

Pet-Friendly – Find the nearest pet-friendly venues with BringFido, the #1 pet travel site on the internet (app available on iTunes). Android users, bookmark the website.  Don’t forget Yelp and Foursquare when searching for pet-friendly restaurants, pubs, and stores.

Lost Pets – Be prepared and set up pictures and info for all of your canine clients in your phone in advance. If the unthinkable happens and a dog does go missing, you’ll have all the information ready to deploy on Finding Rover. (Available on Google Play and iTunes.) Note: I like the facial recognition feature on Finding Rover, but depending on your location and even the age of your phone, you might get better coverage and functionality with a different lost pet app. There are a lot of options for both Android and iOS, and most are free, so try a few and see which ones work best for you.

And in the “Not Necessary But Fun to Have” category:

Dog Breeds – Because who doesn’t love a good game of “What Kind of Dog is That?” Download Petsie on Google Play and Dog Breeds A-Z on iTunes. Or skip the apps altogether and bookmark the AKC’s Breeds section.

What are your must-have pet apps?


Do you have a fully-stocked Dog Walker’s Toolkit? Check out our recommendations on FetchFind Monthly Pro!