Would you be a good pet sitter?

People assume pet sitters have a pretty cushy job because they get to play with pets all day.  Playing with pets is definitely a wonderful part of our job, but pet sitters do much more than that.  Luckily you can now find out whether you too would be a good pet sitter.  So please take out a piece of paper and number 1-7.  This highly scientific quiz will help you determine whether you have what it takes to be a successful pet sitter.  Would you be a good pet sitter

1.  Do you like to clean?  Whether it’s cat litter all over the floor or vomit on carpet, pet sitters do a lot of cleaning.  At Pup Culture, we make sure that clients come home to a house at least as clean (if not cleaner) as it was when they left.  Sometimes vacuuming, sweeping, and scrubbing is part of the pet sitter’s day.

2.  Can you handle vomit and poop?  Sometimes pets get sick, and we ALWAYS pick up poop when we’re walking dogs.  Also, we sometimes have to describe poop and vomit consistency to clients.  So you should be very comfortable with dealing with vomit and poop.

3.  Do you enjoy driving?  When you think of pet sitting, you probably imagine lots of dog walking.  Although we do a lot of dog walking, pet sitters also do a lot of driving.  We drive to clients’ houses; sometimes multiple times a day.

4.  Are you obsessed with pets?  Pet sitters visit a lot of different pets.  An extreme love of animals is vital for a pet sitter.  If you can get shy or fearful animals to warm-up to you quickly, then bonus points for you!

5.  Can you follow directions?  At Pup Culture we work with clients to maintain a consistent routine for their pets.  Following clients’ specific directions is vital to successful pet sitting visits.

6.  Are you reliable and responsible?  Pets are relying on you for their bathroom breaks, exercise, food, and cleaning.  It is important that we don’t let them down!

7.  Are you a morning person…and a night owl?  Depending on pet clients’ needs and schedules, you may need to visit pets in the morning for breakfast time and again before bedtime for a potty break.  Pet sitters’ hours are not easy by any means.

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, you are in luck!  Pup Culture is currently hiring part-time pet sitters.  You can find more information on our Employment page.  We are always looking to hire reliable animal lovers who are excited to be working with pets.

 

Dog Running in Minneapolis and St. Louis Park

We’re pleased to announce we are now offering a new service!  Pup Culture is now offering dog running in Minneapolis and St. Louis Park.

What is dog running?

Instead of standard dog walking, your dog now has the opportunity to get even more exercise.  We will work with you and your dog to create an exercise regimen to meet your dog’s energy level.  Our employees Brittany and Kate will run with your dogs.  Just like a sedentary person can’t go out and run for an hour, neither can a dog who has not done much running.  We will train with your dog and work up to running at a comfortable pace for an extended period of time.

dog running minneapolis st. louis park

Photo credit to https://www.flickr.com/photos/glaciertim/

Benefits of dog running:

1.  Dog running helps anxious or high-energy dogs calm down.

2.  Reduces problem behaviors like chewing, barking, digging, and scratching.

3.  Dogs sleep better.

4.  The extra exercise helps with digestion and reduces constipation.

5.  Dog running helps maintain a dog’s weight.

Please click here for more information on our dog running services and fees.

Hiring Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Employees

Pup Culture is going through some exciting changes at the moment.  We’re steadily growing, and to continue to provide excellent pet sitting and dog walking services for clients, we’ve hired some new employees.

hiring dog walking pet sitting employees

Our dog walker Angela took this great photo of Kana.

Unlike many pet sitting companies, Pup Culture hires employees rather than using independent contractors.  By hiring employees, we have more control over who we hire and how they perform their duties.  We can train employees and require them to operate according to Pup Culture’s standards.

I was asked recently by a potential client what my process is for hiring employees, so I thought I would share how I hire employees.  I’m so impressed by my employees that I think it’s important for you to know why I choose them.

First, all pet sitting candidates must apply with a cover letter and resume.  An animal-related background is not necessary, but some experience with animals is a must.

I adopted both of my fur babies Ellie (my cat) and June (my dog) from shelters, so they are what you might call “high maintenance” pets.  June is initially very timid in new situations, she barks quite a bit, and has a lot of energy.  Ellie can be very sweet, but if you give her one too many pets, she’ll turn on you.  Because of these quirks, I would not hire just anyone to take care of my pets when I’m gone.  When I’m interviewing potential pet sitting employees, I always think to myself, “Would I give this person keys to my house and let them take care of June and Ellie?”  I think this is the most critical test that a pet sitting candidate must pass.

We also check all of our pet sitting candidates’ references.  We make sure they are reliable and honest.  I want all of my employees to have integrity, and checking references helps me determine this.

All of our employees are also background checked.  We are bonded and insured, but we want to know that we’re sending trustworthy people into your homes.

Once employees pass background checks, they go through training.  I train all of my employees.  We cover company policies and procedures.  Employees also shadow me on dog walks before taking over pet sitting and dog walking visits for themselves.

Finally, all of my employees are monitored through a program called Leash Time.  Employees must check-in to visits on Leash Time through their smart phones.  Leash Time tracks their GPS location and times they arrive and leave clients’ houses.  I can then log in to Leash Time and track employees’ visits.

I am so grateful to have found some amazing employees.  I am continually impressed by the love they show for our animal clients.  They are reliable, trustworthy, and conscientious animal lovers–exactly the people I would want taking care of my June and Ellie.

Secrets of a Dog Walker and Pet Sitter

secrets of a dog walker and pet sitter

Our dog walker Angela added a crown to a picture of Jingles. Because “Jings is King”

As a professional dog walker and pet sitter, I appreciate the faith our clients have in us when they hand over the keys to their homes and the leashes to their most prized possessions.  Being a dog walker and pet sitter is not a role I take lightly.

When I first meet clients, I will answer any questions they may have for me.  But there are certain aspects of being a dog walker and pet sitter that I’m probably not going to immediately divulge at an initial consultation with a new client.  Instead I will share with you here some of the secrets we dog walkers and pet sitters may not tell you in person:

1.  My phone is full of pictures of your pets.  Yes, I may even have a few selfies with your animals.  I can’t help it; your pet is adorable and I’m going to try to get a good photo.

secrets of a dog walker and pet sitter

Sometimes I take selfies with clients.

2.  I have nicknames for your pet.  Maddy is “Maddy Cakes.”  Leo is “Handsome Guy”.  Hurley is “Hurl Girl”.

3.  I know your dog’s bffs and enemies in the neighborhood.  We might avoid walking past certain houses because I know that yellow lab in the window is going to bark at us.  Or we might walk past a certain house because I know Daisy likes checking to see if the neighbor dogs are in the backyard.

4.  I’m a little obsessed with your dog’s safety.  I check and recheck that harnesses are on and clipped correctly.  I make sure collars are tight enough.  I’ve yet to have a dog escape from me, and I (knock on wood) hope it doesn’t happen anytime soon.  I look both ways many times before crossing streets.  Neighbors who walk their dogs probably think I’m antisocial because I try to avoid other dogs and people on walks.  We just can’t risk how other dogs will react.

5.  I sing to your dogs.  My current dog clients probably know all the words to “Uptown Funk.”  Many of your pets are probably now a little familiar with show tunes.  When I brush cats, I just can’t help but sing “Brusha Brusha Brusha” from Grease.  And it’s not just that I sing to my animal clients.  Sometimes we do bits.  If I have a dog client named Lucy, of course I’m going to talk to her in my best Ricky Ricardo accent.

6.  We know your dogs’ bathroom habits all too well.  If William doesn’t pee and poop right when we go out, we’re walking just a little bit longer until he does.

7.  When I slip on the ice or snow while I’m walking dogs, your dog is always very concerned.  I think it’s mostly because I probably jerk the leash, but every dog always glances back whenever I slip.  You’re raising concerned citizens–that’s good.

secrets of a dog walker and pet sitter

Ava always waits patiently for kisses before I leave.

8.  Dogs get kisses when I leave.  No, not on the mouth.  I’m not a fan of full-on mouth kisses with animals.  But almost all of my dog clients get kisses on the top of their heads before I leave.  I don’t know why I do this.  But many of the dogs wait patiently until I do kiss them goodbye.

9.  I talk to your dogs constantly.  I ask my furry clients about their weekend, what they’re going to do that evening, how puppy class was, whatever it may be.  I try to tone it down when I’m actually walking your dog because I don’t want to get a crazy dog lady reputation, but it might already be too late for that…

New Dog Walker in Maple Grove!

We’re pleased to announce that Pup Culture has hired a new dog walker and pet sitter in Maple Grove!  Kirstin comes to us with a lot of experience in the pet care industry.  We’re excited to have her join our team!  You can read more about her here:

 

charlieHi, my name is Kirstin. I live in New Hope with my husband Joe and our English Shepherd, Marta.  Currently, Marta is our only pet (unless you count Kevin, our favorite squirrel) but I’ve had a few cats along the way and horses have been a huge part of my life as well.  I graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield with a degree in religion, and began a job in health insurance immediately after.  It wasn’t a bad job, but it was all I could do not to sneak Marta in my cubicle with me every morning and after work, I rushed to the barn every night to see my horse Kola. I realized working with animals would be much more fun than working in cubicles so I decided to give professional pet care a try and I’ve been doing it now since 2008. I feel so grateful to be able to spend my days walking dogs and breathing in the fresh Minnesota air (even when it’s cold.) I know how hard it is to be away from your pets all day, so I aim to take care of the pets in my care just as I would want someone to take care of Marta- with lots of love, fun and attention to detail.

 

You can check out the rest of our awesome dog walkers and pet sitters here.

We Hired a Dog Walker for Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, and Hopkins!

I’m so pleased to welcome Brittany, our newest employee, to Pup Culture!  Brittany will be walking dogs and pet sitting in Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, and Hopkins.  Read more about her in her own words:

dog walker minneapolisHello! My name is Brittany. I live in South Minneapolis with my adorable Blue Heeler pup, Ivy, and fiancé, Blake (who is also adorable)! I attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and graduated with a degree in English and a double minor in Spanish and Latin American Studies. In my off hours with PupCulture, I am a staff member with the YMCA’s after school program, where children teach me to only look at the positive aspects of life. In my spare time I enjoy training Ivy, both at home and in a class setting (she’s a two program pup graduate!), running, and losing myself in literature. As a pet owner myself, I know how important it is to have someone trustworthy and reliable watch over your four-legged family members, and I am passionate about providing your animal with just as much love, care, and belly rubs as I would want for Ivy.

 

You can find out more about our awesome team here!

Pup Culture Has Hired an Overnight Pet Sitter!

Please welcome Kate to the Pup Culture team!  She will be doing overnight pet sitting in clients’ homes.   She is more than ready to snuggle up with your pets!  You can read more about her in her own words:

Would You Be a Good Dog Walker?

good dog walker twin cities

Would you be a good dog walker?

When I tell people that I’m a dog walker and pet sitter, I often hear exclamations like “Oh, that would be so fun!” or “I would love to spend all day with dogs!”  I can’t really argue with these sentiments most of the time.  But there is more that goes into being a daily dog walker or pet sitter than one might think.

To determine whether you too could “play with dogs all day,” I’ve developed a highly scientific quiz to determine whether you could make it as a dog walker in the Twin Cities.  So grab a piece of paper and number 1-10 (wow, memories of my old teaching days are surfacing), and answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions:

1.  Can you deal with poop?  I mean loads of poop.   Not only do I pick up at least five piles of poop a day, but I talk about poop a lot.  I leave notes to clients about poop.  I notice changes in dogs’ poop consistency and inform clients.  Poop consumes a large portion of my day.

2.  Can you walk for at least five hours a day?  I actually love this part of the job.  I’ve enjoyed fall leaves and gorgeous summer days.  But when I first started walking five big dogs who want to walk fast, it took me a few days to adjust to the added exercise.

dog walker twin cities

These are the types of daily walks I do.

3.  Do you enjoy all types of weather?  And being outside in all types of weather?  For the most part, the dogs don’t mind the weather, so neither should you.  Let’s not forget, we live in Minnesota, so you must be comfortable with winter.

4.  Do you like driving?  I know it seems weird to include this in a dog walking quiz, but I do almost as much driving as I do walking.  Pup Culture offers individual walks for clients, so we drive from house to house.

5.  Do you LOVE dogs?  As a dog walker, you’re going to hang out with a lot of dogs, so you better love them.

6.  Do you know a bit about dog behaviors?  Do you know what it means when a dog’s ears are back?  Can you tell when a dog is happy?  How about when a dog is about to attack?  Knowing basic dog behaviors is a must for a dog walker.

7.  Are you reliable?  Daily dog walkers are expected to show up everyday around the same time.  Your furry clients depend on it.

8.  Do you like being treated like a celebrity when you walk into a room?  I’m guessing at your current job, most people don’t jump up and down, yell, scream, and rush over to you when you enter the room.  The dogs learn to expect you every day and most absolutely lose it when their dog walker walks in the door.  It’s a pretty great feeling.

9.  Do you enjoy working independently?  Most of the time it’s just me and the dogs.  I might go a whole work day without talking to a human.  I personally don’t mind this, but I know a lot of people who would.

10.  Can you think on your feet?  Accidents happen, emergencies arise, a dog gets loose on a leash.  Can you keep a cool head when things go astray?

If you answered “yes” to seven or more of these questions, then you might make it as a dog walker.  Lucky for you, Pup Culture is hiring! Head on over to our Employment Page to find out more information.  You too can make everyone jealous when you tell them what you do.

 

 

Plymouth Pet Expo

Pup Culture Dog Walking and Pet Sitting will be participating in the Plymouth Pet Expo on Saturday, October 25th!  We will have a booth, so stop on by.  The expo is from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Plymouth Fieldhouse.  It is $3 per person and proceeds benefit the Plymouth Dog Park.

plymouth mn pet expo

Plymouth Pet Expo Flyer

Some of the fun events and activities include:

  • Plymouth K9 Unit Demonstration
  • MN Companion Bird Show
  • Reading Education Assistance Dogs
  • Skyhoundz Disc Dog Tournament
  • Inflatables for the kids

There will also be booths featuring pet rescues and other vendors.  If you would like more information, you can visit Plymouth’s events page.  We’re excited to be a part of the event.  It should be a lot of fun, and it benefits an important part of the Plymouth community.  Hope to see you there!

Pup Culture Reviews and Feedback

Pup Culture offers surveys to all of our dog walking and pet sitting clients. Below are the reviews and feedback that I have received so far from clients.  We value what our clients have to say about Pup Culture’s services.  We strive to provide you with the best service possible.  These reviews and feedback from actual clients lets us know that we’re doing well.  (Click on the photos for a close-up.)Pup Culture MN Dog Walking Pet SittingPup Culture MN Dog Walking Pet Sitting Review Pup Culture MN Reviews FeedbackPup Culture MN Dog Walking Pet Sitting Reviewspup culture dog walking pet sitting reviews

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial