The pet ownership landscape continues to evolve as more Americans are bringing canines into their lives. As more pet owners realize the benefits of bringing furry friends into their lives, approximately 36.5 percent of American homes include at least one dog. Some lucky dogs and their owners go to work together (Google, Ben & Jerry’s, Amazon, to name a few companies that are dog friendly).
Pet owners spent $58 billion on their animals last year and are estimated to spend $60 billion this year, $5 billion of which will go toward pet services. The humanization of pets is driving this growth. Pet owners are buying organic and healthy food, and pursuing human-like surgeries and rehab, including hydrotherapy for their pets. In our culture, we love pets so much that “Grump Cat” is worth an estimated $100 million. Only in a culture where people love their pets as much or more than humans can this occur.
Millions of Americans don’t have the pleasure of taking their dog to work, and as more and more people bring dogs into their lives, the demand for pet services such as dog walkers is on the rise. Hiring a dog walker is no small task. You’re essentially bringing another person into the family and you’re placing a great amount of trust in them. Here are a few tips to consider when hiring a sitter or walker:
- Pick a sitter or walker with insurance. Coverage should include care and custody of the pet.
- Ask for references.
- Contact the references, and also be sure to ask local pet businesses, such as groomers and boarders, and see what they have to say about your walker/sitter.
- Ask for education credentials and certificates.
- Make sure the sitter/walker knows pet first aid.
- Are they a member of a professional organization related to animals/pets?
- Are they good communicators?
Even when you’re satisfied with the credentials, personality and reputation of the dog sitter/dog walker, how can you be 100 percent sure your pet got the walk you paid for or that a sitter came by and spent quality time with the pet as promised? This is where technology can step in to be your friend.
Even though GPS technology has been around for about 20 years, not until recently was it utilized to help pet owners gain the assurances they need regarding the well-being of their furry family members.
To keep up with pet owner demand, the dog walking industry needs to stay current with trends. Doug Simon, a dog walking company owner in Chicago since 2003, saw this need and created Pet Check Technology, the first to create software that dog-walking companies utilize to give owners the communication abilities that have been lacking for too long. Implementing GPS technology into the solution is only part of the puzzle.
Pet owners enjoy the accountability that Pet Check provides. For instance, they can easily manage their account, including their schedule, feeding information, veterinarian information, and invoicing. Pet owners can leave notes for their walker and keep them informed on important updates through our software through real-time email updates.
Requesting an appointment is no problem with Pet Check’s scheduling tool. Confirmation notices are automatically sent via email. Accountability features go a step further with Pet Check’s verified check-in, which means the pet owner never has to wonder if the dog walker has arrived or departed. Walkers will simply scan a bar code by your door and you’ll get all the information you need.
GPS plays an important part in our solution. No longer do you have to rely on a note from your dog walker about where they went – now you can follow the exact course they took and how long they were out through our GPS feature.
Pet owners are huge proponents of photographing their furry friends. Pet Check allows you to get a daily snapshot of your dog while it’s on a walk.
Pet Check also makes billing easy by conforming to your needs. You’ll enjoy full transparency into your account and have the luxury of logging on anytime you want, view your bill and pay with a credit card. If you want automation, Pet Check offers that, too.
The people behind Pet Check are animal lovers, and we know your pets are members of your family. Our technology allows you to see where your dog has been walked, how long it was on the walk, and any comments your walker has about their session. Contact us today and we’ll provide you with in-depth details about our solution.