The Best Vans for Dog Groomers and Walkers

The dog has widely been considered man’s best friend because of its unflinching loyalty, unconditional love and excellent companionship. But these special friends will often need special care and attention when their human moms and dads are at work or otherwise unavailable. Many dog lovers will take up a career in dog walking or grooming because of their special affinity to these terrific animals. This is especially needed by those who have to be at the job but want their four-legged friends to enjoy fresh air, exercise and proper grooming.

Today, dog care has become a booming business. The popular website, The Good Dog Guide, was launched in 2011 and lists over 10,000 dog care professionals, providing support to millions of UK dog owners. For many people, the life of a dog care worker is ideal, but many more will find the setbacks are considerable. Did you know that London has the highest number of dog walkers per capita In the UK?

In the following article we will take a closer look at the various activities of the average dog walker or dog groomer and take a look at what types of features they should consider when choosing a van that will suit their needs. We will then take a look at some of the options on the market now and examine what it is that makes some vans more ideal for dog walkers, groomers and those that care for dogs.

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Why do dog walkers and groomers need a van?
The average dog walker will charge £10-£20 an hour for their services and this often means taking out more than one canine out at a time. This means that they will certainly need space in their van to collect several dogs of several sizes and transport them to a place where they can be walked. For this reason, the size of the van is very important.

If you are a mobile groomer for canines and felines, you will probably need a large enough space in the back of the van for you to set up your equipment and various cleaning agents and still have space to work on an animal that can be very large. Your grooming center will include hairdryers, baths and benches where you will work on hair and nails. Then you will need enough space to accommodate your size and allow you to move and work well.

What size vans do dog walkers and groomers need?
We have spent time looking through forums on the topic and the general consensus is that dog walkers often work in teams of two and therefore need the capacity to comfortably transport as many as 10 medium sized dogs at a time.

Some professional dog walkers have mentioned that an average sized car is sufficient for transporting 2-3 dogs at a time. But when it came time to upgrade their businesses, they found that getting a van was the most logical step. The Peugeot Partner had the capacity to hold up to four good sized cages. If you will be considering working with greater numbers of dogs, you will need to consider how many cages can be properly fit in the back of your van so that you can safely transport more than a few dogs.

If you are a groomer you need to consider that not all the animals you will be grooming will be petite felines or chihuahuas. This means you will want to consider getting a van that can potentially hold a large St. Bernard and allow you the space to address the animal adequately.

If you are a mobile groomer you will need to consider how the fixtures, appliances and benches will be arranged in the back of the van you choose. It is a good idea to have some idea of how this will work before you choose the van.

What modifications need to be made to the van?

Dog Walkers
The dog walker can take advantage of some special additions and modifications that can make their work considerably easier. The most common thing is a set of cages in the back of the van. Different cages, designs and materials will vary in their costs. Some of the more costly options will even have climate control to keep your canine clients cool in the summer and warm in the winter. There are even vents and motorized airflow channels that can keep the dogs as comfortable as possible during their transportation. Then, you will probably want some storage space for poop scoops, towels, leads and anything else you may need on hand to function optimally.

You should also consider that your dogs will probably have some “accidents” in the back of the car and this can include vomit, urine or fecal matter that will need to be cleaned regularly. Make sure the floor and sides of the van are easily cleaned and hosed down.

Dog Groomers
If you are looking to break into the dog grooming business — the cat grooming business has also been booming recently — you will need a different set of modifications for your van.

The inside of your van will have to be 100% waterproof, because you will be bathing animals. You should also make sure that the temperatures can be controlled because you will be working in the van during all times of the year and this can include the extreme cold and you will want to be comfortable and make sure that your clients are also comfortable.

You will need to have a bathing area that comes complete with a shower head. You will also need the work bench complete with restraints so that clipping nails and trimming hair is an easy task. In addition to these essentials, you will need the right storage space to accommodate a wide range of storage for brushes, clippers, scissors, towels and brushes. Because you will be working all hours of the day, you will also need to ensure that you have ample lighting.

Naturally, you are not going to find many vans on the market that already come equipped with your parlor on wheels. But you will be happy to know that many different companies provide this service.

Article Supplied

The perfect solution to all your dog friendly needs

Head on the keyboard, I’ve had enough.  I’m tired of looking for the perfect solution to my needs.  I grab my coffee and head over to the back door where I stick my head out for some fresh air, oh I wish I could have a holiday somewhere quiet away from it all.  I know that’s not possible because of Lula my mix breed dog, she’s an absolute nightmare on the lead, in the house, in the car, you name it I hide from it!  So here I am stuck at home with my barking, lead pulling (that’s why we don’t get out much) dog.  I do love her and want to have a special bond with her but I can’t find what I’m looking for, I don’t even know what I’m looking for.

I pick up a tennis ball and throw it into the garden, Lula loves to play a game of fetch, it brings her alive and she brings it back and runs to fetch it, this could go on for hours how come it doesn’t make her tired?  I bring her in and try to wipe her paws, yes you guessed it she doesn’t like that either and we end up in a wrestling match with me flat on my face in the middle of the kitchen floor.

That’s it, I’ve had enough! I slam the back door and head out of the kitchen back to the computer.  I know what I’m looking for!  Dog Trainer in King’s Lynn is added to the web browser.  Dog Trainers, Behaviourists and Clubs/King’s Lynn/Norfolk wow that’s the one! I click and get a bright dog friendly page full of dog trainers in King’s Lynn.  I look though a few of the premium pages and it catches my eye Game Based Trainer.  Lula it is meant to be young lady, today is day one of our new journey.

The website was bright, light and full of fun, showing how games created learning through choice – I was hooked and clicked on the Make an Enquiry button on The Good Dog Website.  Excited I jumped up and made another coffee returning quickly to The Good Dog Guide website and where it said click to choose a category I chose Self Catering and in lovely Norfolk.  I booked our holiday for September which gives us four months of intensive game based training sessions to have the best holiday ever!

Thank you The Good Dog Guide you have it all covered!

Article supplied by to Julie Carter at MyLuka Dog Training Solutions

ANIMAL MAGIC COMES TO MAIDSTONE AS ‘WE LOVE PETS’ FRANCHISE OPENS!

Award-winning animal care franchise We Love Pets has opened a new branch in Maidstone.

The local franchise has been taken up by Elaine Dunn, aged 52, who will be helping pet owners with dog walking and boarding, cat sitting and even looking after snakes, lizards and bigger animals.

Elaine, who recently moved back to her birth town of Maidstone, decided that the time was right to start a new career with animals after leaving the care profession. She has already taken on one member of staff to help her with dog boarding and is looking forward to growing the venture.

The mum-of-four said: “Working with animals is my dream and comes so naturally. Already, we’ve helped customers with dog boarding and walking. It’s important for me to do something that helps people who perhaps don’t have the time or mobility to do it themselves.

“I’m delighted to be able to work with We Love Pets and to continue their great track record. I’m looking forward to providing an exceptional service to my customers and Maidstone is a great place to do it thanks to its numerous parks and nature reserve meaning there’s lots of variety and somewhere new to walk all the time.

“We Love Pets have given me so much support already; they’ve been doing this for ten years and the business model is proven to work. They made me feel they care about me and my success. Plus, being outdoors in the fresh air is such a bonus in any job I’d say.”

For more information, click onto www.we-love-pets.co.uk/areas-covered/maidstone

5 Tips for Safe and Enjoyable Dog Walking

Dog safety is something we’re passionate about and we also care about the owners who walk them. It can be a pretty dangerous world out there, and it’s important, whatever the weather or time of day, you’re safe and well and can enjoy your time with your dog. With that in mind, we’ve put together our 5 top tips for you and your dog to ensure you stay safe at all times when out walking.

1. Walk in well-lit areas
Whilst ‘walking the dog’ might conjure up images of running through golden fields in the morning sunlight, the reality of walking for most of us involves taking our pets out very early in the morning and late at night, before and after work.  Especially in winter, this can mean walking in the dark.  For safety reasons, it’s paramount that you and your dog are as easily visible as possible at all times.  This isn’t always feasible, however, depending on the route you take, and that’s where squeaker.com’s nifty Pooch light LED collar and lead range comes in, which ensures your dog (and you) are visible at all times to other pedestrians, cars and road users, even with the absence of any other light (read more about this in number 5)

dog light LED collar

2. Wear warm, comfortable clothing and sensible footwear
Always make sure you wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty. Dress for the weather and layer up in case things change – pack-away macs are great as they’re easily portable but can be thrown on in case of a sudden shower. Comfortable walking shoes, old trainers or wellies are a must. Also make sure your dog is kitted out appropriately, with a coat if it’s chilly. If it’s a hot day, it’s best to take a bottle of water for you and your dog, just in case you get a little dehydrated.

3. Take your phone and let somebody know where you are going
It’s always a good idea to ensure that you have your phone with you (fully charged!) and if possible, let someone know where you are headed in case you do lose your phone or if anything should happen. Always make sure you have credit too should you need to call anyone.

4. Make sure to dispose of dog mess responsibly
It should go without saying, but this one’s a biggie – make sure you take bags with you and always clean up after your dog.

5. Make sure your dog is visible to you and to others
Reflective collars and leads are useful and can be very effective, however sometimes it’s simply not possible to walk your dog where there is sufficient light for them to be fully operational. For cyclists especially (as our director Chris found out!), who don’t often have lights strong enough to show up a reflective collar easily, it’s really important to have your own source of light to make sure your dog is visible at all times. Our light-up LED collars and leads come in a range of bright colours, so even in daylight you and your dog stand out. At night, 2 strips of flashing LED lights ensure your dog stands out from up to half a mile away. Safety is at the forefront of our designs – from the fabric we use to the style of the product – even down to the smallest fixtures and clasps. Easy to use, charging takes 30-60 minutes at any USB outlet so no expensive battery replacements. Keeping yourself and your dog safe and visible has never been easier – or more stylish!

Dog collars and tags

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Good Dog
Dogs are popular pets the world over and with so many shapes, sizes, colours, breeds and temperaments to chose from it is easy to see why so many people find a dog to suit their needs. Dogs make fantastic pets for families as they are active and attention
seeking, needing frequent exercise and love which a doting family can usually provide in bucketloads.So if you are considering getting a pooch as a pet what sort of things do you need to ensure that you are set up adequately for when you bring him home for the first time.
Food & Drink Station
Dogs respond well to routine so it is important that food and drink is offered at the same time every day and in the same place. Often dog owners have specific feeding stations with bowls raised at the right height for the size of the animal to minimise the risk of neck strain. It is a sensible idea to have the feeding station away from human food so that the temptation for them to eat human food is away from them when they are hungry. It is also a good idea to make sure that your food station is on an easily
wipe able floor as spills do happen. An ideal location would be a utility room or similar.1
Identity
It is important that you are clear about your dogs identity from the start as changing names can cause massive confusion for the animal. Chose a name well in advance for your dog coming home and get a collar and tag made so that in those inevitable moments when your dog decides to run away across the field, you know he can be returned safely if someone else catches up to him first!
Toys
Dogs are active creatures and it is essential that you keep their minds and their bodies active as much as possible. If you do not stimulate your dog enough you run the risk of him becoming sullen, bad tempered and even depressed. If you leave your dog indoors whilst you are at work and they become bored, your furniture and carpet may not last very long.To avoid these situations make sure that you are getting appropriate toys for both indoor and outdoor play. There are many toys on the market so do make sure that it is an appropriate
size and construction for your particular breed, a poodle and a
bulldog play with quite different toys.