Friday, July 26, 2013

When You Have to Leave Your Pet Alone: A Guest Post by the Founder of Keepdom

As we near the end of this long hurricane displacement, my focus has turned quite a bit to "what the heck are we gonna do with this dog when we get back?"

He has not been really left alone--I mean really--for many many months. He is not, so far, loving being in the crate alone. He always used to have the run of our house, more or less. We know that it took us many many months the first time around to "cure" his separation anxiety, during which time he did a fine job of messing up our house. Even when we get home, we aren't going to be "home" as far as he's concerned. It will look and smell and feel different. What the heck are we gonna do with this dog when we get back?

One of the things I've considered is hiring a dog walker, but that's a daunting task. How do you find the right one? How do you know they will be a good match for your dog and his quirks? How do you know they won't drink all your beer or set weird stuff to record on your DVR? What if they steal your good bottle of wine? What if they don't lock up correctly? What if they lose your dog? So many insane questions to be answered! 

But a good place to start might be on a site that's dedicated to helping great pet service providers find the right pet owners in need. And one such place is Keepdom.



Adi Goradia founded Keepdom in 2012 after he struggled to find a trustworthy dog walker in L.A. when he was no longer able to bring his dog to his old job. 

Adi says, "Inspired by my dog Keep a 3.5 yr/old Shiba Inu. Keepdom creates internet products to help pets get exercise, love, and attention while their owner has to be out of the house for work or otherwise. ... Solving problems for real people via the power of online tools is my true passion." 



Meet Keep

Specialties

Pet Services, Dog Walking, Rescues



How cool would it be to take your dog to work every day? This is a question I’m sure many of you have often heard. Guess what? It’s really cool! For more than a year I was able to take my dog Keep to work with me: every morning I drove with her to the Google headquarters in Mountain View where I spent much of my time. At Googleplex, Keep could hang out with some of the other dogs and get some exercise, but most importantly I always knew what she was up to.

During my time at Google it also became evident to American pet owners that just like us, the pet world was suffering from an obesity epidemic. According to a CNN article from February 2012 53% of adult dogs and 55% of adult cats were classified as overweight or obese by their veterinarians. It was clear that everyone at home, including our pets, needed more exercise.

When my fiancĂ© and I decided to move to L.A. we were really excited...except for one thing: I was no longer able to bring Keep to my new job, and my fiancĂ©, recently admitted to medical school, would have no time to look after Keep. Our options seemed limited. For the first time I was confronted with the scary experience of having to look for someone to take care of Keep while we were away for long hours. I did some research to see what other dog owners did in this situation, and I found that many dog parents leave their dogs at home while they work all day. I also found that leaving a dog at home all day can increase risk of obesity and poor behaviors.  Apart from avoiding obesity, getting your dog out of the house and walking your dog every day helps control many of the problems that arise due to excess and stored energy. These include incessant barking, chewing on things (that they know they’re not supposed to be chewing on), aggressive or overly timid behavior, and more. I wanted to avoid this at any cost.

I consulted some friends and fellow dog-parents and took their advice: search for dog walkers on Craigslist and rip off paper ads from my local coffee shop. As simple as this was, it didn’t get me any closer to finding a reliable, trustworthy, and experienced dog walker; there were a ton of dog walkers out there, but there was also so little information about them that I could not find the right walker for Keep. Additionally, my friends advised me to make sure Keep’s walker was insured. As I found out, not many of the ones I contacted were. Even so, I recognized that they were incredibly nice people, that they truly loved animals and that they were willing to work hard to get my dog out and in motion. A thought occurred to me. How can dog walkers become more marketable and what kind of tools do they need to find more clients in a much easier way? 

Fully aware of the need of dogs to exercise more often and realizing that there was a desperate need for more good, insured dog walkers, I decided to quit my job and start this company. My team and I work every day to help dog walkers promote their business and do their job well, in turn giving peace of mind to dog parents who know their loved ones are getting their daily dose of exercise. We even named the company after Keep because she is the inspiration--check us out at Keepdom.com!
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