May 18, 2022 By : Saanvi Kiran, Grade 8 Gamma

Pets ‘N’ Paws Dog Walkers

The summer of grade 7 was a life-changing experience for me. Let me describe how it all began. I was hoping for some fun activities during the summer. So I made plans to keep myself humming. My best friend and I used to walk neighbors’ dogs for fun so that way I would relish the experience of having a dog without actually keeping one. Slowly, as I thought about it, I wondered if I can turn this activity into something that will both benefit us and the canine owners? This led me to a great idea. 

During summer, I  heard about the troubles dog owners had to go through to walk their dogs every day. Due to their busy work schedules, they could not manage this efficiently. That’s where we wanted to jump in. At first, my best friend and I got together to discuss how we could make this concept work. I explained the precise steps of my objective. Of course, this riled us both up. My vision was to open my very own dog walking business.

We decided to call this business ‘pets n paws dog walkers’. We pondered a lot as to how to make this idea work. Before starting any business, everyone should have a solid plan, and a backup strategy in case anything goes wrong. My objective started with simply talking to a few trusted dog owners about how to help them. I also designed the cost structure based on how long each walk should take, and finally how we can spread the word about this new venture. We first began asking the owners about enrolling their pooches. Like any other enterprise, we started small. Our first step was to show that we genuinely care and build trust. So we started with only 1-2 dogs. We charged a minimum amount of 20 rupees per half hour for every dog. People soon started to see how well we could handle the dogs as well as take good care of them, giving them adequate exercise and playtime in half an hour.

 I resolved that any news of the establishment will spread through advertising. So I sat and created a poster advertising our company and explaining all details along with listing the benefits it would give dog owners. I made sure to add my phone number and email for people to reach out if interested. Slowly the number of enrollments increased. We continued walking the dogs, planning a perfect schedule to make sure every dog gets its fair share of time. Meanwhile, my friend and I went around talking to people face to face and convinced them enough to trust us to handle their dogs. Soon we had about 4 to 5 dogs. A few of the dogs were difficult to handle and required a lot of effort. I decided to increase the price for this expanded service. Our business was a hit. Of course, there were a lot of hindrances in the beginning. With too many dogs at hand, We weren’t able to manage our time correctly. We sliced and diced to make our schedule more concise instead.

Furthermore, we settled that it was our responsibility to give the dogs a fun-filled walk. One of our most trusted dog owners and friends helped us by providing the basic items required for walking the dogs. Starting from the treats to the poop bags, we got it all covered. We realized that we should set aside some money to buy some engaging toys for the dog. I decided a smarter way to do this than to use up my own money for this. We went around our apartment collecting thick sticks. Then we started hiding the sticks in locations all around the complex. By drawing a map as a guide to find the sticks when needed. I planned to pull out a stick in whichever part of the apartment we were when we wanted to engage the dog. We also decided that to make it easier for us, we were going to have to pair the dogs with opposite behaviors. We paired them such as bigger dogs with smaller ones, more playful ones with calmer ones, and so on and so forth. Every business has a downside. Not all the dogs were comfortable with us walking them, (one almost tore my shirt while we ran, but that is another story). 

We had instances where the dog ran and attacked another dog, which it considered an enemy. Or the dog jumped on people who were scared of dogs. These made us lose our customers. We decided that the only way to continue our business was to walk trained dogs. I started doing a dog behavioral training course, through which I could help train dogs to behave while outside. Unfortunately, I only got one dog to train, but I made a rule that only if the dog was well-trained would we walk it. But it was also proving a challenge when we had to balance out academics with this business. We then made another rule stating that we had Sundays off, but services would continue regularly on other days. But because of the downfalls of the pups not behaving properly, our business fell apart! One of the dogs got adopted, the others went out of the station, and a few had incidents while walking. But the fun never stopped. I think it’s important to take everything with a good spirit. 

Every business is not always successful, so it’s ok to learn through the process. I sincerely hope to try this and many other experiences again. I had a lot of merriment, and I hope I will be able to have more success in my ventures while balancing out my academics! After all, we have to please the dog owners to trust us with their dogs as well as our parents to let them know that our studies are not impacted due to our business venture 🙂 In fact, I do well in my academics owing to these critters because :

So signing off, as I dream about yet another project which involves yet another adventure. Until then, I don’t mind walking that extra mile with your canine 🙂

About the author : 

Hey there! I am Saanvi Kiran, a grade 8 student, currently studying at Legacy School, Bangalore. A thing about myself? I am a crazy dog lover. The little furballs are enough to keep me smiling the whole day. This summer I decided that perhaps I could make a quick buck while just having fun, walking the dogs in my apartment.So I decided to start this venture which unleashed a summer of fun and wags. Hopefully, my blog will give you a glimpse of the unique experience I’ve had and urge you to try out new things. As the summer approaches again, I’m anticipating budding entrepreneurs to take a chance and just go for it!