Uncategorized Archives - DogKnows

Help your dog cope in the season of Fantasy, Fireworks & Fear!

From trick-or-treating and pumpkin carving to the colourful kaleidoscope of fireworks that light up the sky on Bonfire Day, autumn is truly a festive time of year. Such traditions help us cope with the incoming cold weather and shorter days.  They also prepare us for the Christmas season around the corner.

Although everything feels very different this year due to Covid-19, there’s no doubt that there’s no change for many pet dogs.  For them as usual, they will not find the holiday season as exciting as you do. Holiday celebrations and the fanfare that comes with them often cause distress for puppies, elderly dogs, and those who have previously suffered a bad experience.

Wondering how to keep your dog calm during fireworks, Halloween celebrations, and other autumn festivities? Read on to discover three ways to tell if your dog is stressed and three tips for keeping your dog safe and sound.

3 ways to tell if your dog is stressed

Aside from obvious signs, like shaking, pacing, whining, and hiding, dogs show distress in other, subtler ways. It’s important to note that the following signals are just a few indicators of fear and unease in dogs. You know your dog best, so keep an eye on them and pay attention to any unusual behaviours.

#1. Notice changes in the eyes, ears, and mouth.

There are a few tell-tale signs of stress you’ll want to watch out for, starting with the facial features. As the old saying goes, the eyes are the windows to the soul.  The same is just as true for dogs as it is for humans. Dilated eyes with the whites showing are a sure sign of fright.

Other indications of stress in the eyes, ears, and mouth include:

  • Panting and/or drooling
  • Excessive blinking
  • Flattened ears
  • Yawning

#2. Mind the legs and the tail.

A dog whose tail is between their legs or wagging low to the ground is obviously unhappy, but did you know that their paws and legs can also indicate distress? If your dog raises one of their paws during the festivities, they may be trying to signal their fear to you.

Another inconspicuous sign is how they carry their body weight. Dogs will move their weight away from the stimulus, which may cause them to sit strangely or go rigid. Take note of any changes in posture.

#3. Watch for distraction and destructive behaviours.

Stressed dogs in crowded environments often sniff at the ground to distract themselves. If your pup is sniffing everything in sight, they may feel trapped or scared.

Some dogs show fear in more destructive ways, such as snapping, scratching, and chewing furniture or their own paws.

These expressions of fear are heart-breaking to witness and bring with them a feeling of human helplessness.

3 tips for keeping your dog safe and sound this holiday season

Many dog owners are (understandably) tempted to dress up their dogs and take them out trick-or-treating. Sure, it would make for some adorable photos, but unfortunately, most dogs aren’t keen on wearing costumes and even less keen on navigating an outside, noisy environment.

It’s best to arrange for someone to be with your dog whilst you go trick-or-treating. You don’t want to leave your dog home alone, as they may panic and injure themselves.

You should never take your dog to a fireworks display, even if they do well in crowds. Remember, their sense of hearing is four times more sensitive than your own. It also goes without saying that your pup should avoid candle-lit carved pumpkins, bonfires, and similar hazards.

Here are three more ways you can keep your dog feeling safe and happy, whether you’re hosting a party in your own home or waiting for the Bonfire Day fireworks show to start.

Tip #1: Create a safe space for your dog.

Before the festivities begin, set up a safe space in one of your dog’s favourite areas of the home. Make it as appealing and comfortable as possible, with all their favourite toys and soft bedding. You may want to consider turning on the radio or TV to create a distraction. Be sure to draw the blinds as well.

Having a cosy space to retreat to when the celebration starts may prevent your dog from hiding, but not always. If they do hide, don’t try to coax them out or punish them, as this will only worsen their stress.  Sometimes, dogs knows best.

Tip #2. Mind your own body language.

Dogs are expert empaths. They pick up on your own mood and body language, so if you seem overly excited or anxious, they may emulate that behaviour. It’s only natural to want to cuddle your pup when they’re scared. If your dog comes to you seeking comfort, don’t deny them.

It can feel like a difficult balance, just don’t go overboard and try to interfere if your dog seems to be in a dilemma and doesn’t seek out your attention in the usual way.

Tip #3. Make sure all your dog’s basic needs are met.

Reviewing the day-to-day routine is one of the best ideas to ensure your dog has all their daily needs met. This may be on a different schedule to usual during festivities.

A tired dog with a full belly will usually feel a little more relaxed so consider when to feed and walk your dog beforehand. Consider giving your pup a snack that’s rich in carbs, like plain, cooked white rice, as this can help them sleep. You may also want to provide enrichment and activities so that when there’s a lot going on, they can feel satisfied that they’ve had plenty of attention.

Depending on your dog’s mood and behaviour, you may be able to distract them by brushing up on their obedience training. Grab some of their favourite treats and run through their commands.

Having a safe place that your dog can retreat to is also something to plan ahead and if they’re hiding somewhere, don’t disturb them as it may create unnecessary stress.

Remember the best way to keep your dog cool and collected this holiday season is to plan ahead and pay attention to their mood and body language. From there, you can work out how best to lend a paw.

If you’re worried about keeping your dog calm during the festivities, or if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the training process, you can prepare now with this Sounds Sensitivity Course, created by Eryn Martyn-Godfrey at I Believe in Magic Dog Training.


Bobs Broadbent is the founder of Dogknows.  For more information about Dogknows dog walking, training and dog care services (and daily dose of cute pup pics), check our customer services website or Facebook and Instagram.

Find a new ‘leash’ on love with a new career this Valentine’s Day

Find a new ‘leash’ on love with a new career this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and many of us are busy planning the perfect surprise for the people — and pooches — we love most. But whether your valentines are human or hound (or both, or neither), don’t forget to treat your mind, body, and spirit to a little love this Valentine’s Day, too.

As the holiday of love draws near, we encourage you to renew your dedication to self-love by prioritising your goals. Whether you want to exercise more, re-balance your work and home life, or finally trade in that dead-end job to pursue your puppy love and work with dogs, you owe it to yourself to do something that makes you happier and healthier

Fall head-over-paws in love with a new career this year

Picture it: you jolt awake from a short sleep to a blaring alarm. You drag yourself to shower and dress, wishing you were still curled up in bed with your four-legged friend snoozing at your feet.

On the train to work, you scoff down breakfast and coffee, dreading the meetings and emails waiting for you at the office.

Does this sound less like a picture and more like your life? If so, we’ve got some sobering news for you: the average British worker will spend more than 3,500 days of their life at work. That’s almost ten years!

Ten years is an obscenely long time to spend working a job that makes you unhappy. No small wonder, then, that 47% of British workers want to change careers, with roughly one in four looking to make a change within the next year.

Most people who find themselves stuck in the rat race think there’s no way out. But we here at DogKnows are living proof that you can be successful, love what you do, and spend more time outdoors with your barking buddies all at the same time! (In fact, our entire team has left the 9-to-5 behind to work with dogs!)

Ditch the dog-eat-dog world for a rewarding career with DogKnows

Our founder, Bobs Broadbent, traded her career in brand identity and marketing for a job as a dog walker over 20 years ago — and she hasn’t looked back since. Her love of dogs led her to become a highly accredited dog trainer, pursue qualifications in Canine Behaviour Management, and build a career culture that helps fellow dog-lovers work with canines, whether as a dog trainer, walker, sitter, or a business owner.

That’s the short story of the start of DogKnows. For almost 20 years, we’ve supported aspiring “petpreneurs” looking to turn their love of dogs into a profitable and recession-proof business venture.

Working with dogs is an enticing opportunity, but you’re probably wondering what can you expect and how you can you get started. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Become your own boss and manage your own team of canine carers. Your tight-knit team will provide a wide range of services, including dog walking, dog sitting, training, and so much more. You’ll manage all aspects of the business — and you’ll even get to walk and visit dogs yourself! (Does your current job let you do that? We didn’t think so.)
  • Connect with clients — and, of course, their canines! We pride ourselves on building strong, personal relationships with the people and pups we work with. During a client’s first week with us, you’ll meet with the client and their dog to get a feel for their activity level and temperament. This signature formula for success is one of the reasons why clients find us so easy to work with.
  • Enjoy support from our ABTC accredited training and mentoring packages. Running your own business is hard, but with DogKnows, you don’t have to go it alone. Our ‘Science of The Dog Walk’ and exclusive dog knowledge helpline will prepare you for a career as a “petpreneur”.

It’s time to fall in love with your career again

If you’re searching for a sign to make a career change  — and meet your health and happiness goals at the same time — this is it. Make a commitment this Valentine’s Day to fall in love with your work life again. You already have the professional and organisational skills you need now find out the steps to take to start a DogKnows franchise.

Why redundancy is good and can change your life forever

As the decade comes to a close, it’s only natural to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. The Industrial Revolution of the 20th century brought with it countless inventions that made life easier. The Information Age of the 21st century followed as technology and digital media rapidly transformed society and connected the globe. But technology certainly hasn’t solved all our problems. Indeed, it has exacerbated old problems and created entirely new ones, notably a significant loss of traditional manual jobs. Hardworking employees in many industries are facing or experiencing redundancy. 

In February 2019, an article in the Commons Library reported that automotive brands, including Nissan, Honda, and Vauxhall, will cut thousands of jobs as they permanently close their UK plants or move production overseas. Jaguar Land Rover — which produced 30% of the UK’s cars in 2018 — plans to cut 4,500 jobs, 23% of their UK staff, by 2021.

The UK’s construction industry faces a similar crisis. 2019 saw the number of new construction jobs plummet to a new low since 2009. UK building lobbies predict that, if the pattern continues, many smaller construction firms will have to close up shop. The manufacturing industry is in the same bind as recently as November 2019, with The Independent reporting a “lethal cocktail of problems” that caused the biggest loss of jobs in seven years.

The sudden liquidation of travel firm Thomas Cook in September 2019 displaced over 100,000 travellers, making it the “biggest ever peacetime repatriation,” according to the BBC. Of the tens of thousands of jobs threatened worldwide, 9,000 were based in the UK. Founded in 1841, Thomas Cook was one of the most famous travel agencies in the world — but its long history and glittering reputation didn’t protect it from collapsing.

Why redundancy is a good opportunity to choose a new career

why redundancy is good, working with dogs

Employees who face or have experienced redundancy may not know where to turn. Redundancy is a difficult process that leaves people wondering what they did wrong. In reality, redundancy often has very little to do with individual performance.

But there is a positive side: redundancy offers the perfect chance to re-evaluate your career goals and choose a new path that aligns with your aspirations. It’s the ideal time to ask yourself: Does this job make me happy? Is it engaging? Am I bored? Do I really want to spend the next 20 years doing the same thing?

If you have any doubts at all, consider this. If you’re like many employees made redundant, you’ve likely invested more than a third of your day, five days a week, for years on end, to a company that’s seemingly too big to fail. Yet, as we’ve seen, even the biggest companies can fail due to unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances. Uncertainty is part of every job, so why not invest in your health, happiness, and future and choose a new path altogether?

Benefits of joining a franchise in a “recession-resilient” industry

If you’re craving a fresh start after redundancy, or if your industry is one of many threatened by budget cuts and political crises, consider joining a franchise that fits your lifestyle. You’ll enjoy the freedom of self-employment alongside the support of a well-established organisation.

There’s no better time than the present to join a franchise. According to the British Franchise Association (BFA), franchising is one of the fastest-growing industries in the UK. An astonishing 90% of franchises reap big profits, a trend that’s continued for over 20 years. Compare that to 60% of independent small businesses that fail within three years of opening.

Pet care franchises are one of the UK’s most lucrative sectors. Pup parents in the UK spent more than £1 billion on dog walking services alone in 2015, earning dog walkers a 20% higher salary than the average UK employee. 

This is just one reason why pet care is a “recession-resilient” sector. However, there are risks involved with any business in any industry. Not every pet care business will be successful, but well-established brands are better equipped to withstand economic downturn. The BFA’s Natwest Franchise Survey found growth trends in the franchising industry were “uninterrupted” by the 2008 recession.

The science of the dog walk

why redundancy is good, working with dogs

When you join the DogKnows family, you’ll receive intensive training from a trusted brand with more than 20 years’ experience in the canine care business.

Many dog lovers have some knowledge of dog behaviour and training. But with our signature formula, the Science of the Dog Walk, you’ll learn the ins and outs of dog welfare and handling.

Our ten-day, one-to-one training programme will teach you how to:

  • manage dog group dynamics
  • tailor a walk to meet a dog’s individual needs
  • read canine body language and cognitive behaviour
  • safely and effectively control dogs using force-free training methods

The support doesn’t end there. We assist our franchisees with every aspect of their business, including recruiting and managing employees, finding and building a list of loyal clients, using social media effectively, and more. We can even help you start your journey to become a certified dog trainer.

We’ll walk alongside you every step of the way to happiness, health, and success. And when our franchisees experience unexpected challenges, they can ring the DogKnows Helpline anytime for instant answers to their canine behaviour and training questions.

DogKnows is the only pet care franchise in the UK accredited by the British Franchise Association and the Animal Behaviour Training Council. As one of the first dog walking businesses in the UK, we set the bar high — transparency, consistency, compassion, and safety are at the forefront of our business philosophy.

You don’t even need to be qualified or own a dog to become a DogKnows franchisee. In fact, you already have everything you need to succeed: time management skills, social skills, and, most importantly, a love of dogs.

Ready to take the first step?

As information technology continues to transform society and industry, it’s important for today’s employees to consider where they’ll go next. Will you spend this new decade doing the same mundane job? Or will you follow in the footsteps of our happy franchisees and discover a rewarding, profitable career working with dogs?

why redundancy is good, working with dogs

Keen to learn more about becoming a DogKnows franchisee? Download our free workbook to discover if joining the DogKnows family is right for you. This 20-page workbook includes:

  • a full list of our services
  • useful information about the franchise and pet care industries
  • exercises that allow you to do some soul-searching and rate your suitability
  • and so much more!

If you’d like to learn more about the franchising industry in general, the British Franchise Association’s free Prospect Franchisee Certificate is another invaluable resource for franchisee hopefuls.

If you have questions, we have answers. Read our FAQ, or contact us via email, form, or phone. You can even schedule a 15-minute phone call with our founder to hear her personal story and ask questions directly. It’s just one of the many ways we do things differently here at DogKnows.

Don’t let your dreams go dormant this winter

Don’t let your dreams go dormant this winter — find your freedom working with dogs

Picture it: you’ve settled down on the couch beside your precious pup after an exhausting day spent commuting and working. It dawns on you that another new year is fast approaching. You’ve set ambitious goals to improve your health and happiness, and this year, you’re more determined than ever to meet them.

But then you remember all the late nights at the office your boss asked you to stay behind to finish those reports. You remember all the times your train home was delayed or you got stuck in rush-hour traffic. You remember every email you’ve been expected to answer outside of office hours.

And then you realise your career doesn’t correspond with your goals or your dreams. You’ve conceded control of your time to a job you don’t particularly enjoy doing at a company that doesn’t value your time and effort. You feel stuck in a rut, and you want out.

From UV glare to space and fresh air: working with dogs

For many, this isn’t a picture — it’s reality. This was true for DogKnows’ founder, Bobs Broadbent, who boldly left a career in marketing to pursue her passion for dogs and hasn’t looked back since.

Even if your situation is slightly different — if you’ve recently been made redundant, for example — it’s never too late to switch to a career that makes life more colourful and fulfilling.

Not only is the humdrum office job doing a number on our mental wellbeing, but it’s also harming our health. Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day affects almost every part of our bodies, from our eyesight to our heart health. Meanwhile, studies show that dog lovers are healthier, happier, and live longer.

Apart from the health benefits, working with dogs opens the door to ultimate freedom. As a dog care franchisee, you can choose your own working hours and spend more time in the great outdoors.

Why now is the best time to become a “petpreneur”.

Joining a dog care franchise is a smart move for your wellbeing and your wallet. Did you know that dog walkers earn a fifth more than the average UK salary? The best part is, this lucrative industry just keeps on growing.

Here are some fast facts about the pet care industry in the UK:

  • Working with dogs is a recession resilient profession. People love their pets and they’re willing to pay good money to care for them. That’s highly unlikely to change anytime soon!
  • One-quarter of households in the UK have a four-legged family member, which equates to almost 10 million dogs (and counting!).
  • 66% of dog owners work full-time, significantly increasing the demand for dog walking and care services.
  • In 2015, dog owners in the UK spent £1.5 million on dog walking services. The UK pet care industry as a whole is worth £7 billion, making it the largest in Europe.

Find your freedom — the DogKnows difference

Starting your own business is a daunting and relatively risky endeavour, but you don’t have to go it alone. Franchisers provide a safety net for new business owners. Of all types of businesses, franchisees have the lowest failure rate, according to Entrepreneur Magazine.

When you join the DogKnows family, you’ll receive training and support from a trusted brand with more than 20 years’ experience in the dog walking and training business. We’re the only dog walking franchise registered as a practitioner with the Animal Behaviour & Training Council. We’re also one of the few dog care franchisors accredited by the British Franchise Association.

Those accreditations show that regulatory bodies recognise our brand as trustworthy — but our commitment to raising the standard of dog care doesn’t stop there. Read on to learn more about the training and support initiatives we offer to help our franchises build a business they love.

The DogKnows Training Academy

You don’t need any certifications or qualifications to join the DogKnows family. All you need is a love for dogs! The DogKnows Training Academy is a 10-day, one-to-one training programme led by canine behaviour experts. You’ll learn the ins and outs of dog training as well as canine care.

The DogKnows Helpline

On your journey as a dog care franchisee, you’ll undoubtedly encounter unexpected challenges. Ring the DogKnows Helpline for instant answers to your dog training and behaviour questions. Support is always available.

Business coaching

Our business training teach you how to build a loyal customer base, and use social media marketing to spread the word about your business. The coaching doesn’t stop when you launch. We move straight into our business mentoring programme and host regular business coaching meetings, reviews, and dog training days to keep your knowledge current.

Individual mentoring

No two DogKnows franchises are the same. Each franchisee has their own unique strengths, and we pride ourselves on our individualised approach to training. Not only are we here to guide you on your journey to becoming a business owner, but we’re also here to cheer you on. Your success is our business success.

“A dream come true” — what our franchisees say . ‘Some days I have to pinch myself so I know I’m not dreaming,’ says Sonia Carey, a DogKnows franchisee based in South East London.

‘I always knew from when I was small that I wanted to work with dogs. But somehow my career took a different turn. After I turned 41, and had been doing the same office job for over twenty years, I began to rethink everything. I did consider setting myself up as a dog walker on my own, but the Dogknows franchise felt safer.’

Gerry Casey, operator of DogKnows Windsor & Eton, says his friends and family are jealous of his job. ‘I have a much less stressful working day and I’m outside, seeing the sun and in control of my day. The happiness rubs off on you and it’s so rewarding. I’m much more content now than I ever was in an office job.’

If not now, when?

Two main barriers prevent us from maintaining happiness and reaching our goals: the past and the future. How much time have you spent feeling guilty over time you’ve lost or worrying over how you need to spend your time in the future?

Guilt and anxiety waste energy and remove us from the present. All we have is the present moment — right here, right now. So if you’re ready to make a change, ask yourself, ‘If not now, when?’

Ready to take the next step? Our free workbook will guide you through the big decisions and prepare you for a rewarding career working with dogs.

We’ve prepared the road map. We’ve done the market research and business planning. All you need to do is take the first step. We’ll proudly walk beside you (and your dog!) on the path to health, happiness, freedom, and fun.

Got questions? We’re ready to listen.

Email us: info@dogknowsfranchise.co.uk

Or, schedule a 15-minute call with our founder to discover how we do things differently here at Dogknows: www.dogknowsfranchise.co.uk