Today we’d like to introduce you to Donna Dunlop.
Donna, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I remember the exact day I decided to start the Daily Dog. It was a cold February day and Marshfield was supposed to be underwater due to a tidal surge. I had just been informed that the company I worked for was closing their doors for good.
Travelling for work forced me to rely on dog walking, and pet sitting services. I spent each workday longing to be home with my 2 dogs, Phoenix and Zeus.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of structure my dog Phoenix had become dog aggressive. I employed a trainer to help, but I felt as though he was not progressing as much as needed. It was not until after I found a second trainer who had a multidisciplinary approach to training that I saw an improvement. I got talking with her and after discovering there were some seminars taking place at Doberman Rescue Unlimited NH, where I had been volunteering since the late 90’s, I decided that I would use this as an opportunity to begin something I had been contemplating for some time. The decision to become a certified trainer seemed a logical one. My love for dogs and my need to understand how best to re-educate my pups in order to be able to enjoy our time together made it a simple decision as well.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Starting from nothing was a big challenge; it required a lot of faith and determination to be able to work the hours required in order to build a client base. Making a name that evoked trust and reliability was very important to me. There are many dog walking and training services to choose from. The biggest decision in choosing a service for myself has always been how well the pet sitter understands my dogs, and whether or not they are trustworthy and able to be there when it counts.
Starting as a single person company meant that I was unable to be as flexible as I myself would require of a service provider. It has taken many years to build up trust, and I knew eventually that I was not going to be able to meet all my client’s needs despite working longer hours with each week. It was not long before I had to decide to either start declining business in order to maintain a high level of service or to expand my business. I am very pleased to have chosen the latter. Further expansion across the South Shore is underway, and future expansion is on the horizon for the seaport area of Boston.
Please tell us about The Daily Dog.
The Daily Dog specializes in Dog walking Mon-Fri, Pet sits to cover your jet-setting ambitions as well as weekend getaways. We also offer customized training including for those new pups in your life. There is no better way to start your puppy parenthood than with one of our training programs to help give you the knowledge to build a great relationship with your new family member.
We utilize an easy to use software for booking and payment of services. The software automatically registers with the walkers as soon as the job has been accepted, and allows us to provide secure feedback and even fun pictures to our clients. We are also proud of our expanding team of 10 walkers, an admin for the day to day operations, an office manager, and myself (Owner, Trainer). I feel as though the Daily Dog continues to go from strength to strength, and I am able to focus on my true passion; Training, and rehabilitating dog-owner relationships.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
What advice would I give my younger self? Leave the corporate life behind, and follow your passion.
- Website: www.dailydog.net
- Phone: 781-733-0210
- Email: Scheduling@DailyDog.net
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/dailydog1
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/dailydog1
- Yelp: www.yelp.com/biz/the-daily-dog-llc-marshfield-7
Bonnie J Massa Photography