Some dog walkers will even sit for rats and cats

San Diego dog walkers

Piper Weigman, owner
Piper's Pampering Paws
Imperial Beach, Calif.

Maria Viegas, owner
Fur The Love Of Your Pet
San Diego

Karrie Dunnagan, owner
See Spot Sit
San Diego

How long have you worked in this field?

Weigman: "Six years on the West Coast and more than six on the East Coast."

Viegas: "I've owned the company for four years."

Dunnagan: "I started the business six years ago."

Do you work with all dog breeds?

Weigman: "Yes, everything from Chihuahuas to Great Danes."

Viegas: "Yes."

Dunnagan: "Yes."

Do you provide other services besides walking?

Weigman: "I can also take care of them in my house — for just day care or up to a whole month."

Viegas: "In-home care, play groups at parks and basic training."

Dunnagan: "We do in-home boarding and pet sitting."

Do you work with other household pets?

Weigman: "If it's in a customer's home, I'll watch anything."

Viegas: "Yes. Rats, chinchillas, lizards — everything and anything."

Dunnagan: "I've watched birds, cats, rats and all sorts of other animals."

How do you charge for the walks and what is the cost?

Weigman: "It's $20 for a 40-minute visit and $50 for an overnight visit."

Viegas: "It's between $18 and $20 per 30- to 45-minute walk and $25 for play groups."

Dunnagan: "Each 30-minute visit is $16.50."

Do you work with more than one pet at a time? Do you charge extra per pet?

Weigman: "Whether it's three dogs or four, we do it to their comfort. We don't charge extra."

Viegas: "Yes. If you have more than three pets, it's $5 per pet."

Dunnagan: "I don't charge extra per pet. If they have two or three, I'll just walk them together."

What's the benefit of working with a dog walker on a regular basis, even when the owners are in town?

Weigman: "It gives dogs what they need: regular playtime, love and not being alone all day."

Viegas: "Many people live in condos or apartments, and their dogs don't get adequate exercise."

Dunnagan: "It's a peace of mind for the owners — when they get home, they know the dog got exercise."

What distinguishes your company's dog-walking services from the rest of the pack?

Weigman: "I would say love. It's all about love and clients knowing that their baby is ours. We make them feel special."

Viegas: "We offer play groups, and we have three people with my company. If I get sick, I have backup."

Dunnagan: "My knowledge, because I've been doing it for so long. We also leave notes [about the dog]."

Do you have any funny stories or memorable experiences from your dog-walking service?

Weigman: "I have one Lab that weighs 100 pounds and likes to sleep on my head."

Viegas: "A little rescued dog we've been taking care of for eight months used to hide in the bathtub whenever people came over."

Dunnagan: "One client had me come over to make sure a Donald Duck toy wasn't tipped over because it upset his cat."

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