We're back with another interview! Katie Hart owns Fitpup, a dog walking and training business in Halifax. Welcome, Katie!
Q: How did you decide to open a dog walking business, and how long have you owned FitPup?
4 years ago my sweet puggle, Fendi, was hit by a car - a simple mistake that could have been prevented by teaching proper recall. I have always loved animals, I couldn't go anywhere without trying to smother random people's beloved pooches so after Fendi passed I decided to jump on my dream and start working with dogs. I started with basic obedience, because I didn't want to be responsible for other people pups without knowing exactly what I was doing. While mentoring with Unleashed Pawsabilities I realized how much dogs thrived by being outside together and romping around in nature, and I thought about when my dogs are their happiest, when they are outside in the woods chasing squirrels. All of our dogs have to have basic recall to join our groups, and if they don't we offer training so they can eventually be a part of the fun.
Fitpup is 1 at the end of June :)
Q: What types of services do you offer your clients?
We have group walks for dogs that love running off leash in the woods with other dogs. We also offer private walks which are great for dogs that are not yet socialized or just prefer the company of a human friend. We work within a dogs limits, we understand that not all dogs have to like playing with dogs. We offer private sessions of basic obedience as well, which we highly recommend taking advantage of if you would like your dog to be a part of our groups but are worried about their recall.
Q: Can you talk a little bit about what's involved in your daily life as a business owner and dog walker?
Oh is that a learning curve. I am very lucky to have very patient clients/ now new friends! We have spent the past year working hard to pair up dogs with each other so they will have the most fun so that has been a daily event that is now coming together. I'm lucky to have an amazing team working with me, they help me endlessly build this business into one people can rely on and trust. So keeping us all organized, keeping contact with currant clients so they know about their pups either via text or through our Facebook page while in our care, answering emails and putting some wear and tear in my hiking boots daily.
Q: Which areas does FitPup serve?
We service Halifax, Sackville, Bedford, Fall River & now Tantallon.
Q: Tell me about your own pups!
Mags is my dachshund/beagle mix. She is 12, I adopted her when she was just over 1 year from a lady who was bringing dogs that were about to be euthanized after Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, over to Calgary where I lived at the time. She has always been an old soul and was the best hiking partner until an old injury/age slowed her down. Now she loves to have small walks and just relax at home until I get back and our Netflix marathons can continue. She's a cranky old lady but she's my soul mate, I will never have a dog like my sweet Mags. Coco is our family dog, we adopted her in Fendi's memory from Litters-n-Critters. She is a chihuahua mix, she is the opposite of Mags, she is social with everyone and everything. She'll wander into the woods with a groundhog if it means she could possibly have a new friend. She is currently in Agility learning how to do some cool things. She is very sporty, loves frisbee, running in the woods, swimming. Coco joins our group walks quite a bit, she's extremely easy going, and if you need a good face licking, just say hi to Miss Coco!
Q: Where can the pups of Halifax find and follow you online?
You can follow us on Facebook & Instagram. There are direct links from our website www.fitpup.ca Or here: Facebook: @halifaxfitpup Instagram: @hfxfitpup
Q: What is your favourite local dog-related company?
I'm like a kid at Christmas when I go into any of the local pet stores. Pet Valu, Global Pets, B&R Pets Supplies & Best Friends.
Q: Thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to talk about FitPup, Katie! Is there anything else you'd like to add or talk about?
Big thank you to Cassie for taking the time to reach out to us. We love working and connecting with other local companies, I have also personally used your services to have pictures done of my girls and they are something I can look at and keep forever. We recommend our clients that are looking for professional pictures to Wet Nose Images. Cassie is extremely professional and even old lady Mags was following Cassie around after their first meeting, so that says something ;)
Katie & team