New Contractor To-Do List

✅  Fully familiarize yourself with the entire Dog Adventures Northwest website, paying special attention to:

  • The How it Works page.
  • The Contractor Portal. Read all entries and click (and read/watch) all links. (Be sure to scroll through all of the menu items on the left; if you are viewing the portal on the phone, click the three horizontal lines to see the full menu.)

✅  Fill out the Contractor Info Form and initial/sign the Quarterly Safety Commitment.

✅  Sign the following documents when you receive them (via email) from Signable:

✅  Submit a bio and high-res photo for the website to Please look at our team page for examples:

✅  Follow the (emailed) instructions to enable "send as" for your new DANW email address. 

✅  Whitelist,, and in your personal email client.

✅  Download the Time to Pet app onto your phone. You can find Time to Pet in both the Google Play Store (Androids) and the Apple App Store (iPhone).

✅  Activate your Time to Pet account and complete your User profile after receiving log-in information from Dog Adventures Northwest. Explore the app and take a look at these help articles on the Time to Pet website.

✅  If you plan on hiking at Dog Adventures Northwest's private property, email if you would like to know the availability for regular and recurring times. Please also download the SHIFTR app and wait for an invitation to the property schedule. (Also check out these simple tutorials for how we use SHIFTR — Video 1; Video 2.

✅ Establish self-employed business practices, if you do not already have your own LLC.

  • Learn what it means to be an Independent Contractor vs. an Employee.
  • Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Open a business bank account. 
  • Develop a plan for withholding self-employment taxes and tracking/deducting expenses.
  • Secure health and/or supplemental insurance if you have not already done so.
  • Send $25 to Dog Adventures Northwest to be added as an "additional insured" on the Dog Adventures Northwest insurance policy. Payments can be made via Venmo to @Kerry-Silva-Ryan.

✅  Take an animal first aid course before starting service and every three years thereafter (or send proof of certification). Both VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists and Dove Lewis have free, hands-on classes that are offered periodically. (Note that because they are free and attendance is limited, they fill up quickly.) There are other fee-based online options as well, including a simple class from the Red Cross.

✅  Save the numbers/addresses for emergency animal hospitals and emergency hotlines (listed in the Safety and Emergencies section) into your phone. Request the password for the Dog Adventures Northwest Contact List from the DANW Manager and save all Contractor names and numbers into your phone.

✅  Prepare a kit with the following supplies for all adventures: high-value treats, bags for waste disposal, spare leashes, spare ID tags with your information, citronella spray such as SprayShield, a small first aid kit, and fresh water storage. Please read through the Products/Supplies section for requirements and recommendations.

✅  If you will be offering any DANW off-leash services, make arrangements to secure the necessary satellite tracking equipment:

This equipment can be found for sale on several sites (including Garmin's own site). We like to purchase from Outdoor Dog Supply when possible, as they have good customer service, quick/free shipping, and include a free nameplate on collars.

Dog Adventures Northwest will supply the other three collars you will need to for a full group. These collars will have a nameplate that reads "I'M ON A HIKE!" and the Dog Adventures Northwest business cell phone number. 

 If desired, DANW can purchase all equipment on your behalf on a no-interest loan, which you can pay off through your commissions. If this is the case, please let Dog Adventures Northwest know how much money you would like deducted from each two-week commission period. (This amount can change over time. Most folks designate $25-$50 of their commissions to the equipment pay-off.) Note that DANW will buy back all used equipment (or equity on equipment) at a rate of 75%.

Once you have received your tracking collars and handheld device, enter your track and control codes into this database. This will enable other people to track your dogs in the event of an emergency.

Be sure to take the time to learn how to use the equipment properly. Kerry and Kim are always happy to help people become fluent with the technology before adventures begin.


✅  If you will be transporting dogs in your vehicle:

  • Provide a photocopy or scanned electronic copy of your car insurance.
  • Prepare a car safety kit with jumper cables, flares or reflective markers, a cell phone charger, chains, a flashlight, an emergency whistle, a large first aid kit, and spare water.
  • Prepare safe car care for transported dogs using tethers and/or crates. Once developed, please detail the safe restraint system you have in place and send it to the Dog Adventures Northwest Manager, with photos. (To learn more about dog restraint in cars, please read the following three links: Best Dog Harnesses for Car Travel: Crash-Tested & Safety Certified (K9 of Mine); We Need to Talk About Keeping Dogs Safe in Cars (Outside Magazine); Center for Pet Safety Certified Products.) All dogs in Contractor's cars must be securely and separately tethered or separately crated.
  • Make a sign for your car, telling people that you are a dog trainer doing pick-ups and drop-offs, that dogs are not left alone longer than ten minutes, and with your cell phone number for folks to call if anyone is concerned.