Client Spotlight - the barking meter

Michael Grenier
Michael Grenier March 14, 2024

In our next Client Spotlight, we've got a very special company based in New York City. Meet the barking meter (tbm) and owner Kara Kleindienst! As with every great origin story, the start of the barking meter is based on love for animals (we won't spoil the story; to hear more, keep reading!) Today, the barking meter's focus is on providing the level of care and compassion that Kara would expect her own pups to receive.


The barking meter provides services in over 20 neighborhoods in the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. They specialize in a holistic approach of k9 concierge services with community being at the core of tbm. Kara teams up with local rescues, veterinarians, groomers, and trainers to ensure that her pack members (and those dogs searching for their forever pack) have all the love, compassion, and support they need. So much so, she and her brother opened up their own veterinary clinic, All Ears Vet, in Fall 2021. To learn more about Kara and the fantastic team at the barking meter, check out their website!


What caused you to get into pet sitting/dog walking?

When I moved to NYC at 23, I wanted a dog of my own. My roommate at the time suggested I walk her boss's new pup, a French bulldog named Oliver, until I could bring my own dog home. I googled "What is dog walking" since it was 2007 and not a big trend yet - and a few weeks later, Oliver and I were hitting the streets of Chelsea. Within a few months, I brought home Lucca, a brindle Frenchie, who shaped everything I did in starting tbm and all the ways we have provided care to thousands of dogs the past 17 years. Lucca and Ollie became best friends, and it was through my love of being with them every day that I started the barking meter six months later. After all, spending my day with Lucca was like a dream come true ... and I had the joy of that love for 14.5 years with her. Through Lucca, I have brought home four dogs of my own (Chewy, Tembo, Gadget, and Mud) and fostered over 25 dogs.


What is the most fulfilling part of owning a pet sitting/dog walking business?

Building a relationship with each dog that joins tbm is the best, most fulfilling work. But beyond that, it's when I witness a dog and their Human connect in a deeper, more spiritual way that really makes this job a dream!

What is the most challenging?

Hiring. It's always a challenge for business owners, especially in the service industry. When we do hire a dedicated employee, though, they stay for many years. At tbm, we offer a variety of benefits and perks — metro card, health insurance, phone reimbursement, sneaker reimbursement, 401k with company match — which brings us a solid pool of candidates.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?

This year, we are 17!! It's an accomplishment I didn't expect to reach, and one I am very proud to celebrate. In 5 years, I hope to be watching my Predecessor run tbm while I continue to pursue my passion as a k9 Advocate — to become a more knowledgeable dog trainer and to build community impact in the k9 rescue world.


What has Time To Pet changed the most about how you run your business?

Time To Pet has been a game changer for tbm. With 100 clients on our list, the scheduling system is seamless. We appreciate the details we can add to a walk report (ie, crate, meal, paw wipe) and that our staff and clients can communicate within the app — this maintains the personal touch tbm has always provided our clients. We're very pleased with Time To Pet.

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