What Services do Dog Walkers Provide?
Dogs need at least 20 minutes of exercise daily to keep them active and healthy. Exercise can be anything from a walk to playtime in the yard as long as they are able to move around and explore on their own.
Exercising also burns off some of their nervous energy making them calmer when they're inside. While physical activity is only one of a dog's outside needs, it can be a challenge for some pet owners. Ideally, a pet owner could spend all day pampering their furry friends and taking care of all of their needs. Unfortunately, most pet lovers work outside of the home and aren't able to take care of them during the day. Since a long workday is too much time for any dog to wait to go outside, pet owners generally have two choices. Either find a pet daycare center and drop off and pick up their pet everyday or hire a dog-walker. Here's a list of 7 ways a dog-walker can help.
1 - Walking
While a dog-walker can actually provide a variety of services, this is primarily what they are hired for. They will have access to a pet owner's home and either walk their dog around the neighborhood or take them somewhere else for exercise. Different walking durations and schedules can be arranged based on each dog's specific needs for exercise and bladder control. The most requested times are usually late morning and early afternoon hours since this is about half-way through the dog's day of waiting for their owner to return.
2 - Socialization
A dog-walker can either walk dogs alone on with other dogs at the same time. This is something that should be discussed during the meet-and-greet between the dog-walker and the dog owner. Some owners may have a preference and some may not. As well, some dogs may behave better when they are alone. Some towns and cities recognize dog-walking as a business and may have laws in place limiting how many dogs a walker is allowed to have at one time.
3 - Park Time
There are dog-parks in many communities specifically designed to give dog's an area to run, play, and interact with other dogs. Dog-walkers offering this service will have safe transportation for getting the dogs to and from the park. Some parks even have have different areas sectioned off for different sized dogs. Dog-parks are an ideal area for dogs to burn off energy, socialize with other dogs, and get plenty of exercise.
4 - Food and Water
A professional dog-walking service will have a detailed agreement with a dog owner outlining exactly which services will be provided. Checking on a dog's food and water can be included in the agreement. While each dog has a different diet and may not need to be fed during the afternoon, all dogs need fresh water readily available. Dog owners can enjoy some peace of mind in knowing that their dogs are getting everything that they need.
5 - Pet Sitting
Dog-walkers can even be pet-sitters. Some services will offer this for dogs that may need a little more one-on-on time throughout the day. They would either stay with the dog all day or check in a few times throughout the day. This service can be especially valuable for nervous dogs that may become destructive if they are left alone for too long. It's also helpful for older dogs that may have trouble holding their bladders for very long.
6 - Grooming
Some dog-walkers will even offer grooming services. They could either transport the dog to a groomer or offer the service themselves. Typically, dog-walking services are a part of a larger organization specializing in other aspects of animal care. This service is an added bonus for the dog owner who is already challenged with time-constraints.
7 - Post-walk Reports
Most dog-walkers will also leave some type of communication for the owner about the quality of their dog's exercise time. Information like the quality and amount of the dog's stools, how long the walk was, and the dog's appetite could be reported back to the dog's owner. Most professional dog-walkers will have a standard checklist that they leave every day so the dog owner is fully informed about their dog's activities while they were at work.