What are dog walking services?
Dog walking can be defined as a pastime as well as profession that involves walking dogs. Dog walking is simply the act of a person walking with a dog or dogs. Although dog walking started as a pastime, it’s now a profession carried out by dog walkers with the aim of keeping dogs active and healthy when their owners do not have sufficient time or ability to walk their own dogs (for example due to work schedules, disability etc.).
Dog walking is popular in Austin, Texas and many other parts of America. In case you are wondering why you would need dog walking services, below are some of the main reasons and situations.
Why Use Dog Walking Services?
Reasons and situations where you should consider hiring a dog walker
1. When you work full-time or you’re planning to be away from home
This is by far one of most common scenarios warranting dog walking services. Like humans, dogs need to stay active/exercise to remain healthy. Dogs also need to go for toilet breaks like humans. Although a dog’s toilet breaks and exercise/activity needs may vary depending on factors such as breed, age etc., all dogs need to get out on a daily basis. You can’t be able to meet these needs if you are working full-time or you have traveled for more than a day. In such an instance, a dog walker will come in handy.
2. When you don’t want to use a dog kennel or dog boarding facility when you’re away
Many dog owners like using dog kennels or dog boarding facilities when they go on vacation or travel for business purposes. In case you’re one of those dog owners who don’t find dog kennels and boarding facilities conducive for reasons such as; your dog may not be comfortable in unfamiliar territory, a dog walker will come in handy simply because they will walk your dog and take him/her back home.
3. When you dog isn’t getting adequate exercise
Since dog walking is aimed at keeping your dog active and healthy, you need dog walking services if your dog isn’t getting adequate exercise. Puppies between ages 8 and 12 weeks old need to get out frequently (as much as possible). Adult dogs need to get out after every 4 to 6 hours. If your dog isn’t meeting these exercise guidelines, you should really think of getting a dog walker. Dogs tend to display annoying/erratic behavior i.e. chewing on furniture, excessive barking, biting etc. when they don’t get adequate exercise. If your dog is displaying such signs, he/she isn’t getting adequate exercise.
4. If you aren’t physically capable of walking your dog due to old age, health problems etc.
You might be willing but not able to walk your dog because of old age, recent surgery among other factors. In such a case, you need someone to help you walk your dog especially if there is no one else i.e. a family member to help you with the task.
5. When you don’t have a backyard
As mentioned above, dog walking gives dogs a perfect opportunity to take toilet breaks. If you live in an apartment for instance and/or don’t have a backyard with some natural vegetation, grass etc., you really need to walk your dog.
Benefits of Dog Walking
You and your dog stand to enjoy many benefits from dog walking services. The most notable benefits include;
1. Your dog will get adequate exercise, playtime, stimulation, treats as well as fresh water and air. These in turn offers other benefits such as improved energy levels, mood, elimination of erratic/annoying dog behavior etc.
2. Socialization benefits: Since dog walkers usually walk many dogs at once and take dogs to designated fenced-in dog parks/yards, your dog gets an opportunity to socialize with other dogs.
3. Better hygiene: Besides regular dog grooming, When your dog takes toilet breaks in the park away from your home, you don’t have to worry about bad odors and poor dog related hygiene standard in your home.
4. Saves you time: Dog walking can be a very time consuming activity especially if you live far away from a dog park and/or you have a demanding job. When you have a dog walker, you can save a lot of time while making sure your dog gets adequate exercise.
5. Consistent routine benefits: Like exercising in the gym, dog walking has the most benefits when it’s done consistently. Professional dog walkers keep consistent schedules allowing your dog to enjoy full benefits.
6. Professional dog care benefits: Dog walkers are professionals who have a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise about dogs. For instance, a dog walker can be able to diagnose dog problems better and faster than you or a family member would. Dog walkers also offer additional related services such as dog grooming. Such benefits can’t be enjoyed by dog owners who walk their own dogs.
How to choose the best dog walker/dog walking service
Now that you already know what dog walking is, when you should consider hiring a dog walker and the benefits of dog walking services, let’s now shift our focus to choosing dog walkers. Like any other profession, there are both good and bad dog walkers/dog walking services. To choose the best dog walking Austin services or dog walking services from any other place, here are some important tips to consider.
1. Ask for referrals
This is by far one of the best ways of identifying a good dog walker or dog walking services. If you have friends or family members who use dog walkers, you can start for asking them for referrals. The internet is also a good place to look. There is no better way to find a good dog walker other than ask people who have received their services.
2. Interview before hiring
Referrals can help you get a list of good dog walkers. You must however go further and interview prospective dog walkers personally to find the perfect match for you and your dog. You must be comfortable with a dog walker before hiring them. They should also be good with your dog and dogs in general. It’s important to note that your dog may not have immediate chemistry with a new dog walker. In such an instance, focus on the dog walker’s knowledge, body language, behavior with your dog i.e. calmness and assertiveness.
3. Ask logistical questions
Your preferred dog walker or dog walking service should be able to answer important logistical questions like where they intent to walk your dog, their accommodation facilities (if they have any), how long/frequent the walks will be etc. Any dog walker that doesn’t have quick, professional and satisfactory answers to these questions shouldn’t be considered.
4. Consider training background/experience
Your preferred dog walker should also be someone who is experienced and not someone who simply loves dogs and/or is looking to make some extra money. You should ask for training, license, insurance, and certification details to certify this.
Although there is more to dog walking than what is discussed above, the above information should guide you to the right path when it comes to the basics of dog walking.