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7 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Dog Walker

professional dog walker with a dog in the park

Yes, you are busy. And who isn’t these days? But do you really need to hire a dog walker?

Simply put, yes! While it can be hard to justify the added expense, especially when you could benefit from the exercise yourself, not everyone’s schedule or physical ability allows for this crucial activity. Regular dog walking is essential for your dog’s health and longevity.

Let’s explore a few reasons why regular dog walking is important and how hiring a professional dog walker can be a game changer for both you and your dog.

Regular dog walks are key to preventative healthcare for your pup

Regular dog walks are essential exercise for dogs, positively impacting cardiovascular health, stamina, muscle strength, joint health, and weight management. They also help prevent obesity, urinary tract infections, and constipation. For a long and healthy life, regular exercise is crucial for your dog.

Your dog may need more exercise than you realize

Some high-energy and working dog breeds (e.g., Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers) often need 1-2 hours of vigorous daily exercise. If your schedule only allows for a 30-minute walk for the whole day, this still falls short of what a higher-energy dog breed needs to maintain good physical and also mental health. According to Preventive Vet, the bare minimum duration of daily exercise for all dogs, regardless of breed, is 30 minutes a day.

Relieve behavioral issues

If you have a destructive or anxious pet, daily dog walks are an easy solution to consider. Dogs are naturally curious and if they are not provided enough mental stimulation throughout their day, they choose mayhem as their preferred method of stimulation, chewing up anything they can find, or excessively licking and chewing on their paws (although this can also be allergy related, so be sure to check this out with your vet). Regular dog walks give your dog an opportunity to follow their curiosity with every new sound, smell, and sight that they come across. A “sniffari” helps prevent cognitive decline in older dogs and reduce behavior issues like excessive barking or chewing. As they say, “a tired dog is a good dog.”

Consistency is key

If you’re like me, some days just don’t have enough time for a dog walk. Maybe it’s a packed meeting schedule with kids’ sports after school. Perhaps I’m feeling under the weather or just overwhelmed by everything on my plate. The dogs’ walk slips to the bottom of the to-do list. Hey, it happens! I’m a busy working mom with a husband who works long, non-traditional hours. We all do what we can, but I’d be lying if I said I walk my dogs for 30+ minutes every day. Plus, I have a senior dog and a very young dog, each with different walking paces. This makes it no small chore. A professional dog walker can fill in the gaps on those jam-packed days. This way, you can prioritize your dogs and still tackle the growing to-do list. Some dog walking services even offer on-demand scheduling for those days when time gets away from you.

Give yourself peace of mind

Sure, you could hire a neighborhood kid to walk your dog for less, but there are other factors to consider. Can you rely on them to show up on time? Do they know what to do in an emergency? Handling leash reactivity or poor leash manners might be too much for an inexperienced walker. If your dog tends to scuffle with other dogs or run off, a neighborhood kid might not be the best choice. A professional dog walker brings extensive experience and training. A reputable service will have plans for emergencies and unexpected situations. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your dog is safe with a trained professional.

Reinforce positive leash manners 

Still working with your dog on their leash etiquette? An overlooked benefit that most pet parents don’t consider, professional dog walkers are skilled in proper leash handling and etiquette. During the initial meet and greet consultation, you can discuss any leash-related issues, allowing the walker to address these concerns while out on walks with your dog. They can also collaborate with you to develop strategies for improving leash manners. At Four Dog Paws, we prioritize consistency by asking pet parents about their preferred training commands during the meet and greet consultation. This ensures that our approach aligns with your at-home training efforts, promoting well-mannered behavior in your dog.

Book dog walking visits with ease

Most professional dog walking services now use online booking systems, making scheduling visits easy. At Four Dog Paws, we use Time to Pet, a top pet software system. The app lets you see when your dog walker arrives, view their GPS route, and look at photos from the walk. You can also pay for services and tip your walker through the portal. All communication is kept in one place, allowing direct contact with your dog walker.

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