Should You Hire a Dog Walker for Your Pooch?
Owning a dog is a big responsibility and it takes up a significant amount of your time. Fortunately, dogs make wonderful companions, so all of that time feels more like a privilege than a chore. There may be times, however, when you find yourself in a pinch and you can’t give your dog everything he needs – that’s when you rely on friends and family to lend a helping hand. But what if they aren’t available?
Dog walkers earn a living by providing an essential service to dog owners who need a little help. Your dog deserves (and needs) a daily walk, but if you can’t manage to squeeze it into your schedule one day, hiring a dog walker is an option. Keep reading to learn more.
Related: Dog Daycare or Dog Walker: Which One Should You Choose?
What Are the Benefits of Dog Walkers?
The most obvious benefit of hiring a dog walker is that your dog will still get the exercise and attention he needs, even when you can’t provide it yourself. Regular walks are extremely important for your dog’s health, especially considering that over 50% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight. On top of the obvious benefits of regular exercise, hiring a dog walker also provides your dog with some mental stimulation. Meeting new people and exploring new places are great for socialization as well.
Another benefit of hiring a dog walker is that your dog will be more active during the day when he’d normally be sleeping. This means that he’ll be more tired and less demanding when you get home. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your dog isn’t too lonely while you’re away and that he has someone else who cares about him. If you use the same dog walker most of the time, your dog will feel like he’s made a new friend.
Related: Top 10 Gifts For Your Dog Walker
Things to Know Before Hiring One
There are always risks involved when you let a stranger into your house, especially if you’re not home. Dog walkers typically have credentials and clearances (especially if they work for a company), but you’re still putting a certain degree of trust in their hands.
Here are some things to think about before you hire a dog walker:
- Does your dog really need a walker? Some dogs do better with long absences than others, so ask yourself whether it’s really necessary.
- Think about how long you’re going to be away – if you have a long commute on top of an 8-hour workday, your dog could probably use a break.
- Does your dog respond well to new people and will a dog walker be able to manage him? Dogs with behavioral issues are generally not a good candidate for dog walking.
- Can you afford to hire a walker regularly? Many dog walkers charge a flat fee while others charge by time – think about how often you’ll be needing a walker.
- Should you hire someone or go through a company? There are many dog walking companies around and even apps you can use to hire a walker on the spot.
You know your dog best, so you are the only one who can decide whether hiring a dog walker is a good option. Even if you find that your dog does fine with a walker, however, you should still walk your dog yourself as often as possible to maintain your bond.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
More by Kate Barrington