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The proper way to walk your dog

Owner and Labrador dog walking in city on unfocused background. Adobe Stock #103787778. Approved by Denise Flaim.

Dogs all need exercise! Unfortunately, your schedule may not allow you to take your dog out twice a day. In this case, you can hire the services of a dog walker. Here’s how to find one and what to look out for.

Having a dog is give and take: he gives you unconditional love but you have to provide for his needs, which means walking him regularly. And this is a win-win situation: the animal does exercise, and so do you, without spending a dime!

How long do I have to walk my dog?

Getting some fresh air and walking five minutes to the nearest lamppost is not enough, regardless of the dog! The length of time required for a dog to walk depends on its age, size and breed. Young puppies can be overworked quickly, older dogs require less exercise, while hunting dogs need to run and exercise.

According to veterinarians, the ideal frequency is 3 to 4 walks per day, divided into 20-minute slices, so at least one hour in all – making time for “a long walk of 1 to 2 hours during the week ”.

When and why may it be necessary to hire a dog walking service?

Anyone in the family can walk the dog. But even if you live alone, have young children, are injured, or have to go on a trip, your dog still needs exercise! In this case, a professional dog walking service may be the best solution. Your pet will be happier and less prone to messing up if he maintains his habits and gets enough exercise.

How to find a dog walker?

There are various dog walking and pet sitting services. An Internet search will allow you to quickly locate providers located near your home. But it can be good to rely on a reliable recommendation, especially from a veterinarian. Finally, keep in mind that even if you know someone you think you can trust to walk your dog, these structures operate according to professional standards and therefore offer optimal support.

What should you watch out for when using a dog walking service?

It is important that you have confidence in your dog walker and that he is doing his job well. In other words, that he respects the agreed schedules and constantly watches over the safety of your companion, while respecting the environment. He should keep your dog on a leash if necessary, and treat him with kindness and consideration. It is also important that he is trained in animal first aid, and properly insured.

Which dog walker to choose?

You should first meet the potential dog walker (naturally in the company of your dog), in order to make an impression on yourself, explain your expectations to them and point out, if necessary, your pet’s special needs.

Here are the right questions to ask yourself, and to ask the dog walker:

Does he walk several dogs at the same time?
If so, how many dogs? And will the dogs get along well?
How long are the walks?
Where do the dogs in their care take?
If transported in a vehicle, does it meet safety standards for transporting animals?
Can I give him the keys to my house?
Finally, if you want your dog to be walked alone, are you willing to pay more?
When you are short on time, a dog walking service can be a very convenient troubleshooting. But remember, your pet will always prefer to go out with you. So whatever free time you have, use it for a walk!

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