Do I need a dog walker? 7 Reasons to Hire a responsible dog walker
Not that long ago, dog walking services were only for the rich or people that couldn’t be bothered to take their dog for a walk. It was considered a luxury service. For those that wanted the companionship of a dog but didn’t want the hassle…
I am sure you agree that this is very old-fashioned thinking. Dogs, in many ways, are like children. Just as people have a nanny to help with the children, many now look to dog walkers for support.
Today’s modern busy lives mean we are out working more or working longer hours from our office in the dungeon (or wherever it may be). As a result, this means that our doggy friends don’t always get the exercise, the mental stimulation or the toilet breaks they need
Do any of the following reasons to hire a dog walker sound familiar?
#1 Working long hours
This is probably the top reason that people look for support with both dogs and children.
I understand how those long days in the office can get in the way (I used to be that person). This can sometimes mean your dog is on its own for more than 3 or 4 hours at a time. Not only is this h boring for the dog as they are not getting any stimulation, but they will also need a comfort break just like we do
Maybe you need support due to working longer hours, or perhaps it is just on odd occasions? Maybe you have got a puppy? It is important to remember that puppies need more frequent toilet breaks than adults. A pet sitter or dog walker can help with those extra puppy needs.
As a general rule, an adult dog shouldn’t be left for more than 5 hours (puppy’s obviously a lot less). Of course, like everything, this does depend on the dog, so please discuss this when you look at hiring a dog walker#
#2 We are only human after all
A typical day can start at 7 am with getting breakfast for everyone and making lunches. Then it is time to take the kids to school. Once all this is done, you finally arrive at work – probably already feeling exhausted. Lunchtime comes around, and you have to pop home to let the dog out and return to work
After work, it’s back to school to pick the kids up, make dinner for the kids, take the kids to scouts, football, and other after school clubs. Walk the dog and feed him and then finally bed to sleep and repeat.
So, stop and consider that using a dog walker makes life easier by not running home at lunchtime. Your dog would be happier and calmer as it would have had a proper walk at lunchtime and some mental stimulation.
Many people feel that you shouldn’t own one if you don’t have time to walk the dog yourself. I do not think this is the case.
After all, part of being a responsible dog owner is to make sure the dog’s needs are met and have a loving and caring home. One of the ways this can be done is by researching and using a dog walker best suited for your needs. A good dog walker can help provide a walk and mental stimulation
Surely it makes sense?
#3 Family visits, evening celebrations and other Events,
Maybe you have family that is allergic to dogs, or you want to go and see Rag and Bone man in concert. Maybe you want to visit the London zoo, harry potter or go away for a weekend to celebrate a birthday or anniversary
#4 You have a working breed dog who needs mental and physical exercise
Yep, I’m a fully signed-up member. I love collies and fully understand that they are both high energy and need mental stimulation
Missy needs 2 walks a day along with mental stimulation, so just making it home at lunchtime to give her a toilet break is not enough
If you have a high energy working dog, then just letting them out at lunch is not enough/ Hiring a competent dog walker who understands these breeds and can offer enriched walks in the day will make such a difference and help control their energy levels
#5 Your dog is on Medication or has health issues
During your dog’s life, your dog may have a medical issue that requires tablets to be administered at certain times. Rather than break your neck and get stressed out to get back in time for this, consider a dog walker. They can do this for you whilst also allowing for a toilet break.
Another advantage of having a specialist dog walker. Is that they can also help with behaviour issues. If you have a shy or nervous dog, then maybe a one to one dog walk is more suited to them so they can relax and learn to de-stress through games and enrichment. Always ensure the dog walker has attended appropriate courses and uses 100% reward-based methods.
Responsible professional dog walkers understand that no dogs are perfect. However, it is important that you are honest with them right from the start. This enables the dog walker to make the right decision for your dog and decide if they are the right dog walker for you.
#6 Current circumstances restrict you from walking your dog
If you are currently recovering from surgery or an accident, you will probably need extra help walking the dog. After all, it is not easy to take the dog for a walk when you are on crutches and struggling to get around yourself. for example
An experienced dog walker can help provide your dog with regular walks. If you are up to it, you can even accompany them . Some dog walkers may also be able to do some shopping for you to make life even easier.
#7 You understand that dog walking is good for the dog’s mental health and wellbeing
Being left from 9 to 5 is a long time for a dog, even if they can control their bladder. Dogs need stimulation throughout the day. They need to explore the world through sight and, more importantly, smell.
Using a dog walker to break up the day can help ensure your dog has an enriched walk during the day to relieve boredom.
So please do not feel guilty for hiring a dog walker. For whatever reason you have decided to take the decision, you ARE doing the right thing for both you and your dogs’ mental health and wellbeing. This, in my opinion, makes you a GOOD dog owner.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to do your research when hiring a dog walking. Take your time to find the best dog walker for your dog’s needs (and yours)
Taking time from the start will mean that you will no longer feel guilty or feel like you are a bad parent when you leave your dog alone.
Related article: Dog walking tips everyone should know