If you’re a city dweller, you know all too well that you can’t exactly leave your dog at home in the backyard to play, while away the hours chasing squirrels, and take care of its business whenever it likes. Enter the dog walker.
But have you ever wondered what goes on when you leave you pooch in the hands of a professional handler? Well read on, and you’ll learn more than you ever imagined about the secret life of your pet. And if you’re looking to really treat your pup, check out the Most Luxurious Dog Hotel in the World.
Leave Your Leash Someplace Obvious
Your leash and other dog accoutrements should be left someplace that’s very easy to find and in the same place every time. That way your dog can be out and about in no time. If the idea of a dog raring to go makes you need a pup in your life, learn the 10 Things You Need to Know Before Adopting a Shelter Dog.
You Should Tip Your Dog Walker
Rain, snow, or shine, your dog walker is out there every day taking care of your pooch while you’re away. Tips are always appreciated, especially around the holidays, when it’s recommended you tip 1-2 weeks’ pay. And when you want to know why pooches are your preferred pet, discover Why You’re a Dog Person or a Cat Person.
Those Fancy Dog Clothes Are for You, Not Your Dog
According to S., a dog walker for Wag in Brooklyn, “You can spend $300 on a Gucci sweater and galoshes for your pup, but they don’t care. They just want to chase squirrels and smell trash.” However, when you want to upgrade your own wardrobe, start with the 30 Best Tips for Dressing Well in Your 30s!
No, Really, It’s All About the Garbage
Your Dog May Secretly Be a Biter
Those Little Booties Ain’t Happening
Think of how hard it can be for you to get those little booties on your doggy. Now imagine you’re somebody who isn’t even the dog’s owner. Chances are, your precious pup will put up too much of a fight for your walker to actually be able to put them on, especially if you use a service like Wag, rather than the same walker every week.
Dog Walking Is Tiring Work
Dog walking isn’t just playing with puppies. The days are long and the work can be strenuous. It’s not unheard of for a dog walker to work a 14-hour day.
Size Isn’t Everything
Some little dogs have got a real Napoleon complex. The owner of Soulmutts in Toronto says, “Believe it or not, I find small dogs actually tend to be more dominant and sometimes even a bit more aggressive if they are not trained properly because of what they are allowed to get away with.”
They’re Coming Back for Those Bags of Poop
If you’ve ever been confused by the sight of a bag of dog poop hanging from a tree, here’s the scoop. Dog walkers put them there to pick up later on a particularly long walk when there’s not a trash can nearby. That way nobody steps in it, and they don’t have to carry it around all day. But they are coming back for it.
That Dog Might Not Be On Your Lawn
The little strip of land between the sidewalk and the street is usually technically city property, so if you catch a dog walker letting a dog do its business there, it’s most likely not on your property.
Running Can Be an Option
If you have a dog that’s bursting with energy, check with your dog walker or agency to see if having someone run your dog is an option. It’s not the norm, but there are some places that offer the service.
Walking Isn’t Just Walking
Having your dog walked with other dogs can be a great way to socialize a shy dog. Just make sure all the dogs are compatible with each other before putting them in a group together.
They’re More Than a Person Who Walks Your Dog
Dog walking is a great side job for writers, artists, and performers, who need a flexible schedule to accommodate their craft.
Choose Your Dog Walking Company Wisely
It’s not uncommon to have a screening appointment with a walking company or walker to make sure your dog gets along with other dogs or won’t bite the walker or strangers. It might be a pain, but it’s a mark of high quality.
On-Demand Comes at a Price
Using an app for on-demand dog walking can be cheap and convenient, but it sometimes comes at the expense of quality. Because there’s little training or vetting of walkers, your dog might not get the attention it deserves.
Be Sure to Shop Around
Got a dog that’s a scaredy cat? Some walkers will work with you to help your dog overcome its fears, whether that’s of other people or dogs or even the great outdoors.
Walking Dogs Is Great Exercise
Being out and about walking dogs all day is great exercise. Even walking at a snail’s (or dog’s) pace for 6 hours can burn over 1,000 calories.
When you’re a dog walker, you’re probably going to get into a few messes, so if it’s an option, let your walker know they can use your restroom, especially in a place like New York City, where restrooms are hard to come by.
They Pick Favorites
With so many dogs in their lives, it’s only natural for dog walkers to pick favorites. If it would break your heart to find out your pet isn’t number one in their eyes, it’s best not to ask.
It’s a Fantastic Job
For people who have made the commitment to be career dog walkers, it’s a job that can’t be beat. For them, spending all day outdoors playing with puppies truly is their calling in life.
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