SoulPup Episode 3 – Why Dog Walks are So Important
Want a well-behaved dog? Take time to fit in at least two dog daily walks around your neighborhood. Dog pro Benetta Green of Gone to the Dogs Pet Care shares the benefits of daily dog walks and shares tips to find a reputable dog walker.
- A walk is more than using the bathroom. Daily walks stimulate the dog’s mind, it offers time to stop and smell the world, and it burns energy, to keep them out of mischief if they don’t get proper exercise.
- Need a dog walker or pet sitter? Ask for referrals. Anyone can call themselves a dog walker; all you need is a car. Green suggests looking for someone who has experience working with dogs of all ages and sizes and can handle your pet’s needs. As an added protection, look for someone who is bonded and insured. For a referral, check out Pet Sitters International, a professional organization for pet sitters. Green is a member of PSI, she’s trained in first aid and a member of the Georgia Network of Professional Pet Sitters. On that initial visit to meet your dog, watch how dog walkers interact and make sure everyone seems comfortable.
- Be upfront about your dog’s needs, particularly if there’s a behavior issue. Whether your dog simply needs a potty break because you work long hours or they have behavior challenges, such as being reactive on the leash, be honest about your dog’s needs. This is the best way to ensure a good fit. For example, if you have a 90-pound dog, look for someone who can handle large dogs in various circumstances. Professional dog walkers will not necessarily charge more if your dog is reactive, or super large, or has behavior challenges, they just need to know and be prepared.
- A typical visit can be customized. Green usually does midday walks that involve letting the dog get some air, take a potty break and perhaps eat a bit of kibble. High-energy dogs may even need a run or some focused play time.
- Get the right tools. Discuss the preferred gear for walking your dog. Smaller dogs do best with a harness to avoid slipping out of their collar. Dogs that pull also may need different gear.
- When do dogs need a daily break? For first-time dog owners trying to find the right potty time, Green recommends setting a feeding schedule and sticking to it. This helps you look for clues when the dog needs to potty. Once you crack that “code,” you can work with family members or a dog walker to establish the best potty time.
All the best!
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