Dog walking is the act of a person walking with a dog, typically from the dog’s residence and then returning. Both owners and pets receive many benefits. It also provides exercise and companionship for the walker.
In the UK, The Kennel Club conducted a survey of 1,000 dog owners and found that one in five did not walk their dogs on a daily basis. Dogs are walked with a collar around their neck, or a dog harness, or by following their owner by familiarity and verbal control. Commonly the dog is walked by the owner, or another family member, but there are also professional dog walkers.
A study by Michigan State University showed that people who walk their dogs are 34% more likely to meet expected levels of exercise, with a recommended level of 150 minutes of activity such as dog walking per week. Matthew Reeves, the co-author of the study said, “There is no magic bullet in getting people to reach those benchmarks but walking a dog has a measurable impact.” Research conducted by the University of Western Australia has discovered that walking your dog helps build relationships in your community research showed that people in the community would acknowledge and greet other people in the street exchange favors with neighbors which can encourage more exercise in the community giving pets and owners a chance at a healthier life.
Professional dog walkers, both individuals and businesses, are paid by dog owners to walk their dogs for them. Some dog walkers will take many dogs for a walk at once, while others will only take a single dog. The length of a walk might vary by breed or owners request ranging from short relief walks to longer walks with a specific amount of time set by the owner. Also growing in popularity is dog running. Dog runners are professionals who will take your dog running. In some jurisdictions dog walking businesses must be licensed and have animal first-aid-trained employees. Professional dog walking services can be obtained locally or through online referral services. Obtaining a position as a professional dog walker has become more difficult with applicants having to pass rigorous exams and go through extensive training. In the United States, the first professional dog walker is believed to have been Jim Buck, who in 1960 launched his dog walking service in New York City.