Dog walking is both a pastime and a profession involving the act of a person walking with a dog, typically from the dog's residence and then returning. This constitutes part of the daily exercise regime needed to keep a dog healthy. It also provides exercise and companionship for the walker.
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."
Professional dog walkers
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 not. Also growing in popularity is dog running. Dog runners are professionals who will take your dog running, usually between 1 and 10 miles for a set fee, usually not more than 2 dogs at a time. 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 thorough online referral services.
- "Are new rules woof justice for pooches?". Grimsby Telegraph (thisisgrimsby.co.uk). 29 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Bumgardner, Wendy (13 November 2008). "Dog Owners Get Twice as Much Exercise - Dog Walking for Exercise". About.com. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Derbyshire, David (6 August 2010). "Walkies? Fat chance. One in five dog owners too lazy to take their pets out every day". Mail Online. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- Shaw, Lorrie (5 May 2010). "Commercialism: coming to a pet near you". AnnArbor.com. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- Smith, Mark (5 May 2010). "Lawyer wants to bring dog walkers to heel". The Scotsman. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- "Walkies Not Just For Dogs". Daily Express. 12 March 2011.
- "example dog runner". Retrieved 30 November 2011.
- Jill Priluck (December 8, 2010). "The founder's life for young VCs". CNN-Money-Fortune Magazine. Retrieved 2010-12-07. "In early 2009, ... Ringwelski launched SkillSlate, a site that organizes handymen, dogwalkers, massage therapists and other solos through profiles and ratings the same way dating sites corral singles."
- Fox, Margalit (12 July 2013). "Jim Buck, Who Made Walking Dogs a Job, Dies at 81". New York Times. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
- Media related to Dog walking at Wikimedia Commons