Are you looking to establish a trustworthy relationship with a thoughtful company devoted to providing your dog a compassionate, knowledgeable, and consistent companion? Look no further!
“I used Canine Care regularly for the last five years and they have not let me down. I highly recommend Canine Care and hope you have a chance to work with them--you and your pet will love it!”
—Lisa D., Proud Pet Parent
Our staff is interviewed, vetted, and given ongoing training. Committed to sending someone familiar and on time, we show up well rested and ready for a walk. Because consistency is such an important part in establishing and maintaining good behavior, we are happy to get on the same page with training.
We’re open daily from 9:00 AM—6:00 PM, excluding major holidays (New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas).
We offer separate rates for cities and suburbs, with the ability to add extra options to your walk such as additional dogs, private visits and weekend walks.
Whether your dog is a 16 week puppy or 16 year geriatric, getting outside and going for a walk is typically a good idea. Even just standing up and going for a slow paced walk can help slow the decline of old age. More than just relief of bladder and bowel, a walk offers relief of mind and body. Whether it’s to provide physical therapy to recover from injury and slow down the effects of aging, or to get or keep in shape, think of us as your dog’s personal trainer. We are also your dog’s social coordinator, matching up with dog walkers and other dogs, like a dating service.
There is a reason why many dogs get the yippie when they see the leash and hear “wanna go for a walk?” Going for a walk is a treat when they get to go places they enjoy, and meet friends along the way.
Walking outdoors can lower stress and lift mood, release natural painkilling endorphins and lower cortisol levels. You know the content dog when you see him. He walks with a loose leash, a soft expression on his face and a little bounce in his step. He wears an ear to ear grin as his nose bends to meet the breeze.
For dogs who enjoy everything about doggie daycare, hiring a dog walking company for at least once a week service still makes sense. When your dog is ill or injured, you might not want (or be able to) send her to daycare. Or there might be a contagious disease going around at the doggie daycares, which causes them to shut down. If all your dog knows is going for car rides between home and to doggie daycare and back, then he never gets the benefits of going for an outdoor walk. Plus, it’s good for him to keep up with on leash etiquette. Setting up a regular dog walk once or twice a week keeps him familiar with the dog walking routine.
If your dog is annoyingly energetic, the problem is not that your home or yard is too small, or even that you are not going to the off leash dog park enough. If all you do is go to the off leash park to wind your dog up into a frenzy until he poops out, after a nap you better get back to the park before he goes bonkers again.
A well structured, short on leash walk can be more exhausting than a long off leash romp, because it provides mental as well as physical exercise. If all you do is run him into the ground to get him so exhausted to where he no longer has the energy to misbehave, he also doesn’t have the energy to learn anything.
When do you teach manners? The best way to tire a dog out is to have him in a “sit” and “stay,” which is at least somewhat practiced out on walks when waiting at a red light.
Teaching a dog to wait is one of the productive components of the walk.
Sadly for some the benefits of a walk might be outweighed by the distress it causes. Stress happens. The more there is and the less capable one is to cope, the more likely a dog is of becoming overly anxious. You know the nervous dog when you see her. She puts tension in the leash, lunging and pulling sometimes to the point of choking. She tucks her tail and moves away when she sees the leash come out, maybe even becoming aggressive if pressured into it.
A dog’s cortisol level can go up to where it’s higher at the end of a walk than it was before, which defeats the purpose. It’s usually not so much the walking, but the stressors around the walking. Stressors can be dogs, people, crowds, fireworks, thunder, car rides (not all dogs enjoy car rides), balloons, elevators, separation when left behind, etc.
The list of possible stressors is endless, is different for every dog and all dogs experience them. The trigger can even be the well-intentioned person who arrives to walk your dog. Prolonged traumatic experiences, or just a moment of very high distress, can cause post traumatic stress disorder, which can lead to obsessive compulsive disorder and aggression. Next thing you know your dog lives in a bubble, and is still unable to avoid all the triggers.
If this is already your dog, find a great vet and behaviorist (let us know if you would like a referral). In the meantime, unless you set up an indoor litter box (which is a good idea if things are dire), your dog probably still needs to get outside for at least a short time to do business.
There is some good news. Much of this is preventable if things are properly introduced and reintroduced, and when mistakes are made that then they are kept to a minimum. If a dog has post traumatic stress disorder, it is possible to make life better again (and to prevent obsessive compulsive disorder and aggression).
How to avoid and recover from trauma requires knowledge and understanding. Who walks your dog has a significant impact on whether your dog reaps the potential benefits or suffers the pitfalls of a walk.
It is important you hire the right person.
The mood of the person walking your dog can make a big difference. A good mood typically helps, although it’s sometimes best to curb the enthusiasm. Just being in a good mood is often not enough (although better than being in a bad mood).
Growing up with a few dogs does not a make a person a professional dog walker. Every dog is different, with different reactions to different stressors. Just because someone knows how to take care of their dog doesn’t mean they know how best to take care of your dog.
The question is does your dog enjoy what’s going on, and if not, then does your walker recognize this? Does he know what to do about it? Is your dog’s joyful exuberance causing a problem and is there anything to do about it?
An overly yippie, anxious, or irritable dog is more likely to become aggressive. Yes, even the overly yippie dog, since sometimes others find him annoying and then become aversive and then the yippie dog becomes yappy and nippy in return. No dog is always easy going (although some come close). Even if your dog is easy going in a given moment, encountering other not so easy going dogs and people is inevitable. It’s important that your dog and so dog walker knows how best to navigate.
Training dog walkers gives them more confidence in their ability, making them more capable and likely to be calm even when everything around them is anything but. Consistently providing highly qualified walkers requires an ongoing and in person training program. In order to provide continuous training, the trainer needs to be available to actually go out into the field to demonstrate the next step.
Training doesn’t happen overnight, and never ends (which is great news if you like being a dog nerd). While not rocket science, there is quite a bit of ethology (the scientific study of animal behavior) required when working or living with animals. Think Pavlov. Ding! Good job. This is, after all, a large part of what professional dog walkers do: apply animal behavior and training principles in order to keep everyone safe and secure.
You want to find a diligent dog walker, someone who is happy to be a dog nerd and applies their emotional and intellectual understanding to connect with dogs in a caring and compassionate way. Someone who is an animal (including human) lover, as well as being animal (including human) savvy. A veterinarian with a doctoral degree in ethology is probably more than necessary, but the other extreme is not enough.
A guarantee for always immediate availability requires a large supply of third party people who are nearby and at the ready. There is undoubtedly a large supply of people who want to get paid for walking dogs, but an eighteen year old with a smartphone does make a “professional”dog walker.
When we run an ad for help wanted, we often get hundreds of replies within a week (on average we look at around fifty candidates to then hire one).
Dog walking has become a glorified job, making it’s way into headlines on tv commercials and in movies. Seems everybody wants to be a dog walker (it’s easy to understand why). While a few people are turn key qualified, most need extensive and all need ongoing training.
Change can be stressful. Just as it can be stressful for a dog when their routine is off, same too for the dog walker. A route in constant flux typically adds pressure, putting strain on the walker when every day it’s different. When a stressed out dog walker shows up, your dog is more likely to become so too, which in turn often makes the dog walker even more stressed. And then burnt out, and then sick and more likely to take multiple days off and find another job.
There is a correlation between staff retention and the number of hours a company invests in training. Our experience has been that more training equals less turnover, not to mention better service. As a dog walker experiences consistency and gains more and more expertise, she is more likely (for many reasons) to enjoy her job. It’s a simple formula: happy dog walker, happy dog, happy customer, happy everyone.
Because an immediate, on-demand type dog walking service is less likely to provide a high level of ongoing training certified by an outside source, and a consistent route, it increases the odds dogs being in the hands of someone unfamiliar and unprofessional.
A revolving door of strangers with low levels of understanding in how to introduce themselves and others to your dog can cause or exacerbate unwanted behaviors, leading to greater risks with dogs and people in private and public spaces. The negative consequences for which can be severe.
Who is monitoring the walkers, you and your GPS?