Twenty-five years ago, many people in America may have thought that hiring a dog walker was a frivolous luxury, only affordable for the few.
Fast forward to the present, and that is hardly the case today, with thousands of people making a living as local Dallas dog walkers in this community.
What has changed in that time? A lot!
One of the big things that has changed is the importance people place on their pets. Pets have gone from the barn to the bed in the last 25 years, and are truly considered members of the family now. As full-fledged family members, we tend to prioritize a pet’s health more than we did in years past. This means paying closer attention to the quality of the food they eat, more frequent visits to the vet and worrying about their overall mental and physical health.
With dogs, both mental and physical needs are fulfilled by daily dog walks. The sights and smells of the outside world provide much-needed mental stimulation, and the exercise received from a daily dog walk is great for the dog’s overall physical health and for releasing overall anxiety.
A second reason more people are hiring dog walkers these days is because many of us are leading much busier lives now than we did 25 years ago. With the proliferation of technology, we are much more efficient in a lot of ways, but we are also working longer hours; there are more single people than ever before that have busy careers but also want pet companionship; and there are more dual-income households now than ever before, leaving no one at home regularly enough to consistently walk the dog.
Interestingly enough, the combination of these two factors—the prioritization and overall humanization of pets and our changing family and work demographics have also led to a 3rd reason that many people hire a dog walker: to minimize or prevent behavior problems. Despite dogs being thought of as family members, they are still dogs. Unfortunately, if you treat a dog too much like a human and assign human qualities to their actions, you can inadvertently cause unintended behavior problems like separation anxiety and destructive behaviors. Daily dog walks, or even runs, can release a lot of a dog’s endorphins and relieve hidden stress, much like regular exercise does for humans. While hiring a local dog walker may not be able to completely eliminate a dog’s anxieties or destructive behaviors, they can be effective at lessening their intensity or frequency.
Lastly, as more and more people choose to adopt pets into their families, it has become very clear that there are many specific pet breeds that are known genetically to be quite high energy, are very work motivated and/or are very smart. These breeds like border collies, Belgian Malinois, blue heelers, Weimaraner’s, poodles and others really need extra exercise, play time or outdoor time to be healthy and happy, things that a local dog walker is excellent at providing.
As you can see, times have changed. The new pedestal that many pets now sit on means that things we used to think were frivolous are now important necessities. We would definitely argue that having a reliable professional dog walker is a true necessity in this modern time!