All posts tagged: dog walker

Addie lives in Falls Church, Virginia. Addie’s owner is Pat Breichner, and Addie’s walker is Megan Ball. At Waggy Walkys we love our client’s and their owner’s. 🙂

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We know we can never take your place in the loving eyes of your pet – but we sure as heck can serve as an awesome fill-in when you’re at work, too busy or away on vacation. Waggy Walkys has been catering to pets of all shapes, sizes and breeds since 2002, growing a trusted network of pet care professionals throughout the DC, Maryland and Virginia area.

It’s not just what we do that sets us apart – it’s how we do it. Your pet’s health and safety are our main priorities, with extensive training, vetting and background checks provided for all pet care professionals in our network. Most of our trusted dog walkers and pet sitters have cared for animals for much of their lives, ensuring they have the know-how and skills to properly tend to the needs of your pet.

When you entrust your pet with Waggy Walkys, you enjoy daily updates, detailed reports and, best of all, peace of mind that your pet is being cared for with the compassion, attention and adoration he deserves. Our second priority? Having tons of fun, of course! Give us a ring today.

Our services cover all kinds of stuff you and your pet would need help with, from dog walks to family-style boarding, overnight house sitting visits to daily pet sitting visits (morning, afternoon, evening) for dogs, cats and any other pets you may have! We even offer a pet taxi to transport your pet to appointments or to and from your designated dog boarding house. Need something extra special? We gladly customize our services to meet you and your pet’s exact needs. Contact us now to learn more.

Waggy Walkys LLC is a professional Dog Walking and Pet Care company that has been in business since 2002. We pride ourselves on pet safety, thoroughly screened staff, and excellent customer service. Please contact us today for our current promotions!

keeping your dog in shape

We often think of exercise only as a health issue, but it has significant day-to-day effects on a dog’s behavior as well. Dogs — particularly puppies and young dogs — have a lot of energy, and if they don’t get the chance to burn it off, destructive behavior is often the result. If you’re annoyed at the holes your dog has dug, have headaches from his barking, and have to replace pillows shredded into expensive fluff, your dog’s probably not getting enough exercise.

These behavior issues cause many people to give up their dogs, even though they’re completely preventable. (You know those “free to a good home, dog needs room to run” ads? They’re usually placed by people whose dogs don’t need room to run; they need exercise they’re not getting.) Unfortunately, some people don’t think enough about exercise when selecting a breed, and they choose a dog who needs more exercise than they’re willing or have time to provide.

How much exercise does my dog need?

How much exercise is enough depends on your dog’s age, breed, and health. A 10-month old Irish Terrier puppy is going to need more than a five-year old Whippet (you could appropriately sing, “Wild thing, you make my heart sing” as your puppy races around the house and yard). A sight hound needs short bursts of exercise; guarding dogs don’t need as much overall as sporting breeds who like to hunt all day. Even within a breed, the need varies. A highly energetic eight-year-old Golden Retriever could easily need more exercise than a calm three-year old Golden. And geriatric dogs still need to go for walks — just shorter ones than they used to enjoy.

Generally speaking, a leashed walk around the block isn’t going to cut it. Most dogs need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. Your canine pal needs enough that he’s slowed down by the time you stop. Some general rules of thumb:

Active breeds need a minimum of 30 minutes of hard aerobic exercise most days of the week, preferably daily.

Not all toy or small breeds get enough exercise inside the house (contrary to popular belief). Pugs, for example, are prone to obesity and need much more exercise than they usually get.

It’s not safe to go out in extremely hot or cold weather. During such periods, stay inside and teach tricks to engage your dog’s mind, throw toys, or run up and down the stairs together.

Good exercise uses both mental and physical muscles. Exploring a new hiking trail, for example, engages your dog’s mind as well as his body.

Live by the philosophy that a tired dog is a good dog.

Where to get exercise

Like people, most dogs like both familiarity and a little variety in their exercise routines.

Many dogs get to know the neighborhood during walks and enjoy checking on their favorite spots.
Dog parks are popular places for off-leash exercise and romping with other dogs, which is exactly what most dogs need. However, not all dogs can play nicely with others. If your dog doesn’t like other dogs, the dog park is definitely not the place for him.

Doggie day care can exercise both his mind and body. Dogs should come home from day care worn out and deliciously happy.

The cost of not getting enough

Inactive dogs are often overweight dogs, and as in people, that brings plenty of health risks. Obesity contributes to a dog’s risk of diabetes, respiratory disease, and heart disease. It exacerbates common orthopedic concerns such as hip dysplasia and arthritis. Obesity can stress joints, ligaments, and tendons. Geriatric dogs often have a hard enough time getting up without the added problem of lifting excess pounds.

Dogs being walked

Do you have a runner, a sniffer or a greeter?

Being overjoyed about going for a walk is almost universal among the canine set. If you reach for that leash, lace up your shoes or do anything that suggests even the remote possibility that you are going for a walk, your dog is probably thrilled.

However, dogs are making use of the sacred walk time for different purposes. Though many dogs like everything about a walk, there are at least three categories of dogs, based on what they most love about their outings.


Some dogs are runners. What they want out of the walk is exercise, so they want to be moving, preferably as fast as possible. These are the dogs who need their daily (or twice daily or all day) activity. They often pull on the leash at first, but once they get into a rhythm, burned off some energy and released some endorphins, they settle down a bit. They still want to run or trot, but they are more flexible about whatever pace you choose.


It’s rare to find a dog who has no interest in sniffing on their walks, but for many of them, it is their top priority from start to finish. They have their nose to the ground much of the walk, suddenly getting incredibly interested in stretches of grass that look to us, the olfactory challenged humans, exactly like every other stretch of grass. These dogs seek mental stimulation on walks, and their minds are stimulated by the smells that are here! And there! And everywhere!


Even the most social of dogs are often distracted by their own desire to be active or to sniff all over the place. However, there are some dogs whose main purpose on walks is to meet-and-greet. These are the social butterfly, table-hopper types who simply want to say hello to other dogs, to people or even to the occasional cat. These greeters love to connect with others, and may even be slightly disappointed if there are few others out and about during walks. Related to the social dogs are the dogs whose purpose is marking their territory and patrolling the area. These dogs, like other social dogs, are highly interested in who is (and has been)out and about.

Many dogs are a combination of these traits. The love to run, sniff and say hello, but as a guardian, you probably know your dog well enough to understand which activity is most important.

Do you have a runner, a sniffer, a greeter or a dog with an entirely different priority?

Photo of Professional Dog Walker Waggy Walkys

It’s important to keep your pet active and engaged with other dogs and humans, so hiring a dog walking service is more than just a luxury that some people do to be lazy or hand over responsibilities to someone else.  Here are some common reasons that a dog walking service is used and why you should consider investing in one yourself.

1.   Health Benefits

The most obvious benefit to having a dog walker take your dog on regular walks while you are away is the immediate health impact.  Dogs are just as susceptible as we are to major diseases related to obesity.  It is estimated that up to 50% of dogs and cats are obese.  Plus, dogs that have serious diseases are often much harder to detect than humans.  Getting three 20 minute walks each day is the best way to keep your dog living a long, healthy life.

2.   Mental Upkeep

Getting your dog out to interact with his or her peers is very important for preventing behavioral problems at home with you and your family and other dogs.  Cabin fever affects dogs quicker than humans, they need constant sensory feedback and a way to expend all that energy built up.  Of course human interaction is also important, a good professional dog walker can correct bad behavior and excessive barking at strangers.

3.   Circadian Rhythm

All that walking will expend the energy built up and puts the dog back on a regular nap and sleep schedule.  This will reduce the number of happy accidents, when you come home to the house tore up, or holes dug in the backyard.  Sleep is important for a dog’s overall mental and physical health.

4.   Safety and Security

You know your dog is in good hands, as long as you do your due diligence when screening applicants, while you are away at work.  You don’t need to worry about your dog getting into trouble or potentially getting into a dangerous situation at home.  A dog walker is the perfect babysitter, someone who has experience with dogs and who is invested in making sure your dog is safe.

5.   Less Stress

With the ability to do more things on your own time, you don’t need to feel guilty for leaving your pup at home.  You learn to enjoy the time with your dog while being able to handle any business you have in your professional life.  Your dog won’t hate you either, as long as they spend the day having fun.

6.   Say No to Full-Time Crates

Leaving your dog in a crate all day is essentially accepting the fact that you have to leave your dog to go a little mad for a day and possibly soil themselves while in there.  This should be avoided at all costs.  It simply can’t be done without hurting the dog on some level.  It also breeds mistrust with the owner, if repeated.

7.   Older Dogs need Walks

A dog’s bladder gets weaker as they get older, so they must be taken out for a walk 3 to 4 times a day.  Their renal system is very sensitive in their senior years.  Renal failure is one of the most common ways that dogs pass away.  They have a much harder time filtering out the toxins in their urine.

The Top 7 Reasons You Should Hire a Dog Walking Service by Waggy Walkys LLC.