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National Dog Walker Appreciation Day 2024: When & What Is It?

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

woman goes with a jack russell dog walking in the autumn at night

National Dog Walker Appreciation Day 2024: When & What Is It?

The job may sound simple, but many people couldn’t manage their day without the help of a dependable dog walker. Dog walkers go above and beyond to care for our pups in our stead, often doing much more than exercising them to ensure they’re happy, healthy, and safe. National Dog Walker Appreciation Day occurs every September 8. It’s a special day for pet parents to show recognition for those who give our dogs the daily care they need for a fulfilling life.

By caring for the four-legged members of our family, our dog walkers become a part of it. Let’s explore how you can recognize yours with this look at National Dog Walker Day.

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What Is National Dog Walker Appreciation Day?

National Dog Walker Appreciation Day is held each year on September 8th. The dog-walking app Wag! held the first National Dog Walker Appreciation Day in 2016, one year after the company’s founding.

Wag! quickly noticed the average dog walker’s work extends well beyond a 15-minute run around the neighborhood. They are our pets’ sole caregivers for short bursts during the day.

Picking up poop and giving treats are only the tiniest part of the job.

dalmatian dog on a leash walking with the owner
Image Credit: absolutimages, Shutterstock

In public, dog walkers take control and total responsibility for our dogs’ behavior, ensuring their security and happiness. The benefits linger in the home, as well-exercised dogs that work with expert walkers engage in more positive interactions with family members and fewer destructive behaviors.

Dog walkers display (and need) a genuine passion for pets. While the job description seems straightforward, most walkers stretch themselves as far as clients need for the sake of their dogs. It could be running an extra errand, pet-sitting while we’re on vacation, or running over for a last-minute emergency. We ask dog walkers to go beyond the call of duty in countless ways, relying on them like close friends and family. And more often than not, they’re happy to oblige.

How to Show Recognition on National Dog Walker Appreciation Day

National Dog Walker Appreciation Day comes once a year, and while you don’t need to go over the top, finding an appropriate way to recognize your dog walker’s dedication to hard work will be incredibly considerate, regardless of how minor. The following are a few ways to show your appreciation:

  • Get a gift card to a local pet store to help them complete their dog walking supply kit
  • Give them a bonus with a handwritten thank you card
  • Give them a gift basket with energy bars, candies, cookies, trail mix, and other snacks
  • Leave a stellar online review
  • Voice appreciation for your dog walker or promote their services on social media
  • Arrange a spa day for them to get a foot massage and pedicure
  • Give thoughtful gifts to make them more comfortable, such as neck fans for hot weather or warm gloves for cool fall days

One of the best ways to show appreciation for your dog walker is simply caring for your pet. Leash training, command training, and socialization are critical ways to prepare your pet for friendliness and obedience around anyone, including your new dog walker.

How Much Do Dog Walkers Make?

Professional dog walker or pet sitter walking
Image Credit: SB Arts Media, Shutterstock

Dog walkers make roughly $15 an hour on average, though the amount they charge for a 30-minute walk is generally $20–$30. Rates vary considerably between dog walkers and the amount of business they each do. Some work part-time, while others have a full-time dog walking business. Many can also walk multiple dogs at once, helping them earn more per hour.

Finding consistent work for dog walking alone isn’t easy, so many full-timers fill the gaps with added services. Pet-sitting is a frequent offering that helps dog walkers add hours to the workday. Experienced walkers may include grooming, training, and boarding, among their many services.

Tips for Hiring a Dog Walker

Celebrating National Dog Walker Appreciation Day is easier when you hire a dog walker worth appreciating! Your dog’s mental, physical, and social health will benefit considerably with an expert dog walker, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your dog is in good hands. The following are a few ways you can make sure you’re choosing the best dog walker near you:

  • Check reviews, focusing on the most recent
  • Ask for a list of their most recent references
  • Look for a dog walker that carries insurance
  • Ask about their emergency plan, first aid training, and experience dealing with unexpected situations
  • Discuss scheduling to ensure they can give your dog due attention when you need them

Perform in-depth interviews with several candidates to find the most experienced, dedicated, and suitable dog walker for you. Ask questions about their walk times, lengths, locations, and what kind of dogs your pets will accompany. Walk with your dog walker during their first stroll to see how they get along with your dog and show sound judgment on the job.

Woman walking in the park with a small brown dog in autumn
Image Credit: Zivica Kerkez, Shutterstock

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Not many dog walkers realize that September 8 is National Dog Walker Appreciation Day. Catching yours off-guard with an unexpected token of recognition on their holiday can be even more meaningful! Consider how you can make National Dog Walker Appreciation Day and every day a special occasion for these trusted members of your circle.

Featured Image Credit: thka, Shutterstock

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