By Adam Lee-Smith
Published: 09/15/2021, edited: 09/15/2021
Walkies let your woofer stretch their legs and explore the great outdoors, which keeps them happy and healthy. However, taking a stroll with Scoob isn't always simple, especially if you have a busy schedule, don't live near any dog parks, or live in a dangerous area.
If you're trying to fit dog walks into your hectic day-to-day or want to make dog walks a little more interesting, you might want to organize a dog walking club in your neighborhood.
Meeting up with a group of pet parents to walk your fur-babies is sure to make walkies a little easier. Here are a few tips on how to organize a dog walking club in your neighborhood.
There are lots of reasons to start a walking club in your neighborhood. One of the main reasons pet parents start dog walking clubs is for safety. Walking your dog at night is sometimes unavoidable, especially on long winter evenings.
Understandably, walking alone in a park at night puts some pet parents on edge. By gathering some fellow pet parents, you're sure to be a lot safer on nighttime dog walks.
Another good reason to start a dog walking club is to socialize your pup. If you have a younger dog or a puppy, a dog walking club is a fun way of getting Spot used to lots of strange people and pooches.
A dog walking club is also an excellent way for you to make some new friends! You're sure to bond with your fellow dog walkers over your canine compadres. Knowing some fellow pet parents is also beneficial in case there's an emergency.
What do you need to do to organize a dog walking club? We've sniffed out a few pointers!
"Pawhaps" the easiest way to get others involved in your dog walking club is by talking to other dog walkers. When you walk your mutt around the block or at your local park, you'll no doubt bump into another dog walker or two.
Strike up a conversation about their dog, and talk to them to see if they'd be interested in joining your dog walking club! Whoever you speak to may also have other connections who'd also be interested in joining.
You could go old-school when looking for new club members and put up posters and flyers. Putting up flyers and posters in your local neighborhood or at your workplace is a great way of attracting other walkers. Another "pawsome" place to put a poster is at your local dog park or veterinary clinic.
If you're not keen on putting up flyers, search online for fellow pet parents who'd be interested in setting up a dog walking club. There are plenty of local neighborhood pages on different social media platforms where you could post about your new group.
Apps like NextDoor also let neighbors share information and communicate, making them a great place to find new club members. Once you've gathered enough pet parents, set up a group chat where you can discuss schedules and walking routes.
If you live in a busy area or somewhere with plenty of pups around, you might want to check if there's already a dog walking club in your neighborhood. Ask around or scour the web for one. It'll save you a lot of time and effort if you can join an existing club.
Starting your club is only half the battle. Here are a few planning tips for making your dog walking club a success.
Indecisiveness and a lack of planning are among the top reasons dog walking clubs fail to get going. Planning becomes especially difficult as your group grows. Set up a group chat and designate specific times and dates for each walk.
Get to know each member's schedule — this will make it easier to arrange a walk when everybody is free. You might want to consider setting up a shared calendar where group members can add their availability.
As more members join, your dog walking club will become increasingly difficult to manage. Initially, you may want to keep the club small and only have 5 or so dogs.
A small group ensures both pups and people get along and makes it easier to arrange regular walks. If you're happy with the size of your club, there's no reason to make it any bigger just for the sake of it.
Pet parents tend to think their fur-babies are little angels, but this isn't necessarily the case. When arranging your dog walking club, ensure all pups are socialized and trained to avoid any anxiety or aggression.
One unfortunate incident involving aggressive behavior from a dog could lead to several members leaving and your club falling apart. Worried about your dog's training? Consider booking a dog trainer through Wag! to get your canine ready for your dog walking club.
You shouldn't invite unvaccinated pets to your club, as they put other dogs at risk. Accepting unvaccinated pets will dissuade other pet parents from joining.
Microchips are also very important when organizing a dog walking club. While it's not dangerous to other members of the club, not microchipping your pet puts your pup at risk. If a pup runs away or gets dognapped, a microchip goes a long way to reuniting you with your fur-baby. In fact, statistics show you're 2.5 times more likely to be reunited with a lost microchipped dog than a dog without one!
Bringing along spare equipment and extra toys will ensure you don't have any incidents during your walks. Bring along spare leashes and collars in case one snaps or a dog runs off.
You should also bring plenty of treats in case two dogs get into a fight and you need a quick distraction.
An extra toy or two is also a good idea. For example, one dog may lose their favorite ball. Having a spare means they won't feel left out or try to steal another pupper's toy.
The most important thing to remember to make your dog walking club successful is to have fun! Nobody will want to attend a club with strict rules or a bossy secretary, so keep the club as laid-back as possible.
And remember, the club is meant to be fun for you too, so don't stress out about the finer details and make some lasting memories with your four-legged friend!
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