Dog walkers step in to help pet parents

There are many takers for dog walkers in the city

Anvis Inc in Ganganagar offers a certifcation course for those who want to become professional dog walkers. Dog walkers’ fees begin at Rs 150 a session.

Professional dog walkers are easing the stress of pet parents in Bengaluru. They take the dogs out and provide them with the necessary exercise. 

Jerin Paul, whose pet Leo is a Labrador, finds it difficult to walk him every day. He has now hired a dog walker.

“It is truly a blessing as I don’t want Leo to suffer because of my timings. I’m glad he has become comfortable with the walker and comes back home happy and tired,” he says.

Anvis Inc, a pet care institute in Ganganagar, offers certificate courses for dog walkers. The training lasts two days, and those certified can become dog walkers, pet sitters or home boarders. 

Anand Vishwanath, owner, explains, “We look out for people who are passionate about pets and can lend time to walk dogs in the neighbourhood. Either through word of mouth, social media or our own database, we contact people to join the certification course and become pros.” 

Anand used to run a dog-walking institute earlier but shut it down. “The demand for walkers is so high that we end up hiring anyone willing to work. But many took it up as a job and the service didn’t have quality anymore,” he says.

His new enterprise, Anvis, is looking out for people who walk dogs with care.

Certified dog trainer Innocent Deva Amrith is among those who has taken up the certification course. He walks five dogs, at different times of the day, every day. 

“It’s important the dog understands you are walking him and not the other way round. It takes a couple of days for you and the dog to get used to each other, but once both are comfortable, you have the upper hand,” he says.

A majority don’t know how to walk dogs properly: the animals mostly drag or pull their walkers. So it is important to bond with the dog during the walk, he explains.

Professional training equips walkers to discipline the dog and control them when they run into people and strays, he explains.

Pet parents also worry about how their pets can get the best care when they aren’t able to provide the time. Maseera Naveed, a student, decided to use her one-year break to help such families.

She says, “Being someone who travels a lot and understands that it’s not the best options to leave pets in boarding homes, I decided to put my time off to better use. Right now I am walking only one dog but I will soon be taking care of four more in the coming week.”

Handling the dogs when walking on the busy streets of Bengaluru is a challenge, she exclaims. “You have to make sure that the dogs don’t wander off to bushes and make it difficult for you to find them — snakes are a potential threat. Stray dogs should also not feel threatened when you are walking; change the route if you can. And most importantly, make sure that you keep them away from traffic. Most often, the dog could get scared or cause disturbance to drivers as well.”

She advises dog walkers to have emergency numbers of nearby vets and an emergency first aid kit including bandages, cotton swabs, gauze and saline solution.

Is Bengaluru dog-friendly?

Some roads are broad and wide, which makes it easy to walk dogs. But then there are also roads that are narrow and too hazardous.

The government should consider allocating an hour for pet walking after the morning rush. Pet parents could pool in and hire someone to clean up after the dogs have been at the parks, dog lovers suggest.

Walking course

Anvis Inc offers a certificate course for dog walkers. The weekend course costs Rs 2,100. You can sign up at www.anvisinc.com

Tailsmile offers services in areas around Koramangala, HSR Layout and Cox Town. For details, contact 9036388786.

KGS Pet Services, a startup, offers services in and around Bannerghatta Road, Jayanagar, JP Nagar and Dairy Circle. For details, contact 8095997937.

Tips for walkers

It’s important to be fit as you need to handle the pet in any situation. You will also need stamina to walk a lot.

Try to understand what the pet wants and be in sync.

Clean up after the pets. Don’t just walk away once they are done with their business.

Be polite and don’t argue with passers-by.

Meet the parents

Certified dog walkers and pet parents must meet and see if they are compatible. Don’t take up the job unless you find a good match, says Maseera Naveed, dog walker.

 

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Dog walkers step in to help pet parents

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