Let your dog be a Woofer On The Run!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is dog running and walking important for my dog?  
Dogs are similar to humans when it comes to exercise.  Some need just a little to stay healthy, while others need a lot (as much as 35 miles per week*).  Many breeds are built to work, to run, to be active.   
Lack of exercise can lead to or increase bad behaviors like chewing, jumping, barking, digging, and hyperactivity.

A 2012 survey of veterinarians by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found 53% of adult dogs are classified as overweight. Arthritis, diabetes and shortened life span are some of the unfortunate side effects for these dogs.  Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of APOP, says 
“The most distressing finding in the study was the fact that more pet owners are unaware their pet is overweight.  Twenty-two percent of owners rated their pet as normal weight when it was actually overweight or obese.”

Benefits of consistent exercise include: stress relief, disease prevention, joint stability improvement, weight loss, cardiovascular health, improved mood-behavior-focus.  Exercise sessions provide your dog a "job", relieve boredom and are the key to a calm, well-behaved, happy dog.

What if my dog has not run with a human companion before? 
Most dogs quickly adapt to leash running.  Others may require a bit more time and patience.  Just like humans, dogs will need to slowly build up their distance and speed as they become more conditioned.  When needed, sessions will start with walking, will add intervals of jogging and walking, and slowly increase the running increments (based on careful observation of your dog during and after sessions).  

What if you my dog is a heavy puller or just not good on a leash? 
With practice, patience, and positive reinforcement, most dogs will work into a rhythm after the first mile or so.  
We may recommend your dog try a gentle leader or harness during sessions.  Dogs often aren't fond of the gentle leader to start, but they get used to  it, it doesn't cause them discomfort and it makes runs/walks more enjoyable and safer.   

We will never take dogs off leash unless we are in a fenced yard on your property!  Our insurance does not allow it.  Also, there is a leash law in Michigan.  Taking dogs off leash in public and/or on the trails is risky and dangerous and a liability that we will not consider!

Do you run or walk more than one dog at once?  
Only if you request or approve it.  We will consider running up to 3 dogs together.  This can be siblings together, or if your dog has a buddy they can run together, or Val can bring her dog Sami (an experienced runner) to join your dog.  Running with another dog teaches dogs focus and socialization.  A trial run is required to ensure that the dogs are a good match for exercising together.  All such decisions are based on the needs of each dog and again, only considered with the owners approval.

What are the requirements for dogs to run or walk?
Health clearance from veterinarian; proof of vaccinations; a flat snap collar with ID tags, friendly with people and dogs**; completion of initial consultation and contract agreement.  **If your dog is unfriendly with other dogs, we may be able to still run/walk him.  Please call us to discuss.

Is my dog too young or too old to exercise?  
Check with your veterinarian to determine whether exercise is suitable for your dog.  The standard rule of thumb for starting to run is 8-12 months old. Large breeds may need to wait longer to run (before their bones and joints are formed properly to withstand the stress of running).  Woofers tailors sessions to match each dog’s needs and will consider/monitor factors such as age, physical restrictions and stamina.  We care for puppies and will start with play time, then walks, then will run when they are old enough.  Our oldest running customer is in great shape from staying active all her life.  She is 11 years old and does a leisurely 2 mile jog.  Older dogs benefit from staying active and may be best suited for consistent walks.

What other services do you provide? 
Woofers offers mid-day breaks, puppy breaks and pet sitting to all kinds of pets/farm animals. These sessions can include playtime, potty breaks, medications, feeding and other TLC as needed.  Woofers can do pet/farm sitting (in your home) for dogs, cats, chickens, and other animals. Please call for more details.

Where do you run and walk with the dogs? 
Woofers can run or walk in your neighborhood or a nearby trail.  We can also start from your workplace if your dog spends the day with you there. If you don't have a safe route nearby, we can discuss the possibility of the dog runner/walker driving your dog to a nearby park or trail for their sessions.  

What do you do when the weather is bad?
Our dog runners
 and walkers are serious outdoor enthusiasts.  We will provide services in any weather, unless the conditions prove to be dangerous to your dog or our runners' health.  In the event of extreme inclement weather (lightening or temps in the single digits), exercise sessions may be altered to meet your pet's needs.  Pet sitting is provided in all weather.  Cancelled exercise services will be rescheduled at no additional fee.

Do dogs get water when they run or walk?  
Yes.  Runners can wear a water belt.  Of course, we also carry waste disposal bags and a cell phone.  

How do you arrange pickups?
Woofers On The Run comes to your dog.  Most of our pickups are at home, but we can come to your work, or any location within our service area.  
At our initial consultation, we can make a plan that suits your needs.

What if I need to cancel a scheduled appointment?  
A minimum of 24 hours notice is required for cancellations. Less than 24 hours notice may be charged at the full rate. If you desire a cancellation of all services, please give written notice.

How and when do I pay for services?  
We will email you an invoice at the end of each month.  Adopted pet discounts are available.  At this time, Woofers On The Run accepts cash and checks.  

Is Woofers On The Run bonded and insured?  
Yes, Woofers On The Run is bonded and insured with and members of the professional organization, Pet Sitters Associates, LLC.   A copy of the policy certificate can be provided on request.  

* Running with Man's Best Friend, Davia Anne Gallup

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