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National Dog Walker Appreciation Day 2023: When It Is & How to Celebrate

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

dalmatian dog on a leash walking with the owner

On September 8th of every year, dog owners all over the United States come together to celebrate and appreciate the unsung heroes who make their lives easier: professional dog walkers. We all understand the invaluable role these individuals play in ensuring our furry friends get the exercise and care they need while we’re busy. So, let’s delve into the significance of this day and learn more about the dog-walking industry.

Divider-Dog Paw and Bone- New

Why Celebrate Dog Walkers?

Most dog owners are fully committed to caring for their pets, and a big part of that commitment involves daily walks. These walks provide essential opportunities for dogs to relieve themselves, get some fresh air, and engage in much-needed exercise. However, the frequency and length of these walks can vary widely, depending on factors like breed, age, health, and temperament.

While many dog owners take on the responsibility of walking their pets themselves, life often throws unexpected curveballs. Last-minute work schedule changes, health issues, and other commitments can sometimes prevent owners from fulfilling their duties. This is where professional dog walkers step in.

pembroke welsh corgi dog walking on a leash with owner
Image Credit: Jus_O, Shutterstock

A Glimpse into Dog Walking History

The concept of professional dog walking started to take root in the United States during the 1960s. One of the pioneers in this field was Jim Buck, who became the first professional dog walker in New York City. With his distinctive style of walking several dogs at a time, he quickly became a fixture in the Upper West Side. At its peak, Buck’s dog-walking business employed around two dozen assistants.

Today, the professional dog walking industry has expanded exponentially, with numerous individuals and businesses offering their services. Some jurisdictions require licenses and training in animal first aid, while others have fewer regulations in place. Nevertheless, regardless of official requirements, dog owners expect certain qualities from their dog walkers.

Celebrating National Dog Walker Appreciation Day

National Dog Walker Appreciation Day was established in 2016 by Wag!, an on-demand platform connecting dog owners with professional dog walkers. Its primary aim is to honor the dedication and hard work of dog walkers who brave all weather conditions and step in when owners can’t.

How can you participate in National Dog Walker Appreciation Day? If you’re a dog owner, take a moment to express your gratitude to your dog walker and consider giving them a little extra token of appreciation. If you’re a dog walker yourself, use social media to acknowledge your fellow dog-walking heroes and spread awareness of this special day!

The Qualities of a Good Dog Walker

A good dog walker possesses more than just a love for dogs. They should also have a basic understanding of animal care and dog behavior. Knowing one’s limits is crucial. Some dog walkers are comfortable handling multiple dogs at once, while others prefer to focus on one or two. Additionally, some may specialize in smaller breeds or dogs with specific needs.

a person walking several dogs outdoors
Image Credit: Blue Bird, Pexels



In closing, it’s essential to note that National Dog Walker Appreciation Day differs from National Walk the Dog Day, observed on February 22nd. The latter encourages dog owners to embark on longer walks with their furry companions to promote exercise and bonding.

So, mark your calendars for September 8th, and let’s come together as a community to celebrate the incredible individuals who help keep our dogs happy and healthy. Happy National Dog Walker Appreciation Day!

Featured Image Credit: absolutimages, Shutterstock

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