Seattle Dog Walking: How to Stay Active in the Rain

Poodles on leash in the rain, puppy inside during winter

As most of you have figured out by now, owning a dog is a year-round gig. And while that means year-round cuddles and year-round companionship, it also means year-round dog walking — even in the rainy Seattle winter. Not exactly the cleanest part of the job.

Muddy paw prints in the house are no one’s favorite, but walking your dog is necessary. Like humans, dogs need regular exercise to stay fit and healthy. Not only are active dogs are less likely to develop diseases like diabetes and arthritis, but they also exhibit better moods and more consistent sleeping patterns. Plus, because they’ve already gotten their activity in for the day, a tired dog is less likely to misbehave while you’re away.

All things considered, it can still be tough to motivate yourself to brave the rain (and the dark) for your pup’s daily walk. Something about the overcast nature of Seattle’s winter and the inherent early sundown come autumn truly makes the day feel shorter. We get it, and that’s why Strut the Pup is here to help!

Tips for Walking Your Dog in the Dark

One of the most challenging parts of walking your pooch in the winter isn’t actually the weather — it’s how quickly the sun sets in the winter. To keep both you and your dog safe, here’s a review of our tips for walking your dog at night:

  1. Use a leash
  2. Wear bright or light-colored clothing (bonus points for something reflective)
  3. Dress your pooch in something reflective
  4. Walk in well-lit areas
  5. Bring a flashlight along, just in case

Most of these are common sense, but we feel it’s important to reiterate. Dogs have stronger sniffers than we do, which puts them at an advantage when the sun goes down — but any squirrel or stray cat could send them running, so it’s on us as the dog owners to make sure everyone’s safe.

Tips for Walking Your Dog in the Rain (or Snow!)

Walking in the dark is one thing, but walking in the dark and the rain is another challenge entirely. To keep yourself safe, your pup happy, and your house clean, here are some tips for walking smarter when the weather gets soggy:

1. Prep Your Entry Area

Prepare for your return before you leave! Your pup is inevitably going to get muddy, so the name of the game is preemptively minimizing the mess. Have towels ready in your entryway for an immediate dry-off.

2. Dress Appropriately

We’re sure you have enough rain gear by now, so just make sure to bring it along for those wintry dog walks. Some dogs can even be trained to wear their own coats and boots — if you’re lucky enough to have a dog so tolerant, it’s not a bad idea to suit them up too!

3. Take Note of Puddles

Wet dog gets dried off with towel inside, looks out window

If you’ve noticed a big puddle a-wellin’ on a certain corner, it’s best to just re-route and avoid entirely. Puddles can be all too tempting, especially for pups who love to swim.

4. Train for Thoughtful Shaking

It’s not as simple to teach as a handshake, but a full body shake is arguably more useful for your Seattle doggo to master. Training your dog to shake on command means avoiding dirty debris launching all over your living room, and that’s an idea we’re sure you can get behind.

5. Finish with a Quick Rinse

When you first get home, take a quick trip to the backyard to hose off some paws before heading inside. Your dog’s paws may still be damp, but at least they’re not muddy!

6. Opt for Inside

Finally, when it’s coming down just a little too hard outside, it’s sometimes best to opt for indoor activities. It’s possible for dogs to catch a cold too, so consider indoor options when the going gets ruff; short-range fetch, hide-and-go-seek, or a treat puzzle are all ways to engage your dog inside.

There are also indoor dog parks scattered across the city; these indoor social clubs are great for both exercise and doggie socialization.

German Shepherd plays in the snow in Seattle

Seattle Dog Walkers in Winter

If walking during the winter still seems like too much, you also have the option of hiring a dog walker. Dog walkers from the Strut the Pup are well-versed in these tips — it’s our job to keep your dog safe and healthy! With a dog walker, both you and your pup can rest easy knowing they’ve had an active, fulfilling day. Get ready for cuddles when you get home!

Why a Visit to the Off-Leash Park is Great for Your Dog

Why a Visit to the Off-Leash Park is Great for Your Dog

off leash dog park

Imagine being cooped up all day in a room or even a house…with no bathroom breaks, no exercise, no social interaction or stimulus. Hard, isn’t it?

And yet, many dog owners leave their dogs in a closed space for long periods of time, each day, every day of the week. In fact, some go as far as to leave them in a crate for long periods of time. Dog owners forget that our dogs, like us, need time and space to breathe freely and romp about. Time to interact socially and get some exercise. Dogs that are constantly cooped up, are socially inept (training and behavioral issues, etc), dispirited, and often even unhealthy.

This, of course, is not the majority, but it still happens too often. If you are going to be away for hours at a time, and on a regular basis, you should arrange for your dog to get some fresh air, exercise, a potty break, and social interaction by other means. While you are away at work, find a reliable and trustworthy way to have this done.

Dog walks in the outdoor fresh air are a great activity to change up the routine of being cooped up. And there is nothing like going to the off-leash park!

Dogs should be allowed to experience freedom from the leash if they are to be happy and active – which is how our dogs are meant to be! Off-leash dog parks are a great option that lets your best friend experience life to the fullest from all aspects!

  • More freedom: While dog walking gives your dog a taste of the outdoors, a well-earned potty break, and exercise, your friend is still tethered to a leash and limited in the exploring and/or social interactions they can have. In an off-leash dog park, your dog gets the full freedom to run around and frolic about as he/she wishes to! Exercise is enhanced. Social encounters with other dogs are enriched, and opportunities like swimming become a new experience and treat.
  • More friends: Let’s not forget that dogs are descendants of wolves – pack animals. And although this nature of theirs has become somewhat muted over the course of their evolution, a little time enjoying the company of other dogs can actually boost your dog’s spirit a lot. With each visit to the off-leash dog park, your dog will make more friends, which is something that is just as important to dogs as it is to humans. Moreover, your dog will learn what fun they have at the park and actually look forward to it, just like you look forward to fun social interactions.
  • More fit: Dogs that are allowed to have a good time in an off-leash dog park tend to be healthier and fitter. The running, jumping and playing that they engage in helps to tone their muscles and keep their body as it should be. Dogs that are not given much opportunity to enjoy life this way have a higher likelihood of becoming obese with all the health side effects that come with that.
  • Better mental health: Dogs, just like humans, can also suffer from mental health issues such as depression. This is most commonly seen in dogs that are constantly tethered or cooped up, without having much opportunity to play and have fun. Off-leash dog parks are excellent for a positive state of mind.

Please note, that if you are going to take your dog to the off-leash park (or have them taken by a professional), there are some things you should make sure of:

  • Verify that your dog has all his/her shots and that they are valid.
  • Make sure they are licensed with the city or state and have their tags visible.
  • Make sure they have good recall i.e. when you call them to come to you, they will – this is important from both a safety and health perspective.
  • Make sure you dog is social and will not look for or get into fights with other dogs. That is not good for anyone and ruins the experience.

To conclude – get out there and have fun. Both your dog and you will enjoy it!

For more information or help as it relates to off-leash park and/or dog walking, give us a call.

Love the Water? Seattle Beachgoers Beware!

Take your dog with you to the beach and you could pay $54 – $160 in fines.

seattle beach dog walking


The city of Seattle has decided to start aggressively enforcing a long-standing, but un-enforced law, of not allowing dogs onto sandy salt water beaches. The reason – to protect new seal pups coming ashore.

Seattle Animal Shelter has already begun twice-daily patrols on these beaches handing out fines from $54 for a first time “offender” to $160 if your dog was off-leash.

As dog owners, we can view this in various ways.

The simplest – this is the law, so we should set an example and not break it. And if we do, we should be prepared to face the consequences and pay the fines.

The second might be to take a positive view – Seals can be vicious animals (although they look adorable). They have large sharp teach and can be very protective of their young. The last thing any of us want is for a mama seal to think your dog is a threat to her young, and go after it and injure it, or you. So this law, especially this time of year, can be viewed as one to help protect your and your pets’ safety.

Whichever way you choose to view the law, note – it is in place and is now being enforced.

But don’t feel like your dog will not miss out as alternatives exist.

If you want to let your dog feel the sand beneath its paws, take a dip in the shallows, or better yet, run free on the beach, there are off-leash dog parks where you can do just that – legally and safely. Moreover, the off-leash parks are all on lake beaches meaning freshwater, which can be less irritating for your dog’s eyes.

In the city of Seattle itself, Warren G. Magnuson Park Off-Leash Area is a great location. Over 8 acres in size, the off-leash area offers both dog and owner some great roaming and beach time. We ourselves take dogs there on a daily basis and it is fantastic.

A short drive from Seattle, on Mercer Island, is Luther Burbank Park. The park off leash area is over an acre of fully fenced area at the north end of the park with 3 access points to Lake Washington.  Amenities include a separate area for ‘small, shy and recuperating dogs’, and a doggie hose down area.

And if you really want to have fun, roam, and get some splash time, you can’t beat “Doggy Disneyland“, as it is locally known – the Marymoor Park off-leash area in Redmond. Coming in at over 40 acres – yes, over 40 acres! This park has it all. From multiple water beaches to rolling lawns, woods, prairies, and more. It is well worth the drive and both you and your pooch will return home tired and happy.

Whatever you decide to do – stay legal, stay safe, and have fun.

If you’d like to learn more about Seattle dog walking and off-leash park adventures, give us a call!

Walk Your Dog Month

dog walking month


January is Walk Your Dog month….and there is a good reason to start off the year on the right foot (and paw).

After spending the last part of the year partying, feasting and enjoying the end of yet another hard earned year, it is time to start the new year fresh and on a good note.

Here in Seattle January is cold and wet, and this year started off colder than usual. It might be tempting to skip the first or last dog walk of the day. DON’T.

Both you and your favorite pooch will enjoy some fresh brisk air, working out those muscles, and burning off some of those calories. According to Pet Obesity Prevention, 57.9% of American pets are overweight or obese. Even an extra two pounds on your cat (or five on dogs) is associated with greater risk for disease. So dog walking has multiple benefits.

And don’t forget to drink. That fact that it is cold and you may not feel it, doesn’t mean you and your pooch don’t need rehydration.

Furthermore, the dry cold weather we have been having here lately can cause your dog to have itchy skin and/or cracked paw cushions and noses. Our sidewalks are also covered with anti-icing chemicals that could cause some harm too.

To that end, you will want to make sure to clean those paws after a walk outdoors. You should also consider trimming the hair off your dog’s paws, specifically in between and around the pads, assuming it is a longer haired breed. Doing this will help minimize chemicals getting picked up and collected. It also helps lessen the ice built up there, which could be painful.

Brushing your pup will help with the dry skin, removing old hair and distributing the natural oils throughout their coat.

So Trim, Walk, Clean, and Brush on a regular basis and you and your pooch will have enjoyed this start to the new year together.

Happy New Year, Stay Safe and Warm and Go Walk Your Dog.

Finding the Right Dog Walker


seattle dog walkers


Your favorite furry friend needs daily exercise in order to stay physically and mentally healthy. If you work during the day or simply find yourself very busy and your schedule doesn’t allow you to regularly give your dog the walks he/she needs, you may need and want to consider a dog walker.

However, this isn’t a decision to be made lightly: who you choose to enter your home and walk your dog on a regular basis matters. Anybody can advertise themselves as a dog walker and in fact, many people do. That doesn’t mean they have the experience, training, or set-up necessary to keep your dog safe and happy.

Here are some steps you will want to take to make sure you find the right company and the right dog walker for your pup

1) Ask for recommendations

A good way to start looking for a dog walker is to ask other dog owners who they use, if they trust them, and if they recommend them.

2) Invite potential walkers to meet you and your dog 

A key consideration when choosing a walker is whether or not your dog is comfortable around them and vis versa. A walker that may be great for and with one dog, may not be with another. Before hiring a walker, you should introduce them to your dog and see how they get along. Look for a walker who acts calm and assertive towards your dog and pays attention to body language and behavior.

3) Ask questions

  • Where will you walk my dog?
  • Do you walk a large group or is it a private walk?
  • Can you accommodate special needs?
    Do you have professional experience working with dogs and is this your main job? (Don’t settle for someone that just wants to make some extra cash on the side as a part-time gig).
  • How long have you been walking dogs?
  • What are your training and discipline methods? You want to hire someone who uses methods that you agree with.
  • Are you licensed and insured? (Don’t proceed if they can’t show you a business license and proof of dog-walking insurance).
  • Are you certified to provide canine first aid? How will you respond to emergency situations?
  • What happens if you are sick or can’t do the walk on a certain day?

Take your time, and don’t compromise because your dog deserves to be safe, comfortable, and happy on his walks.

At Strut The Pup, our dog walkers are employees of the company. It is their main job and they are trained and certified to do it well. Our walks are private 1-1 walks and it is always with the same walker who you will meet ahead of time. We are of course licensed and insured including commercial insurance for our company vans that are used to take dogs to the off-leash dog park.

If you are looking for the last Seattle area dog walker you will ever need, give us a call!