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!

Summer in Seattle: A Dog Owner’s Guide

Small dog in summer at Seattle's Kerry Park, and black dog swimming at Seattle off-leash park

Summer is upon us in Seattle! For many humans, the change to the sunny season means longer days, shorter shorts, and a freshly cracked brew to cool off and settle down. But what does summer mean for our furry friends?

If there’s one thing Strut the Pup loves about Seattle, it’s that Seattleites love their dogs. The Rainy City has consistently ranked as one of the most dog-friendly metro areas in the US — and this doggy love is most apparent in summer, when dogs and their owners are out and about. But while you’re exploring one of Seattle’s various off-leash parks during the warmer seasons, there are special considerations to make to ensure your pup is comfortable in the heat.

A Look Ahead

Best Seattle Dog Parks in Summer:

1. Marymoor Park

2. Magnuson Park

3. Genesee Park

4. Lower Kinnear Park

5. Grandview Park

But before we explain why we think these are the best dog parks in the summer, let’s review steps dog owners should take to prepare their dog for the warmer weather.

Preparing Your Dog for Summer

Give ‘Em a Summer ‘Do

Like humans, dogs have specific bodily mechanisms to cool themselves off in hot temperatures. Panting is one of the primary means of releasing heat for a pup, reducing their chances of heat stroke. For most breeds, shedding is also a great way to prepare for the summertime heat-up.

But, for certain dog breeds, a summer haircut can make the job easier. Dogs built to survive in colder temperatures — like St. Bernards, Bernese mountain dogs, or akitas — often benefit from a haircut before summer. Other dogs with double coats, like poodles (and other -oodle mixes) and Pomeranians, also love a fresh groom in the summer, as well as any other breeds that enjoy regular grooming.

In addition to helping your pet stay cool, a pre-summer groom can prevent diaspores (like foxtails or burrs) and other sticky plant materials from hanging onto their fur!

Get Up-to-Date on Vaccinations

As spring rolls around, ticks begin to appear in wooded areas, latching onto wandering pets and their unsuspecting owners. Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes can spread diseases to your dog, and since these parasites are more popular in the warmer months, it’s important to talk to your vet about preventative measures. Ask your veterinarian about tick medication, and double-check your dog is up on their rabies vaccination, too!

Tips for Dog Owners in Summer

A dog owner pets his wiry dog on leash before he goes for a summer swim in the sea

Once summer claims the land, there’s more you can do for pooch to keep them cool and comfortable. Safety is always our first priority!

Know the Signs of Heat Stroke in Dogs: Symptoms of heat stroke in dogs include excessive panting (that’s how they release heat, remember?), dark or bright red tongue and gums, stumbling, vomiting, or diarrhea. If you see any of these behaviors or characteristics in your pup, seek medical attention as soon as possible!

Dog Sunscreen: It’s true — dogs can get sunburnt too! Hairless dogs, or dogs with white or thin coats and light-pigmented skin on noses or eyelids, are particularly prone to sunburn. Sunscreen is also important if your dog spends a lot of time resting tummy-up on concrete or other light surfaces, as odd as that sounds.

Never Leave Your Pooch in the Car: Dogs stay cool differently than we do, and hot fabrics on their paws can actually prevent them from expelling heat. Even on days that start out overcast (which we have quite a few of in Seattle), it’s too hot to leave your dog unattended in your vehicle. Plus, as of 2015, it’s also illegal.

Provide Ways to Stay Cool Inside, Too: Seattle is the least air-conditioned metro area in the US, which means our homes can get just as hot as the outside temperatures — especially while we’re not in them. While your dog is home alone, open screened windows, leave a fan running, and make sure their water bowl is full so your furry friend has ways to cool off.

Exercise Less Rigorously in Summer: Adjust your regular walking schedule to avoid exercise during the hottest hours of the day. Walks in the early morning or late evening can reduce the risk of heat stroke. If those times are during your workday, don’t worry — Strut the Pup can do the walking for you!

Find the Right Spot to Exercise: Seattle has a lot of beautiful parks prime for roaming during summer. As long as there’s shade and water available, your pup will be thrilled to play!

Summer in Seattle: Our Favorite Spots for Dogs

Need some help navigating Greater Seattle in summer? From shady parks to popular watering holes, we’ve picked our favorite spots to bring dogs when the weather gets warm.

As a chance to rest and rehydrate, also check out some of dog-friendly breweries and restaurants like Norm’s in Fremont or Obec Brewing in Ballard.

Marymoor Park

Red dog looks back at grassy field on off-leash adventure in Marymoor Park in Seattle
Photo: Ryan Stone

We like to call this 40-acre park “Disneyland for Dogs” — but it’s a great spot for human recreation too! Five river access points and well-maintained beaches make Marymoor Park in Redmond a great place to cool off with your pooch this summer. Plus, it’s off-leash for the highest quality of play!

Magnuson Park

A boxer and another dog play together off-leash at Magnuson Park in Seattle
Photo: Seattle Parks and Recreation

Another off-leash park, Magnuson Park is the largest backyard in Seattle city limits. The park is 8.6 acres of fenced-in, no-worries fun, complete with a small/shy dog area and Lake Washington swim access nearby.

Genesee Park

Various dogs and their owners play together on gravel area in Genesee Park in Seattle
Photo: Seattle Parks and Recreation

We love Genesee Park in the summer not only because it’s another off-leash park, but because it’s relatively flat — so it’s easy to keep an eye on your pup while they’re playing. Plus, they have a doggie drinking fountain!

Lower Kinnear Park

View from Lower Kinnear Park, with on-leash trail through wooded area
Photo: Seattle Parks and Recreation

Kinnear Park is great because its West Queen Anne location is easy to access for inner-city pooches. For a more controlled and leisurely stroll (on-leash), nature paths featuring towering foliage native to the area provide sufficient shade. Plus, the clear blue summer skies allow for some fantastic views!

Grandview Park

A small dog plays in open field at Grandview Off-Leash Dog Park in South Seattle
Photo: Seattle Southside

Great for fetch, Grandview Park offers 34 acres of fields and paths in SeaTac. With two people/dog water fountains from spring to fall and sheltered areas for rest, your dog is sure to love this off-leash spot!

What’d we miss? Drop us a line for any other insider info from the Seattle dog community. We’d love to hear from you!

Enjoy summer with your dog at Outdoor Movies at Magnuson Park

Strut The Pup loves all seasons…but there is something magical about summer. And nothing beats summers in Seattle.

This summer, you can take your dog along with you when you go to see some cool movies outdoors at Magnuson Park. And every week you go with your dog, you could win a Strut The Pup gift certificate so a double fun time!

Magnuson Park is also where we take dogs for our off-leash adventures every day so you can see the great environment they get to spend their days at.

Click here to get more info on the movies or to see the Facebook page

See you at the movies!

outdoor movies magnuson

If you’d like to learn more about great Seattle activities you can do with your pets, send us a message or 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!

Pet License Checks by the King (County) Team

Hear Yea, Hear Yea: Starting April 1 of the year 2017, King County will start enforcing pet licenses door-to-door.


king and dogs


King County has shared that canvassers will do door-to-door visits with residents to talk about the benefits of pet licensing and of course to ensure that pets are properly licensed.

This activity will take place on the weekends between April and October by Regional Animal Services of King Country in collaboration with local cities. King Country requires that All cats and dogs eight weeks and older be licensed with King County.

While you may think pet licenses are not required and are just some sort of fee, they actually help protect your beloved pet, and help provide important pet care and control services in our area.

For example, if your pet gets lost, the license number on their tag can help the county find you and reunite you. Yes, there are also microchips and other collar tags that can do that, but redundancy is good to have.

Moreover, the fees for the license help support pet shelters and adoption centers’ fund country staff that go out to investigate animal cruelty and neglect, and even prosecute those humans that are responsible for that activity.

So all in all, not only is the pet license a requirement, it is a benefit to us and our pets in general. Better yet, the county has made it really easy to get and renew. Simply go online and get it done. And if that is not how you like to do things, there are plenty of others ways to get it to like mail, phone, etc.

If you happen to not have yet license yet, or need to renew it, click HERE and get it done before the good folks of the county of King come by and say hello…

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!