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DOG RUNNING/FITNESS QUESTIONS (14)
After each session, we will email you a journal with the details of their daily adventure. It will include a GPS map of their session and a picture or two of the fun they had together.
For the first week or two your dog will be run individually. If we see a good match, depending on location, scheduling, fitness level and personality, we will pair your dog and a dog from another home. Most dogs are very social animals and thoroughly enjoy their canine companions. Your dog’s safety is our top priority, and therefore, we will never run more than two dogs at once. You can choose the Solo Run service If you prefer your dog to run alone.
For our walks, we may walk up to three dogs, depending on their temperament and energy level. Typically, our walks include 1 to 2 dogs.
Dogs are born to run…they absolutely love it! It’s good for them both mentally and physically. Some breeds only enjoy a short jog around the block, while other breeds can easily run 10-15 miles at one time. Most healthy dogs can comfortably run 3-7 miles, depending on age, breed and external conditioins such as weather and terrain. Although walking is good exercise, it’s not sufficient exercise for a dog that typically needs a minimum of 45 minutes of vigorous exercise per day.
Your dog needs to get his heart rate up and burn off his excess canine energy in order to achieve a healthy weight and optimal fitness level. One good running session, with his partner’s undivided attention, will leave him happier, healthier and more tired out than all day at the best daycare. After a great workout, we’ll bring him back to his peaceful home, where he can take a much-deserved snooze in his very own bed.
However, we are a great complement to quality daycare! If your pup enjoys socializing with his four-legged peers, then a quality daycare is the perfect outlet for this energy! Many clients choose to give their dog a couple of days of our running/walking/hiking services and a couple of days at a great daycare. This way, your dog will receive the health and behavioral benefits of regular exercise while getting the social outlet many dogs crave. Ask for Daycare recommendations. We’d be happy to help!
Certain breeds are better suited for running at high speeds or for longer distances, but all breeds love to run! The average dog needs much more than a long walk or a few play sessions throughout the day. Many breeds, such as sporting, herding, hound/terrier groups and any mixture of the northern breeds need significantly more exercise. We customize our running sessions to suit the needs of your dog. We can do a walk/run combo, a slow jog or a high speed run. Of course, your dog is an individual and may not fit the mold. Dogs that love to/need to run (not complete list):
- “teenagers” of almost any breed
- Terrier breeds
- Herding dogs
A consistent walking schedule may be a great fit for your pup. Senior dogs and puppies may enjoy a slow, easy jog, as long as they’re not doing more than a comfortable trot. If you watch closely, a dog running with a human is usually just “trotting” or walking fast unless their human partner is running fast. This fast trotting is great, low-impact exercise for senior dogs and older puppies as well as breeds that are “non-runners”.
For safety reasons, we always begin the run with a warm-up and end with a cool down. A 30 minute run may cover 2 to 4 miles and a 60 minute may cover 4 to 7 miles, depending on your dog’s age, breed, fitness level and the weather and ground conditions.
Many breeds can easily run 5-7 miles , if conditioned for it. Some working dogs run 25-35 miles per week. Some breeds should not be on a running program at all. It depends heavily on your dog’s current fitness level, breed and age. Like humans, pets who aren’t used to running will need to build their endurance by gradually increasing mileage. We specialize in exercising pets, not working dogs, so our runs typically cover 2 to 7 miles.
Dogs that are typically NOT runners:
- “Toy” breeds (Maltese, Pekingese, etc.)
- dogs with squished in noses (pugs, bulldogs, etc.)
- extra large breeds (Mastiff, Great Dane, etc.)
- seniors (many seniors still enjoy jogging, but at a slower pace. It helps with stiff joint pain and you’ll likely see a more playful, energetic pet.)
These dogs may not be runners, but they often enjoy a low-impact, slow jog (fast trot) around the neighborhood.
Ideally, an active lifestyle should be established as a puppy and continue throughout your dog’s entire life. However, you should hold off on a regular, running program until your dog is fully grown. As your dog grows and ages, his activity level can be adjusted. Swimming, fetch and agility are also great forms of exercise.
Your senior dog still needs physical and mental exercise to keep him happy and healthy. Adjust your pet’s activity level to shorter walks or slow jogs, shorter play sessions and gentler terrain. Sand, tall grass and uneven ground may be exhausting to your senior dog. Swimming is wonderful exercise and a lot of fun for dogs of all ages. Older dogs especially benefit from the low-impact nature of swimming. It’s an easy way for an older dog with weaker joints and muscles to stay active. They can build strength and conditioning without overstressing their bodies. Exercise will help your senior pet maintain a healthy weight (preventing many ailments), stave off the pain and discomfort of osteoarthritis and help him retain his mental sharpness.
We begin and end our running sessions from your home. A safe route will be our number one concern (traffic, terrain, weather, difficulty). We’ll try to incorporate natural green spaces near your home if at all possible. Your pup will run along trails, through parks and over scenic terrain…with an occasional break for a drink and a sniff. We will choose routes that are compatible with your dog’s fitness level. We love our four-legged running partners and happily tailor our sessions to their needs. Whether your pup needs a slow, flat walk/jog combo or a hilly, high-intensity run, we will make sure they are safe, happy and well-exercised. For longer runs (45-60 minutes), we can take your dog to a local running path, hiking trail or scenic route of your choice.
Most dogs could use a little (or a lot) of help in this area. Don’t worry! We will be glad to work on this during our sessions. The physical and mental effort needed for running actually eliminates a lot of the pulling and other common issues experienced during a regular walk. If you would like more focused “training”, we can connect you with a great trainer.
No problem at all! That’s what we do. Most dogs take a little time to get used to on-leash running, while some just seem to know exactly what to do. Some dogs make very stubborn running partners initially and some are wild and crazy lunatics. Just about all dogs can become great on-leash running buddies with enough practice and patience.
Dogs won’t exercise themselves just because they have a big yard. They are social creatures and crave one on one companionship. Like their people, they will sit around all day bored and lonely without a fun source of motivation.
A quality daycare can be a great source of socialization for many dogs. However, even the most sociable dogs tire of sharing the attention and being away from home. A combination of daycare and one on one exercise sessions can be the best of both worlds for many dogs. For other dogs, they become aggressive, anxious or depressed in a day-care setting. You know your dog better than anyone else and will make the best decision for him. Ask us for a great daycare reference.
SAFETY RELATED QUESTIONS (3)
Your dog will never be taken to an off-leash dog park. Our first priority is your dog’s safety and we have no control over the other dogs at the park. Dogs behave differntly in groups and we cannot predict how the “pack” mentality will play out at a dog park.
Your dog’s safety is always our main concern. We take our responsibility very seriously, especially in the summer heat. We will monitor your dog and take frequent cooling and water breaks. On really hot days, your dog will enjoy a long walk in the shade or an occasional dip in the water.
We will always show up for your dog’s run, no matter how cold it is. You have the option of cancelling on extremely cold or hot days, but you can count on us to be there. We are outdoor enthusiasts and serious athletes. As a general rule, if humans can stand the cold temperature that day, your dog will be fine. A dog’s tolerance to the cold depends a lot on their age, breed, coat and fitness level. The pads on their feet toughen and can tolerate the cold fine in most cases. Even short-coated dogs generate plenty of heat while running and typically do fine on a shorter, 30 minute run (not walk) in the cold. Dogs have their own coats and generate a lot of heat while running and therefore most dogs love their cold, snowy, winter runs!
BUSINESS RELATED QUESTIONS (12)
Our goal is simple: Happy. Tired. Dogs. We want to be the best we can be, not the biggest. We’re not right for everyone and we don’t try to be, but for the right clients, we bring our absolute best. We serve busy professionals and we do it with excellence.
We run a very professional business with high ethical standards and sound business practices. Your dog’s health, safety and happiness will always be our number one priority. Our relationship with you is a very close second. We are a full-time business, with client trust and satisfaction being the foundation for our success.
We pride ourselves on providing a valuable, dependable and convenient service for you and your dog. We regularly update our skills and continue to learn about anything dog-related. We’re bonded and insured and belong to the Association of Pet Sitting Excellence. We are trained in canine first aid and CPR, prepared for emergencies and know where the emergency vet clinics are.
We are able to hire highly-motivated, committed and trustworthy athletes by paying them a higher than average wage. We carefully screen our runners and only hire people we’d trust our own pets with. You will always get the full walk or run time that you paid for. We donate our time and money to local animal causes, including (not limited to) the Bissell Pet Foundation, The Humane Society of West Michigan, C-Snip and Keiffer’s Rescue Center.
We provide a service that will save you time, and in the long run, save you money and most likely add happy years to your dog’s life. We are proud of the success stories with our clients. We’ve had dogs go off their anti-anxiety/depression meds, become less “crabby” and experience significant weight loss after a few weeks or months of getting on a serious exercise routine. We have senior dogs who are less stiff and more playful and energetic than before they started with us. Senior pet-izens do NOT have to be lethargic, achy and depressed. They can have longer, happier lives with regular exercise to stimulate their body, mind and soul.
We are the first and only professional dog running/hiking company in the Grand Rapids area. We are friendly, serious about our work and wholeheartedly believe in what we do!
We generally schedule runs between 9am and 3pm and walks between 10am and 2pm. Occasionally, we’ll schedule an earlier/later session due to weather or scheduling. Phone calls and e-mails are returned between 8am and 6pm Monday through Friday or 8am and 1pm Saturday and Sunday.
We will try our hardest to accommodate a last-minute request (no additional fee), but ultimately, it will come down to availability.
There are limited evening/weekend/holiday hours, with a surcharge, based on availability.
We need to schedule a meet and greet appointment, lasting about 20 minutes. We will get to meet you and your dog as well as go over any questions you have. This is an important meeting because we can learn about your dog’s personality and specific needs, as well as your goals for our sessions.
Getting started is very easy. Your dog can be enjoying a great workout by the next day!
We know how disappointed your dog would be if we didn’t show for his run or walk! Our goal is reliable service ALL of the time. We have excellent back-up runners eager to help out if your regular runner is sick or out of town. Of course, we will let you know if a back-up runner ran your dog through our note to you at the end of the session.
We proudly serve downtown Grand Rapids as well as the following surrounding areas: Ada, East Grand Rapids, Belmont, Rockford. Feel free to ask if you don’t see your area listed.
We require a minimum commitment of two days per week for a spot on the GR Dog Adventure running or walking schedule.
We will accept any breed of dog as long as they are healthy and good around other dogs and people. We understand that even good dogs can “have their moments”, but we don’t want to risk our safety or that of the public’s by working with an aggressive dog. Our solo runs may be right for your dog if he needs special attention or doesn’t do well with other dogs.
We are fully bonded and insured and can provide documentation upon request.
We accept Visa, MasterCard American Express and Discover. We bill your credit card (on file with GR Dog Adventures) every other week for the past two weeks’ services. You will then receive a “paid” invoice with the services itemized. Our completely automated process saves you time and provides you with the best possible service.
Yes! We are the first company in Grand Rapids specializing in dog running and dog hiking. We saw a huge need in Grand Rapids for high-energy workouts for dogs. A couple of walks around the neighborhood each day doesn’t come close to satisfying the exercise needs of most dog breeds. We have three rescue dogs of our own who have enjoyed plenty of running and hiking over the years. Our newest rescue pup, Jada, is built for running and would be beyond bored, and hyper-crazy, without it. Most healthy dogs love to run…a little or a LOT!!!