A Day in the Life of a Whistler Dog Walker

Ever wonder what it is like to be a Whistler dog walker? We asked Kayla, the Whistler Dog Nanny, to share some of her experiences.

Woman and dog sitting in the mountains

Q: Can you tell us a little about the Whistler Dog Nanny?

A: I started this company in 2019 with one goal in mind: To serve the Whistler community with customizable care. My goal is and always has been to provide owners with a dog walker they know and trust. I started to offer private walks as I felt a deep connection to reactive dogs. I am an anxious person myself, I just like dogs who have a need for space and familiarity. Since 2019 we have expanded our services and team, we now offer hotel sitting, group walks, overnight care and private walks.

Q: What inspired you to become a dog walker?

A: I mean, who doesn't want to spend all day in the forest with dogs?  With that being said, it all came from my original love and passion for animals and wanting to help them in one way or another. After discovering how much I enjoyed private walks and dog walking in general, I got some more experience and education through working at the local emergency vet clinic and getting certified through force-free organizations so I could learn to handle more than 1 dog at a time. Through this became my next passion, compatible small group walks. Providing dogs a safe environment to socialize with dogs of similar personalities is so wonderful to watch!

Q: Describe your typical day.

A: It really depends on the day and season. Some days we have a private hotel sitting for 7-10hours and other days we have 2-3 group walks and some private walks, and some days we are just doing some private walks and spending time with the dog who we have in our overnight care service.

Q: What do you do during the walks? 

A: Throughout the dogs time spent with us, we like to ensure that they are both mentally and physically stimulated with frequent recall, fun games and lots of playing of course. Our dogs are taught how to socialize safely and how to read each other's body language effectively.  

Q: What are some essentials you carry on your walks?

A: All staff carry a backpack filled with emergency supplies such as - Little Pine Pet First Aid Kit, bear spray, air horn (which group walk dogs are desensitized to prior), spare leashes, emergency harness, knife, wipes, towels,- all staff also go through a 100 hour training regime to ensure they are prepared for any scenario.

All our dogs also wear a safety collar - which has a GPS attached, a bear bell  and our phone number on the name tag. We also ensure dogs all wear a proper fitting harness for safety seat belts in the car.  

Q: What distance do you cover on average each day? What's your record?

A: We drive anywhere from 100-150KM per day driving and picking up dogs and walking on average 20km per day... Our dogs walk on average 5-8KM per walk (dependant on their age, breed and health). My record once was 32km... highly don't recommend! 

Q: Favourite dog-friendly Whistler trail?

A: The trails around Lost Lake are some of my favourite dog-friendly trails in Whistler. There is a even a nice dog beach, Canine Cove, where dogs can go play in the water.

Q: What are your best tips for hiking with dogs in Whistler?

A: Always bring the essential gear (according to the terrain and weather), be aware of wildlife and respectful of your surroundings, make sure the dog is fit for the terrain and has proper training and a good recall if off-leash. Also important to follow a good trail etiquette and leash your dog when appropriate.

Q: Your instagram page, @whistlerdognanny, is filled with happy adventure doggy photos! What's your trick to capture those pawsome moments? 

A: Our dogs become very accustomed to posing for the camera- this is thanks to positive reinforcement and associations, treats and training.

Q: And finally, what’s the best thing about being a dog walker in Whistler?

A: Whats not to love! The best part would be seeing the dogs grow and learn together on group walks and seeing our private walk clients gain confidence in themselves. Also working outside in the beautiful mountains of Whistler is a huge bonus! 

Woman with happy dogs on beach | Whistler Dog Walker 

 To learn more about Kayla and the services she offers, visit the Whistler Dog Nanny.

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