If you think you’re limited to walking a dog only if you own a dog, you’re wrong. There’s plenty of ways you can get your hands on a furry workout buddy even if your home is pet free. Here are some suggestions..…..
1. Help out at your local animal shelter. Animal Shelters are always crying out for volunteers to help in many ways and forms. Ring around and ask if they’re keen for a part-time exerciser and dog walker – shelter dogs learn valuable social skills out walking with a helper. It’s a great opportunity to give back plus get some healthy exercise.
2. Get to know your neighbourhood. Ask people nearby if their dog needs extra outings. If you notice a dog languishing in someone’s backyard it might be the perfect opportunity for you to help out. Many people are time poor and more than happy to offer their dog up for an extra walk or two with a friendly neighbour. The added benefit is that you will have a quieter and better behaved dog living nearby if they’re getting regular exercise.
3. Foster a dog. Many animal shelters offer the opportunity for dogs in their care to experience life in a household – it gives the dog a better opportunity to find it’s forever home later on. Not only will you have a workout buddy ready to go each day but you’ll be able to impart some valuable social skills and household rules onto a dog that may have been in care for a while.
4. House-sit for pet owners. Offering to look after people’s houses that have pets is the perfect opportunity to find a walking buddy. Pet owners often seek people that not only look after their home when they go away but provide exercise and comfort for their animals too.
5. Join a Pet Volunteer group or organisation that offers petcare for older people with companion animals. In Australia, there’s a group called Pets4Life (located on the Sunshine Coast), or try ACSAH (Animal Care for Seniors at Home) in Cairns, Queensland and in the US Pets Forever has been established by the Colorado University. These programs offer valuable support to elderly citizens and allow them to keep their pets for longer. They also give volunteers a wonderful opportunity to help out in the community as well as enjoy bonding and exercising with an animal.
However you do it, don’t let the simple fact that you haven’t got a dog stop you from enjoying a walk with a dog!
Any other ways non-dog owners can enjoy a walk with a dog?