Local Guide: 3 Best Calgary Dog Walker Options

Dog walker with a dog

Last updated:

2 January 2022

Summary:

Looking for a nearby dog walker in Calgary? Compare 3 dog walkers in the Calgary area, so you can book walks while you're at work or busy at home.

Dog walker with a dog
Spot Dog Walkers

Home Insurance:

Yes ($5 million)

Pet Insurance:

Yes ($30,000)

On/Off-Leash

On-Leash

GPS-Tracked:

Yes

Guaranteed On-Time:

Yes

Private Dog Walker?

Private

Who is Spot Dog Walkers?
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Spot is Canada’s only true on-demand dog walking app, with guaranteed walker arrival in under 90-minutes or your walk is FREE! To ensure every dog gets the one-on-one attention they deserve, Spot walks are all private, on-leash, door-to-door, and GPS tracked, which means no groups, no off-leash parks, and no time spent in vehicles, period!

Can I meet-and-greet my Spot Dog Walker beforehand?
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Spot Dog Walker offers free meet-and-greets if you book a recurring walks. For more information on that, recurring walks are dog walks which occur at the same time, same weekday, with the same walker for each week, on an ongoing basis. For example:

M, W, F between 11:00-2:00 with Nicole, or M-F between 2:00-5:00 with Traci. Also, after each recurring walk you receive 10% of the full walk price back in cash credit to be used on future purchases, $2 for every 30-min walk.

Who would my dog walker be, and how are Spot Dog Walkers screened?
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Spot's dog walkers are local animal lovers looking to work with their favorite four-legged friends. With the Spot Dog Walker app, you'll enter your desired dog walk time, and instantly see a list of nearby walkers who are available. Your Spot Dog Walker is likely to be a retiree or individual actively pursuing a career in animal welfare.

Prior to being approved, all Spot Dog Walkers are interviewed, background & reference checked, and insured.

Is it possible for my Spot Dog Walker to arrive at a specific time?
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If you're looking to book an ASAP dog walk, Spot Dog Walker guarantees a walker will arrive to meet your pup within 90-minutes, otherwise your dog walk is free!

On the other hand, if you're scheduling dog walks for later, you can set a desired timeframe (no less than 1-hour) within which your dog walker will arrive.

YYC Dog Walkers

Home Insurance:

Yes

Pet Insurance:

Yes

On/Off-Leash

On or Off-Leash

GPS-Tracked:

No

Guaranteed On-Time:

No

Private Dog Walker?

Private and Group

Who is Calgary Dog Walkers?
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Also going by the name "Calgary Dog Walkers", YYC Dog Walkers is a fantastic local dog walking option, for anyone hoping to keep their dogs active during all seasons. Different from Spot Dog Walkers, YYC Dog Walkers mainly offers group dog walks, however private dog walks are also provided.

Can I get a free meet-and-greet from Calgary Dog Walkers?
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Yes, before your first dog walk, YYC Dog Walkers offers one free meet-and-greet for 15 minutes! That way your pup and your dog walker will click from the get-go.

What neighborhoods does Calgary Dog Walkers service?
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According to their website, Calgary Dog Walkers primarily services neighborhoods in and around Central & Southwest Calgary.

These include the neighborhoods of: Killarney, Bankview, Mount Royal, Altadore, Rideau Park, Roxboro, Mission, Downtown Calgary, Inglewood, Renfrew, Bridgeland, Wildwood, Crescent Heights, Tuxedo, Rosedale, Hillhurst, Sunnyside, Scarboro, Sunalta.

How does my Calgary Dog Walker enter your home?
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For dog walker entry, Calgary Dog Walkers will simply need a key to your home, condo, or apartment. All keys are stored securely when not being used.

In the mood of the pandemic, YYC Dog Walker customers are often at home when their dog walker arrives, in essence providing "curbside pick-up" of their dog!

Rover

Home Insurance:

Yes

Pet Insurance:

Yes ($25,000 with $250 deductible. Coverage only provided within 30 days of incident.)

On/Off-Leash

On or Off-Leash

GPS-Tracked:

Yes

Guaranteed On-Time:

No

Private Dog Walker?

Private and Group

Can I find dog walkers on Rover?
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While Rover has become famous as a giant tech company, which provides dog sitters around the world, they've also expanded to provide dog walkers as well! However, unlike Spot Dog Walker and YYC Dog Walker, Rover is more like Kijiji, where you get connected with a list of dog walkers, and you have the responsibility make arrangements with your dog walker; in that way, Rover is different, since they simply provide a list of options, and are generally hands-off during the dog walking process.

How can I choose the right dog walker with Rover?
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With Rover, the most prevalent option for choosing a dog walker is by first doing a search of dog walkers within your city (using the Rover app), choosing 2-3 dog walkers with nice reviews, scheduling meet-and-greets with each of them, "test-driving" each walker, and choosing the walker which your pup and you like the most!

Can my Rover dog walker enter my home?
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Upon your first booking, you'll be asked to provide home entry instructions for your Rover dog walker. Options for entry include: physical key, electronic door code (if your front door has one), or a lockbox.

Additionally, if you happen to reside in an apartment or condo building, you might need to also provide a fob or buzzer number for access while you're not at home. Know that, similar to Spot Dog Walkers, Rover provides home insurance for more peace of mind.

Who and what is Rover?
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Founded in 2011, Rover is an American company worth about $300 million, which provides an online marketplace for pet owners to buy and sell pet care services, including pet sitting, dog boarding, and now dog walking as well.

In recent times, Rover's hands-off approach was revealed when, after a woman's dog (in the care of a Rover pet sitter) escaped the sitter's yard and was killed by a car, stated they're simply an advertising company for independent pet services contractors. (Read more.)

How much does a dog walker cost in Calgary?
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Usually, the price of a Calgary dog walker hovers around $25 to $35 for a private dog walk or $15 to $25 for a group dog walk (for 60 minute walks). For 45 minute, 30 minute, or 15 minute dog walk, the cost is trimmed down accordingly.

For reference, Spot Dog Walkers offers the following pricing for a private, insured dog walker:

  • 15 minute dog walk: $12.80 - $16.00
  • 30 minute dog walk: $16.80 - $20.00
  • 45 minute dog walk: $20.00 - $25.00
  • 60 minute dog walk: $22.40 - $28.00
How does a dog walker enter my home?
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One benefit of a dog walker is how you can request dog walks when you're not at home. Though, that requires a method of walker entry into your home. Whether through Spot Dog Walker, Rover, YYC Dog Walker, or other Calgary dog walkers, there are typically 3 methods of walker entry: 

  1. House-key: your housekey is shared with your dog walker (not preferred)
  2. Lockbox: using a key lockbox, your dog walker can enter your home, without having to constantly carry around your key
  3. Electronic door-code: with an electronic keypad, your walker can safely enter your home

You may feel uneasy about allowing your walker entry into your home. If so, you aren't the first one to have that discomfort. It takes a leap of faith to hire a dog walker, but know that – for instance with Spot Dog Walker – you can meet-and-greet your dog walker and you're covered with $5 million of home insurance and $30,000 of pet insurance.

Who's the best Calgary dog walker?
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The best Calgary dog walker is the one who checks all your boxes, such as fitting your schedule (when you need them), providing detailed feedback on how the dog walks go, and offering sustainable pricing.

Here's a general list of boxes you might want to check, as you're searching for a Calgary dog walker:

  • Customer Service: how often they're available for communication & planning, refund & cancellation policies, overall friendliness & concern for your dog
  • Pricing & Services: do they offer dog walk durations which fit your dog's needs at reasonable prices?
  • Home Insurance: if your dog walker will enter your home when you're not around, they should offer home insurance
  • Pet Insurance: most professional dog walker services should also provide pet insurance
  • Other Safety: are the walks on-leash or private? Will the dog walker transport your dog in a car, or are the walks "door-to-door"?
  • Availability: will they be around to walk your dog when you need them? (ie. on Mondays and Thursdays when you have to take your kids to piano lessons and dance class)
  • Punctuality: are they as on-time as you need them to be? That way you don't have to change your plans in case they're late.

Should I tip my dog walker?
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You don't need to tip your dog walker, if you don't want to; you'll be paying them the rate which you've agreed upon, and that's usually enough for a dog walker.

That being said, on Rover, similar to Skip the Dishes, Lyft, or Instacart, you'll receive a prompt to tip your dog walker. Though, with other options such as YYC Dog Walker or Spot Dog Walker, you won't find that prompt which asks you to tip your dog walker.

Should I hire a dog walker?
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Whether you should hire a dog walker is highly personal.

If you're the kind of person who secretly enjoys being motivated by your dog to go outside and be active, then you might not need to hire a dog walker. Also, regarding other factors, if your dog's bill of health is clean, you're often at home to walk your dog, or the cost of walks outweighs your potential time savings from hiring a walker, then you can probably hit the "snooze" button when it comes to buying dog walks.

However, if your dog is often home alone for long stretches of time, if you could tactfully re-allocate the time you'd save by hiring a walker, your dog is more active and could use more energy-sapping walks, or if you're just plain busy with life, then hiring a dog walker is something probably worth exploring.

After reviewing all your available Calgary dog walker options, know that Spot Dog Walker offers 50% off your first GPS-tracked dog walk, and is Canada's only on-demand dog walker service; arrival times are guaranteed within 90 minutes for ASAP walks, and if your walker is ever 1 minute late then your walk is 100% free!

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