Dog walking services in Toronto aren't merely relegated to Caesar Milan-type owners looking to keep their beasts calm and submissive. A walk is an important part of your pet's day; just ask my bulldog, Doug, who's missing his daily walk while I write this. Walking dogs incorporates socialization, exercise and more importantly, bathroom breaks so it's no surprise that dog owners can become very loyal to their walkers, making them like an extended family member (handing keys over to your place is a serious commitment).
Beyond shuttling your pooch around and picking up after their leavings, the Toronto dog walking services on this list make your dog's business their business by going the extra mile to provide you and your pet those long walks in the park they so yearn for. So get your dog's shots up to date, grab their leash and remember, be like Bob; always have your pet spayed or neutered.
Here are the top dog walking services in Toronto, grouped by area of the city, as recommended by readers of this site.
Canine Care Services
Dave from Canine Care Services is a gentle soul who makes your pup a member of his pack from the get go. With loads of green space located near Yonge and Sheppard, Dave picks up your furbaby in his van and takes them on a walk around the hood, or at an off-leash park. Walks are kept local to keep the anxiety inducing driving to a minimum, and private one on one walks can be arranged for anti-social dogs. Group walks start at $17 per walk, with discounts offered for those with more than one pooch. Dave also offers boarding services.
Vanessa from City Paws takes your dog's safety seriously and like most places pre-screens animals to ensure they are a good fit. Proof of up to date shots is mandatory, and she goes the extra mile and tags each dog with an ID tag during each walk. Walks are broken up into hour long outdoor jaunts through a forested area ($18), or one on one walks for $25 for 30 minutes. Boarding and house sitting is also available.
Toronto Dog Walks
Spanning up to Steeles avenue, Toronto Dog Walks offers the usual off-leash group walk ($18, discount for multiple dogs from same address), solo walks ($25 for half hour) but also a deluxe weekend option where they grab your dog and hit the parks for 3-4 hours for $45. Dogs return calm and quiet, and you can feel good about making healthy choices (well, for one of you at least). Puppy visits, boarding and even cat sitting are all menu options. There's a 3 day a week minimum for each service.
Heather and Pooch
Lawrence Park dog lovers call on Heather and Pooch to give their dogs the pack mentality in the lush forests north of Eglinton and South of Sheppard. Exclusively offering group walks, dogs are shuffled about in style to Sherwood, Moore and Sunnybrook Parks to name a few. Group walks will set you back $20 per hour and ensure the right mix of running and playing making your mutt dog tired for the rest of the day.
A Walk Apart
Servicing North York and Midtown, A Walk Apart pre-screens your dog and matches them up with a like-minded pack for a blissful walk through Earl Bales and Sunnybrook parks to name a few. Group walks are $18 per walk, with a 3 day walk minimum, while private walks cost $25 per half hour. Weekend adventure walks are also available, for $45 per 3-4 hour walk. Packages offer bulk discounts. Does your dog need wheels to get to a vet appointment you can't make? They offer taxi service starting at $15, as well as puppy visits and boarding/daycare.
Open since 2008, the Hydrant has been operating in the downtown core with a focus on small packs of a maximum of 3 dogs. The Hydrant picks up your dog exclusively on foot, making them a mean green team of dog walkers. With prices starting at $10 for 15 minute walk, if your wee puppy needs a midday wee, this is a good option to get them doing it in the right place. Discounts are offered on pre-paid packages and boarding and daycare is also available.
A Dog's Life
Focusing on the Old Town (St Lawrence Market area), A Dog's Life minimizes their pack to only 6 dogs, ensuring personal attention for your dog, but also abiding to city bylaws on how many dogs can be walked in a public park at once. A one hour private walk is $20, while a group walk will run you $17 for an hour (call for weekend/holiday rates). Puppy visits are also on the menu, as is boarding and grooming for one stop shopping.
For the downtown pooch, Tailblazers takes your canine through some of Toronto's best parks, including Trinity-Bellwoods, Stanley or Coronation Park. Dogs are grouped based on physical ability, socialization and size and dogs that pass the muster get granted off-leash access at designated spots. 30 minute dog walks go for $14, while an hour long walk will set you back $17. Puppy visits are also available, as is private or evening walks, 30 minutes for $22. Multiple dog households get bulk discounts. Dog (and cat!) sitting is also available.
Leash and Paws
With a massive downtown core service area, even venturing north to Eglinton, Leash and Paws lives up to their slogan of "everything in between", with a huge menu offering everything from picking up dog food, to taking them to vet appointments, no detail is too small. Walks are offered in group walks ($18 for an hour, $10 for second dogs from same house) or individual walks at $20 for 45 minutes. Grooming and boarding/house sitting is also available.
Pup and the City
Operating from Dufferin to Spadina, and Dundas to the Lake, Pup and the City puts the primping back into pet care. With their Walk n Wash service, your dog gets a decent hike, then a bath to boot. Prices start at $30 for a mini dog, going up to $40 for the big bruiser. A group walk will set you back $16, as will a 30 mini solo walk for those who need personal attention. Mini 15 minute pee breaks are also on the menu for $10, and for those with truly packed schedules, the walk and visit package ($50) will get your lonely pooch his morning breakfast and walk, hour long afternoon walk and dinner and walk.
Barks 'n' Purrs
With a vast service area from Queen West to Leslieville, and up to Yonge and Wellesley, Barks 'n' Purrs are insured to provide the best care, and each dedicated walker has their pet first aid and CPR. Dogs aren't shuttled around; they keep to their hood to minimize stress. Group walks are maxed out at 6 dogs, with each getting a nifty report card on how their walk was for the truly involved owner. A 30 minute group walk costs $15 weekdays, 60 minutes is $18, weekends higher with a two day per week minimum engagement. Boarding is available and discounts offered for multiple dogs.
Paws in Motion
With a special focus on lucky beach dwelling dogs, Wendy from Paws in Motion organizes group walks through some of the best off leash parks in the east end, hitting up Greenwood, Kew Beach and Carlaw to name a few. One on one walks offer a more leisurely pace. Group walks start at $17 per hour, private walks run the same rate for 30 minutes. Discounts available for multiple pup households and boarding is also available.
Woofs Upon a Walk
East end mutts love hitting up the shores of Lake Ontario, and Woofs Upon a Walk gives dogs living south of Danforth and in between Vic Park and Greenwood a chance to dip a paw and test the waters with their off leash group walks. Owner Liz has taken pet first aid classes and ensures dogs come home happy and exhausted. One hour group walks go for $17 while private tours will set you back $25. Have a cat too? Liz has a cat special for feline lovers with a litter change, feed and cuddle setting you back $18 a visit.
Dog loving owner Lorrie runs Hip Hounds proudly runs her pet walking service in the East End and is pet first aid certified. Following the city bylaws and ensuring small pack numbers, Lorrie offers one hour off leash walks for $20, and 40 minute solo strolls cost $25. Dogs wear special ID tags ensuring they won't go AWOL. Boarding and house sitting are also available.
Kelly's Dog Walking
Running around Riverside, south Riverdale, Leslieville and Cabbagetown, Kelly keeps her crew in check with hour long off leash romps through some of the best parks in the city. The clock starts ticking when they arrive at the park, not while she's stuck in traffic. Group walks start at $20, and solo walks are $25. Kelly also offers boarding in her house starting at $50 a night.
For Liberty Village canines, Dogstep offers group and solo walks around the hood. Owner Evonne takes her job seriously, she's insured and pet first aid certified. Groups are kept to four dogs or less, guaranteeing each pooch will get the exercise and attention they need for $14 for 30 minutes, or $18 for an hour. For the old, injured or just plain old crabby dog, solo walks get the dogs out of the house for 30 minutes at $18. Packages offer swish discounts.
Happy Trails Dog Service
Branching out from High Park, Parkdale and Roncesvalles, dogs get special treatment with Happy Trails owner Janice acting like a co-partner with her lab Frida mentoring new dogs and making sure they feel like they belong. Nature hikes through ravines are their speciality, hitting up some of the greenest pockets of the city and exploring new spots each weekend with their popular weekend hikes. Well trained dogs enjoy the 90 minute jaunts that go for $25. In house boarding is also available.
High Park Dog Walks
Consistency is an important element when building trust in any relationship and dogs love having the rapport of a monogamous (dog walker) connection. Ensuring the same person spends time with your dog on each walk is part of the package, and private walks also get the added benefit of a daily email to let you know how much sniffing your dog partook in. Group walks are limited to 4 dogs max and are placed by neighbourhood, size and temperament. Walks start at $18 per 30 minutes.
Oh my Dog!
West enders looking for their daily fitness send their dogs to Christine who is also part canine nutritionist- whipping up menus and supplement lists for those truly dedicated owners. Servicing in and around Trinity-Bellwoods Park, Christine offers group walks at $17 a walk as well as training walks for those still learning the ropes. Boarding and cat care is also available.
Walk with Meg
Combining social media and dog walking, Meg shows up ready to rock without wheels, making dogs adverse to cars at ease with no confining spaces. Dogs are walked in groups of four max; and Meg is pet first aid and dog trainer certified. Keep your phone handy for daily pics and facebook updates. Group jaunts start at $17 for an hour, while solo strolls stretch for 45 minutes at $17. Bulk discounts and puppy visits are also available.
Romping through ravines, parks and even the Brickworks, Rover Achiever likes to mix things up to keep your dog stimulated. All staff are certified in dog training and first aid. Keeping their crew in and around Wychwood Barns, dogs can go for their group walks for $17, or daycare bundle of 2 walks a day for $30. Got a mini mutt busting for a midday squirt? Arrange for a puppy visit at $20.
Spanning from Parliament to Strachan down to the lake and up to College, Soulmutt dogs arrive in style in a massive three row truck designed to tow your dog around and keep him cheerful during the trip to the park. Group walks spend two hours at an off leash park for $18, and solo strolls, puppy visits ($15) or boarding is also on the menu.
by Libby Roach via blogTO