For the enjoyment and safety of all members and their dogs, please agree to and observe the following guidelines.
1. The Dog Walking Club is open to all dog lovers. You do not need to own a dog to join in on the fun.
2. Currently, we welcome all breeds.
3. Safety is our number one priority for both pets and people. If you or your dog has a medical condition related to the environment (i.e. allergic to bees, etc.) please make the Critter Sitters and More Pet Care team aware.
4. ALL dogs must be on a 6-foot or shorter leash. No flex or retractable leashes will be allowed. These leashes are great for wide open areas like beaches or woods but NOT when you’re walking with a pack of dogs.
5. If your dog needs some extra space (DINOS – Dogs in Need of Space), yellow ribbons will be provided at each dog walk outing. Simply tie to your leash to alert other dog owners: do not come near unless invited.
6. Always carry pet waste bags (biodegradable preferred) and pick up as needed. It is also highly recommended that you carry water for you and your dog as well as a protein snack for longer walks/hikes.
7. We recommend walking your dog on the left side of your body beside you. This is how it’s taught in most dog obedience classes. Your dog will then get used to this method. This will make it easier to walk them on roadways with traffic.
8. Limit nose sniffing at the beginning of the dog walk. Many dogs don’t like their space invaded and this time is better spent getting your dog under control. After the walk when the dogs are tired is a better time to meet and greet.
9. We encourage people of all ages to join in on the fun. However, please make sure younger children are always in your care and understand the proper way to greet a dog. They should also be able to recognize the signs a dog exhibits when it is uncomfortable.
10. ALWAYS ask another pet owner if it is OK to greet their dog before approaching.
11. During tick season, we recommend spraying yourself and your dog with an all-natural spray. Critter Sitters and More will have available for purchase if needed.
12. If our team witnesses behavior from your dog such as nipping, snapping, lunging, growling or strong staring at other dogs, you may be asked to leave.
13. There is a maximum of two dogs per person. We recommend a double-headed leash if walking two dogs.
14. If you decide to leave the walk, please let a Critter Sitters and More team member know (We will be wearing Name Tags!). At that point, you become responsible for your own navigation.
15. When the group meets other dogs, please keep your dog under control. A pack of dogs can be very threatening to a dog walking solo, and its owner too. The same applies to small children, let’s not be the ones who give a child a lifelong terror of dogs!
16. If your dog is unwell and infectious, please do not bring him/her to the group walk.
17. Since we will be walking in many different areas, including forests, fields, farmland, etc. it is recommended that your dog is treated for worms, ticks and fleas.
18. For the safety of other dogs, ALL dogs must be up-to-date on the following vaccinations: Rabies, Distemper and Bordetella. In addition, your dog must have a negative fecal/giardia test and must be on some sort of flea/tick preventative. Be prepared to show proof at each dog walk if asked or you may be asked to leave. You may also forward this information ahead of time and we will keep on file for 2020.
19. There will be people walking at all different speeds, however, if your small leashed dog is slowing down please carry him/her. Little dogs get tired and it makes sense to help them finish the walk but let them finish the walk on their own four paws. This improves their confidence.
20. In recognition of Covid-19 safety procedures in the state of VA, we encourage all members to carry masks in case we enter a populated area, or an area where masks are required. We also ask that you observe social distancing requirements, and maintain a safe 6-foot distance from other members at all times.
21. Participation in these FREE dog walks assumes some level of uncertainty and organizers and group leaders cannot be held responsible for you or your dog’s actions or those of other participants or their dogs. Critter Sitters and More is not insured for group dog walk outings. You are individually responsible for any damage or injury caused by your dog, and for any mishap befalling your dog. Public liability insurance is strongly recommended (usually included with house or pet policies).
Inclusive Statement: We are committed to providing an inclusive environment for all, regardless of gender, age, gender identity, race, health status, national origin, relationship status, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion.