Releases New Research on American Dog Walking Habits

42 Percent of Dog Owners Say Their Dog Appears Sad When They Miss a Walk, Leaving Owners Feeling Guilty and Spending to Make Up for It's Dog People Walking Report (Graphic: Business Wire)

SEATTLE--()®, the nation’s largest network of 5-star dog walkers and pet sitters, today announced the results of its first “Dog People Walking Report.” The nationwide report digs into the dog walking habits of American pet owners. The research found that while the majority of owners (63 percent) see walks as a reflection of how much they love their dog, most (57 percent) skip walks each week.1 The report also revealed that 94 percent of pet parents consider their dog a member of the family,2 and many are turning to treats, toys and dog walkers to quell their guilt and make up for missed walks.

“As dogs become part of the family, pet parents spend more time and resources tending to their needs and feeling guilty when they don’t. Dog owners want ways to balance their busy lives with providing love and care for their dog,” said Brandie Gonzales, Rover’s pet lifestyle expert. ”Pet parents know walks and exercise are important for their dog’s health and happiness. As a result, we’ve seen growing demand for technologies that enhance pet health, like activity trackers, and services like Rover that make it possible to find reliable dog walkers.”

The Dog People Walking Report Findings

The dog walking report includes responses from thousands of dog owners across the U.S. as well as scientific research on the benefits of dog walking. The data revealed that, like traditional parents, pet parents are concerned about their dogs’ needs and feel guilty when they don’t meet them. This guilt has prompted owners to spend time and money to make up for missed walks. In fact, one in five pet parents have hired a dog walker after feeling bad for skipping walks.

Pet Parents Talk the Talk

  • Pet parents say walks make their dog happier (70 percent), more energetic (46 percent), and calmer (41 percent).1
  • Nearly 93 percent of dog owners believe one of the best ways to de-stress is by taking their dog for a walk.3
  • Sixty-three percent of dog owners agree that how often a person walks their dog is a reflection of how much they love them.1

But Don’t Walk the Walk

  • The majority of dog owners (79 percent) think their dog should be walked at least twice a day, but 57 percent say they skip dog walks every week. Thirty-eight percent of owners actually walk their dog once or less per day.1
  • Common reasons for missing walks, include:
    • Too cold out (57 percent)
    • Feeling tired (or even lazy) (33 percent)
    • Busy day at work (30 percent)
    • Family responsibilities (25 percent)1
  • Thirty-two percent say habits like pulling on the leash and chasing animals deter them from taking their dog for walks.1
  • Mondays are the most commonly skipped day for dog walks.1

Feeling the Guilt

  • Forty-two percent of dog owners say their dog appears sad when they miss a walk.1
  • Two-thirds of pet parents feel overwhelming guilt when they skip a walk, with women being more like to feel guilty than men (71 percent vs. 59 percent, respectively).1

Making It Up to Our Best Friends

  • Dog owners offer extra long walks (52 percent), treats (45 percent), cuddles (42 percent), or toys (14 percent) to make up for missed walks.1
  • Fifty-six percent of pet parents say “hello” to their dog first when they come home.4

The survey coincides with Rover’s launch of on-demand dog walking in New York City. With this option, owners are matched to a Rover-certified dog walker who has been pre-screened, completed safety education, and passed an in-person harness check and an enhanced background check. Pet parents can get their dog a walk right now, schedule it for a later date, or book weekly walks with a certified dog walker. Rover's on-demand dog walkers provide 30-minute walks, and can arrive in as little as one hour.

Dog owners share instructions on how their dog walker should enter their home, and provide custom information about their dog’s behaviors. Rover offers to send free, secure lockboxes to ensure dog owners have a safe way for walkers to access their homes.

Pet parents get a message sent to their phone when the walk starts and stops, as well as a detailed update including a GPS map of the walk, photos, notes on bathroom breaks, and a personalized message.

Rover’s network is the market leader for dog walking, with more than 130,000 dog walkers in thousands of cities across the U.S. With Rover, the nation’s number one pet sitting and dog walking app, owners can book on-demand dog walking in select markets including Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle.

To learn more about Rover, please visit

1 survey conducted by VIGA among 1,500 U.S. dog owners in February 2018

2 Harris Poll, 2015

3 survey conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 U.S. adult dog owners in June 2016

4 Survey conducted by Google Surveys among 1,500 U.S. adult dog owners in April 2017

About® is the largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers in North America. Serving pet parents across the U.S. and Canada, Rover connects dog owners with trusted pet care whenever they need it. Millions of services have been booked on Rover, including pet sitting, dog walking, in-home dog boarding, and doggy day care.

Founded on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the unconditional love of a dog, Rover improves and simplifies life for dog people and the pets they love. As The Dog People™, Rover gives pet parents peace of mind whenever they’re away from their dogs by offering premium insurance, 24/7 support, background checks, vet consultations, GPS walk tracking, and the nation’s #1 pet sitting and dog walking app. And with Daily Treat—one of the nation’s top dog blogs—Rover reaches millions of readers with tips and articles that delight, inform, and enhance the bond between people and their pets.

Brandie Gonzales, 888-453-7889


Brandie Gonzales, 888-453-7889