Can You Volunteer to Walk Shelter Dogs? (ANSWERED)

Dogs who are housed in shelters can often become stressed and anxious, which can lead to behavior problems.

So, can you volunteer to walk shelter dogs?

It depends on the shelter, but in general, yes. Walking shelter dogs can help them to relax and can also help socialize them so that they’re more likely to be adopted.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss volunteering to walk shelter dogs and provide some tips on how to make the most of your experience!

Can you volunteer to walk shelter dogs?

If your local shelter accepts volunteers, you can ask to walk shelter dogs
Walking shelter dogs depends entirely on the policies of your local shelters, but you should be able to volunteer to walk dogs.

There are many dog shelter volunteer opportunities, and depending on your shelter, you can volunteer to walk shelter dogs.

Volunteering to walk shelter dogs is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air while also helping out a good cause.

Dog walkers are often employed by pet care companies, and there are also many self-employed dog walkers.

But you don’t need to be a professional dog walker to volunteer to walk a dog from a shelter.

Not only will the dogs appreciate the chance to stretch their legs, but they will also benefit from socialization and human interaction.

Walking shelter dogs can be a great way to meet new people and make new friends, all while doing something good for the community.

And best of all, it’s completely free!

So why not head down to your local shelter and see if they could use a few extra hands?

Read our related article on the Best Dog Head Halter. These head halters are a great option for dogs that tug on walks!

Why Do Dogs Need to Be Walked?

Walking shelter dogs can give them a chance to escape their kennel for a while.
Even more than your own dog, shelter dogs need plenty of exercise and socialization since they’re often in their kennels.

Walking shelter dogs not only provides much-needed physical activity, but also mental stimulation and a chance to socialize.

For many dogs, a daily walk is the highlight of their day.

Physical activity is essential for all dogs, regardless of age or breed.

A daily walk helps to keep muscles toned and joints healthy. It also aids in digestion and can help to prevent weight gain.

For senior dogs or those recovering from an injury, a shorter walk at a slower pace may be best. However, even a short walk can provide many benefits.

Mental stimulation is just as important as physical activity for dogs.

A walk provides a chance to explore new sights and smells, which can help to keep your dog’s mind sharp.

Walking also provides some much-needed structure and routine in a dog’s day.

Dogs who regularly walk with other dogs (and humans) are less likely to develop behavior problems and are more likely to be well-rounded, happy members of the family.

Check out this video on the benefits of walking dogs for more info:

Read our related article on the Best Dog Harnesses. Harnesses are the safest way to walk dogs. Here are the BEST we’ve tried!

Advantages of Volunteering to Walk Shelter Dogs

Shelter dogs may not get out of their kennels very often. Walking them gives them a change to explore.
Shelter dogs are often stressed or bored in shelters due to a lack of activity. Walking them can provide them with much-needed relief.

Not only does walking a shelter dog provide much-needed exercise, fresh air, and socialization for the dog, but it’s also a great way to get some exercise and fresh air yourself.

Walking a shelter dog can also be a good way to bond with the animal and provide them with much-needed companionship.

And, of course, it is always nice to know that you have helped make a difference in the life of an animal in need.

Walking shelter dogs also gives them relief from the boredom and anxiety often found in shelters.

Read More: Can You Donate Used Dog Toys? Thinking of helping your local shelter dogs out in other ways? Used toys are perfect! Learn more.

Drawbacks of Volunteering to Walk Shelter Dogs

Volunteering to walk shelter dogs can be a great way to get some exercise and socialize with animals that are often cooped up.

However, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider before taking on this type of volunteer opportunity.

  • Walking a dog requires a certain level of commitment and responsibility.

If you’re not able to commit to regular walks, or if you frequently have last-minute cancellations, it’s best to find another volunteer opportunity.

  • In addition, walking a shelter dog can be physically demanding.

If you’re not used to walking long distances, or if you have any underlying health conditions, you may want to consider another type of volunteering opportunity.

  • Finally, it’s important to be aware that some shelter dogs can be excitable or difficult to handle.

If you’re not comfortable around dogs, or if you are not confident in your ability to handle an excitable dog, it’s best to find another volunteer opportunity.

Read More: Can Shelter Dogs Be Service Dogs? Shelter dogs can make excellent service dogs with the right training and care. Learn all about it here!


Waking shelter dogs helps to socialize the dogs, which can make them more adoptable.

This volunteer opportunity also provides much-needed exercise for the dogs, which can help to reduce stress and behavior problems.

Not to mention, it’s a great way to meet new people and get some exercise yourself!

Whether you’re looking for a way to give back to your community or simply want to get out and enjoy some fresh air, volunteering to walk shelter dogs is a great option.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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