Walking Multiple Dogs: What Can Go Wrong?

As an independent dog owner, a budding dog walker, or someone looking to set up shop as a pet sitter, you may have the responsibility of walking multiple dogs on any given day. As such, you have a choice to make: Do you “power walk” your dogs all at once as a large pack or break them into smaller, more manageable groups instead?

The power-walking option, of course, allows you to save time and money. Before you do this, though, you must understand that there are risks involved; especially if you have a job as a dog-walker. Today, Daily Dog Walkers & Pet Sitters gives you the low-down on what can go wrong if you walk dogs in packs of 5 or more at once.

It’s hard to walk multiple dogs at once 

Dogs tend to be excitable creatures. They want to sniff at every bush, chase after every squirrel and are generally keen to explore the world around them. It’s hard to manage a single dog’s enthusiasm, especially if it’s a big dog like 150+ pounds plus Saint Bernard or Spanish Mastiff – let alone when they’re bunched up as a group. You need to be on your toes constantly to maintain discipline and ensure they’re following your lead.

This can be exacerbated by encountering other dogs. If you walk in heavily trafficked areas, it’s likely to happen. Consider using a walk score map to find good walking areas that are less trafficked. This can make walking your dogs easier.

Often, you need great physical strength to restrain them (when the dogs aren’t well-trained). Things can and do go wrong. This is where using sturdy escape-proof harnesses are especially helpful, as it makes constraining the pooches much easier. Be sure each harness is a good fit – not too tight and not too loose – and that the material is durable and comfortable. Go online to read up on veterinarian and other expert advice on the best types of harnesses. 

Dogs fight and bully each other 

Dogs are pack animals by nature and will naturally attempt to establish a pecking order in the group. That means there may be some roughhousing, and the smaller dogs may get picked on by the larger ones. This is not so much a problem in smaller groups – it’s easier to familiarize the dogs with each other then. You also have an easier time matching up dogs with similar temperaments to be in the same group. 

There can be injuries 

Dogs, like children, need to be supervised and kept away from environmental dangers. They also often need to be protected from other aggressive dogs. Needless to say, this is much harder to do in a large group. RUSH University notes that they often end up getting hurt. Some examples of injuries that may occur are bruises, bites, lacerations, ingesting foreign bodies (glass or rocks), eye trauma, sprains, and more. 

Illnesses and diseases are more likely to get transferred 

Illnesses and diseases can move from dog to dog quickly, especially if they’re spending hours walking multiple dogs or are walking in a large group. The American Veterinary Medical Association explains that some examples of diseases that can be transferred are canine influenza, parasites, parvo, distemper, and rabies. The risk is lower when the group is smaller. 

The dogs may not get enough exercise and may not enjoy the experience

Walking too many dogs makes a maze of leashes and leaves very little room for the dogs to maneuver freely. While this is not so much a problem if there are dog parks or beaches nearby, the experience of walking closely with other dogs as you cross busy streets is not exactly enjoyable. Many dogs end up coming home stressed, tired, anxious, and sometimes traumatized by the experience. 

You could get fined 

Last, but not least, is that it’s illegal to walk more than a certain number of dogs in some places. In San Francisco, for instance, you can walk a maximum of eight dogs at one time – going over the prescribed amount will net you a fine. Also, your dog insurance may not cover you walking more than a certain number of dogs at any given time. If you go over the limit and one of the dogs gets injured on your watch, you may be liable for damages. 

This is why it’s a good idea for those with a dog-walking business to set it up as a limited liability company, which will protect your personal assets in case such incidents occur. You can easily form an LLC in Florida using a formation service. They can help you throughout the process, ensuring that all your legal obligations are met.


Walking multiple dogs can be a dangerous juggling act, net you a steep fine, and even negatively affect your pet-sitting business’ reputation. Leading animal welfare groups advise you to walk no more than four together at any given time. As always, use your best judgment when walking your dogs and follow professional best practices.  

For dog walking service in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Cleveland, OH, visit Daily Dog Walkers & Pet Sitters today!

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