Dedicated to caring for your pup through exercise and enrichment By Jillian Chandler | Photo by In-Gear Media
From a young age, Ruth MacIntyre has had a love for animals—especially dogs for their individual quirks and personalities. This love would turn into a passion, as she studied animal care in college. “Whilst I loved—and still do—learning about all animals, my interest was always around dogs in particular,” Ruth shares. “Dogs are so unique and diverse—at any point in time, you will find a dog who is happy to sit in someone’s handbag looking pretty and a dog who is searching for criminals. A dog who is happy lazing on the couch and a dog who is alerting someone that they are about to have a seizure. There is no other kind of animal that is this varied within their species, and it is this that is both wonderful and glorious about dogs.”
This joy in observing dogs’ behavior and learning more about them would eventually inspire Ruth to open her own business—Ruth’s Dog Walking LLC. First opened in Woodinville in April 2018, she wanted to continue that growth in her new hometown of Gig Harbor.
Ruth and her family moved to Gig Harbor in December of 2020. Not only was Gig Harbor within commutable distance of her business in Woodinville, and her husband’s workplace, they fell in love with the beauty of Gig Harbor, the location of the stores and the friendliness of the people. “No other town or city felt as welcoming as Gig Harbor,” smiles Ruth. “Plus, everywhere I looked, I saw dogs walking happily along with their owners, and I could tell this was a dog-loving place and somewhere I could fit in happily when walking my own dog.”
Ruth’s Dog Walking in Gig Harbor opened in September of 2022, followed by Wenatchee the following month.
Ruth goes on two “dog adventures” a day. “Each pup is picked up and taken to a local nature area where our adventure begins. At the end of the adventure (either 90 minutes or 45 minutes, depending on your pup’s activity level), your pup is cleaned / dried off as necessary, given fresh water and taken home. So the pups will be out for most of the morning or most of the afternoon (depending on their session),” she says.
Each dog-walking adventure consists of no more than four dogs, as Ruth believes this is a good number, as it gives the dogs a good-sized pack to walk in, though it is small enough that she can give each dog individual care. Ruth seeks to take each pack adventuring to beautiful places that are filled with great smells and experiences for the pups, such as beaches, trails and wooded areas. “It is important to me that, when we go on our adventure, I do not just exercise the dog’s body but also their mind too.
Enrichment is so important for every animal, and pet dogs are no exception. Enrichment keeps the mind active, young and healthy. Dogs return home happy and tired, ready for a snooze.”
She also addresses training needs during these sessions, such as practicing trail etiquette and loose-leash walking. Ruth affirms that we are our dogs’ best advocates, and that it is imperative to treat them with love, patience and care, and to understand and follow through on their needs. Each employee goes through an extensive background check, both federally and locally. And Ruth doesn’t hire based solely on dog-walking experience; she looks for what cannot be trained—honesty, reliability and trustworthiness. “I need to know, as a business owner, that dogs and their owners are cared for, so this is my main focus for employees.”
When it comes to what she finds most rewarding about her job, it’s happy dogs. “I get such wonderful welcomes when I arrive at a house to walk a dog—the dogs are ecstatic they are coming out on our adventure. A dog who is greeting me at the door ready to go because I have treated them with love, care, patience and understanding—that is extremely rewarding.”
Ruth believes in giving back, so a percentage of her profits go to animal care charities. This past Christmas, she also donated to an animal charity specific to each location of her business.
“We all get a dog with a dream in mind. It may be playing at the park, taking nice long walks together, or companionship. Sometimes these things are not always possible as life or work gets in the way. I can help ease some of that stress.”
If you would like your dog to go on an adventure with Ruth, contact her today. Ruth’s Dog Walking LLC Serving Gig Harbor, Wenatchee and Woodinville 425.276.8555 RuthsDogWalking.com