5 Essential Items For Dog Walking in Columbus, Ohio

dog walking essentials columbus ohio

Taking your dog on regular walks in Columbus, Ohio is a great way for you to bond with your pup. It can also help to keep both of you healthy! The tough part is that you are only sometimes going to be guaranteed ideal weather to walk in. Rain or shine, it’ll be important to remember the dog walking essentials!

Here are the top 5 essentials we recommend to help make dog walking in Columbus, Ohio as enjoyable as possible.

How Often Should You Walk Your Dog In Columbus?

First, before we get into the list of essentials, let’s talk about how much walk time your dog actually needs on a daily basis. Every breed of dog varies in its exercise requirements. Some dogs, like huskies and labs, need a lot of exercise and stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Others are entirely content just being couch potatoes their entire lives (yes we’re talking about you, St. Bernard’s!).

A general rule of thumb is about 30 minutes of daily exercise for your pup, according to experts. The length and duration of the walk will ultimately depend on your dog’s energy level, breed, and health. We offer various walk durations as part of our dog walking service, to take into account that each dog has different walking needs.

The Columbus Dog Walking Essentials

It’s no secret that the success ingredient for enjoyable dog walks is making sure you’ve got all the necessary equipment (such as leashes, harnesses, and collars). Regardless of the size and temperament of your pup, there are a few essentials that every pet parent needs:

1. Collar With Identification

Arguably the most important piece of equipment is the collar! Make sure it’s proper-fitting (If you can fit two fingers between your pup’s neck and the collar, that’s just right!) AND has an identification tag on it. A properly fit collar ensures your pup won’t escape you while you’re both out and about. In case this does happen, however, the ID tag increases the chances your pup will be found and returned to the rightful owner (you!). The ID tag should include:

  • Dog’s name (and maybe yours too!)
  • Your phone number
  • Address (for extra clear identification)

In addition to a collar, you might also consider a harness for your pup. If your pup is a puller, harnesses can help resolve this issue. Or, if your pup is well-behaved on walks and you just prefer to not have them wear a collar, harnesses will do the trick!

It’s important that walking your dog is stress-free so that both you and your pup can enjoy the venture into the great outdoors. The next essential item can also help guarantee that!

2. A Proper Leash

Hands down, NO retractable leashes!

Retractable leashes are NOT a good option to use for walking your pup. When going outdoors, you should invest in a good quality fixed-length, flat lead leash that is sturdy and not too long.

Even if your pup is well-trained and well-behaved, it’s essential to keep your dog close to you when outside. In the event of potential harm, whether it’s an unexpected biker or car passing by, you’ll wanna be able to pull your pup in close quickly! Especially if they are prone to lunging at moving objects (like squirrels!), a flat lead will ensure the most kinda control over your pup.

If your pup has a problem with indulging in mischief (like getting into things they aren’t supposed to!), having a flat lead is your best bet!

3. Waste Bags

Whether your walk is 10 minutes or upwards of an hour, you should always expect your pup to use the bathroom at some point. By preparing for heavy-duty bathroom breaks, you’ll be able to cleanup after your pup without any concerns. It’s the worst feeling watching your pup go #2 and THEN realizing you don’t have any waste bags on you to clean it up! Keeping waste bags on hand to clean up your pup’s bathroom messes is part of being a responsible pet parent. Many areas require that pet parents clean up after their dogs, and with the help of public pet waste bins, there should be minimal excuses!

Ordering poop bags in bulk will be your best bet. Then, store those bags in your coat pockets or dog walking fanny pack for the next time you venture out. Easy accessibility is key! You may also consider keeping rolls of bags in your car for trips to the park.

4. Portable Water Bowl and Treats

Treats and water are two other walking essentials you should consider bringing along, too. Especially when it’s hot outside, your pup will benefit from frequent water breaks. This prevents overheating and heat exhaustion. You might need a good place to pour the water for your pup to drink, so try a collapsible water bowl. They’re easy to pack and hold water very well!

Treats are great to bring along for various reasons. All of us enjoy giving treats to our dogs to spoil them. Treats are also great for training and rewarding good behaviors from your dog on walks. Either way, treats are sure to get those tails waggin’! If you plan on using them to reward obedience, we recommend small training treats. Give these immediately after your pup listens to your commands for best impact!

5. Essentials For Inclement Weather

While the weather might not always cooperate for for taking your pup on a walk, that doesn’t mean you should skip the walk completely! There are plenty of ways to prepare for walks in inclement weather. If conditions are super unbearable, however, then it’s probably best to skip the walk and take a raincheck. This includes heavy downpour, super low temps, thunder/lightning, or anything that feels unsafe to be out in.

For rainy days, you might consider investing in a nice pair of doggie rain boots. Though it may take a second for your pup to adjust to wearing them, boots are an excellent way to prevent your pup’s paws from getting muddy.

Some dogs love to get wet and play in the water, but others aren’t quite so fond of the rain or getting drenched. Regardless, a raincoat is a great way to keep your pup dry and shielded from the elements.

In winter weather, we’d recommend a thicker coat and boots. Generally speaking, the bigger and fluffier your dog is, the better they are equipped (genetically!) to withstand colder conditions. There are lots of winter walk tips available on the web that can help you prepare for such weather!

dog walkers Columbus, Ohio

In dreary, foggy, and/or dark conditions, consider purchasing some reflective gear for you and your pup. When visibility is low, you’ll wanna make sure everyone stays safe and unharmed. Reflective collars (and leashes) are a simple and easy way to make your presence known when walking in less well-lit conditions.

Health & Social Benefits of Columbus Dog Walks

Once you’ve got all your essential items, you can truly make the most out of walks with your pup. Columbus, Ohio has a lot of dog-friendly places you could try out with your pup. In general, walks are a great way to provide your dog with plenty of opportunities for socialization, burning off excess energy, and engaging in sniff time. All of this combines to decrease boredom and anxiety, improve mood, and give tons of mental enrichment. The energy expenditure benefit can also prevent any destructive behaviors from persisting. This is always helpful if you have a pup that loves chewing on shoes, shoe laces, or tearing up furniture in the home.

Walking is also a non-strenuous way to improve you and your dog’s cardiovascular health. It reduces the risk of obesity, insulin resistance, liver disease, and osteoarthritis. Even if your dog just gets 15- to 30-minute stroll a few times a week, these benefits can still be relevant.


A final “essential” item for dog walking, is having a dog walker in Columbus, Ohio lined up for when life gets busy. We realize you may not be able to venture out with your pup at all times, but your pup will still expect (and need) the exercise! After all, they are creatures of comfort who appreciate consistency in their routines.

Benny DiFranco

Benny DiFranco

Hi! Thanks for reading this blog. I am the owner and founder of Columbus, Ohio's very own Hands N Paws. I started this business in 2018 with the purpose of giving more pet parents peace of mind. Looking forward to seeing you on the blog next time!

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In case any of the Client’s pets need emergency veterinary treatment, Hands N Paws will prioritize treating the pets and try to contact the Client or emergency contacts. However, the on-site Team Member can take appropriate actions, including getting veterinary care, if needed. The Client gives permission for Hands N Paws to transport the pet(s) to a veterinary clinic or request on-site treatment, and make treatment decisions except for euthanasia if they cannot be reached, or if it’s a life-threatening emergency. The Client is responsible for any veterinary fees incurred, and releases Hands N Paws from liability for any damage or harm to pets or property beyond the Team Member’s control. The Client is also liable for any injuries or damages caused by their pet’s undisclosed aggression to the Hands N Paws team.



To comply with local laws and ordinances, it is required that all pets have the appropriate vaccinations and licenses. For further information on these requirements, please visit the Ohio State Bar Association’s website at https://www.ohiobar.org/public-resources. You should also check with your veterinarian to determine which vaccinations/shots your pet requires. For safety reasons, we encourage all dogs and cats to wear an ID tag or collar with their name and a contact number while our team is working with them.



To ensure access to Clients’ homes during scheduled services, Hands N Paws requires that Clients purchase a lockbox and place spare house key(s) inside it for Team Members to use. Clients can purchase the lockbox on the Hands N Paws website by clicking Buy Your Lockbox. Once it arrives, the lockbox should be programmed with a four-digit code. The lockbox should then be placed on the main door handle or another secure location, and the lockbox code and location information must be entered in the client’s account on Precise Petcare. Alternatively, Clients may elect to provide a code for entry via a garage door or electronic keypad and must enter all necessary codes in Precise Petcare. Clients are strongly encouraged to purchase a lockbox to ensure that Team Members can access pets at all times during scheduled services, especially in situations where power goes out, batteries die, or keys are lost.


It is strongly discouraged that Team Members and Clients exchange phone numbers with each other in working together. Phone numbers are personal and Team Members have specific work hours.
Clients should direct all communications with Team Members in our app, Precise Petcare. Both parties can communicate via submitted journal reports, which Team Members send after completion of all services with pets. More information on this can be found by visiting our client support page at www.myhandsnpaws.com/client-support.
For any pressing/non-emergency communications, Clients are advised to call our office number at (614) 636-6644. Office hours are Monday through Friday 9am-5pm. We are closed on Saturdays, Sunday, and Federal Holidays.
PLEASE NOTE: Office hours differ from fieldwork hours. Office hours are the times in which we provide client support via answering phones, emails, etc. Fieldwork hours are the times in which we offer services/are working in the field with pets. Our fieldwork hours are 7am-10pm (and overnights), 365 days a year.



Clients are NOT allowed to request that Team Members “ignore the cat” when providing care for other animals in households that have multiple pets. Regardless of the cat’s disposition, personality, or levels of need, Hands N Paws Team Members must provide some kind of attention and care to the cat during scheduled services. Similarly, Client must create a pet profile for the cat(s) and provide care notes accordingly.


Our Team Members can only perform services correctly if they are equipped with the correct (and most up to date) pet care information. You will only be allowed to request services on the basis that pet and personal profiles are updated every 6 months (at minimum). Any Client who attempts to request services at the 6 month mark will receive an error message letting them know that they cannot submit a request if they haven’t made updates to their profiles. If there is nothing to update at the 6 month mark, simply reword a current piece of information and click Save at the bottom of the page.


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Client agrees to requesting services in the two-hour time frames offered.



For detailed descriptions on our services, please visit our website at www.myhandsnpaws.com.

Dog Walking
*Rates below apply for up to 2 dogs; add $7 per additional dog
QUICK WALK – 20 mins – $22
STANDARD WALK – 30 mins – $25
LONG WALK – 45 mins – $35

Pet Sitting
*Rates below apply for up to 2 pets; add $7 per additional pet
QUICK VISIT – 20 mins – $22
STANDARD VISIT – 30 mins – $25
LONG VISIT – 45 mins – $35

Cat Sitting
*Rates below apply for up to 2 cats; add $7 per additional cat
QUICK VISIT – 20 mins – $22
STANDARD VISIT – 30 mins – $25
LONG VISIT – 45 mins – $35
Overnight Stay (8-10 hrs) – $80

*Rate applies for up to 2 pets; add $10 per additional pet.




A $20 surcharge is added to each service that is scheduled on the following Federal Holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve.



Upon submitting service request(s), Client will be informed as to whether Hands N Paws can take on the requested work via a confirmation or declination email/notification. Client understands that there is NO guarantee that any/all service requests can be approved; it simply just depends on Team Member availability. Clients are encouraged to submit all service requests as far in advance as possible!



Client understands and accepts the Company same day service request policy as outlined below:
– A $10 convenience fee is added to each service if requested (and approved) with 24 hours or less notice before service(s) is scheduled to occur.
– A $20 convenience fee is added to each service if requested (and approved) with 12 hours or less notice before service(s) is scheduled to occur.
– A $30 convenience fee is added to each service if requested (and approved) with 6 hours or less notice before service(s) is scheduled to occur.



Client understands and accepts the Company out-of-service-area request policy as outlined below:
– A $10 (minimum) convenience fee is added to each service if requested outside of our current service area.
Please note, this amount is subject to increase depending on how far a client lives outside of our current service area.




All meet n greets are FREE (and required as part of proper client onboarding) for first-time Clients. To the extent that Clients wish to schedule additional meet n greets, after their first free one, they will be charged $50 per meet n greet.

To schedule a first-time meet n greet (for new clients), please go to www.myhandsnpaws.com and click Get Started.

To schedule additional meet n greets (for current clients), please log in to your client account, go to My Schedule > Request Service and select Meet N Greet in the service dropdown.



All services are to be paid for via credit/debit card. We accept all major cards (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover). Card information can be added securely to each client account.

For services scheduled as ongoing, you will be auto-charged every Friday evening for the previous 7 days worth of work on schedule, including completed, canceled, and in-progress services.

For services NOT scheduled as ongoing, the day your services are accepted and confirmed is the day you will be charged 50% of your invoice total (as downpayment). Your invoice will be sent to you immediately. You have from then until the date of the last confirmed service to pay your invoice manually. If you choose to not pay manually, your remaining total will be auto-paid (via card on file) on the evening of the last service day.

If any auto-charges are declined, you will be notified immediately. In the first declined attempt, we give you a 24-hour grace period to correct the issue. In the second declined attempt, a late fee of 10% of the invoice total ($10 minimum) will be added. Please look out for emails regarding overdue notices.

Credit cards are required to be added to and remain on file in order for Clients to request any services with Hands N Paws.

Hands N Paws will be paid the amount discussed with no exceptions other than if our Cancellation Policy (outlined below) applies and Client receives a refund in either the form of Account Credit(s), or in emergency circumstances as transferable credit(s) back to their card.

Client may be charged additional fees if Team Members are instructed to, or sees the need to, purchase items for the pet while under Company care, including but not limited to: pet food or treats, litter or cleaning supplies, transportation to the vet and/or emergency expenses for general care of pet(s). Hands N Paws will retain and share receipts as proof of purchase.




When Client schedules services with Hands N Paws, the Company has likely turned down other work so as to devote our time to the work requested from said Client.

Client understands and accepts the Company cancellation/refund policy as outlined below:

– 100% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– 50% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– NO refund is issued for same-day cancellations/less than 24 hour notice.

PLEASE NOTE: Refunds are NOT transferable. Should you be eligible to receive an Account Credit (based on terms above), that will be auto-added to your account and applied to your very next invoice with us.



Hands N Paws agrees to provide the services stated in this contract in a reliable, caring, and trustworthy manner. In consideration of these services and as an express condition thereof, Client expressly waives and relinquishes any and all claims against Hands N Paws arising out of or relating to the provision of services hereunder, except those arising from gross negligence or willful misconduct on part of Hands N Paws.

Client understands and acknowledges that the environment in which they are requesting Hands N Paws to complete services is reasonably sanitary and safe. We assess home conditions during initial meet n greets. If we determine home conditions to be unsanitary and/or unsafe, we will make it clear to the Client that we cannot pursue a working relationship.

Should a Team Member sustain any injury, disease, or other harm in the course of providing services hereunder, the Client will indemnify Hands N Paws and hold it harmless with respect to all loss, expense, and damage caused thereby, except those arising from gross negligence or willful misconduct on part of Hands N Paws.

Client understands and acknowledges that he/she is responsible for letting Hands N Paws know of anyone who has access to their home and agrees to not contract with any other company and/or care provider during the duration of services booked with Hands N Paws. Client releases and holds Hands N Paws harmless of all loss, expense, and damage caused by anyone entering the Client’s home with their permission or access given to others during the terms of services rendered.




This contract will take effect upon digital signature by Client (clicking “Agree & Submit” below) and will remain in effect until terminated by either party. Client may make online reservations for additional services at any time during the terms of this contract, as subject to Hands N Paws availability. All scheduled services will be governed by all the terms of this contract. We appreciate as much advance notice as possible for the work, but will make every effort possible to accommodate all requests.

Either party may terminate this contract at any time by written notice to the other. Hands N Paws is entitled to payment for all services rendered until notice of termination is received and for any transition services reasonably required to provide for the health and welfare of Client’s pet(s). Hands N Paws will not terminate during a period of scheduled service unless Hands N Paws determines, at their sole discretion, that a serious danger exists to the health or safety of a Team Member or pet. If such concerns preclude Hands N Paws from providing further care for the pet(s), Client agrees to pay for their pet to be boarded at a boarding facility or taken under the care of another party until Client returns. Every attempt will be made to notify Client and/or emergency contacts regarding such situations.

Client acknowledges that by signing below, he/she is providing written approval for the provision of services by Hands N Paws during any service period scheduled by Client and confirmed by Hands N Paws. Upon such scheduling and approval, Hands N Paws will be authorized to enter Client premises and perform services without additional signed contracts and/or written authorizations




I, Client, have reviewed this Client Agreement in its entirety. I will promptly complete all parts of my client account in Precise Petcare, and the information I provide will be detailed and accurate. My electronic signature here will indicate that I am agreeing to all the terms and conditions of this contract, exactly as they are outlined above.