CHICAGO (CBS) — On any given day, a walker from Green Paws Chicago can likely be seen taking a trip around the block with a four-legged friend.

“A nice long walk really does wonders for their health and can really improve their quality of life,” said co-owner, John Wray.

Wray is one of dozens of walkers who take care of dogs and cats while their owners are away.

Robb Hendrickson says unlike many other services, Green Paws take a holistic approach to pet care. They take care of what he calls the gap between vet visits.

“We offer something we call total care,” he said. “The de-shedding, the teeth cleaning, the ear cleaning, everything that works through vet-approved standards to minimize the common but most expensive causes of veterinary visits and health problems.”

Green Paws, which was founded in 2007, averages about 100 walks a day.

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Hendrickson says many of their clients are rescues.

“Many of these dogs needs socialization,” he said.

“They haven’t been around people necessarily in a socialized role or around other dogs. So part of what we do is help socialize the animals through interaction with other animals and also by steering pet parents to trainers when appropriate.”

Wray says many walkers form a special bond with their four-legged clients because they take such good care of them.

“We hear stories about a dog that we walk Monday through Friday on Saturday the dog goes over to the door and waits for the walker to show up. So yeah, there’s a very strong bond and we have clients who’ve been with us since we started our company,” Wray said.

The dog walking business is a competitive one, with over 250 similar companies in the Chicago area, Wray says to succeed and eventually expand they have to be available 24/7.

Rain, sleet, snow, just like the mailman? “Yes, but we work holidays too,” laughed Wray.

Green Paws Chicago offers monthly memberships depending on how many walks a client requires.
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