About Us

Gusto Dogs services Steiner Ranch, River Place, Hudson Bend and some surrounding areas providing engaging walks and pet sitting visits. We believe that an effective walk includes more than just physical activity; it should also challenge your dog with tasks that add value to his day and improve his long-term relationship with you.

Your pet’s well-being is our priority

When you hire a Gusto Dogs dog walker or pet sitter you are getting someone who is focused on your pet’s physical and mental well-being — you can be assured that your dog or other pet is getting the exercise and individual attention he needs during our visit.

The owner

Gusto Dogs owner Kristen West

Gusto Dogs owner, Kristen West, of Steiner Ranch

Kristen West owned and operated a dog walking and pet sitting service in Australia for two years before moving to Austin and passionately starting Gusto Dogs in 2011.

Some of her favorite dogs to walk in Sydney were also the most challenging. Once they presented a new hurdle for her and her staff to overcome on walks, Kristen was eager to find a solution by researching, getting advice from other professionals and then trying out new techniques — often on her own high-energy dog first!

This passion carried over to create Gusto Dogs, which focuses primarily on exercising and engaging those dogs with the added enthusiasm.

Prior to her life as a business owner and dog-enthusiast (OK she’s always been a little dog-obsessed!), Kristen earned her bachelors degree in journalism from Ohio University and worked in creative positions at Ohio Wildlife Center and Australian Diabetes Council.

Kristen volunteers with local dog rescues and is on the Board of Directors for Wags, Hope and Healing. She lives in Steiner Ranch with her husband, Dave, daughters Kaia and Alani, and pug cross Jack Russell terrier, Neo, who has been her greatest teacher. “Neo is definitely a Gusto Dog!”

Read her post Why I love being a dog walker

Team members

Lori S. – serving Steiner Ranch
Lori has been working with Gusto Dogs for several years and has been a valuable asset to the Steiner Ranch team. Her years of experience as a dog walker and pet sitter in L.A. prior to joining Gusto Dogs make her a valued and respected handler for our west Austin clients. Training her own two rescue dogs has given her an added level of expertise dealing with common behavior problems seen in many other dogs, and her professionalism and level of communication with customers make her feel like family to many.

Cheryl K. – serving Steiner Ranch, Hudson Bend, River Place
Cheryl joined our team in 2014 and has been a wonderful addition. Her passion and genuine love for animals shines through and is evident in the extra care she takes with each pet and customer. Cheryl has worked as a pet sitter and dog walker for many years prior to joining Gusto Dogs and has worked with shelters and rescues on the side. She also services the community in her church and as a school crossing guard.

David M. – serving downtown Austin
David always greets our downtown clients—both human and furry—with a positive attitude and a big smile. He has experience working for a veterinary hospital and kennel for three years and assists Lady Bird Lake “Pooch Paddles” when he works at the Texas Rowing Center. David goes the extra mile for the dogs, cats and humans he works with, and our customers and the Gusto Dogs team couldn’t be happier to have him running the show downtown.

Hiring dog walkers
Gusto Dogs is hiring dog walkers! If you’d like to be considered as a dog walker in the downtown or west Austin area (Steiner Ranch, River Place, Lakeway and surrounds), please contact us and tell us a bit more about you. Most walks take place on weekday mornings or afternoons, so a flexible weekday schedule is a must. New team members will be selected based on experience, attitude, professionalism, availability and the obvious one, “Must love dogs!”

It’s about you, too

We understand that the owners play a primary role in their pets’ happiness so Gusto Dogs enjoys working with the people as much as their furry family members. It means that your dog walker will be more than just a note on your kitchen table and he or she will build a relationship with you, too.


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