Jill Feasley typically takes her golden retriever, Carina, out with her on neighborhood patrols, when she and neighbors walk the city paying attention to anything out of the ordinary.

While the overly friendly pet is less for protection and more for companionship, dog walkers like Feasley are often the eyes and ears of the city’s neighborhoods even on more informal ‘‘patrols.”

‘‘You do notice more, and you’re more aware of things that are different because you’re walking at the same time every night, and going to the same places,” Feasley said.

Halle Enyedy, co-owner of 5-year-old golden retriever, Sage, said it is dog walkers’ odd hours outdoors that make them in tune with neighborhood happenings. Dog walkers are out early in the morning and into the evening, often before and after daylight, she said. But the dog walkers she knows would still rather avoid coming across unsavory situations.

A fear she shares with many dog walkers, especially those who let their pets roam off their leashes along the city’s creeks, is the ‘‘body in the woods” scenario, she said.

‘‘You hear this all the time,” she said. ‘‘You’re always fearful about what you could find.”

Enyedy came across something nearly as rattling on a walk with Sage along Sligo Creek — a homeless man bathing in the water.

‘‘It was one of those moments where you go, ‘All right, come back here, Sage!’” Enyedy said. ‘‘It was very startling, but at the same time, very sad.”

Takoma Park Police Chief Ronald Ricucci said he has encouraged the dog walkers he’s met to call in things they ‘‘come across in their travels” that seem out of the ordinary.

‘‘They’re usually carrying cell phones, and can let us know what’s going on,” he said.

Fortunately, dog walks don’t always result in finding trouble. Cheryl Brugh, who now owns Roxy, a squirrel-stalking Rottweiler recovering from a knee injury, remembers one profitable walk with her old dog, Bandit. On a routine walk in her neighborhood near Long Branch Creek, the dog found something better than the trash he usually trotted back with in his mouth.

‘‘It was a $20 bill,” she said. ‘‘We had to make a trip to the pet store after that.”

One duty dog walkers have taken upon themselves is less exciting than watching for suspicious activity. Brugh said she and other dog walkers often pick up litter along their walking paths to keep their neighborhoods aesthetically pleasing and free of debris that may look edible to their pets.

‘‘Some still don’t pick up after their dogs, so if I’ve got an extra bag, I’ll do it myself,” she said. ‘‘If I see trash, I’ll pick it up. If I see screws, nails along the curbs, I’ll pick them up.”

Enyedy agreed.

‘‘It’s just a part of being a community,” she said, tugging at a branch in Sage’s mouth.

That unique kinship among dog owners is apparent in their interactions. Many admit to knowing dogs’ names before the names of their human companions. Sherelle Burroughs, a professional dog walker who has canine clients throughout the Washington, D.C., Takoma Park and Silver Spring areas, said dog walker culture is obvious at dog parks.

‘‘If something is going on with another dog, I’ll go up to the dog and say, ‘‘No, Moxy, don’t do that,’ before approaching the parent,” she said.

Enyedy said walking the dog is a good way to meet other dog walkers who may have tips on new walking paths and dog parks, or shy neighbors who see dog walkers as more approachable.

Feasley still chuckles when remembering a particularly entertaining neighborhood patrol. She and 4-year-old Carina were taking a walk through their neighborhood in downtown Takoma Park, Feasley dressed in her orange patrol vest, when and a woman approached them about a missing loved one: a cat named Trouble.

Always ready to assist a fellow resident, Feasley began calling out ‘‘Here, Trouble! Here, Trouble!” into the night, Carina’s tail wagging with excitement.

‘‘Sometimes it is helping out the neighborhood,” said Feasley, who was quick to add that it was her husband who did the dog walking most nights. ‘‘And at the same time, we need to walk [Carina] every night.”