How To Find A Dog Walker
4 August, 2011
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A DOG WALKER
I asked all my neighbors and friends who are dog owners to specify what it is that they look for when they hire a dog walker. I came up with some general guidelines and pointers that can help dog owners find a good one. (I hope)!
First, of course, they said that insurance is a definite must for dog walkers. It serves a few purposes; it shows that the business owner is serious about his or her business, and it protects you and the dog walker should something unexpected happen to your dog.
It is also important that the dog walker understands the behavior for each type of animal they care for. It’s also best for the dog walker and pet owner to talk about each pet’s personality, likes, dislikes, fears. Dog walkers need to know how the dog walks on leash, gets along with other dogs and people, handles noise, etc. Dog owners should walk with the dog walkers to show him or her how the dog likes to be handled.
Dog walkers should be prepared to follow a client’s instructions. Pet owners should make sure those instructions are concise and easy to understand. Each dog has its own needs and the dog owner should make sure to communicate them with the dog walker. This would include if the dogs need medicine and the dog walker must be able to administer it properly. Pet owners should watch the first time that the dog walker administers the medication.
Of course, you need to set up an initial meet and greet. This is a great time to watch the interaction between your dog(s) and your potential dog walker. If something doesn’t seem right, trust your gut and interview another dog walker. And, you should also ask how many dogs they take with them when they walk your dog. Some dogs like to be walked and play with other dogs, and others do not. Likewise, some dog owners want the dogs to socialize while others want the one-on–one attention.
The dog walker should provide you with references. Most dog walkers will offer references from clients, veterinarians, or other pet business professionals. Personally, I would ask the clients because, for the most part, they would be the most open for discussion and can really tell you his or her experience.
Finally, most dog walker will offer a free meet & greet. This is a meeting in your home, with you and your dogs so you and your potential dog walker can interview each other. Many offer this as a free service, while others charge a fee. Personally, I think this should be free and simply a cost of doing business.
I hope these tips help and you find the best dog walker in town!