Your favorite furry friend needs daily exercise in order to stay physically and mentally healthy. If you work during the day or simply find yourself very busy and your schedule doesn’t allow you to regularly give your dog the walks he/she needs, you may need and want to consider a dog walker.
However, this isn’t a decision to be made lightly: who you choose to enter your home and walk your dog on a regular basis matters. Anybody can advertise themselves as a dog walker and in fact, many people do. That doesn’t mean they have the experience, training, or set-up necessary to keep your dog safe and happy.
Here are some steps you will want to take to make sure you find the right company and the right dog walker for your pup
1) Ask for recommendations
A good way to start looking for a dog walker is to ask other dog owners who they use, if they trust them, and if they recommend them.
2) Invite potential walkers to meet you and your dog
A key consideration when choosing a walker is whether or not your dog is comfortable around them and vis versa. A walker that may be great for and with one dog, may not be with another. Before hiring a walker, you should introduce them to your dog and see how they get along. Look for a walker who acts calm and assertive towards your dog and pays attention to body language and behavior.
3) Ask questions
- Where will you walk my dog?
- Do you walk a large group or is it a private walk?
- Can you accommodate special needs?
Do you have professional experience working with dogs and is this your main job? (Don’t settle for someone that just wants to make some extra cash on the side as a part-time gig).
- How long have you been walking dogs?
- What are your training and discipline methods? You want to hire someone who uses methods that you agree with.
- Are you licensed and insured? (Don’t proceed if they can’t show you a business license and proof of dog-walking insurance).
- Are you certified to provide canine first aid? How will you respond to emergency situations?
- What happens if you are sick or can’t do the walk on a certain day?
Take your time, and don’t compromise because your dog deserves to be safe, comfortable, and happy on his walks.
At Strut The Pup, our dog walkers are employees of the company. It is their main job and they are trained and certified to do it well. Our walks are private 1-1 walks and it is always with the same walker who you will meet ahead of time. We are of course licensed and insured including commercial insurance for our company vans that are used to take dogs to the off-leash dog park.