Have no fear, we are here to help and offer our best tips to finding not just a dog walker, but a trusted friend for your dog.
Step 1: Ask around...
The first step in finding a dog walker is to ask around. Talk to your friends and family to see if they use a dog walker and inquire about the pros and cons of their experience. If you live in an apartment or condo building, ask the building manager if there are specific dog walking services they recommend. Many residential management companies have specific companies in mind. Online research is also a good way to locate dog walking services. Websites, such as Yelp, Metromix, Angie's List, and other consumer review companies can provide ratings and reviews on particular dog walking companies.
Step 2: Interview your dog walker...
Once you have selected a dog walking service, it is essential that you meet your dog walker. Schedule a time to have he or she come to your home, so they can be introduced to your home and pet. This is essential! Just like people, dogs do not "click" with everybody. NEVER allow someone you have never met to interact with your dog on sole basis.
If possible, ask if you can also meet the owner of the dog walking service. You want to feel completely comfortable with the caretakers of your pet. At the initial meeting, it is necessary to go over the personality of your dog. Your dog walker will need to be aware of unique personality traits, especially if your pooch feels anxiety or aggressive in certain situations. Be sure to discuss any training techniques you are using with your dog. It is important that your dog is receiving consistent feedback. Lastly, review your dog's daily routine and bathroom schedule so the dog walker can know what to expect.
Step 3: Assess company policies and procedures...
Make sure you are aware of the company's policies and procedures. For example, what is their policy on playing with other dogs, greeting other individuals on their walk, or handling emergency or life-threatening situation? How long do dog walking sessions last? A typical dog walking session should last approximately 25 minutes. This allows enough time for your pet to take a walk outside, hydrate and get in a little playtime. Additionally, many dog walking services keep you updated on your dog's day, such as writing little notes about their walk or sending pictures.
A reputable company will be insured and request emergency contact numbers. Be sure to always have emergency numbers for yourself and your veterinarian in a visible location in your home.
Ask about the company's cancellation policy. Nearly all professional service companies will have a policy in place.
Finally, decide on a time each day that your dog walker will visit your pet. It is important that they can come around the same time everyday so it is consistent for your dog's routine.
Key Items for your Dog Walking Session:
1. Water dish
3. Poo Poo Baggies
4. Cleaner of choice if an accident occurs
6. Emergency phone numbers
We hope you have found this post helpful and will incorporate these tips when searching for a dog walker.
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