How to hire a dog walker? You need a dog walker if you work more than 6 hours a day and own a dog! For dogs, city living may be challenging. In this article, we will provide some useful tips on how to hire a dog walker.
Recommendations are a terrific place to begin. Ask your friends and other dog owners for recommendations if they know of someone. Additionally, there are websites that can help you locate a dog walker in your region. You should look at websites like Sitting for a Cause, Rover, Wag, and Pet Sitters International.
Is it a smart idea to hire a dog walker? The majority of the time, the response is YES! Why? First and foremost, getting a dog walker to take care of your pet’s needs once, twice, or even three times a day can let you relax and focus on your busy day while knowing that your cherished pet is safe and well-cared for.
Many of us keep our pets in tight city apartments and work long hours, resulting in a dog’s existence that is a far cry from that of a rural or suburban dog, who often has an outdoor yard to roam throughout the day — or, if they’re lucky, acres of open space to romp in.
However, there is no reason why a city dog cannot have a wonderful existence. Living in the city has its drawbacks, but it also provides levels of stimulation — sights, noises, and scents — that dogs in the suburbs and rural areas never get to experience.
City dogs also have many more possibilities for socialization, whether it’s with other dogs on the street or with a pack of their pals at the local dog park or dog run.
However, many owners work long hours and lead active social lives, leaving their dogs alone for lengthy periods of time. This implies hours of idleness for a dog, especially if they live in a small apartment or studio with little area to play or run.
It breaks up those long hours of solitude and allows your dog to get out into the fresh air, stretch his legs, and burn off some of the calories consumed for breakfast. Many dogs consider their daytime dog walker to be a friend.
However, as the profession of dog walking becomes more popular, cities are seeing an increase in the number of dog walkers to select from. Dog walking and pet sitting businesses are popping up all over the place, and dog owners in most areas are spoiled for choice.
How to hire a dog walker?
However, not all dog walking services are created equal; there are variances in quality and service types.
Here are some pointers on how to hire a dog walker for you:
1. A local independent dog walker who works alone, on the other hand, is almost certain to develop a close relationship with your dog, and you are likely to develop a friendly relationship with them as well, bringing familiarity and peace of mind. The drawback is that lone walkers rarely have anybody to fall back on if they become unwell or need to take a break.
2. Set your ideal timetable, then be prepared to negotiate Let’s face it, the vast majority of dog owners would want their dog to be walked around the middle of the day, which normally implies between 11 am and 3 pm in the dog walking business. As a result, midday time slots are in high demand, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to locate someone who can guarantee your ideal timetable.
3. Expect to give yourself an hour’s worth of wiggle room on either side of your goal. Furthermore, even after you’ve decided on a time, keep in mind that dog walking is a career in which it’s nearly hard to follow a timetable 100 percent of the time every day.
4. Walkers are frequently required to travel between dogs and can be slowed down by a variety of factors. Don’t be too disappointed if your dog walker arrives a few minutes early or late every day; it’s not always possible to avoid it. Any dog walking service that guarantees timeliness to the minute should be avoided; most of the time, they are lying to you!
5. Is it better to walk your dog in a group or on your own? This is where people’s opinions are fiercely divided! Pack walkers with up to twelve dogs at a time are typical in urban areas like New York City, but is this truly what you want for your dog?
6. The main benefit of this type of service is the price: pack walk charges are sometimes half the price of solo or small group walks, and they may run up to twice as long.
On the downside, your dog will not receive nearly as much attention as it would in a smaller group or by itself, and most of the walk will be spent sitting in big groups on the sidewalk while the dog walker brings a dog upstairs to its apartment.
While there is no question that such walks have a significant social component that many dogs love, the majority of dog owners prefer their dogs to be walked in smaller groups or alone.
Many people are also concerned about dogs fighting in big groups, which, while uncommon, does occur occasionally. An individual, private walk ensures the walker’s undivided attention, but most dogs benefit from socializing, so look for a service that walks pairs or small groups of no more than three dogs.
7. Most dog walkers will tell you that dogs who have “problems” with their owners on the street benefit enormously from being walked with another dog, whose presence frequently acts to “center” the other dog and induce a high level of focus and attention.
However, there is no escaping the truth that some dogs simply cannot stand being in the company of other dogs! At the end of the day, you are the only one who knows your dog better than anyone else, and the decision is solely yours.
8. Conduct in-person interviews. Choosing a dog walker is a big choice, not just because you’re committing the care of your beloved pet to a stranger, but also because the service requires you to provide someone daily access to your apartment.
As a result, you should always investigate a variety of services and insist on seeing the business owner first, followed by the walker who will be allocated to your dog if you decide to utilize the service. You will be able to meet the walker for free if you choose a good service.
9. Never feel compelled to agree to a timetable over the phone; knowing who you’re dealing with directly will make you feel a lot better. All good dog walking businesses will be pleased to submit their pitch to compete with others if you’re searching for and buying a service.
Don’t be startled or angry if the business owner refuses to give you the walker’s full contact information; they aren’t attempting to deceive you. It is a customary business practice to require that all client communication (schedule changes, updates, etc.) be handled by the firm owner.
10. This keeps the owner “in the loop” and informed about what’s going on at all times. If you do have the walker’s contact information, it’s usually a good idea to tell the owner of every correspondence between you to avoid any future misunderstandings.
Prepare your questions ahead of time. Before you do an interview, make sure you’ve written down and prepared all of the questions you’ll be asking. To feel at ease, ask as many questions as you need.
11. Don’t be afraid to pepper the owner or walker with questions about the nature of their service, their philosophy, their procedures, their policy, and their history. A competent dog walking service will also inquire about your specific needs, preferences, and, most importantly, your dog.
Make sure they inquire about your dog’s personality as well as any potential health problems. It’s a wonderful thing if they take notes!
12. A reputable dog walking service will retain records of your dog’s medical history, favorite treats, command phrases, items to look out for, veterinarian information, and so on. If they appear uninterested in any of this information, you should usually look for another provider.
Make sure to get all of the costs and fees out in the open. Make sure you and your dog walking service are on the same page about rates and payment frequency, any hidden or supplementary fees (many dogs walking services charge a surcharge for early morning, evening, and weekend walks), and their range of availability (do they cover evenings or weekends? ), and their cancellation policy (most services request that you give 24 hours notice to avoid being charged).
13. The last thing you want is for a solid connection with a dependable dog walking service to be ruined later on due to a misunderstanding that might have been avoided in the first place.
Insist on a trial walk with the walker. It’s critical that your dog walker meets your dog in advance, and seeing them “in action” with your dog will give you a lot of confidence.
How to hire a dog walker: A deeper dive
Dog walkers aren’t all the same! When you observe a dog walker and a dog together, you’ll notice that certain people have a natural love for animals.
When it comes to humans, dogs typically have excellent discernment, and if the walker likes dogs, you’ll see it in the way your dog interacts with them. It’s vital to observe them walking together on the street, and you should make sure they have good control and are holding the leash firmly.
Give them a miss if the walker just holds the leash with three fingers and enables your dog to go about in circles. Your dog’s safety and well-being come first and foremost.
It’s also a good idea to see how they deal with other dogs on the street; a competent walker will inquire as to if the other dog is friendly, and allow your dog to approach cautiously if they want to smell each other.
Also, make sure they clean up after your dog and don’t let them spray inappropriate items like automobiles, doors, or lampposts, which may carry live current!
From the outset, establish safe dog walking routes. It’s critical that you tell your walker exactly where you want your dog to go and where you don’t want him to go.
Whether a dog park or run is close by, let your walker know if you’re okay with them walking your dog there throughout the day. Many dog owners like to take their dogs to a run where they can play with other dogs, but only you know if your dog is ready for this kind of socialization.
Some walkers enjoy taking a group of dogs to the run and then sitting down for an hour watching them play; if you prefer a more structured street walk, make this known from the outset.
Dog walkers seldom need to use their insurance, but knowing it’s there will make you feel much better. The fact that they went to the bother of being insured shows that they are serious about the business and intend to stay in it for the long haul!
Set up a web camera if you’re apprehensive about letting someone inside your residence. Many dog walking services disagree on this, but an increasing number of home service providers are accepting that house owners feel more safe having a tiny web camera installed to ensure that nothing untoward occurs while they are at work.
Request references and confirm that they are insured and bonded. Every good dog walking service will be able to provide you with references from other happy dog owners who have used their services on a regular basis.
Get the contact information for the references and call them! You’ll feel so much better in the long run. It’s also a good idea to inquire about their insurance and bonding status, and if so, to check their insurance certificates.
Their insurance should cover both medical fees and liability charges in the event that your dog injures someone on the street or causes an accident while in their care.
It’s also wonderful to be able to observe what your dog does during the day! If you’re going to put up a camera, it’s fair to let your walker know beforehand.
Tell them you have the camera so you can keep an eye on the dog when you’re at work, but don’t make it sound like you’re checking up on them! Most dog walkers will be fine with this, and if they aren’t, it may be time to find someone else.
Chill! Nobody enjoys the process of selecting a dog walker. For the first few weeks, it’s normal for first-time owners to worry themselves half to death, worrying if their dog is okay and if everything is going well.
However, if you’ve followed the steps above and taken the time to locate the walker with whom you’re most comfortable, you’ll find that your anxiety fades after a few weeks and you can go on with your day, knowing that your dog is in excellent hands. Make an effort to establish a positive relationship with your dog walking service; you’ll feel much better in the long term.
Note that if they’re dog lovers, they’ll develop a bond with your dog that rivals your own. If you ever want to end a long-term connection, make sure you give the walker a chance to say “goodbye” to your dog, and don’t be surprised if they ask for photos and even cry on their last walk together!
So, where do you begin your search? There are several options on how to hire a dog walker:
- Look it up on the internet using a search engine.
- Look for local classified ads on the internet, such as “Craigslist.”
- Request business cards from area services at pet stores and veterinarian clinics.
- Look for notices on notice boards in pet stores.
- Stop walkers on the street and ask other dog owners.
- Inquire at your local dog park or dog run.
- Request the names of respected neighborhood walkers and services from the doormen of apartment complexes.
Overall, selecting a suitable dog walker for your beloved is not a task to be taken lightly, but it is also not something to be unduly concerned about.
At the end of the day, remember that your dog’s opinion is more important than your walker’s! A reputable dog walking service will leave your dog active, relieved, and most importantly, safe and happy — something you’ll notice as soon as you come through the front door. I hope this article on how to hire a dog walker was worth reading.
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