If your hours at work have changed and you find yourself unable to take your pup out for long walks in the evening or get home later, you may want to hire a dog walker. It’ll keep your dog from bouncing off the walls at night when you just want to eat dinner and sit down.
Dogs need exercise everyday and mental stimulation in the form of seeking, playing, or training. Dog daycares are great but if your dog isn’t super social, going to daycare 5 days a week can be really mentally tiring. A long walk midday may just be enough for your dog during the work week. But how do you pick a good dogwalker?
The following 7 tips should help:
1: Have questions for any potential dog walker. They will be entering your home and walking your dog, you want to feel at ease and make sure they are a good fit.
2: Ask for credentials – what other animal related jobs have they had? What do they know about dog behavior and body language? Do they have any certificates such as the Association of Pet Dog Trainers?
3: What are the hours that your dog would be in their care? What is their rate? Some dog walkers break prices down into walks, runs, and time. Make sure you’re comfortable with the price and time spent with your dog.
4: How many dogs do they take at a time? Has a dog ever been injured at or lost by their business? Will they call you if your dog is hurt or gets loose?
5: What is their technique for handling unacceptable behavior such as a dog that lunges, pulls on a leash, or jumps up on them? Are they willing to employ and reinforce the training you have done with your dog?
6: Are they bonded and insured?
7: How many dogs do they walk at once on a walk? If there is a fight, how do they safely break it up?
Trust your gut. If you feel uneasy, find another dog walker. Ask to observe or follow your dog on a walk. If they refuse or seem uncomfortable with that idea, ask why. A dog walker should have nothing to hide. At the moment there isn’t really any license that a dog walker needs to get but you want to make sure the one you choose is responsible, has the best interest of your dog in mind, and is honest.