1. Make Sure They are a Legitimate Business
A legitimate business has insurance, is bonded and they have relevant licenses and permits in the areas it carries out its business. It’s a good idea to ask a dog walker for hard copies of documents. Many cities have limits in regard to how many dogs can be walked under one person. Most of the time the limit is six dogs for one person.
With that said, check out local ads for dog walking services. However, don’t contact the ones that state they are students who are looking for extra cash. You want a true professional pet care service provider backed by Animals at Home Franchise to look after your dog, and not someone who is just after a few Pounds.
2. Ask Many Questions
Don’t just speak with the owner of the company. Actually, speak with the person who’ll walk your dog. Confirm that they’ll be the person who will be walking your dog on a regular basis. Other questions you’ll want to ask include:
- Where will you bring my dog for their walk? Will my dog be going there daily?
- How many dogs will be walking with my dog?
- Do you group dogs by energy levels, temperaments, and size?
- What happens if my dog is injured or becomes sick in your care? Will they be brought to an emergency vet? Are you able to provide first aid to my dog?
- Will I be provided post-walk reports if anything unusual happens, such as altercations, loose stool, or if my dog swallowed a foreign object?
- Has a dog ever been injured or lost while in your care? (Accidents happen, but you want to know how the dog walker dealt with accidents and you want to make sure they have a plan in case an emergency happens with your dog.)
- Do you have references such as other dog trainers or veterinarians?
- What happens when you bring my dog back home? Will you wipe their paws if they need it? (The last thing you want is a dirty floor because your dog’s paws got muddy and the dog walker didn’t clean them.)
3. Answer Questions
A dog walker will likely ask you questions. True professionals will want to know as much as they can about your dog. This includes behaviour triggers, vaccinations, allergies, and things of that nature. Dog walkers will want to know whether or not your dog is behaving around other dogs.
The chances are a dog walker will want to bring a demo dog to meet your dog. This allows them to evaluate your dog’s behaviour and how they interact with other dogs. Also, be prepared to show proof that your dog has been vaccinated.
If a dog walker doesn’t ask you for anything, and if they don’t require you to sign a contract, then you should find another person to do business with because this is a sign they are not a true professional.
4. Stay in Touch
When you have decided on which dog walking company to use, you’ll want to stay in touch. First, give the dog walker a two-week trial period. Make note of any changes in how your dog acts during the two weeks.
Also, try to be home at least a few times when the dog walker is scheduled to drop by. Observe how your dog reacts to the walker. Here’s a tip: your dog should be excited to see the walker, and not scared or extremely uneasy.
The dog walker should be able to keep your dog under control and calm, which means they shouldn’t encourage your dog to remain excited because it is important for your dog’s safety to remain as calm as possible with the walker.