No doubt you love your dog and want to spend time with her. But there are times when that is not possible. This article gives you 5 tips on how to hire a dog walker when you can’t be there.
Take heart! There are individuals and professional organizations that will walk your dog when you can’t.
But how do you decide who gets the honor of spending daily doggie time with your precious pup?
Here are five tips to help you find the right walking companion for your canine.
Tip 1: Get Referrals
The first thing to do when looking for a walking companion for your best friend is ask for referrals from people you trust. Friends, neighbors, your dog’s vet, and other dog owners you know from your local dog park can be good sources.
There may even be a professional dog walking service in your area.
Even with a service, you will want to check their credentials and get references.
It is not unreasonable to ask for the names of some happy customers, which they should readily provide if they are a legitimate, professional service.
Tip 2: Get to Know the Candidates
Before handing over your dog’s leash, be sure to get to know the person you’re trusting with your dog and your house keys.
Interview them, do a background check, and ask questions.
If you are not using a professional dog walking service, be sure your candidates have verifiable experience walking dogs. If they have canine first aid training, all the better.
You want someone who will be calm and know what to do in an emergency.
If you decide on a service, ask if the same person will be walking your dog every day.
Tip 3: Get Your Dog’s Opinion
Since your dog is very involved in this whole process, he or she should be present during the interview.
Watch the interaction between the potential dog walker and your dog.
Is there any tail wagging going on? Does the candidate appear to be comfortable around your dog? Do the two of them appear to be bonding?
If your four legged friend is cowering in the corner and snarling, this is a good indication that the candidate is not the best choice for your dog walker.
Of course, it’s unlikely your dog will have such an extreme reaction. However, you know your dog and it should be clear to you if she feels comfortable with this stranger.
Tip 4: Set Clear Guidelines
Before deciding who will get to enjoy spending time with your dog each day, set clear guidelines for their walks.
Be specific about your expectations regarding your dog and your home, and make sure the dog walker understands what they are.
For example, are you responsible for supplying poop bags or will the walker bring some?
If you have a time of day you prefer your pet to be walked, make sure the walker can accommodate that schedule.
If other dogs will be walked at the same time as yours, how many will there be? Does your new dog walker have a leash system for walking more than one dog at a time?
It is a good idea to have a written agreement before engaging an individual or a service to walk your dog.
Tip 5: Do a Trial Run
Once you settle on a candidate, have them take your pooch on a trial run. (Not literally, walking is fine!)
You should go along, even if you walk at a distance behind.
Although the dog walker may be slightly nervous knowing you’re watching, it will still give you a good idea how they walk your dog.
Is the pace they set the right one for your puppy? Does the candidate seem rushed, uncertain, or too rough with the leash?
Do they talk with your dog as the walk progresses? Or is the dog walker more interested in using their phone?
Your pet should be comfortable and happy to walk alongside any potential dog walker.
There you have it.
With these five practical tips it should be easy for you to find a dog walker that both you and your pup will enjoy spending time with.