Dogs thrive on love, the correct food and daily exercise to keep them fit, healthy and happy. The daily dog walks are great for a balance, healthy lifestyle and it is a great way to bond with your dog. But as with our busy lifestyles and work commitments it may not always be possible to take your dog out for regular walks. This is where finding a reliable dog walker will play an important role, providing you with a practical way of ensuring that your dog enjoys sufficient exercise and entertainment while being in the dependable care of a professional dog walker.
What should you look for when considering a dog walker?
A dog walker will help enrich your dog’s day by adding a touch of adventure to an otherwise potentially boring day at home. It will also help you feel less guilty about leaving your dog alone at home the whole day and will help reduce the stress of you needing to rush home for a rushed walk with your dog. A dog walker can be a positive factor in your dog’s life, giving them the time, they need to explore their surroundings under the supervision of a caring professional.
There are certain criteria you need to consider before you hire a dog walker. It is important to find a responsible dog walker, professional, preferably local to you and with good recommendations. Listed below are some key areas you should look out for when searching for a potential dog walker.
Each dog is different not only in temperament, but breed plays a major role as well, so you should search for dog walkers in your area with experience in your dog’s particular breed. The type of walk your dog enjoys also depends on its age and build, for a senior may simply prefer a slow stroll whereas a younger dog will prefer a more explorative energic walk.
Find out how long the dog walker has been walking dogs as this will give you an idea on their experience level when it comes to handling dogs with different temperaments and needs. It will also be a good gauge as to the dog walker’s ability to physically manage dogs while walking them.
Level of training
Find a dog walker who has had actual training and therefore understands how to handle situations that may arise from an unexpected stressful situation to how strenuous a walk should be to dog’s abrupt change in behaviour. Plus they should have knowledge of canine first aid in case of injury or sudden sickness. With training, a dog walker will be able to distinguish fear or aggression from excitement and know-how to deal with each breed accordingly. A good dog walker will know how to be a positive reinforcement to your dog and reward good behaviour which will help towards training your dog as well.
Licenses and insurance
Dog walker licensing vary according to where you live, so be sure to check that you choose a dog walker that has the correct licenses and insurances, relevant to your area. All professional dog walking services even sole owner ones should have a business license and carry liability insurance.
Types of gear and equipment used
There are portable and practical essentials that any professional dog walker should carry with them at all times. Check if the service uses GPS trackers for the dogs during the walk if it is something you prefer for additional security. Further, make sure that the dog walking services you consider equip their walkers with the right gear for a successful walk, from proper leashes and muzzles to an extra collar to poop bags, first aid kits, water, treats and dog wipes.
If your dog walker walks multiple dogs during a single outing then look into the mode of transport they use and see if it is something you are comfortable with, for your dog.
Reviews and past experience
One of the best ways to find suitable dog walkers in your area is to check with other dog owners who use similar services. Social media is an easy to way to check customer reviews and the feedback regarding a dog walker or walking service. You could also check with your vet who maybe able to give you good area recommendations.
Things that should be discussed with your dog walker
Once you have narrowed down your choice, there are a few important topics you should discuss with the prospective dog walker before finalising anything.
You know your dog best and you should provide all important information regarding your dog’s behaviour and temperament so that your walker can decide if they have the right experience for your dog. It is also best to determine if your dog is comfortable to socialise with other dogs, animals, people, children and if they can be taken to public areas such as dog parks. If you have a concern that at times your dog may react to other dogs or people and need a muzzle then be sure to let the dog walker know.
Again based on your dog’s temperament decide whether it would enjoy spending time with other dogs and so can be walked with multiple dogs. If this is the case find out how many dogs your walker plans on handling during a single walk and if they have the necessary experience to handle multiple dogs.
Discuss with your prospective walker the distance suitable for your dog to walk daily. This will depend on your pet’s age, health, breed and exercise tolerance. If you plan on enlisting a walker that walks your dog only, you can also work out the route of the walk you think best for your pup. Let them know if your dog is adventurous and would enjoy a different route every other day or so, or if instead your dog would prefer going on the same route daily.
Most dog walkers will take food and treats on the walks, and this is something you should discuss with them, regarding how much food or treats are to be given and if your canine has any allergies to be taken into consideration.
Where do you find a dog walker?
Caring for your dog is paramount and as such finding, the best dog walker is essential for your dog’s wellbeing and for your peace of mind. Asking friends and family for referrals is a great way to ensure that you will be directed to suitable professional services that will meet your needs.
Social media is another good and easy way to get in touch with professional dog walkers and services that come highly recommended by current and previous clients. You can read through the reviews to find out details regarding the service and if it would suit your requirements. Another convenient factor is that you can narrow the search down to dog walkers in your area.
Today, dog walking apps have come into the picture creating a convenient platform to connect dog owners with dog walkers. These platforms allow dog owners to browse with ease a selection of verified dog walkers in their respective areas and find one that is best suited for their dog’s needs. They can read reviews and find out more about the services on offer and even directly message the dog walker for further discussions prior to making a decision.
Another great benefit is that some apps even facilitate the viewing of your dog’s live location while on the walk and even allow you to receive updates such as messages and images from your dog walker. All of this aids your peace of mind allowing you to concentrate on your work while your dog enjoys the outdoors. It is such benefits that have made dog walking apps popular as one of the key ways to find professional and experienced dog walkers.
Finding a reliable dog walker in your local area becomes easy if you follow the tips and suggestions provided here. A dog walker who is from your area will be able to get to your place on time and even handle short notice walks if your schedule should change for some reason. They will be more familiar with the area and know the best walks to take your dog on, so that they have plenty to explore and keep them active and entertained. A local dog walker will also know the rules for dogs in your area and follow them so that you need not worry about rules being broken inadvertently.
The steps mentioned here are worth adopting if you want to ensure that you find the best option for you and your canine companion. Entrusting another person with your precious pet is a serious decision and step to take, but for your dog to enjoy a better quality of life outdoor walks are essential. It benefits them both physically and mentally and alleviates boredom they would otherwise experience when left alone at home the whole day.