If you live a busy life and are looking for someone to exercise your dog, you may be feeling a little nervous (especially if your dog is new to the family).
After all, you’re entrusting a beloved member of the family to someone else.
That is why we’ve pulled together some top tips to consider when choosing a dog walker. They’ll help you navigate the process of finding a match for your four-legged friend, giving you peace of mind while you get on with your daily tasks.
1. Observe how they interact with your dog
When you interview potential dog walkers, make sure they have the chance to interact with your dog. This is essential to establish whether they have a natural rapport with animals yet are still able to manage them.
We all know that dogs have personalities, so this is also a test to see whether a dog walker and your pet are a good fit. For example, if your dog is nervous, you want to make sure that your dog walker recognises this and has a calm and gentle demeanor.
2. Ask questions
You should treat meeting prospective dog walkers just as you would candidates for a job. Prepare a list of questions you want to ask them to discover how qualified they are for the role and what they would do in a number of scenarios.
This way, you can make an informed decision about your selection of dog walker and be assured that they have the experience and common sense to manage a variety of situations.
You could even consider sitting with your family together to bounce off as many questions as you can before deciding on the right candidate.
3. Clarify expectations
It’s really important to clarify and agree on expectations from both your, and the dog walker’s, point of view. At the selection stage, don’t be afraid to state what you expect from a potential dog walker in exchange for your hard-earned cash.
For example, you may want to stipulate that your dog is the only pet the walker looks after at one time. Or you may want your four-legged friend to be kept on a leash at all times. Clarifying these issues at an early stage could save you regret further down the line.
4. Agree on a trial period
So you’ve found a dog walker you think would be a great match for your pet. Why not fix a trial period to ensure that the relationship works out for both parties? As a pet owner, you already know that dogs can be wary of strangers coming into their home, so allowing it to establish rapport with a walker gets the arrangement off to a good start.
You can even take part in the first dog-walking session to know that the walker you have chosen is competent and your dog feels at ease.
5. Check up on their references
Once you’ve jumped these hurdles and you’re ready to appoint the perfect dog walker, there’s one final bridge to cross. Ensure that you follow up on at least two references they have offered you.
This way, you know that you are leaving your adored pet in the safe hands of someone with a great track record for caring for animals.
Now you’re all set to get on with your busy life, knowing that your dog will be in good hands and that your pet can enjoy the company of a new and trusted carer.
Making you and your dog’s life a better one
It makes sense to delegate walking your dog if your commitments don’t allow you to. Don’t feel guilty. You are simply ensuring that your pet is happy and stimulated while you’re tied up with other things.
When you’re choosing a walker, it’s worth investing time and thought into finding someone who’s right for your pet and your family’s needs. If you’re pet is new to the family, you might also want to consider putting in time to house train your pet. The free guide for training your puppy is worth checking out as well as creating the perfect walk routine should you want to take your dog out yourself from time to time.
We hope you enjoyed our quick but effective tips on choosing the right carer for your pet.
If you work through our tips methodically, you should be rewarded with a professional and caring walker who will contribute to making your – and your dog’s – life easier and more enjoyable!