Your dog is like your baby, a member of your family. It’s only natural that when you’re leaving your dog in the care of someone else you’d want to make sure that not only are they protected but that they get everything that they need.
First things first, know your dog and figure out what your dog needs.
Your dog’s stamina, temperament, health issues, etc. will need to be communicated to your potential dog walker beforehand, especially if they are planning to take your dog in a group with other dogs.
When you’re searching online, you might want to look to see if the company specifically writes that they’ll need more information about your dog before starting. It shows upfront that they care about the well-being of your dog rather than just wanting your business.
You can check out this website as an example: Dog Walkers Barrie. Their service pages list some of the things they look out for before providing their service. The last thing you want is for your dog to develop health or behavior issues, or god forbid injuries, as a result of over or under extension from a simple walk. Which ties into my next point:
Scheduling & Budgeting
Figure out how often your dog will need to be taken out for a walk. Break it down to the time (s) of the day, the days of the week, and for how long. This ties in with knowing your dog as well. If your dog’s stamina would only require 30 minutes of a brisk walk vs a 1 hour walk or intense run, you’ll need to discuss this. The dog walker will need to know how long and how often you’ll require their services.
Pricing of dog walking services vary so do your research. How much are you willing to spend? Don’t be afraid to negotiate, some walkers offer deals or exceptions but don’t forget, you get what you pay for.
Choosing the right dog walker
Ask around, do your research. There’s only so much information you can get from the internet. I’d prefer personal recommendations myself but you can also ask your dog walker if they have any past clients you could speak with. It’s like going into any other job interview, except this time you’re the boss asking for references.
Interview questions to ask:
- Do you have experience with dogs like mine?
- How long have you been a dog walker?
- Have you had any special training? (i.e- first aid, administering medications, etc)
- Are you licensed/insured? *Some cities require permits to walk a certain amount of dogs at a time.
- Where will you go with my dog?
- What protocols do you have in place when a dog becomes ill or injured?
Lastly, arrange to meet with the walker ahead of time to see how they would interact with your dog in person. It’ll give you that peace of mind for that first walk.