Are you in the market for a dog walker? The good news is that there are a ton of options available these days; the bad news is that making a decision can be really overwhelming. But, if you follow these guidelines you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect pro for your pup!
Education. One of the most important things to look for in a dog walker is the training and education provided by the company. Do their new walkers shadow the experienced walkers before going solo? Does the company provide (or require) first aid & CPR training? Do they train their staff in basic canine communication and dog handling?
Reviews. Check sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and the company’s social media pages before signing on. The reviews won’t tell the whole story, but they are good indicators not only of the quality of service but also how the company handles problems.
Meet and greet. Always request a meeting with the person who will be your primary dog walker, and have a list of questions on hand for the first meeting. Both you and your dog should feel comfortable with the personnel; if you don’t (for whatever reason), request another meeting with a different person.
Reliability and availability. Every dog walking company has a different business model, and you’ll need to decide if you value flexibility (can you get a walker with two hours’ notice on the weekend?) or consistency (will you have the same walker every day at the same time?). Ask for references – and contact them! Current clients will have the best take on the overall reliability of the company.
Tip: have two companies on speed dial if you need one for regular weekday walks and one for occasional last-minute requests. If your dog is okay with different walkers, it’s a great way to have the best of both worlds!
This is just a short list of what to look for when you’re in the market for a dog walker. What are your must-haves? Let us know in the comments!