Choosing the right dog walker for your pup can be a daunting task. You’ll be giving this person a key to your home and trusting them to love and care for your fur baby when you’re not there. You need someone who is trustworthy, experienced, and reliable. The following are some things to consider and questions to ask to help you find a pawsome dog walker:
1. Does the dog walker return phone calls and emails in a timely manner?
While you can’t expect your dog walker to answer calls or check emails while they’re out walking dogs, it is important that you are able to get a prompt response to schedule requests, changes, or cancellations.
2. Is the dog walker bonded and insured, and can they provide proof of coverage?
Bonding and insurance protects both you and the dog walker in the event of negligence and or intentional wrongdoing. Anyone can say they are bonded and insured, so be sure to ask to see a copy of their insurance card or certificate of coverage.
3. Does the dog walker have positive reviews and testimonials from their clients?
Reading reviews from others who have used your dog walkers service can give you a good idea of the quality of service they provide and whether the dog walker will be a good fit for you and your dog.
4. What days and hours is the dog walker available?
Not all dog walkers work all day 365 days a year. For some it is a part-time job, and they may only be available weekdays or certain hours or not on holidays. You need to be sure your dog walker’s availability matches all the times you could possibly need your dogs walked.
5. How much notice does the dog walker need in order for you to schedule your request for dog walking?
Some dog walkers require a minimum number of days notice for schedule requests or charge an additional amount for short-notice requests.
6. Does the dog walker meet with you and your dogs in advance?
You will be trusting your dog walker to care for your dogs and giving them a key to your home. Both you and your dogs need to feel comfortable with your dog walker.
7. How much experience does the dog walker have caring for dogs?
For the well-being and safety dogs, the dog walker should be familiar with dog behavior and body language, as well as dog first aid.
8. Does the dog walker have a contract or service agreement?
A well-written service agreement is a mark of professionalism and clarifies the dog walker’s policies and procedures as well as your rights and responsibilities as a client.
9. How long will the dog walker be walking your dog?
Different dog walkers offer different walk lengths. Some have a number of different walk lengths for you to choose from, other offer a standard 30 minute walk, and others do not have a set time limit on walks. You want to be sure your dog will receive sufficient exercise.
10. Will the dog walker being walking your dog with other client’s dogs?
Group walks can be a great experience for some dogs, but others may be better off walked alone or with other dogs from the same family. Dogs in group walks also have an increased risk of injury and disease from other dogs.
11. What types of collars or harnesses and leashes does the dog walker use to walk dogs?
Some dog walkers will use whatever you currently have to walk your dog, others bring their own equipment or expect you to provide a certain type of collar, harness, or leash. Some dog walkers walk dogs off-leash as well, which is a safety concern. You want to be sure that what your dog walker is using is safe and works well for your dog.
12. What is the dog walker’s inclement weather policy?
The weather may necessitate your dog to shorten your dogs walk or could prevent the dog walker from coming to walk your dogs at all. You need to know what to expect.
13. What will the dog walker do if your dog needs emergency medical care?
Your dog walker should know basic dog first aid and be prepared to take your dog to a veterinarian for a medical emergency. You need to inform your dog walker what your wishes are in the event your dog needs emergency care.
14. Does the dog walker provide training in loose-leash walking or other good manners for the dogs that they walk?
If your dog is already well-trained, you want your dog walker to be consistent in the cues and training your dog already knows. If your dog isn’t trained, your dog walker could work on these behaviors while they’re on their walk for both your and your dog’s benefit.
15. Will the dog walker provide daily updates letting you know how your dog is doing and what your dog did on their walk?
Your dog can’t tell you what they did on their walk, and it’s good to know if they pooped and peed, and if anything new or interesting happened.
If you have more questions about dog walking or would like to get started with Ready Pet Go, please contact us or give us a call at (240) 221-5335.