In order for a dog to stay happy and healthy, in needs a lot of physical exercises. Unfortunately, in today’s busy world, our schedules don’t always allow us to give our dogs the attention and exercise they really need to be both mentally and physically happy. If not it can lead to all sorts of issues. This is where a hired dog walker comes in.
However, not all walkers are created equal and this isn’t a decision that you shouldn’t take lightly. A good dog walker is hard to find, and the right one will have the perfect balance of skilled and patient.
Here are some steps to follow to make sure that you find the best walker for your precious pooch:
Ask Around to Trusted Sources
The best way to begin is by asking people you trust if they know anyone good. People are very protective of their animals and know that you are too, so they will most likely only recommend someone they know and trust. Another place to ask around at is at the dog park or at the vet. Again, these are going to be sources you can trust. You can also google your local area to make sure the have a reputable website. For example we picked a big city like Santa Monica and search for dog walker santa monica and got tons of results. But remember, this is only the FIRST step. You still need to do you due diligence before moving forward.
Set Up a Meeting Between the Walker and Your Pup
What is going to end up really mattering is if your dog is comfortable around the person. If they aren’t, it’s going to lead to a host of other issues and the only way to know is have them meet. Any good dog walker will understand that a meeting is a good idea and not a guaranteed job offer. At the meeting, you should look for a person that can maintain control over your dog but is also calm and loving at the same time.
Ask the Right Questions
Make sure you come prepared to ask questions. Here are some good ones to get the conversation going:
- Where will the walks take place?
- Are you able to handle any special requests? For example, if my dog gets nervous around other dogs, can you walk him/her along at first and ease him/her into it?
- How long do your walks typically last? It’s a good idea to ask about actual walk time, not walk plus driving time.
- Who is the actual person that will walk the dog? Usually, it will be the person you meet with, but sometimes larger companies employ multiple people, and it’s best to check.
- Ask if they have an experience in training dogs. This will ensure that are actually comfortable handling your dog.
The Walker’s Background
- The person should have a long history with dogs, not just looking to make some extra cash. Here are some questions to ask to thoroughly vet them:
- How long have they been doing this?
- What are the training methodologies they use? These can vary a ton, so you want to make sure it’s something you’re comfortable with.
- Are you insured and licensed? Any walker should be able to show you these things if they are legit.
- Can you provide canine first aid? You never know what situation will arise, and you’ll rest easier knowing they are equipped to handle it.
Go For A Walk With Them
On the first walk, ask if you can tag along. This way you can get a real world sense of how the walker interacts with your dog. It will also help you dog transition into being alone in the future. Pay attention to their body language and behavior.
This is a process, so don’t quit if you don’t have any luck at first. Keep at it and when you find the right person it will really pay off!