What to Look for When Choosing a Dog Walking Service

What are some things to look for when selecting a dog walking business? What do professional dog walkers do? How to find a good dog walker. Where to find a good dog walker? What to consider when hiring somebody to walk my dog. Tips on different types of dog walkers? My dog needs more exercise.

There are many reasons why you, a dog owner, might need a dog walker. Perhaps you are a working person who does not have time to walk your dog, or you have a new puppy that needs to be let out part way through the day. You may require the services of a dog walker if you have recently been hurt and cannot walk your dog yourself, or perhaps you are a senior, unable to walk your dog. In any case you have decided to get a dog walker but need to know what features to look for to determine the best dog walker for your needs.

They should be Bonded, Licensed, and Insured

Although there are often neighborhood kids that will walk your dog, they are not professional. They might be all you need, but perhaps you do not know of any reliable kids, or want a professional for the job. Having a dog walker that is bonded, licensed, and insured gives you peace of mind, especially if they have to come into your house to get your dog while you are at work.

Trained for Pet CPR

Having a dog walker that is trained in Dog CPR is very important especially if your dog is older. Of course most dog owners themselves do not know dog CPR, so this might not be a deal breaker.

How Many Dogs do they Walk at a Time?

Some dog walkers just come to your house and walk your dog, often limiting themselves to walking two dogs at a time for people who own multiple dogs. Other dog walkers pick up several dogs, walking large groups of dogs, four or more at a time. For some people the large group is the ideal, their dogs love the social aspect, for other people such an arrangement is a nightmare. Knowing how many dogs a dog walker walks at a time is very important.

How do they Walk the Dogs?

Most people think of dog walkers as walking a dog on a leash, but some will pick up your dog, drive it to another location, such as the beach or dog park, and let it off leash. Depending on your dog you may want one thing or the other. Of course the dog walkers do assess your dog before letting it off leash, but this is something you will want to know.

Included here are things such as how long are the walks (time) and how physical.

Dog Friendly

You will want to establish if you feel the dog walker is friendly with your dogs. Typically they come and meet you, and this meeting is free. You can use this to determine if you get along with the dog walker, and if they get along with your dog.  Do they walk all breeds of dogs?

Fees

You need to discuss fees, do they have discount rates for multiple bookings and so forth.  Most charge by the time, some may charge more on weekends or holidays.

Other Services you Might Want to Consider as Offered by Some Dog Walkers:

  • Can they Give Medication?
  • Fixing Behavior Problems
  • Nail Trimming
  • Pet TaxiLet Puppies out for Short Bathroom Breaks
  • Some dog walkers also offer Pet Sitting options for holidays and such

To find a good dog walker you can ask friends, family, and other dog owners, for a recommendation.  Sometimes you can call your local SPCA to see if there are any they would recommend, or not recommend.  You can also look online for reviews, or ask for customer references.

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Posted on Feb 4, 2012