References, References, References!

Personal references are often the most important thing when it comes to dog walking. Although there is an element of trust any time a person hires someone for services, a dog walker is responsible for what some people consider a family member, and sometimes a dog walker will also have access to an empty home. References are critical, especially when it comes to trust.

Suggestion to Dog Owners:

When you are looking to hire a dog walker, ALWAYS ask for personal references, and call the people whose numbers are given as references. Make sure it’s not a friend of the dog walker or someone who is posing as a reference. Ask questions about how the dog walker interacted with the dog, the person/company’s timeliness, whether the dog walker is trustworthy, and other questions that will make you feel comfortable or look elsewhere. This is a member of your family that will be entrusted with the dog walker, and the dog walker may have access to your personal belongings in your home when you are not there.

Suggestion to Dog Walkers:

When you have a good working relationship with a dog owner, you should ask if that person can be a reference, and if so, what information can be provided to potential clients. You’ll want to make sure the person will be able to answer questions about your services honestly. Have a list of these references on hand, which will enable you to provide these references in a timely manner.