Dog Walker FAQs

Below are a list of questions you might want to ask a dog walker before hiring him or her. It’s important to know the background of your dog’s walker before you make a commitment. A dog walker will have access to your home and pets, so it’s important to ask many questions before hiring one.

1.) How long have you been walking dogs, and is this a full time job for you?

You’re going to want to find a dog walker who is passionate about dogs, so you know that your dog will be treated well. Everybody needs to start at some point, but if your dog is difficult or fickle, a newly minted dog walker might not be the best match for your dog. You want to make sure your dog walker can handle just about any situation that may arise, and an experienced dog walker who walks dogs for a living may be able to handle a situation better than others.

Additionally, if someone walks dogs on the side and has a full time job, your dog may come second to the other job. We all know that dogs can’t always wait to go to the bathroom, so your dog walker will need to be prompt and on a regular schedule.

2.) Will my dog be walked individually or in a group?

You might find a less expensive dog walker if your dog will be walked in a group with other dogs. Your decision about whether to allow this will depend on how well your dog interacts with other dogs, and if your dog will behave during a group walk.

3.) Will you be walking my dog, or do you work with others?

You should you know who will be walking your dog every time, because important to know who will have access to your home while you are out. No matter who walks your dog, all of the dog walkers should know your dog’s health issues, habits, and your important contact information.

4.) Do you walk in the rain, snow, or cold weather?

No matter what the weather is like, your dog is going to want to go for a walk. People, on the other hand, may not be able to go out during some severe weather conditions. Sometimes roads are closed during a snow storm, but the dog still needs a walk. Make sure your dog walker communicates with you in the event of a storm. If your dog walker lives in the same neighborhood as you, this might be less of a worry.

5.) Will you take my dog to a dog park or just for a walk?

Most dogs, especially puppies and younger dogs, need a lot of exercise, and going for a walk may not cut it for your dog. If this is the case with your dog, the dog walker should accommodate your dog’s needs and visit a dog park or a dog run. If this isn’t possible, a long walk will be necessary.

6.) Do you have a city license and/or insurance?

Some cities and counties require professional dog walkers to be licensed and/or bonded. As a dog owner, you should check with your local authorities to see if there are any special regulations for dog walkers in your locality.

7.) How should I pay you, and how often?

Depending on the frequency of your dog walks, you may have to pay your dog walker each time or you may be able to pay weekly or bi-weekly. Some companies accept credit cards and checks, but many prefer cash. Just double check with your dog walker first – and don’t forget to leave your payment!

Some people like to give a tip to their dog walker during Christmas and the holidays. It’s up to you whether you should do this, but those who do can choose whether to leave a tip equal to a walk or a week’s worth of walks, depending on how often your dog walker is with your dog.

8.) Do you offer special services other than dog walking?

While your dog is in the care of a dog walker, there is a chance your dog could get groomed, taken to the veterinarian for a check-up, or brought to a special play group. Ask your dog walker if he or she offers additional services for your dog. Don’t forget to ask about the cost of these added value services.

In addition to asking these questions, it’s also a good idea to read Veronica Boutelle’s article about How to Choose Your Dog Walker.