Tips to Find a Dog Walker

dog walker on beach

Hiring a dog walker is an important decision every dog owner needs to make at some point. Not only will your dog walker be responsible for caring for a member of your family, but he or she may have access to your unattended home. You need to find a dog walker that is reliable, knowledgeable, responsible, and trustworthy.

Here are a few tips to finding a good dog walker:

1) Training and Certification - A passion for dogs is a must, but not enough on its own. Ask your prospective dog walker about what they’ve done to train and educate themselves about dog behavior, body language, and human training methods to keep your dog safe and your liability protected. Whenever possible hire a certified dog walker. We recommend dogTEC Dog Walking Academy certification.

2) References – After speaking with potential dog walkers, ask them to provide the names and phone numbers of other former and current clients. Be sure to ask about their punctuality, honesty, and reliability.

3) Insurance/License – Many professional dog walkers have an insurance policy in case something happens to your dog while under their care. Find out if the dog walker has insurance, just in case. Additionally, some cities and towns have ordinances that require dog walkers to be licensed. If your locality requires a license, make sure your dog walker has it.

4) Special Circumstances – Some dogs become stressed when they are surrounded by a group of other dogs, and other dogs have medical or health issues. If your dog has any special circumstances or issues, ask if the dog walker has ever worked with another dog with similar issues.

5) Rates – Depending on where you live, how much time your dog will be walked, and how many dogs are being walked at once, a dog walker will charge different rates. Call around to make sure you are paying a fair price for the services that are being given. Some dog walkers charge per walk, and others charge for the amount of time each walk takes.

6) Personal Interaction – Once you believe you have a good match for your needs and the needs of your dog, it’s a good idea to meet with a potential dog walker to get to know him or her more personality. Be sure to bring your dog along for the meeting so you can make sure it’s a good match.

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hippie/ / CC BY-NC 2.0