For those busy types among you, hiring a dog walker is essential if you want to keep your beloved furry friend happy and healthy. Although you may be happy to walk him or her when you do get home, it is often worth having a dog walking service that you can rely on to fill in some of the time you’re away during the working day.
The other obvious plus point to having a trusty dog walker on board is to ensure that your dog can have a toilet break too. Coming home to some dog waste on the kitchen floor and a destructive doggy due to boredom is certainly a good reason to check out the dog walking services near you.
Many families want to share their home with a dog but they worry that they will be gone all day at work. They question whether the dog will be able to wait eight or nine hours to do his business. Will he become destructive to himself or to his environment due to boredom? Physical and mental health are valid issues to be concerned with when a dog has to spend long hours alone. Dogs are extremely social beings. The solution is to hire a dog walker, but that raises some valid concerns. Who can you trust to have complete access to your dog and your home? Are there trustworthy people available to provide this service for you? The answer is yes; they are out there and here are some tips to choosing the right one.
* Hire a professional
The very first tip is to make sure you hire a professional, not a person who is just out to make a quick buck. When calling dog walkers, ask them if they are bonded and insured, are a member of either PSI (Professional Pet Sitters International) or NAPPS (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.) These memberships demonstrate their commitment to their profession, and that they understand the responsibility associated with going into people’s homes when they are not there. A dog walker who has these credentials has gone through a criminal background check and is a professional.
*Ask them how long they’ve been in business
There are many brand new dog walkers who are excellent. However if you have an elderly pet with health issues or a difficult pet, it is always reassuring to know that your dog walker is experienced in all areas of pet care. Here is a nationwide company with franchises all over the country. They are professional, thoroughly screen their pet sitters and dog walkers and are passionate about pets and their care.
*Ask to see a presentation book
A good dog walker will arrive at your home with a notebook with copies of their insurance and bonding certificates. They should also present a certificate of their professional memberships and letters of reference from other clients. Look through it, and don’t be afraid to copy phone numbers of their other clients to check references. This is your home and beloved pet you are trusting into the care of this unknown stranger.
*Storage of your house key
Make sure your key will not be labeled with your name or address. Ask how they are going to identify your key, and where it will be kept when not being used.
Most dog walkers and pet sitters today are trained in it. Ask if your prospective dog walker is.
*Dog walker’s back-up plan
Everyone gets sick or has flat tires. Ask your dog walker what her/his plan is in this event. Is there a back-up walker, or is this a one person operation. This is important to know. If your walker doesn’t have a back-up plan that means you must put one in place.
*How many dogs will he/she be walking at one time?
Many dog walkers walk several dogs at one time, even as many as five or six. You need to know if your dog will be the only dog being walked. If your dog has not been socialized with other dogs, you need to know this information so you can look for a dog walker who will only walk your dog alone.
Never discount your gut feeling about the prospective dog walker. Especially watch to see how the walker interacts with your pet on that very important first meeting. More importantly watch your fur-kid’s body language. Unless your pet always shies away from new people, that reaction could indicate that the prospective walker is not a good fit.
Finding a trustworthy dog walker can alleviate anxiety and guilt every time you have to leave for work. A dog walker will lavish your fur-kid with love, exercise and one on one attention
Prices for this service can vary, depending on where you live. Always ask if there are any discounts or specials available.