Are you in the market for a dog walker? There are so many options these days that making a decision can be a bit overwhelming, but if you follow these guidelines you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect dog walker for your pup!
One of the most important things to look for in a dog walker is the training and education provided by the company. Do they have new walkers shadow experienced walkers before working solo? Do they provide first aid and CPR training? Do they train their staff in basic canine communication and dog handling?
_Tip:_look for walkers and management staff trained through dog*tec’s Dog Walking Academy program.
Checking sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, or the company’s social media pages is a must-do before signing up. The reviews won’t tell the whole story, but they are good indicators not only of the quality of service but also how the company handles problems.
Meet and Greet
Always request a meeting with the actual dog walker and have a list of questions on hand for the first meeting. Both you and your dog should feel comfortable with the personnel; if you don’t (for whatever reason), request a meeting with a different person or move to a different company.
Reliability and Availability
You’ll need to decide if you value flexibility (can you get a walker with two hours’ notice on the weekend?) or consistency (will you have the same walker every day at the same time?). Ask for references and contact them! Current clients will have the best take on the overall reliability of the company.
Take all your research and start making some calls or sending some emails. Remember to follow your instinct and give yourself some time to decide. The perfect walker is just around the corner.
Jaime Migdal, CPDT KA, is the founder and CEO of Fetchfind, a talent recruitment and services organization dedicated to the pet industry.