Dogs are active and social. They like to explore the world and they need regular exercise. Nevertheless, in our busy schedules we often find ourselves too busy to take our pets even for a short walk, and that's exactly why dog walking services exist. Yet, finding the perfect dog walker is no easy task. That's why we've gathered these 10 things to look out for in a dog walker to choose the perfect candidate for your four legged friend.

#1 - A Dog Lover

Whether a professional, or someone who's just starting out a career as a dog walker, they must be a dog lover. Dog walkers need to have a genuine interest in looking after dogs. You can often tell if this is the case simply by watching the interaction between the walker and your own dog. This might seem like an obvious tip, but it's definitely one of the most important!

#2 - Professional Attitude 

All job roles require a certain degree of professionalism, even being a dog walker. You would not want to hire a dog walker that turned up late to your first meet and greet, as this might give off the impression that they are unreliable. You want a walker that is always on time (apart from exceptional circumstances), responds to messages promptly and provides you with daily updates during the walk.

#3 - Insured as a Dog Walker

Pet owners will be aware that you can never predict what might happen when looking after a pet, as unfortunately, accidents do happen. Having insurance in place might set a dog walker above others that might not. Quite often professional dog walkers will have their own pet care insurance and dog walkers who are just starting out might not. Booking a dog walker through Tailster covers you regardless, so individual insurance is not a necessity.

#4 - Flexibility

Usually, pet owners like to have a long term dog walker as it can take some time for their dog to feel completely comfortable with that person. Therefore, you want to be sure that the person you hire has flexibility and can cover walks at short notice if necessary. Having flexibility is essential for a profession like dog walking, as a pet owners schedule might change from week to week. Booking through Tailster allows pet owners to set up flexible requests to find carers in their area who are willing to work with a changing schedule. 

#5 - Someone Who Knows Their Way Around

You don't want your dog walker to check their phone at every turn, as this might mean they take attention off your dog. Make sure that they are familiar with your local area. A great professional will know each and every dog park in the area, and will be able to travel across your neighbourhood safely. Using the Tailster App allows you to see exactly where your dog has been on their walk across town with the tracked walks feature - the tracked walks are date and time stamped and provide the distance. 

#6 - A Dog (Breed) Expert

Not being a dog care professional shouldn't be a deal breaker. Nevertheless, you would want someone who is familiar with your dogs breed and able to respond to their needs. Certain breeds are prone to specific medical conditions, so its important for your walker to be aware of this and be able to spot symptoms should something arise. 

#7 - Intuitive

The perfect candidate would also be intuitive. You don't need a dog whisperer, yet having someone that is able to understand what's going on with your pet is the right way to go. Look for someone who is able to read and understand your dog and its needs.

#8 - Compassionate

When hiring the right dog walker, you want someone who is going to going to take a genuine interest in your dog's welfare and be able to sympathise with its needs as well as yours - so if you do need that last minute favour or have that sudden pet emergency you'll have someone there to understand. That's why you ideally want someone who's compassionate. 

#9 - Dedicated

Finding someone who is responsible and dedicated to their work is the right way to go. Having a dedicated walker by your side who is willing to learn the ins and outs of your dog's routine and preferences goes a long way towards ensuring a great experience both for you and your pet.

#10 - Your Dog Loves Them!

Last but not least, your dog should be the decision maker. If your dog has issues with your dog walker of choice, chances are you'll need to search for another candidate. But hey, dog walking is a growing industry, so you'll always have another option. Meet and greets are a great way of seeing how a walker and your dog get along and are highly recommended. Using Tailster means that you can receive multiple quotes from local dog walkers, leaving you to decide who you'd like to contact.

If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds - let’s see who we can find for you.