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 a good 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.
So… what makes a good dog walker?
1. Are they a dog lover?
A good dog walker should have a genuine interest in looking after dogs. You can usually tell by simply watching the interaction between the walker and your own dog. This might seem like an obvious tip, but it’s one of the most important starting points!
2. Do they have a professional attitude?
All job roles require a certain degree of professionalism, and dog walkers are no exception. You wouldn’t 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.
A good dog walker is always on time (apart from exceptional circumstances), responds to messages promptly and provides you with daily updates during the walk.
3. Will you be covered by insurance?
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. Are they flexible?
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. This is because 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. Do they know the area?
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. How well do they understand your dog’s specific needs?
Not being a dog care professional shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Nevertheless, you would want someone who is familiar with your dog’s 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. Are they 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. Do they seem compassionate in case of a crisis?
You want someone who will take a genuine interest in your dog’s welfare. They should be able to sympathise with your dog’s needs as well as yours. Then, if you do need that last minute favour you’ll have someone who understands. With this in mind, compassion is a very good quality to find in a dog walker!
9. How dedicated to being a good dog walker do they seem?
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. Are they your dog’s favourite person (apart from you… ahem)?
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 with Tailster!
Meet and greets are a great way of seeing how a walker and your dog get along. Tailster strongly advises organising them prior to booking with the carer. Using Tailster means that you can receive multiple quotes from local dog walkers. This means you can decide who you’d like to contact and decide who is truly the best fit.
If you need any help finding a good dog walker 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.
Work, family and social commitments mean that there often aren’t enough hours in the day to give our pets the attention that they deserve. Maybe it’s time to find a good dog walker? Click here to find out how Tailster can put you in contact with hundreds of pet carers in your local area, meaning that you can rest in the knowledge that your pets are being well looked after.