Your dog needs to go out everyday and sometimes, several times a day. From time to time or regularly, you may need someone to take your furry friend out for a walk for you when you can’t do it yourself. This is when you’ll need a dog walker.
Finding a trustworthy dog walker
Easiest said than done. A quick search on the Internet will bring you dozens of results. If you’ve never hired a dog walker before, you may have plenty of questions. Here are a few tips to help you find the best person to walk your dog:
Ask around you
If you need someone occasionally, you can start by asking people around you. Friends, family or even a neighbour: someone may be happy to spend some time out with your dog. This is a very convenient solution as it won’t cost you much (if nothing at all) and will be comfortable, both for you and your dog. There’s nothing like trusting your house’s keys and your furry friend to someone you already know!
Ask for recommendations
Ask fellow dog owners or your local pet shop if they know anyone they could recommend. Happy customers are always happy to give a good recommendation and to share insights. You could also ask your vet or turn to your local shelter: volunteers often offer pet sitting services.
Use a specialised company
There are plenty of pet sitting companies that connect dog owners with prospective dog sitters. The best is to use one that has a large network to make sure you find dog walkers in your area.
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How much does a dog walker cost?
The price you’ll pay will depend on your dog size, the duration of the walk, the dog sitter’s experience, your exact location, and your requirements. Prices in big cities are always higher than those in smaller towns. A 30-min dog walk costs £12 on average.
Hiring a dog walker: the things you should know
Just like human parents never let their children into the care of the first babysitter available, dog parents shouldn’t leave their dog with a stranger without making sure of a few things.
The more, the better. Ask any potential dog walker about their experience or training: can they deal with big dogs? Can they deal with sick dogs or dogs with disabilities? Do they know how to react in case of emergency? Do they often walk dogs? Do they have any reference they can share? Are they insured?
You may feel like it’s a lot of questions. It is. But that’s the only way to make the best, informed choice. After all, your dog’s safety depends on it.
Meet in person
Once you’ve found the right person, arrange to meet in person. This is an essential step, especially if you’ve only chatted online. Bring your dog with you to the meeting. You’ll be able to see how your potential dog walker behaves towards your dog. You’ll also see how your furry friend reacts. At this stage, work out the last details: rates, duration and frequency of the walks, preferred itinerary, and emergency contact details.