The busy pace of life and demands of the working day means that many may not be able to find the regular time needed to walk with their dog during the day. This is where the professional dog walker comes in. The task of choosing a dog walker is one we should approach with care, as finding the right dog walker is important to your dog’s health and well-being.
One of the best ways of finding a canine professional, including choosing a dog walker, is to find recommendations from other dog guardians that you know have a kind and ethical approach to life with their dogs. The other guardians will be able to reassure on the handling methods and way in which the dogs are treated while out for their walk and that their dogs are happy and content when they come back from a walk.
If personal recommendations are not available to you when choosing a dog walker then a little detective work is needed. Have a look at their website and the social media accounts attached to their business. Read any reviews found on their pages and look through some of the posts they have put on. Do any dogs in photos look happy and as if they are enjoyed their walk? Is there any evidence of aversive equipment in sight? Does any of the language they use when talking about the dogs make you feel uneasy or unsure about how they would treat your dog?
If everything in their online presence seems fine to you, the next step in choosing a dog walker is to contact them. An ongoing conversation is often the best way to assess whether a professional is going to be a good fit with your dog. Ask about the handling methods they use, to ensure that they are kind, ethical, and positive in their approach. What qualifications do they have? Ask about their transport – is it safe and comfortable for your precious family member to travel in? How many dogs do they walk at the same time? How much care is put into introducing dogs that may walk together to ensure they are a good combination? Does the walker have an up to date first aid qualification? Do they have adequate insurance if something happens while they are the ones in control of your dog? Do they have any experience in walking dogs that have any behavioural quirks that your dog may have? Once all of these questions are answered to your satisfaction, there is one more vital step in choosing a dog walker. Will the walker come and meet your dog while you are there, so that you can be sure your dog will be happy to go with them and reassure yourself that the walker will have your dog’s welfare very much in mind. An excellent and ethical dog walker will want to meet the dog, go for an introductory walk with the guardian perhaps, and find out all that they need to know about the dog’s likes, dislikes, and needs, so that they can provide the best service and experience for all the dogs in their care.
There are many excellent dog walkers in business, but also some who do not put the care and attention into dogs that we would wish for our own dog. By spending time on researching and careful selection when choosing a dog walker, you can be sure of finding your dog a new friend who will help to enrich their lives massively.