Tips for Choosing a Dog Walker

As dog owners, we know you’ll want to spend as much time as possible with your canine companions! But as work and other pesky commitments get in the way, your pooch might not be able to join you on all of your adventures. If you’re out of the house for long periods of time, it might be a good idea to hire a dog walker. Dog walkers can help dogs who suffer from separation anxiety, and no matter how house trained your furry friend is, they can’t hold it forever! When hiring a dog walker, however, it’s important to ensure you’re making the right decisions. After all, they’ll have a set of keys to your house and they’ll be taking a member of your family out daily! That’s why, at The Insurance Emporium, we’ve put together our guide to choosing a dog walker!

Recommendations

One of the easiest ways to tell if you should trust a dog walker is through simple word of mouth. Ask local friends or family for recommendations, or get some advice from your veterinary practice. If you’re using an online service to find a dog walker near you, try to get in touch with any reviewers to see what they have to say. You should also ask for references from your potential dog walking candidate, and follow them up with a quick phone call.

Meet Them Face to Face

Once you’ve selected a potential new dog walker, you should always meet with them face to face. You’ll get a better sense of who they are, and can make sure your dog is comfortable around them. Your initial meeting is also a great opportunity to ask plenty of questions, including:

– How many dogs do you take out at once?

– Are the other dogs you walk vaccinated?

– Do you have a contingency plan, in case a dog is lost or injured?

Make sure the dog walker is asking the right questions about your pup, too. Look out for questions on vaccinations, as well as de-fleaing and deworming routines. If they’ve asked you, they’ve probably asked their other clients too, which could indicate your pooch is in safe hands!

Approved and Insured Dog Walkers

When you meet them, you’ll also want to ensure your dog walker has the correct qualifications, insurance and documentation. Whether you’re looking for a dog walker or a pet sitter, they’ll most likely have access to your home, so a valid criminal record check such as a DBS check might be more than worthwhile. It’s also a good idea for them to have insurance, in case anything unexpected happens; ask them what they’re covered against. Although no specific qualifications are needed to be a dog walker or pet sitter, you need to know that your pet is in good hands. Look for pet-related experience, like dog walking, pet sitting, veterinary work or even volunteering in pet shelters.

Home Visits and Pet Sitters

If you’re away from home for longer periods of time, you might want to think about hiring a pet sitter for your dog or cat. Having somebody look after your pets in their home environment can be much more comfortable for them than boarding kennels or catteries, and is a great option for pets who are ageing or have any special requirements. A pet sitter can also double as a house sitter, with the added benefit of providing extra security for your home while you’re away.

Take a Walk

Once you’re just about certain you’ve chosen a new dog walking pal for your pup, you could make sure you’re getting bang for your buck by going on a trial walk. Taking a walk with them will let you know how your pup gets on with the rest of the pack, and could give you an indication of how the walker interacts with their dogs. Even if they’re on their best behaviour in front of you, you should be able to get a good idea of their temperament and training styles to make sure they’re a good fit for your furry friend!

We hope this guide helps you to choose the right dog walker for your four-legged friend! If you’re a pet parent, you might want to think about taking out insurance for your pup. At The Insurance Emporium, our Dog Insurance can include Standard Benefits like cover for Vet’s Fees up to £8,000,* and you could even receive up to 30% discount!^ Grab your lead and walk on down to The Insurance Emporium to find out more!

* Vet’s Fees cover up to £8,000 available on lunar monthly Lifetime Gold policies.

^ The 30% discount is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Multi-pet Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.

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