Most owners have trouble finding time to walk their dog. In today’s world, it is not uncommon for some people to use this as an advantage to earn money as dog walkers. Dog walking is a positive profession and can help an owner immensely in the pursuit of keeping their pet active and healthy. However, giving a random person your dog’s leash without understanding what it means to be a good walker is obviously going to do more harm than good. It is important that an owner, as well as the dog walker, know the exact qualifications it takes to handle someone else’s animal.
When researching a dog walker, there are many online resources to finding the perfect person. While they can prove to be useful, keep in mind that asking people you encounter in everyday life can sometimes lead to better results. Maybe your pet groomer has a reference, someone at a dog supply store could have ideas, a veterinarian can possibly give a list to chose from, or even a friend of yours has someone walking their dog. No matter what route is taken, the best way to make a choice is to set up a meeting with said individual at your house.
During the meeting, there are many questions you could ask, but only a handful that are worth asking. For instance, is this something the person is doing in order to make a quick buck, or are they experienced in the field? Do they have any particular basic training with dogs? Are their methods uncommon or ineffective? Have they ever encountered an issue during a previous walk? Do they know how to handle an emergency? What would they do if a dog has behavioral problems? But perhaps the main question that should be asked is whether or not this person walks multiple dogs at one time. And how do those animals act around each other?
An owner should also answer to some information as well, an example being if their dog has any medical conditions or issues being social. If it does interact well with other dogs and people, how does it act around those very same beings when you’re there, or not there?
After a laid back questionnaire, and things are still positive, have the dog walker meet the dogs, this in fact could even be done before or during the interview. Look at the body language of the person and how they are with dogs, usually this isn’t a concern, since they shouldn’t be doing this if they aren’t good with pets. Finally, go on a trial walk with the walker and your dog (or dogs), with you being present as an observer, watching how the walker handles your favorite animals.
The thorough steps taken should ensure a confident owner that they have found the right person to look after their dogs. In this day and age, there are more dog walkers than ever, people who are happy to assist in anyway they can in the well-being of your pet. But in order for you to continue to be a responsible owner, you must choose wisely.