Chicago Dog Walkers
Steps to Finding the Right Dog Walker
When looking for a dog walker, it’s important not to find just anyone, but to find the right person for your dog. Making sure they have the right qualifications, are trustworthy, and will give your dog the attention and care he needs is essential. Here are some tips to guide you through the process of finding a long-lasting, trustworthy dog walker:
- Get names. Check the bulletin at your vet and local pet store, ask your fellow dog owners for referrals, or ask around at the dog park. You should aim to get around three to four names before narrowing it down to the right dog walker.
- Get references and actually call them. Even if you were recommended a walker, make sure they have a number of good reviews, even with high-needs dogs. If you expect private walks, verify they fulfill their promises.
- Check out their credentials. Are they experienced in dog training? Do they have the appropriate bonding and insurance? Were there any complaints? Have they ever left a dog unattended? The answers to these questions can help you determine their skills and level of experience.
- Create a behavior plan. It’s important that your dog’s behavior is consistent. For instance, if you’re training for specific behaviors or commands, make your walker aware of the methods you are using so they can practice with your dog. You should also alert your walker if your dog is uncomfortable around other dogs or children to reduce the risk of trouble.
- Test them out. Invite the walker over while you are home and take a test walk with your dog. Keep back and let them do the work. This will help you determine if they are a good fit for your dog and vice versa.
- Ask for the same walker. This is especially important if you’re working with a company or group. Your dog should be walked by someone they are familiar with and trust. Ask about what happens if a walker is sick or takes the day off. Alternative arrangements may be needed if your dog doesn’t work well with someone who is unfamiliar.