Dog Walkers

I’m currently researching for a new walker for Jake and Truly. I don’t leave Jake and Truly often, but there are times when I need someone to pop in and make sure they have an opportunity to stretch their legs and go to the loo.

It won’t surprise you to know that I (like you I’m sure) am selective about who I trust with Jake and Truly. I thought in this blog I might share my thought process with you, in case you too are planning a ‘normal’ life post lockdown.

Where we live there seem to be leaflets appearing through the letterbox on a weekly basis with yet another new dog walking service (and landscape gardeners too, for some reason?).  I know when I’ve asked other dog owners locally, that there’s a plethora of different types of businesses operating. From commercial ventures with branded vans offering group walks, to individuals offering 121 local walking.

So, what do I look for in a dog walker?

The main areas for me would be:

  • Dog walker experience with positive client references
  • Registered with the council if required
  • Business insurance – more than third party liability
  • DBS checked (I’d also want to know exactly who is providing the service, who has access to my home, and that my house key is stored securely)
  • Canine first aid qualification and a kit to hand
  • I’d expect a questionnaire asking me about my dogs and the walking services we need
  • A contract

I’d also ask:

  • Do you offer one to one (or one to two) walking?
  • If in a group, how many dogs do you walk at a time?
  • How do you match the dogs to know they get along?
  • Will you be transporting my dogs and if so, will they be secured safely in transit?
  • How long will they be in the vehicle?
  • Where and how long do you walk them for?
  • What happens if a dog runs off whilst in your care?
  • What happens if a dog is unwell/injured in your care?
  • What arrangements are in place if the walker is sick/injured/on holiday

With all the years of having dogs there is one experience that has stuck with me. When Jake was younger (not long after he joined me), he was being cared for by someone while I was in the office. Despite me asking for Jake to be walked on a lead, in the middle of the afternoon I received a voice message from someone who’d found Jake running loose by a main road. What compounded the situation for me was that despite me calling the walker as I rushed home from work, they didn’t even answer their phone!

A good walker will be happy for you to have a trial walk, and will want to assess your dog before you become a client. The trial is also beneficial as you can be around when your dog is collected, and when they are returned. It gives your dog an opportunity to get used to the arrangements, you can show the walker where things are, and you will feel more comfortable arranging walks for when you aren’t there.

Additional information

The Dogs Trust have a helpful guide and you can read more about it here.

Enjoy the sunshine this Easter weekend

Until next time

Jen

 

 

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