According to one study, the average dog owner spends about five hours a week taking walks with their furry friend. With our busy lifestyles and people working more than ever, it may be difficult for you to find time to exercise your pooch as much as he or she needs.
Have you considered hiring a professional dog walker to help keep your dog happy and healthy? Here are four tips for how to find the perfect dog walker for you and your dog's needs.
1. Make Sure to Ask for References
If you're interested in dog walking services, you should ask prospective candidates for references. These will help you get to know the person you could hire to take care of your animal companion.
Before calling or meeting with the references, try to make a list of things to ask them about the dog walker. For instance, you might be wondering how they took care of the animals of their other clients.
Reliability is also a very important factor in choosing someone to walk your dog. Ask the references if they were given notice about schedule changes or had trouble getting ahold of the dog walker.
2. Go for a Test Walk Together
If you are on the fence about hiring a dog walker, you can always invite them over to walk your dog as a test run. This way, you can see how they interact with each other and what the walker's style is while handling your dog.
Make sure to observe how they control the leash and handle other situations, like running into other dogs. For instance, if your dog happens to be more hyper, see how the dog walker keeps your dog under control.
You should also make the dog walker aware of any health problems that your dog has that can affect how he or she walks. If your dog has bad knees, for example, then it might be a good idea to avoid hills or inclines.
3. Ask About Formal Training or Qualifications
Even though you may want to hire the dog walker based on their references, it may also be a good idea to ask about any other training that they have. If the dog walker works for a pet company, it is likely they had to go through some education for their role.
For special needs or aggressive dogs, you may be better off with a dog walker that is trained to handle those specific types of animals. That way, you can feel comfortable and safe letting someone else handle your canine.
Formally trained dog walkers will often know the best techniques for helping your dog through any situation while on a walk. You will feel more secure when sending your dog on a walk with a qualified professional.
You Can Find the Perfect Dog Walker
With these tricks, you can find a dog walker that best suits you and your pup. Want more information on all things pet-related? Contact us for answers to your questions.