How to find a dog walker
- Asking for recommendations: friends, other dog owners and your vet may know a trustworthy dog walker in your area.
- Reading reviews: reputable dog walkers will be happy to show you references or reviews they’ve received from other clients.
- Looking for licences: some councils require dog walkers to be licenced. It’s easy to find out if that’s the case in your area by checking your local council website.
How to choose a dog walker
- Meeting up: before you send your dog off on walkies, it’s a good idea for you and your furry friend to see whether you get along with a new dog walker. Plus, it’s a great time to ask any questions you might have.
- Transport: some dog walkers will pick up pups in a vehicle. If they do, it’s important to make sure their vehicle is kept clean and disinfected regularly, and your dog will be safe and comfortable in a harness or a crate.
- Insurance: all professional dog walkers should have third-party liability insurance that’ll stipulate how many dogs they can walk at once.
- Training: it’s worth checking what training your dog walker has. This should include canine first aid.
Getting set up
Once you’ve met a dog walker you’re happy with, there are a few things it’s worth agreeing with them to make sure your pup is in the best possible hands. We’d recommend drawing up a contract so everyone’s on the same page.
- Emergencies: in case anything goes wrong, it’s a good idea to decide whether you’re happy for a dog walker to take your pet to the vet, or if they should call you first.
- Equipment: if you’d prefer your dog to be walked using their own lead, muzzle or coat, it’s worth letting the dog walker know.
- Snacks: it’s important to agree what treats your dog is allowed on walks and how many. Some dog walkers can also arrange to feed your dog.
- Training: you and your dog could show the walker what commands you’re used to using, so that they can keep it consistent.
- Other dogs: if your dog is going to be walked with other dogs, it’s best to make sure you’re happy with the other kinds of dogs on the walk. If your dog hasn’t been neutered or is in season, it’s important you tell the dog walker.
- Schedule: whether you’re after someone to give your dog an extra walk occasionally or exercise them every day, it’s useful to agree when, how often and for how long they’ll walk your dog for each time.
- Cancellation: it’s worth agreeing a notice period in case any walks need to be cancelled.
You’ll want your dog to be on its best behaviour when out for walks so why not take a look at our 10 top tips for training your dog for helpful advice.