Chances are, you have a lot going on in your life — perhaps too much at times. You have many plates in the air, and any help is much appreciated. These days, dog owners are turning to professional dog walkers to take an important daily task off their hands.
What many dog parents don’t realize is that dog walking is a young business with no regulating body to guide standards of care or qualifications for the work. After all, it takes more than a love for dogs to qualify one as an excellent dog walker.
Below are five questions to ask of anyone you are considering hiring to walk your dog. Give us a call and ask us these and more — we’d love to get to know you and your pup!
1. What size dogs do you walk together?
Dogs should be walked together according to size – small dogs together and larger ones together as well. Small dogs can become injured too easily when playtime gets rough. Even dogs who know each other should be grouped by size. The best bet is to stick to the 50 percent rule: If your dog weighs 20 pounds, his or her leash mates should weigh no more than 40 pounds.
2. How many dogs do you walk at once?
Perhaps you’ve seen dog walkers escorting as many as 15 or 20 dogs at once. While it may seem impressive at first, walking so many dogs raises the potential for fighting, injury and distraction. And, giving each dog the attention he or she deserves is almost impossible in such a situation. While we are happy to walk as many dogs as your family has, we will only walk up to three at a time to keep your pet safe, happy and well-cared for.
3. Are you insured and bonded?
Any professional walker should hold insurance and be bonded to protect you and your home. WalkOn maintains a comprehensive liability insurance policy and bonding through Business Insurers of the Carolinas.
4. Do you have a service contract and references?
Your dog walker should offer references for your review and follow-up. You should also be asked to sign a contract to clarify the dog walkers’ responsibilities as well as your own.
5. Are you certified in canine first aid?
What happens if a dog is injured while in your care? Do you have procedures in place? Be sure your walker has a clear plan for emergencies. After being employed sixty days, WalkOn requires that each employee complete Cat & Dog First Aid and CPR Certification offered by Pet Care Pro.