- How Do I Find a Reputable Dog Walker?
How can pet parents trust a dog walker or dog sitter to watch their cherished pets and take care of their home? How can dog owners know they can trust someone they don't know? An excellent place for dog owners to start would be recommendations from friends, family, FaceBook groups, or neighbors who are happy with their dog walking service.
Recommendations for dog walkers can come from vets, groomers, trainers, pet store owners, homeowners associations, or rescues, shelters. These industries are often cross-referenced for services, mainly because they not only serve the same locations, but these people tend to share the same passion for caring for animals. If someone YOU trust trusts the person or company is recommended, that's a great sign! It's also essential to look for a reliable dog walker who is bonded and insured, and certified with Pet Sitters International and The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. You can also search for local, bonded, and insured pet sitters through these websites. The Peaks Pet Nanny is a member of both, by the way!
What To Ask A Potential Dog Walker
Make a list of questions, and be sure your potential dog walker can answer those questions to your satisfaction. Examples can be: How long has your company been in business? How is dog walking scheduling handled? How is coverage arranged for my dog walking and dog sitting visits? What happens if my dog walker has an emergency? Will a back-up pet sitter take care of my pets? What payment forms do you accept, and how is payment handled? Does the pet sitting company have a dog walking app? How much pet care experience do you have? What services are included during my dog walking visits? Do you have dog training experience? Are dogs from different households walked together or taken to a dog park? And if your pet has special needs, be sure to ask about experience with separation anxiety, fears, potential aggressiveness, or administering medications.
How To Choose The Right Dog Walker
Finally, and maybe most importantly, meet the potential dog walkers or pet sitters ahead of time! Any reputable dog walker should include a free in-home consultation to become acquainted and learn your pet's care, personality and routine. Where is the dog food located? What kind of leash or harness is used during dog walking? Where does your dog like to walk, or perhaps playtime in the yard is preferred. See how they interact with your pets and with you! If all of your "reputable dog walker" boxes are checked, and the professional dog walker seems genuinely happy to be working with you and meeting your dogs, chances are you've found a good fit!
By Renee Miners
– The Peaks Pet Nanny Since 2005.
Professional Pet Sitter, Dog Walker, Wife, Mom, and Hockey Player.
Servicing Morris County, NJ