If you are a dog owner, you’ve probably heard the old saying that “a tired dog is a good dog.” And, nothing could be further from the truth. Dogs have a primal need to walk and explore, and the simple activity of walking allows your dogs to get a healthy balance of both physical and mental stimulation. When dogs wake up in the morning, often contrary to how we feel when we wake up (tired and wishing we could keep sleeping), they are ready to go and have pent-up energy that they need to do something with. So when we don’t allow them to release that energy, it can have severe consequences on their behavior.
Unfortunately, with today’s on the go attitude for adults, sometimes life gets in the way. Thus, many dog owners are turning to dog walkers to help get their pup(s) outside during the day, and to release that energy in a positive manner.
But our dogs are our fur babies, so how do we decide on a good dog walker and ensure that our pups will be well cared for in the hands of a stranger?
Tips on finding the right dog walker
Just as you would in searching for childcare or a babysitter for your child, seeking a dog walker will take some research. And, after you have found a few options, there are some additional steps you should take before simply handing over the leash and moving on with your day.
- In addition to conducting your own research online, be sure to ask for recommendations from fellow pet owners, or the staff at your local pet store, veterinarian, or animal shelter. Often times, these professionals will have several recommendations that they can provide.
- Narrow down your candidates by inviting a few of them to come to meet your dog. Many dogs are wary when they are introduced to a new person for the first time, so don’t expect some magical friendship to form instantaneously. Rather, look for a walker who is calm yet assertive with your dog. And, pay attention to the body language and vocals that the walker uses to develop trust with your furry friend.
- Conduct a mini-interview with the walker at the time that they are interacting with your dog. In fact, a great option is to go on a brief walk with the walker and your dog, to test the interaction. During the walk, as the walker about where they will walk your dog, how long the walk will be, and if they or someone else will be the one to walk the dog. Also, be sure to get the walker’s background. How long have they been walking dogs? Are they licensed or insured? Do they know what to do in the event of a canine emergency?
At the end of your test walk and mini-interview, let the walker know that you will get back to them soon. Take a night to think about it, and then follow-up promptly (within 24 hours) with your decision. Your walker will appreciate your timeliness and responsiveness as just as you want to find a walker, they want to manage their business and will need to understand your decision so that they know if they should work your pooch into their schedule. Not only that, starting off on the right foot with a friendly follow-up will put you in positive favor with the walker, who will appreciate the respect you provided with the prompt follow-up.
If you’re in the Parker, Colorado area and are looking for a dog walker, contact Buff Pups at 813-528-6025 to learn more about our dog-walking services.
We would love to share our experience with you, and ultimately help you to provide your dog with a daily walk.