When you’re looking into different dog walking services in your area, you’ll probably find that there are a few different companies that will be able to provide you with the service you need and expect. When it comes down to narrowing your choices, there are a few different things to look for to ensure you make the best decision.
The More References, the Better
As with many other services—think hairdressers or doctors—the easiest way to find a great dog walker is to get references from someone you know. If someone is happy with their dog walker, they’ll want to offer up the information. If you don’t know anyone who uses a dog walking service, many companies are happy to provide you with a list of reviews, testimonials, and references. You can also check online reviews to learn more about certain companies.
Security and Safety Concerns
Ask a potential dog walking company about what their policies are about insurance, both for if they get bitten or scratched by the dog as well as if something happens to the dog when the dog is in their care. Make sure they have policies in place regarding what to do about lost keys—will they change the locks on your home if that happens, or is that expense passed on to you? Find out what their skills are regarding first aid—if they are trained for minor issues, this can save a trip to the vet.
Of course, it’s important to actually like the person who will be walking your dog—or at the very least, be able to trust them with both your pooch and your house keys. Make sure to meet with the walker or walkers who would be dealing with your pet, and see which person or company you like the most. It may also be possible for you to bring your dog along for a meet and greet. Your dog may warm up to one walker but not the other and if you’re given the choice between one or the other, you can choose the walker your dog likes more.
Cost and Services
Last but not least, you’ll want to weigh the cost of the dog walkers against the service they provide. For example, if they charge extra for training, you’ll want to verify that they are qualified or certified to train dogs. If they aren’t, they could just be trying to overcharge clients for a sub-par service.
In general, it’s best to get referrals and also meet with a dog walker before you hire one, and also check out their prices, services, and certifications. By simply doing a bit of research, you’re sure to find the best dog walker for your pup.