by Mel Lee-Smith, freelance writer and managing editor at Wag!
Your fur-baby is part of your family — you won't entrust their care to just anyone. You need a dog walker who will treat your woofer like their own, even if they're just taking a quick spin around the block.
As fellow pet parents ourselves, we get it. We know how important it is to find an experienced walker who vibes with both you and your dog. That's why we compiled a few personality traits we'd look out for if we were booking a new dog walker.
Whether it's your first time booking a dog walker, or you need a new pet caregiver due to scheduling conflicts, we've sniffed out some key characteristics every dependable dog walker shares.
No pet parent wants their walker to leave them on read, especially on an unexpected late night at the office. And if your pup acts up while on a walk, you'll want to know right away.
Responsiveness is a key characteristic of a reliable dog walker. When you choose a dog walker on the Wag! app, you'll get text, photo, and video updates throughout your pup's walk. Plus, you can use the in-app chat feature to message your walker anytime.
Flexibility is a major perk of using an on-demand dog walking service — because life happens. You get stuck in traffic on your commute home and can't get back in time for walkies. You have a million and one errands to run and don't know how you'll find time to squeeze in a stroll.
For those hectic moments when there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day, having a dog walker on call is a lifesaver. After all, what's the point in booking a dog walker who only works the same hours as you do?
Do you avoid certain neighborhoods due to crowds or traffic? Is your doggo on a strict diet and can't eat fatty treats? Do you and your nature-loving Newfy use earth-friendly waste baggies? Your dog walker will respect your preferences. Just be sure to let them know what those preferences are!
A good dog walker knows their way around a leash, collar, and harness. They have a basic understanding of leash training fundamentals to keep your pup safe and under control while walking.
Many of the walkers on our platform specialize in walking dogs with bad leash manners like pulling and lunging. All of our walkers must pass a walking proficiency test that assesses their knowledge of best leash, collar, and harness practices. Applicants must also demonstrate they're adept at handling dogs in various real-life scenarios.
Reading reviews from other pet parents is a "grrreat" way to tell if a walker is dependable and experienced in caring for dogs like yours. When you book a dog walker through the Wag! app, you'll even get to see other achievements, like:
How many walks they've completed
Which breeds they work with frequently
How many pet parents consider them to be reliable
So now you know what characteristics to look for in a new dog walker. But there's just one problem: there are so many reliable walkers in your area to choose from! How do you narrow it down to just one? Here are 3 top tips for finding your pupper's "pawfect" match!
Get the scoop on your walker's pet care experience. Here are a few examples to get you started:
Do you have any other relevant experience in pet care? (volunteering, pet parenting, working as a vet technician, etc.)
What experience do you have walking dogs like mine?
Do you know leash training basics?
Meet up with your preferred dog walker so you can observe how they interact not just with your dog, but also with you. Good dog walkers are friendly and polite to both hounds and humans!
Booking a dog walker through the Wag! app? Your first meet-and-greet with a 20-minute walk is FREE!
Setting some ground rules is the best way to establish mutual respect and prevent mix-ups. Before your pup sets out on their first adventure with their new walker, chat about your dog's needs and boundaries. These might include:
Areas your dog doesn't like to be petted
What triggers their anxiety or fear
Exercise limitations (old age, physical conditions, etc.)
Simplify your search for a dog walking superstar with Wag!, America's favorite pet care platform. 95% of all pet care services through Wag! end in a flawless 5-star review. Our Pet Caregivers are licensed, insured, and experienced for your peace of mind. Plus, every walk you book helps dogs in need! Thanks to dedicated pet parents like you, we've donated a portion of the proceeds from every walk to provide over 10 million meals to shelters across America.
What are you waiting "fur"? Download the Wag! app and find your pup's perfect match today!