How to Choose a Great Pet Walker

Maybe you can’t take time off during your workday to go home and walk your pet, or you work too far away from where you live. Whatever the reason, you want to find a great, reliable pet walker to give your best buddy the exercise they need, when they need it.

Why you need a pet walker

Many pet owners today have demanding careers and busy lives that sometimes prevent them from walking their dogs as much as they'd like. To solve this dilemma, enterprising entrepreneurs are stepping in to meet the burgeoning demand. Do you need the services of a dependable pet walker?

If you are away from home for long periods of time, then yes, you will be happier and your animal companion safer with a pet walker who can take care of their needs when you cannot. If you are recovering from surgery and are not quite ready to take that walk around the block, you may need some help taking care of your four-legged friend. If you own a cat, the litter box is there when they need it and felines tend to sleep a lot during the day. But for your dog, a promenade allowing them to stretch their legs and relieve themselves is crucial if you are gone for hours on end. 

The benefits of hiring a pet walker

Can you (and your pet) benefit from a trusted walker?

Not only is the bathroom break an essential part of the day, but the mental stimulation that getting outdoors provides is paramount to your dog's happiness. The activity that results when a trusted pet walker appears helps alleviate boredom for your pet and gives them a bit of companionship in the middle of a long and lonely stretch of time. Exercise is a big part of the equation, too. Obesity and stress-related illnesses can be avoided when a canine has regular outings as a part of their routine.

Knowing that a dog walker is coming to your home and checking on your furry buddy also gives you peace of mind. You can concentrate on your job and focus on the tasks in front of you. You can then leave work on time to return home to your pet. Getting to know the person walking your pet can be a source of information, too. Not only will they be able to notify you of any unusual behavior your pet may have, but they can also give suggestions regarding diet and other care. If you are looking for another pet professional (such as a pet sitter or veterinarian) they may be able to give you some advice.

How to find a pet walker

  • Ask for referrals: Talk to your friends, family members, coworkers, veterinarian, groomer, trainer, and anyone else who is knowledgeable and trustworthy to recommend a pet walker.
  • Search for pet walkers in your area: A quick Google search will turn up pet walking agencies in your area. Look to a dog walking service like Wag!, which offers pet parents access to insured and fully-vetted walkers who go the extra mile to care for your dog.
  • Visit local pet stores: Sometimes pet walkers will post their information with local pet stores so that it will be seen by pet owners. This may help you find pet walkers who aren’t advertised online.

How to choose a great pet walker

Consider your pet's personality

Understanding what your pet needs is the first step in hiring a great pet walker. 

      • How frequently does your pet need to be walked?
      • What should the duration of the walk be?
      • Do you want your pet to be walked with other pets, or individually?
      • How qualified do you want your pet walker to be?
      • What price range are you comfortable paying someone to walk your pet?
Then, make a list of attributes or requirements that your ideal pet walker should have. Ask about their qualifications and experience. Choose a pet walker who is insured and bonded, so that any unexpected problems are covered. Make sure they are easily reachable and that there is a support system in place if something goes wrong.

You want your special buddy to get along with the person who is going to be taking them out and about every day. Arrange a meeting with the pet walker and your dog. If possible, have the pet walker take your dog on a walk around the block and gauge their reactions. If you decide on a company that organizes group walks, consider arranging a trial period where you are available to see how your pet fares with the other group members. Remember, if you prefer individual care for your pet, choose a pet walking service like Wag!, that provides one-on-one walks and playtime for your dog.

      • Will my pet be walking with other animals? How many?
      • What are the breeds of the dogs?
      • What kind of disposition do the other animals have?
      • Will you meet my pet?
      • Can we slowly phase my pet into the pet walking group?
      • Where will you be taking my pet for the walk?
      • How long will the walk last?

Consider your budget 

Make sure to discuss the pet walker’s rate and what that rate entails. Just because a pet walker is less expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best deal for your pet or even your pocketbook. Ease of booking and simplicity of payment are important factors as well.

      • How much do you charge and what does that include?
      • How can payment be made?
      • Will you pick up my pet from home and drop them off, or do I have to meet you?
      • Do you provide the waste pick up bags?
      • What is required from me to make this successful?
      • How frequent and for what duration will the walks occur?

By taking the process seriously and doing the research, you will find a great pet walker in no time, allowing your pet to receive the exercise they need without the extra stress in your life.

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