There are many times I find myself wondering where I can find the best pet walkers near me, especially when my schedule or timing prevents me from walking my pet for myself.
Whether your dog is an active breed or more of a coach potato, every dog requires some form of physical exercise.
So, what do you do when you have physical limitations that prevent you from going for a run with your dog? Or a schedule that doesn’t allow it? Or a job that sees you travel frequently? That’s when I search for pet walking services near me, and I always suggest that everyone with these kinds of limitations do so as well.
I’m fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood where there are several pet walkers near me. But how do I always single out the best dog walking services near me and most appropriate fit for my pet when the need arises? Here are a few pointers to help you along.
Ask For Recommendations
A good place to start is to ask around for referrals and suggestions. You are a pet parent, therefore chances are that you know other pet lovers. Turn to them for referrals. Ask your family members too. Chances are that they have had a great experience and won’t hesitate to share aa great pet walker’s contact information with you.
Another way would be searching online. I’ve had success in finding pet walking services near me using this method.
Conduct a Brief Telephone Interview
Once you have a list of potential dog walking services near me, give them a call. Life today leaves us with very busy schedules. There’s no point in physically interviewing a long list of potential pet walkers when you can shortlist them over the phone.
During the interview, be sure to ask specific and important questions.
These may include:
- How long will they walk your pet?
- Will they be walked with other dogs?
- How will they be introduced to other dogs they may be walking with?
- Will they pick up your pet from your home?
- How do they manage access to your home?
- Do they have a valid police check?
- Do they know pet first aid procedures?
Introduce Your Pet
After conducting an interview over the phone and settling on two or three potential pet walkers, it’s time for the next step. Introducing your pet to the potential pet walker.
What you want to look out for is how the two initially interact. Dogs are very intuitive and it’s very important to note the signals they give during this first meeting. Is your dog excited about them or do they cower? You could also take a test walk and see if they are a perfect match. Settle on the person whom your dog seems most comfortable and happy around. Personally, this is the point where I start to get comfortable with the notion that I might have just found the best pet walking services near me.
I’ve now found a pet sitter near me. What comes next?
It’s now time to get down to business. It’s time to get down to the specifics of your pet. Be very careful not to leave out any information. This could potentially endanger your pet. Divulge important information such as:
- Your complete contact information. Email address, phone numbers and any other way you can be contacted. This is important incase your pet walker runs into an emergency of any sort.
- Share your pet’sveterinary information. Most pets have a preferred vet close by so share their details with your pet walker.
- Share information about any type of medication your pet may be taking. Have the medication clearly labeled, complete with the dosage and medication time. They might have to administer the medicine to your pet so might want to show them exactly how it’s done.
- Most of the time, you will not be around when your walker comes. You might have to share your alarm code if you have one. If you aren’t comfortable with this, install one that can be controlled remotely so you don’t have to share the code with them.
Share the location of your pets supplies; leashes, toys, treats and so on.
Draw a Contract
For the sake of peace of mind for all parties involved, it’s advisable to draw a contract. This way all three parties are well taken care of and everything that is expected is clearly put down on paper.
Some of the things I always include in contracts with pet walking services near me include:
- Where they will walk my pet
- Whether they walk multiple dogs at the same time or exclusively mine
- What times of the day they will walk my dog
- How long every walk will take
- If they are have any first aid and emergency skills
- If they are licensed, insured and bonded
- If they are comfortable handling other tasks in the house like watering the plants and bringing in the mail
- What their cancellation policy is and what happens in the event that they are physically unable to work on any given day
- What the cost is and how often they expect the payment to be made
Finding the perfect pet walker isn’t an easy task and cannot be taken lightly. So how do I always end up landing the best pet walkers near me? Follow the steps I’ve just shared with you, they haven’t failed me once!