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The Do’s and Don’ts Of Paying a Walker

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Start the search by speaking with your dog groomer, friends who have someone walk their dogs, and the vet you take the dog to. Check bulletin boards in the community, such as those you see in grocery stores and pharmacies. Also check Craigs List for your area.

Once you have a list of names begin meeting these people while you have the dog with you. Observe how they relate to the dog and vice-versa. Ask for references and their qualifications such as have they been doing this for long, how do they deal with a stubborn or very strong dog, and other concerns that come to mind.

Meet with at least four or five of these individuals and then narrow the list down to two. From this number select the one you feel is the best match for the dog, but keep the other name on your list in reserve in case the first person turns out to be a bad match. Only time will tell as your first choice spends time walking the dog.

Are they on time, and do they give your pooch the full hour or more of exercise you are paying for? Does your dog look forward to the walks with this person? Is there any sign of abuse when the dog is returned? If any of these are apparent you need to contact the person in reserve to walk the dog.

Using a dog walker is a great way to ensure that the dog receives plenty of exercise while you are busy with other tasks.

Has this article been helpful? Please share your thoughts below.

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  1. Avatar Of Robert Brewer

    Robert Brewer


    Very timely article! Many of them who have pets don’t know how to treat them. It really doesn’t make a sense if you just have one. You should give them an opportunity to walk out there, socialize with other dogs in the park. It is not that you should pay attention at every time instead you can approach some pet care professionals to do it for you.

  2. I find it interesting that a pet-related web site is disseminating a decidedly unprofessional stance on dog walking. This article doesn’t emphasize the importance of finding a professional dog walking company, with properly trained staff, that maintain a business dedicated to proper care for pets while maintaining a professional business that includes bonding, insurance, background checking, training, on-call and back-up support.

    The article basically takes the stance that anyone can be a dog walker and you can find them anywhere. We, in the industry, refer to these dog walkers as “hobby” sitters. While you may find a professional sitter on Craigslist, there are exceedingly more sitters, on that site, that do not even have insurance, let alone, run a proper business.

    If you point out that the consumer should be concerned with making sure a dog walker stays the correct amount of time and that the dog seems happy, I would think you would see the importance of using a credible company with properly trained staff. Yet, your advice is to check local bulletin boards and Craigslist. While it’s possible you could find professional businesses advertising there, as I actually post on bulletin boards, there are several pet sitting professional organizations and referral web sites that a potential customer could utilize to find reputable companies. You mention none of these or the importance of a legally established, well-run company. These factors are better indications that a consumer will have a professional experience, as will their pooch.

    This article compares professional pet sitting to the kid next door that does it for pocket change. For a petcentric web site, supposedly dedicated to great care and love of a pet, I find this article to be irresponsible.

    • @Michelle Cohen,

      Your input is quite insightful; however, I wasn’t hoping that you provide names of the resources that you describe. This information, as you replied would have been valuable.

  3. You might add that they know dog first aid and have a basic training level for recall purposes, confrontations how to protect the dog if another dog attacks, if they are off leash walkers. That the walker has a set number of charges per walk and they are not what we like to call the clown car walkers, 7 to 8 dog in a fiat. But other wise great article. I do proof of happiness photos and videos, so clients actually know their dog is getting the exercise and stimulus they need.

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