You want your dog or pup to be safe and enjoy exercise when you can’t take the animal for a walk. Many people who live in cities like New York city opt to choose a professional dog walker to take Fido on a stroll.
Hiring a Professional Dog Walker
In recent years, as the popularity of dog walking has risen, the marketplace has been flooded with dog walkers seeking canine companions. At this time, there is no real regulating body that dictates the qualifications for walking a dog professionally. Anyone can proclaim themselves a dog walker and start advertising for clients.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Dog Walker
Yes, walking dogs takes a degree of passion and dedication but it also takes skill and canine knowledge. You want your dog to be safe, especially if Fido is being walked in a group. There are questions that you should ask the would-be dog walker before hiring them to walk your beloved four-legged buddy.
Have you had any training in canine mentality, pack factors, and body language?
You want someone who knows how to read your dog’s body language and who is skilled in training methods. Placing two dogs together and expecting them to get along at all times is unreasonable. Dogs have a pack mentality and will continue to fight for pack leadership which means that squabbles can arise. A dog walker has to be able to judge which dogs are compatible to walk together. In addition, they have to know what to do if the two dogs start to fight.
How many dogs do you walk at once?
Many cities, countries, and parks limit the number of dogs that can be walked at one time together. However, others do not. You might see a dog walker with six or eight dogs or even 15 and 20 dogs. Remember every dog added to the group on a daily basis increases the risk of fighting and conflict which can lead to injury or lost dogs. Also, if a dog walker is trying to handle too many dogs at one time, then they can become easily distracted which means they are not paying attention to their surroundings and potential hazards such as autos on a busy roadway.
Do you walk alone or with another dog walker?
A walker who teams up with another dog walker might seem ideal but, in many cases, this can cause additional problems because the group of dogs expands substantially which means that the dog pack can become too large for safety. Ideally, you should have one dog walker and not two or more walking a multitude of dogs together.
Do you turn off your cell phone when walking?
A cell phone is a big distraction. If a dog walker is talking on the phone or staring at their phone screen, then they are not remaining vigilant to your dog’s needs.
What size dogs do you walk together?
You do not want small dogs to be grouped with bit dogs because the tiny dogs can easily be injured by the bigger animals in a fight, while playing or by being stepped upon. Also, remember, dogs are predatory animals. A larger dog’s prey drive might automatically be activated so that the dog attacks the smaller canine.
Are you licensed and bonded?
A professional dog walker should always be licensed and bonded.
Do you have certification to provide canine first aid in the event of an emergency?
A dog walker should know how to provide CPR to a canine and also follow emergency steps to ensure your dog’s health and safety.