Updated: Jun 28
Hello, and welcome. Today’s topic is selecting a walker/ hiker for your dog. This may seem simple, but they should be put through an extensive vetting process. Knowing which walker/ hiker to pick for their beloved pup can be demanding for many pet owners. This post covers some tips to help you make the right decision.
First, consider your dog's size, energy level, and habits. Younger, energetic dogs might require a more experienced walker who can keep up with their physical and mental activity levels. Older or quickly distracted dogs may need a more patient walker to take them on shorter, slower walks. Or if your pup is laid back and loves to take their time, you'll want someone who can accommodate their needs.
Next, you'll want to consider how often you'd like your pup to go for a walk/ hike. Generally speaking, one time a day is enough for most dogs. Depending on your dog's health and personal needs, their walks may vary from 15 minutes to an hour. Consider whether the walker is able and willing to adjust the walk times to fit your pup's routine.
Speaking of routine, ensure that when you hire a dog walker, they agree to stick with the same time each day. Dogs thrive on consistency and predictability, so they must clearly understand what to expect each time they go out for their walk.
Now let's talk about safety. It is essential that the walker you choose is knowledgeable about canine behaviour and understands how to react around other dogs, particularly those that may be reactive.
You want to ensure that they have experience with situational awareness and can handle any situation that might arise. Ask them questions to understand better how they handle such cases and how they plan to prevent or reduce the chance of any issue occurring.
Knowing your dog walker's/ hiker’s skill set and experience is also essential. Ensure they have participated in training to understand better dog behaviour and how to act appropriately. Check with their previous clients to understand their reputation and references. You entrust a lot to this person, so you want to ensure they can be relied on. Ensure they only take 1-6 dogs per person.
It is also essential for your dog walker to be comfortable around other dogs with different breeds and temperaments. Knowing how to interact with other dogs properly is critical for keeping your pets safe. They should also have basic first aid knowledge in case an accident or incident occurs and proper protocol needs to be followed.
Finally, ensure the walker complies with laws governing pet care and walking within your area. They should have appropriate insurance for both their safety as well as yours. (Ensure your walker has pet first aid training, especially if they enter the woods.) Additionally, ensure that the walker is willing to provide references and has a good reputation among clients and other pet-related businesses in the area, such as ensuring dogs have trackers and are only allowed off-leash with an excellent recall. Being proactive and taking these extra steps can help prevent potential issues.
I hope this provided valuable tips to help you decide when picking a dog walker/ hiker. Remember, it's essential to take the time to find someone who can meet your pup's needs and provide them with the best care possible. Thank you for tuning in, and have a great day!