It is essential to ensure that the person you are hiring to walk your dog; is an animal lover. There is a difference between someone who loves to spend time with animals and someone looking to make a quick buck by doing the job.
So, before you hire the person to potentially do the job you should introduce the person to your dog and see the way that they are interacting.
Watch the walker’s body language when they are walking with your dog. You also need to pay attention to the way that your dog is reacting to them.
It is pretty easy to spot someone who loves dogs. You would want your dog to walk with someone who would care for them.
What is their experience or background?
A dog walker might be a dog lover but they may not have dogs themselves. It is crucial to ensure that your walker has some practical experience in this regard.
They will need to understand the behavior and body language of your dog. They should be able to differentiate between fear and aggression, and excitement and relaxation.
Apart from your dog, they should be able to understand these things in other dogs as well. You may take this for granted because you know the way to read them properly.
They must be physically capable of handling your dog
Someone walking your dog must be able and confident. You have to find a person comfortable with the size and breed that your baby belongs to. In this case, you would have to consider how you have trained your dog.
So, when your big dog starts to pull the leash when they see another animal, your walker must be strong enough to ensure that they do not bolt.
The time for which they would walk the dog
In most cases, people walk their dogs for around 20 to 30 minutes a day. At times, this may also include your dog walker dropping off and picking up your baby for the walk.
Therefore, you must always ask them how long they would be doing the work. If your furball has a lot of energy and needs to walk more, you need to find someone ready and capable of matching their energy levels.
How reliable they are
A dog walker needs to be responsible and punctual. You need to check how prompt they are when communicating with you. They must be on time for your first meeting together.
You must always ask for references and get in touch with some clients to ask them how their experience has been working with them. It is something that you must never ignore in these cases.
Talk to them about the expectations they have. Have a trial period where you see how well they are following instructions.
Would they be walking your dog alone or with other dogs?
It is a significant question that it can make or break the deal. Quite often, dog walkers meet up with their colleagues. In other cases, they may be walking more dogs at a time.
At times, this could be as high as four to five dogs at a time! It is a common sight in the cities. If a dog walker is handling several dogs at once, there is always a high chance your dog could get lost or get in a tiff with others.
How to deal with bad weather?
You have to ask the walker what they would be doing in case of bad weather. You would not want your dog to go out during a lightning storm or tornado. However, they should not stay home in only rain or snow.
However, it should be acknowledged that if the weather outside is too hot, it could cause issues for senior dogs and ones with a thick coat.
The walker should be able to recognize any sign that your baby is getting overheated to avoid heat-related exhaustion.
Where do they live? How well do they know your area?
It is always better if the dog walker lives close by as then they would be able to come on time more often than not. This way, they would also be able to walk your dog on short notice a schedule change.
This way, they would also be more familiar with the local routes for walking. It means that they would be able to give your dog the best possible walk in the circumstances.
Are they asking questions about possible emergencies?
If the walker keeps asking questions regarding potential emergencies, it shows they are experienced and can anticipate issues that may crop up later on. Your walker must have the contact information of the vet.
This way, they would be able to take them to emergency veterinary care if something goes wrong with them while they are walking.
If you do not see the walker asking any such question, it means they are not experienced enough. The dog walker should also be asking questions about the behavioral issues of your little one.
How well does your dog like them?
The ultimate decision of hiring the person in question depends on your dog. All you need is to see if they like the person, to be precise.
Therefore, it is imperative to have a meet and greet thus involving both before hiring such a person. This way, you would be able to check out their chemistry.
An ideal way to find out how suitable they would be for the job is to let them walk your dog for a short while, even as you stay back at home. If your dog goes willingly with them, it is a good sign.