How to choose a dog walker

Lets face it, having a dog is lots of fun, but lots of work too. Many of us have a busy lifestyle and can’t always take out Fido for a good long walk or run every day. Wouldn’t it be nice to come home to a tired and happy dog versus a wound up one full of unburned energy? Puppies and older dogs often need to go outside to do their business more frequently. A dog walker sounds like the perfect solution. But how to pick a good one?

Ask friends and neighbours with dogs if they have any recommendations. Your veterinarian’s office may be able to put you in touch with a walker. Check with your groomer, your dog trainer, your local animal rescues and shelter workers.

When you get in touch with a dog walker, it is best to ask a lot of questions. After all, they are going to be looking after your furry child! Here are some things to consider:

  • Will your dog be walked with other dogs or by themselves?
  • Where will you be taking my dog-to a park, around the neighbourhood, or on a trail?
  • What kind of experience do you have with dog training?
  • What if you cant make it to my house?
  • What if my dog gets sick while you are walking them?
  • Do they have training in animal CPR?
  • What is the usual length of a walk? On or off leash?

Your potential new dog walker should be wanting to come to your home to meet you and your dog. They should provide references. Watch how your dog interacts with them. Unless your dog is fearful of strangers, they should love your dog walker right away. Dog walkers are people that LOVE dogs and want to make your dog happy. If they don’t seem excited to meet your dog, that’s a red flag.

Your dog walker should ask YOU lots of questions as well. Your dogs allergies, medications, how she is off leash, with other dogs, with strangers, who your vet is, and emergency contact numbers.

When I first moved back to Nova Scotia with my 2 dogs and many cats, I was happy to find a good dog walker right away. She comes once a week to give my girls a good walk on my busiest working day. I know she’s been here because she posts fun pictures of the snuggles and walks on Facebook and leaves me notes if anything unusual happens. The peace of mind and well exercised, tired dogs are worth it!

Dr Celeste Forgeron DVM