Kenny Lamberti enlisted the services of a dog walker of his 14-year old terrier mix Rubin in his work working hours working in Washington, D.C., it was clear that was the right decision. The new dog walker sensitive to his dog quickly responding to any request Lamberti approached her and was considerate of his house (hanging the leashes in a neat manner and wiping up paw prints during muddy days) However, they also met most crucial requirement.
“When I’d come home to him,” says Lamberti who is the acting Vice President for Companion Animals at the Humane Society of the United States, “I could tell without a doubt that he was happy.”
If, like most dog owners, you view your dog to be an integral part in your life, choosing the right dog walker can be simple. In order to help you evaluate possible candidates Here are five questions which, according to pet-care experts, can help ensure that your dog gets the best treatment.
1. Can I reach out to some of your previous customers?
A reputable dog walker, whether part of a company or a sole operator, should not have any issues sharing the names of his clients. Reviewing online of walker reviews could be helpful, however, Lamberti cautions, those aren’t as reliable as personal reviews from other pet owners, who are able to provide specific information about the dog walker.
2. When is the best time to have an initial meeting with me and my dog?
As per Yvette Gonzales, who is a veteran dog walker who is also the head of New Jersey’s National Association of Professional Pet Sitters A meeting and greet with a potential pet walker who is new to the area is a necessity. In actuality, meetings–which allow you to observe the interaction of the walker with your dog and even discuss the specific requirements of your dog–should be requested by the dog person walking the dog. “If the pet sitter doesn’t require one,” Gonzales says Gonzales, “that should be a red flag to the pet parent.”
3. What would my dog’s normal stroll be like?
Because dog walkers generally have routines, like walks times, routes and protocols, you’ll have to determine whether they’re suitable for your pet. The most important things to be aware of, according to Ashley Morgereth, who owns the Frederick, Md.-based dog-walking service Ready Pet Go: Will my dog be walking on its own and with other pets? The length of the walk and what strenuous would your walks last? What kind of harness or leash should you put for my dog? What is your plan for handling my dog’s needs on bad weather days?
4. What should you do in an emergency?
In the rare, but devastating scenario that something occurs during the time your dog is the care of your walker, such as an injury or bite from a neighboring dog, the person walking the dog should be able create a precise and appropriate strategy for getting your dog to an hospital for animals and then contacting you and your dog’s veterinarian. Some dog-walking associations, such as Gonzales (including her own) are bonded and insured to protect against certain incidents while Others require their walkers to obtain certification in basic first aid for veterinary use. If these are matters that concern you then ask for the credentials.
5. What kind of everyday communication can I anticipate?
The best dog walker says Lamberti is one who will keep in touch with you at every when your pet is under their care. Some companies use online portals for logging the daily walks and you can keep track of your dog’s activities. Some walkers might want keep a record in your home following each visit to assure that they’ve been there. Most, however prefer to send a text message to you every time your dog is returned to their home. “My walker goes beyond the call,” Lamberti says. Lamberti. “She sends me photos. This lets me know that the dog I have is very special to her just as he is to me.”