Ask Amy: How do I choose a dog walker?

April 5, 2012

Q: How do I choose a dog walker?

A: Very good question. I have been dogwalking 15 yrs and have had to hire dog walkers for my own dogs. Firstly, stay away from larger services/agencies. You will never be able to have a one on one, straight forward relationship with the person who will actually be caring for your dog. You may love the dog walker you get and they can leave the company and you will get reassigned another dogwalker, that you won’t be choosing. Look for smaller companies, or better yet an independent dog walker. You will use the same criteria that you would for a babysitter. Most sitters do not have websites, but they should have references. You should have a good feeling about your potential dog walker, go with your gut and call their references. Ideally, you can find your dogwalker through a neighbor, friend, doorman, etc… Best to have a first hand referral. I actually stopped a dog walker in my neighborhood to hire my current dogwalker and he has been great. Dogwalking tends to attract people in transition in their lives, retired people, artists or persons unable to hold more structured jobs. It is very important to really use your best judgement in terms of your sense of the person. Also, to really cover yourself, request a photocopy of their driver’s license if you want additional security.

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