You are busy, but your furry friend still needs a potty break & attention during your work day. Hiring a dog walker is a common practice, but beware of letting just anyone take care of your pet. Here are some questions to ask a dog walker during an interview:
- How long have you been walking dogs and how many different dogs do you walk in a week?
- Where do you take the dog and what other activities do you do with them (hiking, park, streetwalk, etc.)?
- Are you bonded and insured?
- What is the worst dog you have ever worked with and how did you handle the situation?
- What is your background and understating of dog behavior and breed specific traits?
- Did you ever have to break up a dog fight or pull your client’s dog out of a difficult situation? Can you explain what happened?
- Do you take only my dog or do you take other dogs on you trip and what are the temperaments of the other dogs?
- Do you have any training background or other professional experience with dogs?
- What made you decide to be a dog walker?
- What is the worst thing that has every happened on one of your walks, and how did you handle the situation?
- Do you see yourself doing the same job five years from now?
- What do you enjoy most about walking dogs?
Once you’ve made a decision, it’s normal (and encouraged) to set up some ground rules. Here are a few that we would start with:
- Make sure the person who you interview is actually going to be doing the walks
- Instruct they NEVER use their cell phone on a walk – it is very distracting and can lead to accidents
- Instruct they never go ANYWHERE that is not designated for the walk route
- Avoid other dogs – even if other dogs want to “meet” the dog DONT let them – you never know the temperament of another dog and its better just to avoid
- Don’t allow the dog to walk ahead, the dog will think she is charge and this can lead to behavioral issues
- Do not go to dog park
To summarize, a dog walker doesn’t know your pet the same way you do. Nor does he or she know the other dogs along the walk. To ensure your pets absolute safety, be careful in who you select as your dog walker.