Hiring a dog walker can be stressful: you’re seeking another human to spend a lot of quality time with your dog which, if you’re anything like us, is one of your favorite beings in the world. There’s a lot to consider. Will they be a good match? Will they be kind to your dog? Will they give him the special treats you hoard on top of the fridge?
We’re here to help, and alleviate some of that stress. After all, hiring a dog walker is supposed to make your life easier – not harder!
Check out the below for our four best tips on hiring a quality dog walker.
1. Do Your Research
We like to think of hiring a dog walker like hiring a babysitter – you’d never allow someone to take care of your children that you haven’t wholly checked out, so the same goes for our fur babies, too.
Fortunately, in today’s Internet age, you can scope out reviews on almost any company and service. Got friends with dogs? Ask them if there are walkers they love, or any that they recommend you steer clear of. Word of mouth is always of great use when you’re seeking to add a service into your life.
Examining what you need from – and how you’ll support – having a dog walker is also important. What days are crucial for someone else to help you? Are there days you won’t need the additional aid? And how will you shift your finances to accommodate your new expense? Doing this planning ahead of time will make the transition easy.
And once you pick your walker, always ask for references – and check them. If they’re reputable, they should have no issue passing those along.
2. Arrange a meet-and-greet
It’s vital to make sure that your dog likes the person you’re asking it to spend some time with. We spotted this tip on Thumbtack Journal, and can’t agree more. Even if you have the sweetest dog in the world (and we’re sure you do), sometimes a person and a dog just aren’t compatible. Arranging a meet-and-greet ahead of time between the two will help avoid any potential issues.
Invite the dog walker to your apartment for some playtime, or meet in a local park. It’s a good way to check your dog’s reaction to the new person. After all, no one knows your dog’s body language quite like you. And it’s a good chance for the dog walker to get to know their new client – both you and your fur baby!
Ultimately, Thumbtack Journal says, you “want someone who seems calm, organized and like she’s going to really love your dog and make sure he’s well taken care of.” Sounds logical to us!
3. Ask questions!
There’s no such thing as too many questions, especially if you’re leaving something you love in the care of another person. We bombard any prospective dog walker with probably too many questions – asking them what their preferred routes are, what their plans are for emergencies or behavior issues, and how many other dogs ours will be around during the day. It may be a bit uncomfortable at first, but it’s always better to have as much information as possible heading into the agreement.
Be sure to iron out the kinks well in advance – make sure you always know who will be walking your dog, establish a schedule (and get a sense of how flexible they are if you end up taking a spontaneous work from home day or vacation) and have a clear understanding of the cancellation policy.
Thumbtack Journal also recommends you ask about their training methods – a good measure to take to ensure you’re both on the same page. Even though you’re not necessarily asking them to take over training your dog, it’s a good way to make sure your methods align, and that everyone is on the same page. It’s also a chance to share your own methods, and underscore how important it is to you that the walker support your efforts.
And ask if they’ll leave a note! Most companies do, and it’s a great window into your dog’s day, while also allowing you to make sure everything is above board with your walker.
4. Be sure to utilize The Dartmouth’s amenities
One of the best aspects of The Dartmouth is how pet-friendly it is, especially for dog owners. The concierge services will help coordinate dog walkers for you, taking that stress off your plate. It’s nice to know you have a resource on hand to help schedule your walks, make sure they’re coming in and out of the apartment complex without issue… and also keeping an eye on their behavior around your dog (never hurts)!
Talk up the local attractions to your dog walker, too. It will help your dog’s transition into spending time with someone new if the surroundings are familiar. The Park District dog park is coming soon, and North Hills is just a short jaunt away. So if you and your pet are accustomed to walking the North Hills sidewalks, and playing in Midtown Park, make sure your dog walker knows it’s an activity they can enjoy together, too!
If you want to know more about these amenities – or anything dog-related at The Dartmouth – you can check our website, or call the leasing office at 919-373-3419. Good luck with your dog walker hunt – we’re sure you’ll find someone you, and your pup, love!