How Do I Choose A Dog Walker For My Dog?

Remember as a child you thought getting a dog meant having a companion who you could play and cuddle with? Then as we grew in to adulthood we realized that having a dog is play, cuddles and a lot of responsibility! One of the biggest commitments to your dog is their daily exercise yet you work long hours and struggle with having the additional time or energy to walk your dog every day. In this post we will answer the questions you may have about hiring a professional dog walker in Island, Skagit and Snohomish Counties.

How Do I Choose The Right Dog Walker?

There are many people offering their services to walk your dog. What you need to know is that there are two types of walkers:

The Hobbyist Dog Walker

This is someone who typically will do dog walking and pet sitting as a way to spend some time with pets and earn some extra money. They are most likely not insured, not covered by workman’s compensation, haven’t had a background check, received any training, nor available full time. They are also unlikely to have a backup to step in for them if they have car problems, an illness, injury or a family emergency. You can find them through apps such as Nextdoor and Rover. Some may even have a Facebook page but it’s not an official website.

The Professional Dog Walker

A company who is registered legally as a business and is insured, licensed, bonded and has invested in a website. They have systems and processes in place to give clients peace of mind and make their experience very smooth. An online booking system allows you to conveniently request and pay for your services at any time. A visit report is sent with updates and images of your pet after every visit so you can carry on fulfilling your other obligations. You can often find a professional walker in your area by typing in “dog walker” into a Google search. Explore the different options and see which company would be the best fit for your pup!

How Long Is A Dog Walk?

Most walk visits can last anywhere from 20-60 minutes. Each dog is different and each walk is different. Senior pups will walk at a slower pace and do what we call a bumblebee walk, stopping at every plant and enjoying the smells before heading back inside. Some may be full of energy and need more exercise while others are just happy to play ball in the backyard. Regardless of the type of activity your dog enjoys, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that your dog will be relieved, entertained and happy!

I’m Nervous About A Stranger In My Home

Your two most prized possessions are your pet and your home and trust can be a deal breaker when it comes to letting someone come in to your home to care for your pet. If you choose to hire a hobbyist dog walker, be sure to ask for multiple references and question their experience with caring for pets. Ask them what their backup plan is in case of an emergency.

If you choose to hire a professional dog walker, they should be licensed, insured and bonded for your protection. If your walker was injured on your property, do they carry workman’s compensation (to avoid being sued). They should have a system in place to notify you after each visit and they should have trained professionals caring for your dog.

Will My Dog Go For A Walk When It Rains?

This is the norm when one lives in the Pacific Northwest. If your dog normally goes for a walk in the rain, then we will walk! Give your walker a heads up that your dog likes to go and whether they have a raincoat or sweater and we will get to walking! However, not all dogs like the rain and would prefer a quick potty break and spend the remainder of time indoors playing and snuggling, let your walker know that as well. We ask that you leave a towel in an easily accessible location so we can dry those wet paws and bellies after playing in the rain!

How Do I Know My Walker Was There?

Transparency is the key when building a relationship between you and your walker. We start building that trust from the moment you visit our website. A professional dog walking company will have a program for sending you updates after your scheduled visits. They should include a picture of your dog and a detailed report of their visit. At our company, an office manager tracks that each walk is completed through our online portal.

Will You Let My Dog Walk Off Leash?

In most area, strict leash laws are in place for keeping all dogs on a leash for their safety as well as the safety of others. The only time we let your dog off leash is in your home or backyard.

Will You Walk Using A Retractable Leash?

We understand that several clients use retractable leashes, happy that they can give their dog some extra feet of freedom while still keeping their dog safe. Or are they?

Can you really control your dog from 30 feet away if a situation becomes dangerous? Have you ever read the warning that comes with the leash? Fingers have been amputated, legs have had serious rope burns as well as gashes and figure 8 entanglements occur more often than not.

Retractable leashes have also been responsible for getting wrapped around a dog’s leg and causing more serious injuries when you try to “reel” in the leash. Ever walk along the roadside only to have your dog dart out in front of car unexpectably? In your response to bring your dog back to safety, a dog’s trachea from the sudden jerk could be injured and has.

Then there is the behavioral issues, where many dog behavorists believe retractable leashes encourage pulling and not listening to commands.

So there you have our reasons for not walking dogs with retractable leashes and why we’ll substitute it with one of our own if you do have one.

How Much Does Daily Dog Walking Cost?

Depending on who you choose, prices can vary. Hobbyist dog walkers can charge as little as $10-$15 a walk. However, if you decide to hire a professional dog walking company, prices can be anywhere from $20-$30 on average per walk. At Totally Tails Pet Care we offer discounts for monthly programs of 3 or more walks each week.

How Can Totally Tails Pet Care Dog Walking & Pet Sitting Services Help You?

One of our most popular options is our mid-day, weekly walk or potty break for pet parents who work long hours. This is a great option as it gives your dog a break in their long, lonely day providing them enrichment both physically and mentally while allowing them to relieve themselves.

Contact Us Today to become part of our Totally Tails furry family!

New clients who mention our promo code “SAV25BP” will receive $25 off their first scheduled monthly dog walk program.

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