Finding A Dog Walker Or Pet Sitter
Cities these days are going to the dogs as dog ownership is up across nearly every major city in the country. At some point you likely will need to hire someone to help you with either dog walking or pet sitting--friends work great, until they don't. We love our dogs and it’s important for us to find the best care possible, so we put together some important factors to consider.
Here are some of considerations, listed roughly in order of what we think is most important.
Of course, there are many consideration when choosing the right pet care, so let us know if you think we missed something we should share with others.
Professional Business: A pet care business might be a good option for you for a number of reasons. Businesses have a team who can help with your services, so you aren't dependent on one persons's availability. They also usually provide formal training and work to provide professional service.
Insurance/Bonding: Animals are unpredictable, cities are chaotic, and even with an experienced walker you want to be sure the person you hire is covered in the unfortunate event of an accident. Insurance and bonding provide you protection in the rare occurrence something goes wrong.
Meet your walker: Most companies offer a free meet and greet, and you should expect to get to meet the person who will be taking care of your pup. If your regular dog walker changes, you should expect to be able to meet the new walker too.
Responsiveness: During your initial contact with a company, pay attention to how responsive they are. Do they get back to you quickly and fully address your questions?
Confirmation of services and service reports: How will you know the services have been completed? Will the walker leave a note? Most reputable companies now offer immediate service confirmations and reports that provide GPS tracking, photos, and notes so you know the services were fully completed when you expected them.
Understand the appointment process: You should know their expectations for making appointments and cancellations, including how much notice is needed for appointment requests. While this often varies based on demand, they should be able to give you some guidelines.
Understand pricing: Know their regular rates and surcharges for after-hours, weekends, and holidays.
Testimonials: You can either find testimonials online, but don't hesitate to ask them for references.