For starters, it would be best if the dog walker you plan to hire is certified with a trusted organization
with a solid mission and good values, and that the dog walker has a good work ethic and professional reputation. It would help to observe how the potential dog walker behaves with other clients. A fully attentive dog walker who pays attention and interacts with your dog is much more favorable than one who is talking on their cell phone, texting, or otherwise distracted when they’re supposed to be watching the dogs. Ask the dog walker to see their certificate to make sure it’s current, as well as references from past clients to see how their experiences were. You can also ask the company who trains their staff and if they give certifications themselves, and what their ideals are on handling the animals and what kind of equipment they use. Most dog walkers will not use certain collars or leashes, such as choke chains, and will limit the amount of dogs they can walk at one time. This ensures your dogs are safe and well with the dog walker.
Another thing you can do to ensure you choose the right dog walker for your needs is to do a background check on all of the dog walking company’s employees as well as on the company itself. Use the Internet or a background checking service to ensure they can be trusted with your pets and, in some cases, access to your home. Make sure the company knows about typical dog behavior, first aid, emergency procedures, and nutrition. It helps to ask some tougher questions that may reveal any lack of knowledge they may have, and how they handle the questions they don’t know the answers to. And, in case accidents happen, make sure the company offers Liability Insurance
and that the dog walker is fully bonded.
The most important step is to make sure you and your pets have a good chemistry with the dog walker you plan to hire. You want your pets to bond easily with the dog walker, and you want to feel you personally can trust the dog walker with your dog. The dog walker should be able to answer all the questions you ask him or her. Some questions you can ask the dog walker are: where they will take your dog; if they enforce obedience during the walk and if so, what punishments or rewards they use; how long they will exercise the dog, excluding car rides; if they walk the dog on or off leash; if they’re trained in giving first aid to pets, as well as what to do in an emergency; if any dogs they’ve walked have been injured during walks in the past; and what they will do if the dog does certain behaviors such as jumping on someone else or not coming when called.
And last, but not lease, if you want to be very sure that the dog walker can be trusted, ask if you can observe or accompany them during the walk.