Dog walker dilemmas: Who do we trust with our four legged friends?

by Bronwyn Hall

For many households with a busy lifestyle, having a dog walker has become a necessity but finding one that we like and can trust is not always an easy task. Earlier this year the tabloids reported the horrific treatment of a Chihuahua when a video surfaced on Facebook showing a 19 year old man -who had been trusted to walk it – swinging it around on a lead. The man was later identified and arrested.

So can we ever be totally confident about who we are letting into our homes to look after our canine companions? I think that we can and here are my top tips to find somebody that both you and your pooch will love.

Credit: Pet sitter directory

Credit: Pet sitter directory

Get a recommendation if possible from any friends that you have in the area who also use a dog walker. If that’s not possible then try and choose somebody who has lots of references – not just ones from their family or friends.

Choose somebody with experience and not just somebody who markets themselves as having a love for animals. There are plenty of people who love dogs but you need somebody who has the capacity to look after yours.

Lay out what you expect from the start with any potential dog walkers that you meet. If you are clear with what you expect from them then you are less likely to end up disappointed. I ask my dog walker to send me a text after each visit to our Chihuahua, Dexter, to tell me what they’ve been up to. She’s kind enough to send me some pictures of where they’ve been and what they’ve been doing.

Pick somebody who you like from the first meeting. You will be more comfortable to let somebody into your home and around your furry friend if you actually like them. For me, having a friend-like relationship with somebody on the same level as me made me feel a lot more comfortable than having a business-like relationship where I felt awkward. However, it might be the other way around for you!

Finally, trust your instinct! If you think something isn’t quite right or have any suspicions, go with your gut and don’t try to supress those thoughts. Put your pooch first and steer clear of anybody who makes you feel uncomfortable!

 

Credit: keepcalm-o-matic

Credit: keepcalm-o-matic

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