Unless you have a dream work from home job – PJ’s til noon, bit of Jeremy Kyle to make you feel better about yourself, small amount of work, I know the types! – or very generous neighbours, as a full time worker you are going to need the services of a dog walker. For me, the decision to find a dog walker had to come before I’d even chosen the dog. They are essential for me to own a pet relatively guilt free, knowing he isn’t alone all day. Here’s some of the main reasons you might want to employ a dog walker:
- If you work full time your dog will miss you and a bit of company is appreciated
- During the winter if you are finding it difficult to walk your dog in the dark, let a dog walker come during the day for you
- If you have a naturally energetic breed it’s a great way for them to let off some steam
- Equally if your dog can get bored easily and destroy your house (I have no kitchen door frame from the puppy stage) a dog walker will be a welcome distraction
So how do you find this person you will quickly wonder how you lived without? Google is your friend, along with local paper adverts, notices in your Vets reception and good old word of mouth recommendation. That’s how I found my wonderful dog walker and after a chat over the phone and speaking to some of her current clients for recommendations, she popped over for a chat.
This is your chance to get to know the person who you will first trust with keys to your house – always ask that they are CRB checked and to view the certificate. Quiz them on their pet owenership, experience and watch how they react to your dog. I love that our dog walker doesn’t take any nonsense from Lupo, which he needs, but she clearly adores him, missing him when we’ve been away so that’s a great mix to have.
Get them to come over on a different day and join you on a walk with your dog, let them have the lead and teach them the commands you use so your dog can get used to them. Once you’re happy, sign a contract and agree a daily price for either a half hour or hour walk. We pay on the last day of each month through a direct transfer, just remember to keep a note of which days they have been if they don’t provide a formal invoice. In West Yorkshire expect to pay from £5 for half an hour, up to £15 for an hour walk.
Lastly, do your dog walker a favour and tell all your friends (and blog readers) how great they are. I envy their job and would quit and do it myself tomorrow if I could, so helping them get regular work is a great thing to do. Do you employ a dog walker? What have your experiences been with them?