dog sat next to owner

How to find the right Dog Walker

What makes a good Dog Walker

What makes a good dog walker is the ability to understand the dogs need for exercise.

You need to be a dog-lover who is in tune with the canine ways and be ready to treat your business as a lifestyle choice not just a money maker.

Dog walking can be a rewarding job for a dedicated person who is organised, professional and client-oriented.

Walking dogs for a living is more than just putting dogs on a lead and getting them exercised for money.

What should we be looking for if we wish to employ the services of a dog walker?

First thing we are looking for is experience, either through a mentoring program or previous employment by another company.

From a dogs perspective, grass route experience is far more important than a certificate or qualification.

However these to us humans provides security when entrusting our loved ones with another.

As a dog walker obtaining a dog handling/training qualification or going through a mentoring program with an experienced trainer would build you some serious credibility for your clients.

There are many diploma’s and certification’s online like Pet Sitting Diploma or British College of Canine Studies that can help you in starting your own business in addition to dog handling and training.

The thing we must understand though these qualifications can be gained by anyone with very little hands on experience.

Every business needs to be insured. As a dog owner this is something we need to make sure that our dog walker is fully insured.

a group of dogs

Anyone who handles dogs and takes your dog into a public place should have public liability insurance. This covers them as a company and you as the client if anything where to go wrong.

Dog walking insurance is quite specialised, however there are a few companies that now provide it.

In the UK you can look at NARP (National Association of Registered Petsitters), Pet Business Insurance, Cliverton or PetPlan.

All these business will tailor the insurance to each individual company.

If your pet is going to be transported, take the time to inspect their vehicle. As well as complying with the Department of Transport, you need to know if there is adequate ventilation flowing into the vehicle.

A simple window wont do, many Dog transports opt for a minimum of one roof mounted turbine to drive fresh air in.

How is your dog secured when in the vehicle? Is it via a plush crate, offering water as required or simple the back seat for them to jump around at their leisure.

The last and important thing we need to look for is that our dog walker is DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked.

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). CRB checks are now called DBS checks.

You are inviting this person to enter your home and in many cases you trust them with a key to it.

You need to make sure they have not got any criminal convictions.

This is what the Police DBS check is all about and without it you shouldn’t allow that person into your home or walk your dog.

What makes a good dog walker is the willingness to provide you as the client peace of mind by achieving all of these criteria.

  • DBS check.
  • Experience or Mentorship (check with the person accrediting them)
  • Qualifications
  • References
  • Vehicle Standard
  • Business Insurance
  • Public Liability

If they fall short then you have to ask yourself the questions, “Are they the right dog walker for me and my dog”.