November 22, 2021
This publish is sponsored by Spot Canine Walkers.
Have you ever thought of hiring a canine walker however do not know the place to begin? Hiring a canine walker for the primary time could be a daunting course of, and it’s fully comprehensible in case you have many unanswered questions! How will you discover a respected canine walker in your metropolis or city? What’s an affordable quantity to pay them? Do you need to present the canine walker with a key to your private home?
We partnered with Mitchell Park from Spot Canine Walkers to stroll us by way of efficiently rent canine walkers close to you. On this DJANGO Canine Weblog article, we reply each query you might need about hiring a canine walker for the primary time. We additionally present a 7-step guidelines to soundly rent your first canine walker.
You probably have any questions or wish to share one a private canine walker expertise with us and our canine loving neighborhood, please go away a remark beneath. We would love to listen to from you!
Why rent a canine walker?
The story of Bella and her Labrador Retriever pet
Bella, a working mom of two very younger kids, lately determined she may use assist with strolling their energetic 4 month outdated Labrador Retriever pet.
Over the course of the pandemic, Bella, her husband, and a pair of kids welcomed an lovely Lab pet into their household. Whereas that they had most of their childcare wants discovered—the older youngster was in daycare and the youthful youngster was cared for by a nanny—they hadn’t fairly discovered a routine for his or her stunning new pet.
Labrador Retriever puppies are a bundle of vitality and require plenty of outside train. Taking their Lab pet for a 1 hour-long stroll each morning earlier than work, nevertheless, was unattainable. Between taking good care of her kids and getting ready for her work day, Bella realized she merely didn’t have sufficient time to stroll her pet within the morning and provides him the train and stimulation he really wanted.
Sure, the pet had psychological stimulation toys and an open yard, nevertheless it shortly grew to become clear that good old school train was wanted. Earlier than lengthy, Bella started trying to rent a canine walker.
Do you want a canine walker?
Your causes for hiring a canine walker could be completely different from Bella’s. Your job, as an illustration, would possibly require you to be within the workplace till 6pm every night. Or maybe you have restricted mobility and can’t bodily deal with an extended stroll open air every morning.
No matter your actual scenario, you’re possible fascinated about hiring a canine walker so you may reallocate the time you’ll’ve spent canine strolling, and put it in direction of your work, kids, errands, and/or passions. For working dad and mom like Bella, 7 further hours per week, week after week, could be the distinction between burnout and feeling underneath management.
Your 7-Step Canine Walker Hiring Guidelines
You probably have thought of hiring a canine walker however stopped quick due to unanswered questions and countless worries (i.e. how to discover a canine walker close to you, your canine’s security and wellbeing, your private home’s safety), then this subsequent part is for you. On this part, we offer an easy-to-follow, 7-step guidelines for hiring canine walkers.
We hope to reply your whole open questions so that you come out the opposite aspect geared up with the data of save your self time, whereas making certain your canine will get loads of train. Is there one thing we did not handle? Simply go away a remark beneath, and we’ll get again to you!
#1. Perceive your wants and your canine’s wants
For now, think about that hiring canine walkers is reasonably priced and fully secure—we’ll get to affordability and security in later guidelines steps! Merely image a semi-retired, native mother in your neighborhood who has extra expertise than you in caring for and strolling canine. This girl would like to take your pup on walks.
If this skilled native mother and canine walker knocked in your door, what questions would you ask her? Maybe you’ll ask what days she may stroll your canine and for the way lengthy. The place would she stroll your pup? Would she be capable to feed him, if wanted? Take into consideration the most best situation for fulfilling each your wants and your canine’s wants.
Major objects to contemplate are: days of the week for canine walks, occasions of the walks for these days, and any particular wants on your canine’s nicely being (i.e. medication, meals, and so on).
What could be finest for you?
For instance, let’s assume each you and your companion are sometimes on the workplace between 9am and 5pm every day. Together with your canine principally napping at residence throughout this time, then ideally somebody would possibly come to your private home and stroll your canine for 30 minutes mid-morning and one other half-hour within the afternoon.
If we use Bella’s scenario above, she would possible choose to have a canine walker come very first thing within the morning (when the canine’s bladder is full and he or she’s busy getting herself and her kids prepared for the day) and once more in the early afternoon.
What could be finest on your canine?
When it comes to your canine’s wants, in case your canine is the sort who will get nervous round strangers, it’s possible you’ll mentally notice that: (a) should you employed a walker, your canine ought to meet your potential walker beforehand, and (b) you may guarantee your canine is at all times sporting his canine harness or collar beforehand, so your walker doesn’t must discomfort your canine by placing it on.
Usually talking, this guidelines step can also be about being lifelike about your busy schedule, and making certain your canine’s psychological and bodily well being isn’t a casualty of your busy schedule in the long term.
#2. Go searching for canine walkers close to you
If you happen to’ve warmed as much as the thought of getting a canine walker, then the following step is to go searching for respected canine strolling providers close to you.
With this stage, you’ve 2 choices.
- Possibility 1. A neighborhood, neighborhood canine walker, who you would possibly discover from a letterbox flyer, native classifieds, or a pal referral.
- Possibility 2. An organization for canine walkers, corresponding to Spot Canine Walkers (should you’re in Canada), Rover, or Wag.
Earlier than deciding proper off the bat which route you’d prefer to discover, know that each choices have their respective benefits and drawbacks. Here’s a fast comparability between the 2 varieties of canine walkers:
Possibility 1: Working with particular person, native canine walkers
- Interplay: sometimes extra private because you’re coping with one individual, and it’s a easy, neighborly transaction.
- Security and Insurance coverage: people providing canine strolling providers on their very own might not present pet insurance coverage & residence insurance coverage.
- Availability: being a smaller operation, the supply not be as open to service your wants and your canine’s wants.
Possibility 2: Utilizing a respected firm that provides canine strolling providers close to you
- Security and Insurance coverage: Firms which provide canine strolling normally present each pet insurance coverage and residential insurance coverage, with zero deductible to you within the uncommon occasion one thing occurs.
- Availability: That is sometimes very sturdy as a result of you may get related with a bigger community of vetted folks in your neighborhood who’ve signed up as walkers.
- Interplay: Utilizing a canine strolling firm isn’t normally as pure as assembly an particular person canine walker in individual. It’s because you’re utilizing a web site or app for scheduling and fee (versus merely assembly in individual and paying money).
Begin taking motion! Make preliminary contact with canine walkers.
Now that you simply’ve obtained a number of choices for hiring canine walkers, you would possibly really feel struck with possibility nervousness. However there isn’t a want to fret. Contemplate approaching each choices from a impartial place to see what feels best for you.
For Possibility 1 above, think about asking your veterinarian and any canine proudly owning family and friends if they’ve a beneficial canine walker or two. You may also contact a neighborhood animal hospital to see if they’ve any referrals. After you have just a few suggestions, attain out to 2-3 particular person canine walkers to say howdy and ensure their present availability.
For Possibility 2, go forward and obtain a good canine strolling firm app in your cellphone or go to their web site in your laptop. We personally suggest Spot, Rover, and Wag. Browse their web sites, overview their insurance policies, and browse verified buyer opinions.
When you’ve zeroed-in on just a few walker choices that really feel like they may work as canine walker choices for you, you then’re able to roll with the following guidelines step of interviewing your walker candidates!
#3. Interview your walker candidates
After you’ve discovered, for instance, 2 native particular person walkers and a pair of firm choices, which may function canine strolling choices, then it’s time to put on your employer hat and interview your walker candidates!
With native particular person walkers, ask in the event that they wouldn’t thoughts assembly your canine and also you for quarter-hour. You may even ask them to do a 15 minute trial stroll.
With firm walkers, it is best to be capable to discover just a few walkers close to you with nice rankings and opinions and request meet-and-greets. For instance, Spot presents free meet-and-greets with canine walkers for canine house owners who buy a 5 or 10 stroll bundle.
What to do when first assembly canine walker candidates
Upon assembly your walker, your job as a canine mother or father interviewer is to watch the walker, see how the walker interacts along with your canine, and see how your pup responds and interacts with the walker. That is additionally an exquisite alternative to study extra in regards to the canine walker and ask significant questions.
Verify listing for the primary time you meet a brand new canine walker:
- Ask your self one merely query: Do you just like the walker? When it comes to observing, see how your canine responds to the canine walker candidate’s vibes (or vitality, or something it’s possible you’ll name it). Normally, canine walkers get alongside nice with canine—in spite of everything, it’s what they do!—so, until your canine normally has some nerves round strangers, see how they get together with one another. In the event that they don’t instantly vibe, then observe if the walker tries to power love onto your canine, or if she’s assured to let your canine welcome her in time.
- Inform them every part about your canine! Subsequent, when interviewing your walkers, inform them something and every part about your pup; faux it’s like doctor-patient confidentiality, however for canine! Is your canine aggressive in direction of different canine or people? What kind of anxieties does your canine have? Does he or she generally tend to lunge at squirrels? Has your canine ever bitten anybody or every other canine? Err on the aspect of giving out an excessive amount of data. You’d solely be setting your canine and your walker up for failure by skipping over any aggression points your 150 lb mastiff might have. Primarily, try to be open (and glad in a approach) in case your walker candidate says she will be able to’t stroll your canine – not solely does it signify an skilled walker (who is aware of her boundaries), nevertheless it’s the safer final result in the long term.
- Ask them plenty of questions! For questions, right here’s a shortlist of questions you need to use to kick the dialog off. Most definitely, within the second of the dialog, new questions will spring to thoughts, or your candidate can have questions, so these are meant solely as a springboard for the walker interview.
- Do you’ve any expertise with comparable breeds or sizes like my canine?
- The place will you stroll my canine?
- Are your canine walks non-public or in teams?
- How lengthy have you ever walked canine as a job?
- Are you able to present any shopper references?
- Does your canine just like the walker? Lastly, in interviewing your walker candidates, should you or your canine really feel hesitant about hiring the walker, then transfer on. There are many walkers on the market, and it is best to be capable to discover somebody who you want may truly prepare your canine and who you may belief for months to return (as should you have been hiring a nanny on your kids).
Additionally, keep in mind that you don’t want to rent any of your candidates simply but! This may get coated on this subsequent guidelines step, which can contain attending to know their insurance policies (together with pricing, cancellation insurance policies, and so forth) to lastly seal the deal.
#4. Know their insurance policies as professionals (ideally their insurance policies can be in writing)
When you’ve narrowed your shortlist of walker candidates to 1 or 2 possible winners, then it’s time on your due diligence verify: double-checking their insurance policies as skilled service suppliers. This entails realizing their pricing, insurance coverage, cancellation and refund insurance policies, and different security practices they prioritize.
Oftentimes, that is rather more essential with particular person walkers. Massive, respected corporations like Spot, Rover, and Wag are sometimes extraordinarily clear on their skilled insurance policies.
Are there insurance policies aggressive?
To finalize your selection of walker, listed here are some further inquiries to ask:
- Pricing: What are your costs and do you supply any reductions for packages?
- Insurance coverage: Do you supply pet insurance coverage and residential insurance coverage?
- Cancellations and refunds: How a lot discover do I’ve to offer for cancellations, and when would you supply refunds?
- Different security questions: Will you ever transport my canine in your automotive to begin a stroll? Are the walks at all times on-leash (versus taking a canine to a canine park, for instance)?
Utilizing Spot as a Benchmark for Coverage and Pricing
We’ll use Spot Canine Walkers in Canada for instance of what a canine strolling firm ought to supply when it comes to coverage and pricing.
As of writing (November 2021), Spot Canine Walkers presents as much as 20% off reductions. Because of this a 60 minute canine stroll may be as little as $22.60 CAD ($17.90 USD) per stroll.
Spot additionally supplies $30,000 of pet insurance coverage within the uncommon occasion that your canine will get injured in the course of the stroll, and $5 million of residence insurance coverage.
In case your walker is 1 minute late, Spot refunds the stroll absolutely. And, on the notice of security, all of Spot’s walks are non-public, on-leash, they usually by no means contain driving in a automotive (they’re all inside the canine proprietor’s neighborhood).
Usually talking, it is best to be capable to discover non-public canine strolling choices within the $20 to $25 vary which might be absolutely insured, non-public, and with straightforward refund insurance policies. In case your candidates do not present that, see should you can haggle them down, or transfer onto a special canine strolling possibility.
#5. Give your canine walker every part they should correctly stroll your canine
You probably have made it this far, you then’ve probably decided on 1 or 2 canine walkers to check out, which is a big step in direction of releasing up your schedule!
Now, conserving your employer/supervisor hat on, the next step is to ensure your walker has every part she must do an A+ job.
Guaranteeing your walker has all of the instruments wanted
After coping with funds, however earlier than your first scheduled stroll, listed here are some objects to deal with. Bear in mind that after your first stroll, all of these things ought to lock into an automated, straightforward rhythm.
- Walker entry: Supply a key lockbox or digital keypad on your walker to soundly enter your private home (extra on this important matter beneath).
- Contact information: Give your walker your cellphone quantity and e mail handle.
- Well being information: Guarantee your walker is aware of any well being particulars about your canine.
- Provides: Let your walker know the place your canine’s leash, collar, and treats and situated.
Often requested questions on canine walker entry:
All through this time, one key query which can be lingering in your thoughts is, “How does your canine walker stroll your canine, should you’re not at residence?”. Listed here are some solutions and proposals to make sure full security on your canine and your private home.
“Do I would like to offer my canine walker a key to my home?”
You wouldn’t have to offer your walker a key to your own home to stroll your canine if you end up not at residence. As a substitute, you may present them with both: (a) a key lockbox, or (b) the code for an digital keypad.
Key lockboxes are used Spot Canine Walkers. Spot clients are given lockboxes free-of-charge as soon as they’ve accomplished their first stroll. The protection benefit with key lockboxes is that, though your walker has entry to your own home key, she by no means truly carries it round. Moderately, the hot button is solely ever used when coming into or exiting your own home. This has been proven to considerably reduce the danger of a break-in.
With digital keypad entry, you may merely give your walker the digital code to enter your own home. In reality, with many digital keypad locks lately, you may truly set the occasions when sure entry codes work. Because of this your walker’s code solely works in the course of the time when she should enter or exit your own home.
“How do I forestall my canine walker from doing one thing ‘fishy’ in my home?”
No matter how in depth your your relationship is with your canine walker (or any service supplier, for that matter), we at all times suggest hiding any apparent valuables like money or bank cards when the individual is planning to enter your private home.
You may also think about putting in a reasonable digital camera at your own home’s entrance. All skilled canine walkers are used to residence cameras and safety gadgets, they usually shouldn’t must enter your private home a lot additional than the doorway approach.
Notice that, should you select to put in a digital camera, make sure to let your walker know, as a easy courtesy. Not solely will they absolutely perceive, however they are going to recognize that you simply gave them discover.
“What if my walker unintentionally breaks one thing in my home?”
Within the uncommon case the place your walker unintentionally knocks over your grandmother’s China, then that is the place residence insurance coverage can kick in. As talked about above, any respected canine strolling firm ought to present each pet and residential insurance coverage to cowl the uncommon occasion that one thing goes awry throughout service.
Spot has truly never needed to make both a pet insurance coverage or residence insurance coverage declare in over 75,000 canine walks! However the firm is ready in case that day comes. Clients of Spot are coated with $5 million of zero-deductible residence insurance coverage, and different canine strolling providers present comparable, sizable insurance coverage.
“How can I recover from my issues about letting a walker enter my residence?”
It actually takes braveness to offer your walker entry to your private home, however that is the place selecting a good firm and taking good care of your due diligence turns out to be useful.
However make no mistake! In some unspecified time in the future, you do must cross your coronary heart, belief your canine walker, and belief your pal who referred your walker to you.
For a lot of canine house owners, they’ve felt comparable hesitations, taken the leap of religion— particularly with the consolation of being coated by insurance coverage—and have now integrated canine strolling assist into their lives.
#6. Get suggestions out of your canine walker after the stroll
After your canine’s stroll is over, have a chat along with your canine walker about how your canine behaved. Was it a B, A+, and so on? Your walker has in all probability walked a whole lot of canine, and she will be able to level out priceless suggestions based mostly on their expertise to assist your canine turn out to be extra accustomed to canine strolling sooner or later.
At Spot Canine Walkers, all canine walks are absolutely GPS-tracked with potty studies and video tales. Because of this canine house owners can see the place the canine walker and canine go, the place their canine canine their enterprise, and look at movies of the stroll itself.
Concerning potty studies, these may be particularly helpful and provide help to plan your pup’s following walks accordingly.
#7. Get suggestions out of your canine after the stroll
And naturally, the final step is to get suggestions out of your canine after the stroll!
Is your canine glad? Does your canine give off an vitality of feeling content material, as soon as the stroll is over? Is your canine unhappy to see your walker go away and/or excited to see your walker arrive? These are all nice indicators that your canine loves the brand new routine you’ve arrange.
If every part appears nice, then go forward and provides your canine walker or canine strolling firm a pleasant overview! Particularly for smaller companies, leaving a optimistic overview can really be a distinction maker in serving to them have an incredible week.
One final thought.
All in all, hiring a canine walker doesn’t must be difficult, tense, and overwhelming. It actually takes some up entrance vitality to guage your wants, analysis canine walkers close to you, interview your walkers, and pay for some trial walks. Executed correctly, nevertheless, discovering an excellent canine strolling will prevent hours upon hours of time in the long term, whereas giving your canine a wholesome, outside outlet for his or her vitality!
We really hope that you simply’ve discovered this data useful! Be at liberty to go away a message beneath within the feedback part, in case you have any ideas or questions. Thanks!
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