Choosing The Right Dog WalkerBack
Choosing the right dog walker for your dog can be a very difficult decision. As experienced dog walkers in Manchester and Salford, we decided to put a list together of the 10 key things you should consider before hiring someone to look after your precious pooch!
What experience do they have?
Have a look at their social media pages and website. You should be looking for great reviews and testimonials from current customers to show they have experience and are trustworthy and reliable walkers. Be careful, many people will get friends and family to write reviews. Have a look to see if they have put the dog’s name beside the review. Can you spot that dog’s name mentioned on their social media? Or do they offer to provide direct references from customers you too? Have a look at our testimonials page to see what you should be looking for.
What qualifications do they have?
At a minimum all walkers should be canine first-aid trained but many walkers and companies will invest money to improving their knowledge on canine behaviour. Check to see if your walker has also got dog training experience or taken additional behaviour courses. Our team of dog walkers in Manchester are all qualified and we have a budget to ensure ongoing CPD for canine behaviour and training.
Are they insured?
This is a must. Check to see that your walker is insured and ask to see the certificate. They should be insured for public liability and any accident or injury at a minimum. We are insured with PBI who cover everything you need!
Have they been DBS checked?
It is likely you will trust these people with door keys to your house and more importantly access to your ‘baby’! Reviews are perfect to ensure trustworthiness but also check that they have been DBS checked for peace of mind.
Are they reliable?
The last thing you want to worry about is if your dog walker will actually turn up. A good dog walking company will never let you down. Read reviews and check their social media – they should be active every day to show they’re working every day! Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to see what you should be looking for… and just because there’s lots of cute dogs!
What about holidays and illnesses?
We always feel the benefit of a dog walking company is your dog can still have the same dog walker to build a trusting bond, but if your walker is ill or on holiday there’s always another team member to step in! Check what your walker does when they’re ill or on holiday.
How many dogs do they walk at once?
This is very important. Check with them that they at the very least always adhere to local council guidelines and insurance guidance, which is the very maximum of 6 dogs but often 4 dogs per walker. Think very carefully about who you’re giving your dog to. If they walk to the maximum they’re usually allowed (6 dogs at a time), can one person really ensure the safety and happiness of all of these dogs? Our dog walkers in Manchester walk as a pair if we have a larger group to ensure all dogs are safe at get the attention they deserve.
How do they group the dogs?
I’ve seen so many dog walkers just ‘throwing’ together a group of 6 dogs and walking them, hoping for the best. Grouping dogs should be a very careful consideration. As much as our dogs are our ‘children’, we need to remember that they are dogs. They are animals. For their safety and happiness, they need to be grouped very carefully. This is an area we pride ourselves in and spend a lot of time considering each week. The huge benefit of having a team of walkers is that it is easier to group dogs according to their temperament, size, behaviour etc. Check with your walker how they group the dogs.
Do they walk the dogs off lead? What is the procedure?
I’ve had to add this in here after recently seeing a ‘dog walker’ walking 6 dogs close to a main road off lead. I’ve also seen countless dog walkers letting their group run around the car parks in dog walking spots in Manchester. Off lead walks are brilliant – your dog can run and play with their dog friends and burn their energy! But just be careful, where do they let the dogs off lead? Do they just let them off lead straight away or is there a process to it? Our dog walkers in Manchester use a 20m long line for new dogs to ensure their recall is secure before allowing them off lead. We only let the dogs off lead once we’re away from cars and it’s a safe place to do so.
What updates will your dog walker give you?
Once your dog has been on the walk, will you get any updates? Our dog walkers always take pictures and videos of every walk for the owners to enjoy each evening. We’re also honest and tell the owners if we’re having to adapt their grouping for a certain reason and give advice on how to improve any undesirable behaviours.
I hope this guidance will help you in choosing the right dog walker. If you live in Manchester or Salford and you need a dog walker, please get in touch, even if you don’t want to use us – we can recommend some other walkers who take the safety of your dogs as seriously as we do. If you’re interested at our dog walking service, please get in touch!