Have you ever questioned what does a dog walker do? A dog walker walks dogs, right? Well, that is perhaps the most important part of a dog walking business, but there are so many other responsibilities a dog walker has – all associated with ensuring the happiness and well-being of his/her clients and their dogs – that most people never realize.
What Does A Dog Walker Do:
- Offers A Professional Service
A professional dog walker – with the keyword being professional – offers clients a professional service. He/she has a system in place to effectively communicate with clients, to keep clients up-to-date after each dog walk, and to ensure all dogs receive their walks every day. That means, if your dog walker is sick or needs time off, your dogs will still get their scheduled walks with a backup dog walker. A professional dog walker may charge more than an amateur or an individual who walks dogs as a hobby because he/she is running a business.
- Sets Rules
A business must have rules – that both the client and the dog walkers abide by – to ensure that it runs efficiently and properly. A dog walker may have such rules as: how much a client will be charged in case of a last minute cancellation, how many sets of house keys are required, how the keys are tagged for identification and safety purposes, pay rates and when payments must be made (before the dog walks, for example), the length of dog walks with either an exact time for arrival or a set time-frame for arrival, and whether dog walks are private or provided in a group.
At Rufus and Delilah Dog Walking some of the set rules we have to ensure the safety of our clients’ dogs when on walks are that we do not gather multiple dogs from other households when walking your dog, we do not socialize your dog with other dogs when on walks, and we do not bring friends or family when we walk your dog allowing our time and attention to be focused on your fur-kid. We also request a two hour time-frame during which the dog walker comes for the walks rather than guaranteeing an exact arrival time.
- Holds Sufficient Insurance
All professional dog walkers should be covered by sufficient insurance to protect you, your dog, and the dog walker. You can request that the dog walker provides evidence of insurance. If a prospective dog walker doesn’t have insurance, find a professional who does.
At Rufus and Delilah Dog Walking, we carry insurance for the Company and each sitter has their own insurance policy.
- Meets With Prospective Clients
Many professional dog walkers require prospective clients to meet with the dog walker for a consultation prior to scheduling any dog walks. The consultation allows both you and the dog walker to make sure they are a good fit, allows the dog walker to learn more about you and your dog, including your expectations of the dog walker, and allows for time to answer any additional questions you may have.
At Rufus and Delilah Dog Walking, before we meet new clients for a complimentary consultation, we ask you to first complete a detailed online profile that we then review at the consultation to make sure we have all the information we need to give your pets and home the best care in your absence.
- Asks Clients To Sign A Contract
A contract is a legally-binding document that outlines your responsibility and the dog walking service’s responsibility. Read it carefully and ask questions if something is unclear then sign only if you agree to all the terms of the contract.
At Rufus and Delilah Dog Walking, our contract can be viewed the first time you log into our system.
- Walks Dogs
A professional dog walker will walk your dog, according to your instructions. If you have a senior dog who requires slow walks around the block, your dog walker will ensure the walks go at a comfortable pace for your dog. If you want your dog to have a meal after returning from a walk, your dog walker will feed him or her. But, a professional dog walker offers much more than physical support. They provide emotional support, giving your dog love and affection, and ensures your dog gets plenty of mental and physical exercise.
At Rufus and Delilah Dog Walking, we will update you during or after the walk if anything is off or unusual with your dog or your home so you don’t have to wait to find out in the daily note the dog walker leaves for your return at the end of the day.
If you are interested in hiring a dog walker you may find these articles useful on Why Hire A Professional Dog Walker Versus A Friend Or Neighbor and Why Should You Hire A Dog Walker.
What is the most important thing you think a dog walker does?
Keep the dogs safe! I turned down a dog walker (among other reasons) because she wasn’t bonded or insured and she almost let Mr. N walk on glass.
I am glad you were thorough doing your research on the dog walker you thought you were interested in hiring. There are probably many people who may not have thought to as if the dog walker was insured and bonded. Like you said, it is important to keep every pet safe at all times.
I don’t know if we have any professional dog walkers around here. I know there are a couple that are with Rover(dot)com but they don’t strictly walk dogs. They also take care of other animals. Its good to know what to look for in a dog walker
We are glad the information was helpful should you ever be in need of a dog walker.