Why Hire A Professional Dog Walker Versus A Friend Or Neighbor

professional dog walkerWhen I tell people I run a dog walking business, I am often asked why they should hire a professional dog walker versus a friend or neighbor.  Friends and neighbors generally aren’t going to say no to a favor, right? Even if it inconveniences them or they really don’t have the time.  A family member or a friend is probably going to agree to lend you a hand, whether it’s bringing in your mail, taking out your garbage, or walking your dog.

But, in reality, how comfortable are you and the friend or neighbor with giving responsibility to someone who is busy and who is really only saying yes because he/she may feel obligated? Why should you hire a professional dog walker versus a friend or a neighbor?

Here are 4 important reasons to hire a professional dog walker versus a friend or neighbor:

1.  You Work With A Professional

A professional dog walker spends his/her days running his/her business and walking dogs. Ensuring you and your dog’s happiness is his/her top priority as a professional and as a business owner. A professional dog walker works on a schedule, which means your dog will have his/her walk at the time you scheduled. If there’s a problem, you will be the first person your dog walker calls. You can quickly and easily get in touch with your dog walker and many dog walkers will provide clients with an update to let them about their dog at the visit.

At Rufus and Delilah Dog Walking, you will receive a daily note with details of the sitter’s time together with your dog and we will contact you by email or phone if there is anything off or unusual with your home or dog so you know before you get home at the end of the day.

2. A Professional Dog Walker Has A Backup Plan

What happens if your friend or neighbor gets sick? Who will walk your dog? Will your friend/neighbor find a backup to ensure your dog gets the exercise and potty break he/she so desperately needs? You never have to worry about that when you work with a professional dog walker. Should your dog walker have an emergency such as become ill, get hurt, or have a broken down car,  he/she will have a backup dog walker to send in so your dog never misses a walk.

Recently at Rufus and Delilah Dog Walking, we received an email from a client saying she needed an emergency last minute visit for her dogs.  Turns out she asked her brother to care for her dogs while she was away and he lost her keys.  Had she booked us to walk her dogs instead of her brother,  if something happened to her keys it wouldn’t have been issue since we request two sets from every client to ensure we can always get to every visit.

3. Your Professional Dog Walker Holds Sufficient Insurance

You must always be prepared for the unexpected. A professional dog walker protects his/her clients and himself/herself by carrying sufficient insurance. Dog walking insurance may cover bodily injury (your client’s dog injures another dog or a person) or property damage (you accidentally break a lamp in your client’s home or your client’s dog munches on an unattended briefcase at the park).

Ask your professional dog walker to show you proof of their insurance if you want to be certain they have it.

4. You Are In Charge

You pay a professional dog walker for a service. A professional dog walker will do things your way. For example, if you want your dog to have a treat after returning from his walk, your dog walker will give him a treat. If your dog needs to walk slower because of her age or ailment, your dog walker will adjust to your dog’s pace. If you want your dog walker to spend part of the visit brushing your dog or working on training commands, they will do it at every visit.  A friend or a neighbor isn’t necessarily going to have the same time or dedication to ensuring your dog receives specialized attention.

At Rufus and Delilah Dog Walking, we custom tailor each visit to each client’s and dog’s needs.  By requiring every client to complete a detailed online profile we gather all the information we need to follow our client’s requests.

Why would you prefer to hire a professional dog walker versus a friend or a neighbor?


  • Jennifer Shafton says:

    So glad you enjoyed this article!

  • Jody says:

    Great and informative blog.

  • Jennifer Shafton says:

    So glad you like this!

  • Randy Gallagher says:

    This is an important article. I think Jennifer has the experience and knowledge to inform. I think that is the reason Rufus and Delilah were rate #1 in Los Angeles. Jennifer you are doing a great job. You also post animals that need forever homes. Thank you so much for what you are doing.

  • Jennifer Shafton says:

    Thank you for your support! I am so glad you liked this article.

  • Very useful article, glad I found this one.

    Other said trust the expert than anybody else, you know I don’t like to say that friend and neighbor is not good for this situation, but agree that the dog walker professional is know how to treat our dog with care and love and they really enjoy it doing that because of their passion and love for dogs, in other words they can earn in the way that they really love it to do.
    For me as a dog lover and owner of 3 cute dogs this is the best job in the world. You’re having fun while earning.

  • Jennifer Shafton says:

    We are so glad you found our article useful and you agree it is better to hire a professional dog walker over a friend or neighbor. We only want what is best for all our clients pets.

  • Thanks for the great tips for hiring a professional dog walker. I just like the fact that we would be working with a pro, who knows what they are doing. Like you said, their entire business is making sure my dog is happy and cared for! That’s the kind of care she deserves, when we leave.

  • Jennifer Shafton says:

    Your dog is lucky you understand the importance of hiring a professional dog walker versus a friend or neighbor. We are 100% committed to providing all our clients pets with the highest quality of care.

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