What to know when hiring a pet walker
August 01, 2019 by Furry Tales
Your pets must get the right amount of exercise for them to stay physically and mentally healthy. Most dogs should be walked for at least a ½ hour or 45 minutes per day. Without this amount of regular exercise, your dog could become tense, bored or mischievous and look for other means to dispel his energies.
If you do not have time to walk your dog then you may want to hire a professional for this service. Simply put, dog walkers come to your home at specified hours of the day and take your dog for his required walk. They will also take your dog to a dog park sometimes to let him run off his excess energy, under supervision.
Often, a dog walking service will take several dogs walking at the same time. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as your dog learns to get along and socialize with other dogs at the same time. It can be seen as your dog having a good time during his daily walking sessions. Just ensure your dog is not terrified of other dogs and is happy going on such group outings.
Cats also need a certain amount of exercise to stay healthy, but cats generally tend to have their own form of exercise so it is not always necessary to hire someone to ‘walk’ them. Typically, cats spend their energy by bouncing and jumping all over the house, on indoor cat trees and with interactive cat toys. However, some cats can be trained to walk on a leash and you may consider getting a pet walking service to let your cat get some outside exercise.
You can hire someone you know or someone another pet parent recommends. Nowadays there are many very good professional walkers and pet sitters.
When checking out people to hire for this service, please keep the following points in mind:
- Of late, there have been many disturbing reports about dog-walkers being rough and even hitting the dogs when the owners aren’t looking. Not to forget, cases of dog-napping breed dogs/cats are on the rise too. Hence, we advise doing a thorough background and reference check while hiring someone. You can also ask for submitting copies of their ID and address proof for added measure. A professional should not mind providing you with the asked for documents.
- It is always advisable to hire a walker who is also a professional dog/cat trainer. This way they can assess any behavioral changes in your pet and adjust the method/schedule accordingly. Especially if they are walking your dog with other dogs. Most of them also come trained in first aid for dogs and cats.
- If it is not possible, for whatever reasons, to hire a professional trainer as a walker, then at least have the walker learn tips and tricks from a qualified trainer on how to handle your pet on walks.
- Always have a back up for when your walker/sitter cannot make it on any given day. Your pet is used to a routine and it’s best to stick by the schedule as much as possible.
- If your pet is behaving oddly when he/she goes for a walk with the walker or is unwilling to go for a walk with them, assess the situation as to why your pet is behaving the way he is.
- Cats are very different from dogs in their behaviour. Train them to walk on a leash, strictly under the guidance of a cat behaviorist. Similarly, train your walker too. This is necessary because indoor cats are very cautious of the external environment. And there can be instances when they might run away if they fear something.
Remember, your first obligation as a pet parent, is to your pet. Do what is right and safe for them, whether it means walking them yourself or hiring someone for it.