Walking your dog daily is therapeutic. But, we all get busy. An early morning zoom meeting, a late-night party, your kid’s exam or you feeling unwell can upset your schedule. Walking your dog everyday at the exact same time can add on to the stress. But, you cannot afford to miss his walks!
In order to not compromise on your dog’s daily needs, it can be a good idea to hire a walker for him. Obviously, it has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s go through all these important points that we have compiled for you, one by one, in this article!
Regular pee and potty breaks
Having a dog walker for your pup will bring in stability and consistency in his life. He will get used to a particular routine and will get conditioned to pee and poop regularly. Forcing your dog to hold his bladder for long can lead to urinary tract infection, urinary cancer or incontinence. A dog walker can walk your dog twice or thrice a day depending on his routine and you will have one less thing to worry :)
A tired dog is a happy dog. In addition to physical benefits, walking also provides mental stimulation to the pup. This ensures that he is well-behaved at home. Regular walks can control everything from obesity, bone health to anxiety and aggression. With a dog walker, you can ensure that he gets timely walks.
Sending your dog on a walk with a professional walker can help him be more socialized and extroverted, especially if your pooch is a shy one. This will help your dog in building trust in others and will bring in positive changes in his behavior. Spending time with someone out of the family is actually a good idea as it will make your dog more open to trying new things. This also helps if your pup tends to get scared easily.
Hiring a professional dog walker can be expensive. However, if your pup is easy going, you may not need a professional walker. Often, college or high school kids who love pets may do it for you at a much lesser cost.
If your dog is not comfortable with strangers, have trust issues or separation anxiety, then you may have to pick your dog walker carefully.
How To Hire A Dog Walker?
The best way to go about hiring a walker for your dog is to ask other dog parents. If someone close to you knows the walker personally, it will be much easier for you to trust him with your pup! Do your research properly before you finally select and hire a walker for your dog.
Another way to look for the perfect walker for your dog is google for – Pet walker – your location. Also, websites like Pet Backer offer dog walking services. Feel free to check it out.
Questions To Ask Your Dog Walker
Once you have shortlisted dog walkers, it is time to figure out if he/she is the right fit for your pup. Few questions you can ask are:
- How long have you been walking dogs? What breeds are you comfortable handling?
A dog walker with some experience is always better than no experience especially if you have a large pup or a stubborn one.
- How many dogs do you walk at a time?
It is not a bad thing for your dog to walk with other dogs. However, if your dog isn’t someone who loves the company of other dogs, you can insist on walking your dog alone.
- How much do you charge? Do you take weekly offs? What time is convenient for you?
- What is the duration of every walking session?
- Will you put on his shoes or raincoat on a wet day? Or, will you clean his paws before handing him back to us?
- Will you carry on the training methods I am using?
If you are training your pup, the last thing you need is another handler coming in and using different commands and techniques that might confuse your dog. Once you have picked your dog walker, it is important that you do trial walks with the walker and share your commands and techniques.
- How would you correct my dog if he misbehaves during a walk?
Your dog walker’s style of reprimanding has to match yours. If he follows a punishment approach while you believe in positive reinforcement, then he may not be a good fit.
- Will you update me on the walks?
It is very important that there is complete transparency between you and your dog walker. He has to inform you if your pup ate something harmful like stray bone or stale food before he could stop. He should let you know if the poop looks fishy. If your dog walker shares your dog’s poop pictures with you, you have a winner!
Pro Tip: In addition to you pup's walks with the walker, try to squeeze in about ten to fifteen minutes to walk him. Walk time is bonding time. I walk my dog at 11 P.M., just before we hit the bed. There is no stress of pee-potty times missed or him not getting enough exercise. It is just me and him spending time together!
Also, it may sound a bit sly, but follow your dog and your dog walker occasionally to make sure he is, in fact, walking your dog and following all of your instructions!
If you want to know more about walking your dog check this - Pawfect Guide: 9 Things To Take Care Of While Walking Your Dog!
Are you planning on hiring a dog walker? Leave us a comment if you have any further questions or suggestions!