Hiring a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter
So many of us have been working from home because of covid-19. Since the world shut down in the spring of 2020, many families have taken the opportunity to add a new furry member since we’ve all been home so much. But now it’s time to return to work so you need to hire a midday dog walker. Or perhaps you’re feeling comfortable about taking a vacation and Fido isn’t going along so you need to hire a pet sitter.
So many of us have been working from home because of covid-19. Since the world shut down in the spring of 2020, many families have taken the opportunity to add a new furry member since we’ve all been home so much.
But now it’s time to return to work so you need to hire a midday dog walker. Or perhaps you’re feeling comfortable about taking a vacation and Fido isn’t going along so you need to hire a pet sitter.
Perhaps your previous dog walker or dog sitter isn’t available any longer because so much has changed over the last year. Or perhaps you’ve never hired a dog walker or pet sitter.
If you are in the market for a new dog walker or pet sitter, here are the things I think you should consider:
Find someone credible. Perhaps that is someone who has been doing this for a while who can provide you with references from current clients. Perhaps you can get a referral from a friend of yours or from your veterinarian.
Check the dog walker’s references. Actually call and speak to or email their references. Ask them what their favorite things are about them. Ask them if they’ve ever had any problems with the person. If so, what were those problems and how were they resolved?
Find out where the person lives. I believe having someone who lives fairly close to you makes the most sense.
Find out what your dog walker’s backup plan is if for some reason they can’t come at the last minute.
Find out what the person’s backup plan is for when they take time off.
Find out what their experience level is with dogs, cats, hamsters, etc. Whatever type of pet you have, ask about his/her experience. If you have a pet with special needs, definitely discuss in detail what those needs are and how you expect your pet to be cared for. Is your dog sitter comfortable with what you need to have done?
Ask about how your pet sitter or dog walker will handle any type of emergency. Hopefully nothing will happen but what if something does?
Does the dog walker have liability insurance? God forbid, what happens if your dog injures another dog while out on the walk? What if your pet sitter loses the keys to your house and your home has to be re-keyed?
Ask the dog walker if the same person will always walk your dog. If you’re hiring a pet sitter, ask if one person will do all of the visits or if it could be multiple people. In my opinion, having the same person is best so your pet has that consistency.
These are just a few of things that I can think of off the top of my head when I think about things to consider when hiring a new dog walker or pet sitter.
Do your research. Trusting someone with your beloved pet and with the keys to your house is a big deal.
Here’s just one recent example of what I’ve had to do in a last minute emergency situation.
This was a few months ago and Charlotte was experiencing a windy, rainy day. Branches were coming down and sure enough our power went out. Our garage door is VERY heavy and I can’t open it by myself when the power is out. So I had to walk to my next dog walking client.
I texted my client and explained what happened. I told her I’d be about 20 minutes late but that I was on my way and I’d get there. I did. But I’ll admit, walking in that type of weather was a big scary. Branches were coming down as the wind was swirling around.
But my client and perhaps more importantly, her dog were expecting me and Poppy needed her potty break.
This is why in my opinion, it’s important that your dog walker or pet sitter lives near you.
I’ve had other instances where I go to hop in my car and it won’t start. That’s actually happened to me twice. Once I flagged down a neighbor and she graciously let me borrow her car. Another time I walked to the job.
I started my dog walking and pet sitting company in 2009. I’ve had hiccups happen and now all these years later, I’m pretty good at handling whatever comes up. Luckily it’s only been a handful of issues in all these years but it’s important that you have confidence in whoever you hire.
You want to hire someone who can handle whatever happens. Because things will happen. Even to the best dog walker.
If you have questions or would like to discuss your dog walking or pet sitting needs, please contact me. 704-340-4105 or [email protected].