How The Hell Do I Find The Right Dog Walker in Honiton?
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
When it comes to finding dog care for your fur baby, it can be a daunting task. With many services popping up all over the place, who can you trust? which ones are the best for you? and how do you know that they are any good?
Looking after dogs might seem like a wonderful job and you can imagine these dog walkers skipping through the daisies full of the joys of spring everyday…
And mostly we are!
But there are days, if you’re an awesome one, you can be spending time putting systems and procedures in place incase something happens, battling through the mud and endlessly cleaning dogs off, and spending amazing amounts of time sharing your growing knowledge with people to ensure the happiness and safety of all dogs.
So what about you and your fur buddy? how can you find the good ones?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
I’ve got 10 top tips to help you find the perfect dog walker in Honiton for you. A lot of this will depend on how much you are willing to spend, prices will range from £8 - £25 per walk/adventure depending on what you want.
Cheap is not always cheerful and I’ve seen a lot of walkers disappear when they charge too little leaving their clients in the lurch after a couple of years.
You see, there is no margin for growth and development. I normally do 6 hours a day of pick up, drop off and walking but then I’m often working at home up until 9pm most days doing things like this. If a dog walker wants to be the best it’s hard graft. You have to live, breath and love dogs.
Here are my 10 top tips:-
Is the Dog Walker Insured?
Most insurance companies will insure up to 6 dogs. I know a few dog walkers that will take more and will hire help, as far as I’m aware all the hired help will need insurance too. It maybe something to check.
2. Is There Council Restrictions?
Some councils restrict the number of dogs that a walker can take out. For instance London reduced the amount walked down to 4 due the amount of problems in parks and too many complaints. East Devon has a restriction of 6 dogs per 1 handler in public spaces and you must put your dog on a lead if asked to do so. Be sure that your dog walker isn't going out with other dog walkers which largely increases the numbers, this goes against the spirit of the 6 dog rule and i'll guarantee it will lead to lots more dog waste not being picked up.
3. Does The Dog Walker Have A DBS Check?
A DBS check is a police database check to see if you’ve been up to no good and been caught! Most good dog walkers have one just for customer peace of mind but there is no legal requirement to have one. These people will be wondering in and out of your house with your most prized possession so seeing a DBS is reassuring. You can also look at reviews to gauge what kind of person they are.
4. Canine First Aid Training
A serious dog walker will do a days training learning CPR and how to deal with an array of tricky situations. If the dog walker doesn’t have this certificate it could be an indication they’re not really interested in their growth and development. For me it would be a telling sign.
5. Various Courses and Learning
Does your walker want to learn more? do they go to course and learn about things like training, behaviour and marketing? Do they know how to look after their clients as well as their dogs? Have they won any awards? Do they want to learn more about dog training, nutrition and care?
Is your dog going to be individually crated whilst being transported? I can tell you, there are a few irresponsible walkers that will place your dog into a group of dogs he doesn’t know, loose in the back of the van. Traveling in the back of a van can be a little daunting at the best of times so having their own space is essential for most dogs to feel safe. It’s not just feeling safe though, what would happen if a fight broke out during travel? What would happen in the event of a crash? What happens when you open the van door? There has been a case of a dog walkers being taken to court for irresponsible transportation because a little dog was attacked and killed whilst in travel.
7. The Walk
What will the walker be doing with the dogs whilst out? If the answer is “I let them run about together and they wear themselves out” then you maybe in for a rough ride. It’s a proven fact that dog play without any interaction or control from the handler could leave your dog, dog obsessed and it could result in your dog entirely ignoring you the moment another dog appears. Find a walker that encourages your dog to ignore other dogs and wants them to enjoy playing with the handler instead of each other. Find someone that has a list of activities they like to do on the walk. That way your dog will be very dog tolerant but more interested in you than other dogs.
8. Meet and Greet
After an initial phone call to see if you’re a good fit for each other they will offer to pop round to your house to meet you all, equipped with a form and some treats they will have a good chat about your dogs character and want to know lots of information. From there, if all goes well they will offer you a space, the best ones will offer a trial period.
9. Trial Process
Integrating a new dog into an established group can be a delicate process because the first few times the new dog is going to be a little nervous and apprehensive. The best dog walkers will offer you some trial solo walks to start with so the dog and the handler can form a bond which will make his first group walk a lot easier for him. The walker will be wanting to see how your dog interacts with the others, how good their recall is and how happy they are whilst they’re out with you. They may want to keep your dog on a longline until they are 100% sure your dog is settled.
Reviews are invaluable for finding out information. If the majority are 5* then you’re on to a winner. A good dog walker will be happy to organise for you to speak to one of their existing clients and they will expect you to provide a review if they do a good job.