What to Look For in a Dog Walker
By Jason Metzler, Wag Labs Inc.
From being a professional dog walker for years to owning my own dog walking business to co-founding a startup built around dog walking, I know what makes a good dog walker. If you’re thinking about becoming a professional dog walker, check out these tips below.
Wag looks for dog walkers with experience as a pet professional. Our dog walkers are registered veterinary technicians, shelter volunteers, foster parents, dog groomers, dog trainers and/or have their own dog walking business. An experienced pet professional knows how to make the dog walk fun. With experience, our dog walkers know, among other things: 1) to bring all-natural treats, 2) how to deal with sluggish dogs and 3) how much energy each breed needs.
A dog walker has to be accountable as the pet’s health and well-being are in his/her hands on a regular basis. Professional dog walkers always show up at the desired time and place, and are responsible for bringing dogs back safe and sound. Accountable dog walkers use calendars with set reminders to keep track of their schedule. Here is a tip: you can sync your scheduled walks in your calendar with Waze, which will alert you when you need to leave in order to make it to your dog walking appointment on time.
A good dog walker must be thorough in carrying out his/her duties. Most owners will leave notes about their dog’s health issues, triggers and preferences. A great dog walker makes sure to read—and remember—a note’s every detail before beginning a walk. The last thing anyone wants is a dog walker who does not follow instructions to the T. If a note states that the dog must be crated after the walk and the walker misses this detail, the owner could come home to a chewed up pair of Jimmy Choos, a ripped up signed Michael Jordan jersey or a damaged Eames chair.
A dependable dog walker will go the extra mile to make sure every dog receives a safe and enjoyable walk. He or she will always arrive on time and provide amazing service to the family every time. Dog walkers should have a postal carrier’s mentality; they show up no matter if it’s raining, sleeting, snowing or sunny.
A passionate dog walker will never cut a dog walk short unless it’s an emergency. They take photos of their adventures and happily share them with their clients. Passionate dog walkers take pride in what they are doing, and it shows in the dogs they walk. They take the time to know as much about their four-legged clients as possible, including each dog’s birthday as well as favorite treats.
To learn more about what Wag looks for in its dog walkers, check out this page: https://wagwalking.com/dog-walker.
About the author: Jason Meltzer is the Co-Founder and Chief Dog Officer of Wag Labs Inc., which runs the app Wag! and DogWalking.com. Wag Labs recently became a sponsor of ABC’s Pet Sitting & Dog Walking short-term program.