Dog walkers are a great way to give your pup some exercise and fresh air while you’re at work. If you’ve been thinking about hiring one for your dog, here’s what you need to know:
1) They come in two forms: professional and do-it-yourself.
- Professional dog walkers usually charge by the hour or half-day (usually 8 hours).
- Do-it-yourself dog walkers may offer rates per mile, but they will typically require more investment upfront with equipment like leashes, collars, food bowls, etc.
2) Dog Walker prices vary depending on factors such as how often they visit your home and whether or not they provide other services like pet sitting or administering medication.
- Professional dog walkers usually charge between $12-$20 per visit for one medium to a large-sized animal.
- Do-it-yourself services may run as low as $15 per week, but you will need to invest in leashes and collars, etc., which can cost at least another $40 on top of that initial amount.
3) You’ll want to ask several Dog Walkers for their references so you can get a feel for the experience others have had with them.
- Professional dog walkers should be able to provide some degree of background information about themselves and what they do, but not always.
- Do it yourself services will require more research on your part into whether or not they are reputable in your area. Many people refer to online forums like Yelp! where other pet owners can share their experiences with specific businesses.
4) Dog walkers should have liability insurance.
- Worker’s compensation will cover most professional dog walking services. Still, they may not carry any additional coverage like general liability insurance to protect you in the event of an incident.
- Do it yourself services must always carry their own liability insurance regardless of whether or not you also provide them with your homeowner’s policy number (which is usually a good idea).
5) Dog walkers should always ask for proof of your dog’s vaccinations.
- Professional services will likely request this information anyway (especially if you are dropping off and picking up the pup yourself).
- Do it yourself services may not be as concerned about vaccination records, but they should still verify that each animal has current shots before taking them out to play with others in public parks.
It is important to note that many professional dog walking companies do require proof of immunization prior to their service beginning. However, some also offer other pet care services like administering medication or pet sitting, which does not require any kind of vaccine verification at all so long as those activities happen within a confined space like an apartment or single-family home.
The Bottom Line
There are many reliable, professional Dog Walkers in the world, like the Fancy Paws Chicago. They make a living by walking dogs for people who don’t have enough time to walk their own dogs. These were the five must-know things and some prominent differences between a professional and a Do-it-yourself dog walker. We hope that it was helpful!