4 things to ask your walker
Due diligence, folks! Don't hire that eager, smiling "animal lover" until you have met him in person and ascertained the following:
- Do you have insurance, and are you bonded? While there is no state-issued license for dog walking, there is a range of insurance policies that can cover anything from lost keys to a pet's vet bills. A dog walker who has gone to the expense of procuring insurance shows good faith and seriousness, and is likely not just a "fair weather walker" looking to make a quick buck. A bonded dog walker has gone one step further and thought about the risk of theft or break in (should your keys get lost). You want someone who is reliable and planning to stick around - someone who has purchased these types of assurance is in it for the long haul, and considers this their "profession", not just a job.
- How do I know you'll be here on time, and spend the full time with my dog? You're not asking him to tell you how much he loves dogs and wants to spend every hour with them. You want to get some form of verification that your walker is indeed picking your pup up at the right time, and leaving her, happy and tuckered out, exactly 30 minutes later (or 60, or whatever you hired him for). How can you know for sure? There are a few ways your dog walker can show you this kind of transparency. A good walker will know how to prove this to you, and set your mind at ease.
- What is your policy for cancellations, time off, and emergencies?A good walker will acknowledge that there will be sick days, there will be family emergencies, and there will occasionally be a desire for a day off. You don't want to be left scrambling for help when your dog walker texts you at 5pm that he couldn't make it due to a personal crisis. Exemplary dog walkers have a contingency plan, and they make it easy for you. They cover your pup, no matter what.
- How involved are you with animals? This is more an observation than a question. You want a caretaker who is going to be able to communicate with you quickly, openly - but also will be IN LOVE with your cat or dog. Rolling on the floor with them. Affectionate, patient. If your dog is rambunctious or has special needs, you want a walker who is going to be assertive but loving. Animal people tend to exude kindness. People who are looking to make money at an (ostensibly) easy gig? not so much. Also, you can ask if the walker volunteers at a shelter or has adopted animals of their own. Do they belong to any pet rescue organizations? Any pet-sitting industry orgs?
With McCarren Bark, you can be assured the oversight and accountability of dealing with a company. We are bonded and insured. We truly love animals. You will receive exact proof of our comings and goings, and we have a backup plan for all clients. We love meeting new clients and their pets! To book your free consultation with us - go ahead, ask all the hard Qs! - please contact us.