It's been awhile since we posted anything on our blog and our only excuse is we have been very very busy at dogs4walks.
Vanessa has just celebrated her 1 year anniversary with the company and work in the last few months has really taken off for us. So much so that with all the enquiries we get weekly alot of them have been passed onto a great dog walking friend of ours Helen at Lots of Walks Dog Walkers.
It's always great when you can have someone your completely trust to pass work onto.
Which brings us to the title of this post 'How do you choose a dog walker?'
We have never used one and in all honesty I would really struggle in deciding who to choose. Just recently I shared a post on a local Facebook group where I aired my views on a few things I've seen since starting this business. Which in fact got deleted because apparently it's not the right thing to do.
Apparently everyone in the dog walking business should stick together and support each other whether you agree with their methods or not. With some of these methods being letting dog's running around a lane where car's come and go, walking 10 dogs at a time with only 1 walker being in charge or only walking dog's for a period of 5-45 mins when they are supposed to be walked a full hour.
So how would I choose my dog walker.
Firstly I would try and find out what the walker was interested in. Alot of dog walkers will say they love dogs and walk in all weathers.
To me that doesn't give enough information about the person I would be choosing. Some businesses may just happily stand around in a field or make a 10mins walk last an hour (this would send me mad).
So for me in my spare time I go out hiking the hills or other areas and take the dogs with me. Just last weekend Vanessa and I took our dog's for a 9 mile walk on our day off. That's how much we love walking and how much we love our dog's.
Holidays is another thing. Where do we go and who goes on the holiday.
Well the 4 of us go away Vanessa, Reece, Snoop and Poppy. We haven't had 1 holiday away where our dogs didn't join us. WHY???
Because they are part of the family and we love them exploring with us.
We don't want to go away without the dogs and spend a holiday drinking or laying in the sun. Dogs are our life, that's how much we care about them.
I want my dog walker to feel the same about their dogs as I do.
What else would I look into is reviews. Now this is a hard one because who knows if the reviews are real. Yes I've seen some businesses get their friends and families to rate them 5 stars even if they don't own a pet.
It doesn't take much for a look into this part and understand whether some are just from family and friends or are real.
Another big one for me is even if 100 people on Facebook say their dog walker is amazing doesn't mean its true. They might just be friendly with loads of people on Facebook and talk a good game.
A major part for me would be honesty. Does your dog walker tell you everything that goes on whether good or bad. Or is it all 'Oh yes he was such a good boy today on his walk'.
My customers want the truth and I will tell them. I don't beat around the bush and I want my customers to know this. Hence another reason for this post owners need to know what can go on out there because we are looking after their pets.
There's also things like and this is a big one for me. After the walk ends what happens? Are the dog's just thrown in the van and off they go, are they left to walk around and in between cars while others are being dried.
Or are they tethered to the vehicle so they cannot cause issues and be dried safely.
Safety in this line of work to me is a major factor as I would hate for anything to happen to my dog let alone someone else's.
Choosing a dog walker is hard hence we have always made our life choices including jobs work around the dog's so we never needed one.
As I've said apparently I shouldn't post things like this but this is where we are different from others. We have and always will tell you what goes on.
It's not jealousy (why would it be?? we are pretty much full to the brim with the dog's we walk).
So if you get to the point where you need to choose I hope you make the right decision.