Last month I took you through 7 things you should ask and check with your potential new dog walker. This month I’m going to take you through 7 things you could tell your potential dog walker about your dog, you and your home.
You may well be out all day and that’s why you need a dog walker. But it’s still important for you both to build up a relationship. You both have your dog’s comfort, happiness and welfare in common.
The most important thing is to be honest. You may not want to highlight some of your dog’s habits but we will find out as we walk them, so best to be upfront about them. It’s better for us to be prepared, especially if your dog is reactive to certain triggers.
1) Let us know where your landline is, if you have one. In the case of emergencies, we may need to use it if the mobile signal is patchy or non-existent. Also feel free to show us where your fuse box is and the such like. I’ve had to hunt in a house for the fuse box before after a storm.
2) Show us where you keep your dog’s stuff. I know most dog owners have a cupboard specifically for their dogs. Let us know where it is, show us where their leads are, water bowls, treats, towels. That way you don’t have to leave them all out as we will put them away. This saves us having to open and look through cupboards if we need a towel, for example. Also show us where your cleaning products are. Your dog may well be house trained but if your dog is unwell or has an accident then we will clean it up. Show us where the floor cleaner is, mop, bucket, floor wipes, cloths, kitchen towel – basically whatever you would use to clear up an accident.
3) Ok, this one is nothing to do with your dogs but please show us where your toilet is. We try and fit our toilet breaks in at supermarkets. Sometimes we really need a wee though, especially in the summer when we are drinking more. We won’t use your toilet unless we are desperate and we never go upstairs, but if you have a downstairs toilet please show us. You could be saving us in our hour of need!
4) Let us know how we can contact you. If you have no phone signal at work, or not allowed phones then let us know who to call instead. Give us as many contact names and numbers as you like. The more the merrier, this means in the unlikely event of an emergency we can get hold of someone.
5) Tell us about what your dog is like on a lead, truthfully please! If your dog is a puller, we need to know. We may be able to suggest a harness or lead that will help and make it more comfortable for us all to walk your dog. If you dog has no road sense, again please make us aware.
6) If your dog is reactive in any way we must be told. You may have accepted it as just one of those things but if your dog goes nuts when it sees another dog, for our own safety we need to know. We won’t judge you, we will just be prepared and may well take your dog on a walk in a different location.
7) Tell us what your dog likes to do for fun! We want them to really enjoy their walk with us so if they love playing ball, tell us. If they like an ear rub, tell us. If they love to do some training, tell us. Whatever it is that makes your dog tick if you tell us we can make sure your dog gets the most out of their walk.
I honestly can say that if any customers told me any or all the above then I would be very happy. I would feel fully informed and would know about any potential obstacles before the first walk.
Love Sally x