Hi looking for some advice about getting a dog walker. Do you give them a key? Take up references? Should they be insured? Can I ask about how they handle the dog if they misbehave. It is all abit new to me so if anyone has some experience of this please share! Thank you
I was lucky with my dog walker as I had met her walking past my house before we got our dog, with her puppy. Then when we did get our dog I was socialising her by often walking with the dog walker. Yes, they need to be insured (and I know that she had to call on this when her van was stolen with all the client's keys in - she had to pay for new locks to all of those properties); yes they (normally at least) have a key, let themselves in, pick the dog up and then drop it home again later.
I knew how she dealt with discipline from seeing her so that was no problem. In fact, her dog tended to bring the rest of the pack into line pdq (natural born leader) so dog walker rarely had to do too much.
I'm a member of NARPS, the National Association of Registered Pet Sitters, and have my insurance through them. I've got £5 million public liability, and am also covered for loss of keys. We have a code of conduct and are all police checked.
I have keys for some of the dogs but not others, depends on whether the family is out when I come or not.
I expect to spend about 40 minutes with the new client/dog, learning all about what they're like, and will ask questions about recall, commands, medical history... all sorts of stuff.