5 Ways to Help Your Dog Walker...so they can take better care of your dog
Believe it or not, a day in the life of a dog walker is very hectic. Imagine having to get to anywhere between 10 and 20 houses a day in a very small window (most midday dog walks take place between 10am and 3pm). In addition to getting to the right place at the right time, dog walkers have to contend with personalities of different dogs, keys and lockboxes and codes, parking spaces, avoiding mailmen and other triggers for dogs, bad weather, and the list goes on... Even three or four five-minute delays can wreak havoc on a dog walkers schedule. Here are five ways that you can help your dog walkers day go smoothly so they can focus more on caring about your dog, and less on logistics:
Leave your dog's supplies in the same spot every day and leave everything as close to the front door as possible. I can't tell you how many times we show up to walk a dog and the leash is not on the hook and we have to go searching for the leash or harness. Have a specified spot for all of your dog's walking supplies and make sure they are always there for your dog walker.
Provide poop bags and attach them to the dog's leash with a poop holder. Yes, dog walker's carry extra poop bags, but we all know how easy it is to run out, especially when walking over a dozen dogs a day. It's really helpful just to keep poop bags on the leash so your dog walker always has them and so that they don't have to spend their hard-earned money on them. A dog walker can go through about 20 poop bags a day, which can burn a hole in your wallet real quick.
New dog behaviors. This is an important one for safety. If you detect your dog exhibiting any new behaviors or triggers, please let your dog walker know. For example, if your dog has a bad experience with a scooter and as a result, your dog is now extremely reactive to scooters, this is a very important thing to tell your dog walker.
Lockbox codes, door codes and alarm codes. Let your dog walker know if these codes change. Yes, another thing that seems obvious, but you'd be surprised how often we arrive at people's homes to find that the code given to us no longer works and it's because the client changed it and forgot to tell the dog walker. We don't have time to make calls and wait around. If we don't know your code and can't get in the first time around, we won't be able to walk your dog.
Alarms. If you almost never turn your alarm on, but decide to turn it on out of the blue. Please let your dog walker know. It is mortifying when an alarm goes off. It's stressful for the dog while we try to flip through our phone to try to find the code given to us months or even years ago that we've never had to use. Please, if you decide to use your alarm and it's not a normal thing, just send a quick heads up with a reminder of the code.
There are lots of other things you can do, but this is a good start. Thank your dog walker today. They are working harder than you might think.