If your work schedule has prohibited you from being home for the much-needed dog walk, you may have called on the services of a dog walker. These professionals, who walk rain or shine, picking up poop as they go, are recognized every year on National Dog Walker Appreciation Day.
When is National Dog Walker Appreciation Day?
National Dog Walker Appreciation Day is held every year on September 8. The pet holiday was founded by Wag! and was launched in 2016.
Why We Need to Celebrate Dog Walkers
“Picking up poop is just one part of a dog walker’s job — and it’s the easiest part of this business,” said Jason Meltzer, co-founder and chief dog officer at Wag!, the app that connects dog owners with professional dog walkers.
“But everyone has a special story about the dog walker who rushed across town to let the dog out when its owner got stuck at work, or who watered the plants, fed the fish and watched the house while the family was away on vacation.
“Dog walkers go above and beyond the call of duty every day; yet, most people have no idea how demanding the job is. National Dog Walker Appreciation Day gives walkers the long overdue spotlight they’ve earned.”
Hiring a Dog Walker
When hiring a dog walker, be sure to do your due diligence, starting with an interview:
- Ask about experience and background. How long has this person been a dog walker and has he or she ever taken care of a dog like yours? This is especially important if you have a shy dog or a dog with behavioral concerns. Ask for references from previous clients. Call the references and ask about the dog walker’s reliability and trustworthiness.
- Find out if the dog walker is insured. Some dog walkers are very part time (or are your neighbors) and don’t have insurance. Whether or not to hire them is a decision you have to make. Professional dog walkers should be covered by insurance.
- Find out how they handle emergencies. This discussion is especially important for your piece of mind. Ask:
- Do they know where your vet’s office is and can they take your dog there in an emergency?
- Do they have back ups to cover for them in case of their own personal emergencies?
- Have they taken pet first aid courses?
- Find out how busy their schedule is. Dog walking is a job. Do they pack their day so full of dog walks that they end up shortening their walk just to get to all of them? Also, are they so busy that they’re heading for burnout?
Interviewing a dog walker before you hire them is an important step and one you won’t regret taking the time to do. The goal is to find someone you and your dog are happy with as it could be the start of a great long-term relationship for all of you.