Picking your Pet sitter or dog walker

Deciding to get a third party to care for your pets can be a daunting prospect.

You’ve gone on to Facebook or google and typed in “dog walker or pet sitter”.

Oh my… you’re greeted with thousands of different companies, lots of reviews, lots of different ways of doing things.

But who do you go with? Who do you contact first?

In our first ever blog post we are going to explain our process and what you should ask ANY pet service provider you may use.

First question to ask yourself… what are you looking for?

What are your animal’s needs? Are they nervous? Do they have medical conditions? Do they get on with other animals? Do they cope with being away from home?

All of these factors will help you choose the right care for your animals and will help you filter out who does and doesn’t provide what you are looking for.

Most pet service providers will want to meet you in person and have a set of forms for you to fill in. This is a really important part of choosing your pet carer, it ensures the safety of everyone involved along with providing them with information on your pets.

At hoof&paws we always do a home visit meeting. During this visit, we have a few forms we go through including a medical form which allows us permission to take your pets to the vets if need be, and a walking form allowing us permission to walk your dog(s), their needs (such as allowing them off-lead or to stay on-lead), along with our terms and conditions.

We discuss your animals’ personalities, their routines, habits, likes and dislikes. We like to see them in their natural environment. This helps us provide the best possible care for your animals.

During the visit we may choose to book in a date to walk the dog(s) with the owner, if they are particularly nervous, have behavioural problems or maybe just never had a dog walker before.

If you’ve never used a pet service before you may feel overwhelmed. What do you ask?

Here’s our top list of questions you should be asking all pet service providers on your first meeting.

  • Insurance – can they prove they are insured? (We always carry our documents on the first meeting for you to see)
  • Are they DBS Checked?
  • Do they hold any additional qualifications, e.g. canine first aid training?
  • Can they provide recommendations/reviews?
  • How do they conduct each service you are looking to use?
  • How long is your dog transported for? And how are they transported?
  • Where are they walked? Is it varied or the same place each time?
  • Length of services?
  • Do they provide photos?
  • Do they have a Facebook page or website?

At the end of the meeting, ask yourself did you feel comfortable? Did your animal appear to be happy having them around?

These meetings are so important and tell you a lot about the company and if they would be suitable for your needs and your animals.

If you’d like to set up a meet and greet with Hoof & Paws please give us a ring on: 07507059427

Alternatively email us on: Hoof_paws@yahoo.com