Why Hire a Professional Dog Walker?

Updated: Mar 10

When I tell people I run a dog walking and pet sitting business, I am often asked why they should hire a professional dog walker instead of just asking a friend or neighbor. Friends and neighbors generally aren’t going to say no to a favor, right? A family member or a friend is probably going to agree to lend you a hand, whether it’s bringing in your mail, taking out your garbage, or walking your dog.

But, in reality, how comfortable are you and the friend or neighbor with giving responsibility to someone who is busy and who is really only saying yes because they may feel obligated? Hiring a professional gives you and your family the peace of mind that your dog will be well-cared for while you're away from home.

Here are four reasons to hire a professional:

1. You Work With A Professional

A professional dog walker spends their days running their business and walking dogs. Ensuring you and your dog’s happiness is their TOP priority as a professional and as a business owner. A professional dog walker works on a schedule, which means your dog will have their walk at the time you scheduled. If there’s a problem, you will be the first person your dog walker calls. You can quickly and easily get in touch with your dog walker and many dog walkers will provide clients with an update at the end of their visit.

At Al Fresco Tails Pet Sitting, you will receive a report card after each walk with details of our time together with your dog, lots of cute photos, and GPS tracking information. We will always contact you by phone if we notice anything unusual concerning your dog or your home during our visit.

2. A Professional Dog Walker Has A Backup Plan

What happens if your friend or neighbor gets sick? Who will walk your dog? Will your friend or neighbor find a backup to ensure your dog gets the exercise and potty break they so desperately need? You never have to worry about that when you work with a professional dog walker. Should your dog walker have an emergency such as catching a cold, getting hurt, or have a transportation issue, they will have a backup dog walker to send in so your dog never misses a walk.

Recently at Al Fresco Tails Pet Sitting, we received an email from a client saying she needed an emergency last minute visit for her dogs. Turns out she had asked her brother to care for her dogs while she was away and he lost her keys. We request two sets of keys from every one of our clients at the time of our initial meeting and keep them in a safe and secure place in our home office so that situations like these can be avoided at all costs.

3. Your Professional Dog Walker Holds Sufficient Insurance

You must always be prepared for the unexpected. A professional dog walker protects their clients and themselves by carrying sufficient insurance. Dog walking and pet-sitting insurance may cover bodily injury (your dog injures another dog or a person) or property damage (your dog walker accidentally breaks a lamp in your home).

Ask your professional dog walker to show you proof of their insurance if you want to be certain they have it.

4. You Are In Charge

You pay a professional dog walker for a service. A professional dog walker will do things your way. For example, if you want your dog to have a treat after returning from his walk, your dog walker will give him a treat. If your dog needs to walk slower because of her age or ailment, your dog walker will adjust to your dog’s pace. If you want your dog walker to spend part of the visit brushing your dog or working on training commands, they will do it at every visit. A friend or a neighbor isn’t necessarily going to have the same time or dedication to ensuring your dog receives specialized attention.

At Al Fresco Tails Pet Sitting, we custom tailor each visit to each client’s and dog’s needs. By requiring every client to complete a detailed online profile we gather all the information we need to follow our client’s requests.

Here's a helpful infographic from Pet Sitters International differentiating between a professional and a hobby pet-sitter.

Why would you prefer to hire a professional dog walker versus a friend or a neighbor?

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