What to look for when choosing a dog walker, sitter or domestic boarder
First and foremost do a little research to see if they have insurance, if they are one of our members then we would already have checked this. This is important because if the worse happened and your dog became injured, or injured another dog you would have some protection. Also if they do have insurance this would suggest that it is a business and therefore you are employing a professional and with this comes experience and knowledge. No legitimate business would refuse you sight of their insurance documents and in most cases would be very happy to do so.
Dont be afraid to ask questions, after all you are trusting them with a loved part of your family. No professional dog walking or sitting business would be perturbed about being asked questions. Look for businesses that are registered to trade bodies and associations, whilst this does not offer any guarantees it would suggest that the business cares about its reputation.
Another good idea is to ask around friends and family in your area to see if they use a dog walker or dog sitter. Check out websites of local dog walkers and see if they are registered on truspilot or have online customer reviews. Quite often dog walkers can provide references from other happy customers, so it would be woth checking these out.
You must meet up with your dog walker in person, preferably in your own home and with your dog
It is essential that you meet with your prospective dog walker and they meet with you and your dog. Make sure they ask the right questions, such as medical needs, dietary needs if they are sitting your dog or giving treats on walks. APDWS provide all our members with forms to gather this very information and more, to ensure that all bases are covered. Normally you will be asked to sign a contract for walking and sitting and this is usual practice in the industry, make sure you add any additional needs as part of the contract.