Find Me A Dog Walker
This organisation (PDWA) is a recently established, national trade association set up by an ex dog walking professional for dog walking professionals with the aim of setting industry standards by implementing professional and ethical values.
We provide assistance to the public who may be looking to employ a dog walker or small pet sitter. If you are looking to employ a dog walker the following information details some points to consider, what questions to ask and what documents to see.
We encourage our members to use our Site Seal on their website and letterheads so if you see it, you can be assured that they have been thoroughly background checked:
All dog walkers listed on our website agree to comply as far as practicable with the Professional Dog Walkers Association Best Practice Guidelines & Compliancy Code.
Hiring a Dog Walker:
If you are thinking about hiring a dog walker here are a few suggestions on what questions to ask and documents to see. Remember that you are the client and you will probably be handing over a key to your home as well as access to your dog - you need to find the right person to best serve you:
- Always interview in the comfort of your own home - you and your dog will be more relaxed.
- How long have they been trading?
- What experience and / or qualifications do they have?
- Evidence of documentation - Public Liability Insurance, Employers Liability Insurance (if they have employees) any other additional cover; Criminal Disclosure certificate, canine first aid certificate. If you accept their services ensure the revalidation of their documentation after validity lapses.
- Can they provide references? If so take them up.
- Membership of a professional body, they have probably agreed to abide by the body's charter / code of conduct. Ask what this entails.
- How many dogs do they walk at once? How many are they insured to walk at any one time? How many dogs do the council allow them to walk at any one time?
- Do they walk dogs individually? (if this is your preferred option).
- Do they walk the dogs on or off the leads?
- What is their policy for walking special needs dogs such as sick dogs, bitches in season or grumpy dogs.
- What is their booking policy?
- Can they accommodate short notice changes?
- Do they have additional staff / assistants?
- Do they provide holiday cover, their holidays may not tie in with yours.
- Is there an ongoing staff training procedure in place?
- Do they have a key holding policy?
- Do they have a dedicated vehicle?
- Is the vehicle fully insured for business use?
- When being transported is your dog safe and secure? Do they comply with The Highway Code (Sections 56 and 57 relate to the transportation of pets and how dogs should be walked on a public highway).
- Is the vehicle adequately ventilated / air conditioned?
- Do they dry / clean up the dogs after a walk?
- Do they photograph the dogs and use the material on their website or social media? How do you feel about that?
- How do they clear up any mess?
- How much do they charge, are there any additional costs such as registration fees, mileage, booking amendments etc..?
- How do they bill you and preferred payment method?
- How would they communicate with you throughout the day? Do they provide a daily report?
- What are their emergency procedures? Unfortunately even with the best prepared risk assessments in place, unforeseen incidents can occur - vehicle breakdown, road traffic accidents, sickness (human or canine), incidents in public areas with third parties, injury (human and canine) etc etc.
Always remember that commitment is two way, when entering into an agreement with your dog walker you will also have responsibilities and obligations to them.
We are available for chat on the phone or by email. Due to our working commitments please note our opening hours for telephone support.