When you are seeking the help of a dog walker, you may be asking yourself which is best: to hire an individual from a local dog walking company, or to scan an online pet directory that pairs available dog walkers with pet owners? Here, these two options will be discussed.

Online Pet Directories

Online pet directories are becoming increasingly popular, thanks to a number of services which connect pet owners with dog walkers. However, there can be a number of drawbacks to these directories.

For instance, whereas a local dog walking company hires employees who have been trained and have undergone extensive background testing, the same is not always true for individuals who sign up to be dog walkers. While online reviews can be indicative of a job well-done, pet owners can never be truly certain whether these reviews are factual, or if they have been fabricated by family or friends.

Additionally, there is no guarantee that the people who sign up to be included in online pet directories are the people that they say they are. While a person can say that he or she is trained in pet first aid or is insured in case of accident, there is no real guarantee.

In many instances, there is also no safeguard should something occur to your dog or property when allowing a person from a pet directory into your home. Since these websites take a significant percentage of the dog walker’s profits, there is also little incentive for the person that you hire to spend quality time with your dog, since turnover is how these workers earn a living.

Local Dog Walking Company

There are numerous advantages to hiring a dog walker from a local company.

First and foremost, when you hire a dog walker you are supporting local business. Dog walking companies must register with their respective municipalities and follow all of the same rules and regulations as other local businesses. When you invest in a local company, you are also investing in your city or town.

Second, employees of a local dog walking company will have been required to undergo certain levels of training, all of which is readily available for verification. Upon request, you will be able to see certifications of CPR training and any licensing that is necessary.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of hiring from a local dog walking company is that dog walkers are guaranteed to be bonded and insured, which provides protection to the clients should anything happen to dog or property during a walk. There is also an additional level of trust, since dog walking companies are much more visible and transparent than people you are connected with via an online pet directory. It is much more feasible for you, the dog owner, to set up a meet and greet with a walker from a local company than with someone you have met online.

Finally, dog walking companies offer routine and stability for your pet. You are assured that the same walker will be available each time, and that he or she will provide the quality attention that your dog deserves!

Bottom Line

Ultimately, choosing a dog walker from a local dog walking company is the way to go if you are concerned about reliability, experience, and supporting local business!

Let us know your thoughts in the comments on services you use or have used in the past!