If you work long hours, travel a lot, or have a canine with special needs, a dog walker can be a godsend.
Knowing that a trusted professional will be there to help care for your companion while you’re away, whether she’s administering medicine or just a mid-day potty break, can put your mind at ease. On the other hand, having an unfamiliar person in your home could raise issues that might not even cross your mind, yet pose significant problems for your new walker. These ten tips cover the seemingly incidental details you might otherwise overlook, but that will help prevent mishaps or misunderstandings.
1. Leave the leash in a visible spot, within reach of the door.
This keeps your walker from having to hunt for it, (you know it’s in the hall closet – but she doesn’t), and can also aid in soothing a nervous or anxious dog who might refuse to let a stranger into your home.
2. Leave treats/balls/favorite toys out in an easily accessible area.
These familiar items can also help coax a shy or worried dog into a better frame of mind.
3. Keep him confined.
If you know your dog is skittish and will be wary of the walker, make sure to confine him to an area where he can be approached easily. This prevents him from hiding under the bed or other unreachable spot until he becomes comfortable with your walker.
4. If you have a house alarm, make sure you give your walker the code.
Make sure also to give her the pass code. This is a keyword you set with the alarm company to prevent the police from being dispatched in the event your alarm is accidentally triggered.
5. Check your spare key before giving it to your walker.
Make sure it isn’t a defunct key from an old lock you have since replaced. Newly cut keys can often be problematic, so try them out on your locks before handing them over to your walker.
6. Leave cleaning materials out for any accidents, and also in case of inclement weather.
An old towel by the door is an easy solution to muddy paws or a soggy dog.
7. Post emergency contact numbers on a notepad (with pen) by your phone.
In any kind of urgent situation, it is helpful for a walker to have this vital information at her fingertips. In turn, she can leave notes for you about what she and your dog did that day!
8. When leaving notes for your walker, be clear and concise.
She needs the important information about your companion, so don’t bury the essentials in a verbose, fivepage letter. This increases the risk that something will get overlooked.
9. Cancel in advance, if necessary.
You are sick and home from work. Or it’s a beautiful day, and you are pretending to be sick! Either way, make sure to call your walker and cancel as soon as possible. Not only is it considerate, but it also avoids any uncomfortable situations when she shows up unexpectedly to find you in your bathrobe.
10. Mention other house guests.
Inform your walker if you expect anyone else – cable guy, housekeeper, old roommate – to be in your home on particular day. This prevents surprising anyone or inadvertently locking someone out.
Having a good working relationship with your dog walker makes life easier for everyone, including your canine companion. And isn’t that what it’s all about?