As we live increasingly busy lives, more pet owners these days now rely on a dog walker to take their pet out during working hours, when they are unable to be at home to exercise their dogs themselves. However, as more unregulated people decide to take dog walking up as an employment role, it appears that just a few of the professional dog walkers are actually registered and insured to look after any animals in their care.
The dog walking profession is a minefield
Recent reports suggest that around 60% of owners who employ a dog walker don’t have any contract or legal agreement to ensure that their pet is cared for and exercised to any set standards. Many just hand over, not only their much loved dog, but in some cases their house keys too, to a person who has just decided to set up his own dog walking business, on a whim. They have obviously decided that they like dogs and exercise too, so why not amalgamate the two activities and make some cash. These circumstances don’t give any confidence at all to the dog owner, but often they don’t feel they have any alternatives, as their dog needs to do toilet duties and they need to be at work during the day. Obviously, not all dog walkers are the same!
The new Professional Dog Walkers’ Guidelines
The Pet Industry Federation, Dog Trusts and the RSPCA have drawn up this new set of guidelines, to make it safer for everyone involved. This information includes necessary data for the Local Authorities and provides an agenda that dog walkers should adhere to. In addition, the guidelines provide clarification for pet owners, so they can have a better understanding of what to expect from their chosen dog walker.
The guidelines include a series of indicators on how best to care for dogs in their charge, when walking more than one dog, exercising them and transporting them in a vehicle.
Main pointers in the Dog Walkers’ Guidelines and how Finchley Dog Walker conforms are:
- The Maximum number of dogs that the dog walker can walk at any one time
The guidelines state that this must not exceed the number on the insurance policy of the dog walker and certainly not more than 4 at one time.
Finchley Dog Walker never walks more than 3 dogs together and in most cases just carries out solo dog walks
- All dogs under the care of the dog walker should be under their control and transported in accordance with guidelines.
Finchley Dog Walker never transports any of the dogs in a vehicle.
- The dog’s physical and mental well-being must be the priority at all times
Finchley Dog Walker always meets with the dog’s owners initially, to discuss their pet’s medical and physical health and also if there are any other issues that will affect the dog walk, such as anxieties and aggressive tendencies. Your dog’s well-being is always my number one priority.
- The dog must be walked in a way to interact and stimulate them in their environment
Finchley Dog Walker interacts on a confident level with all the dogs we walk. We alternate our routes to keep the dog keen and interested, and we never use any training or leading equipment that could cause any distress or anxieties.
- Dog walkers must be prepared for any emergency that involves the dog
Finchley Dog Walker always carries the emergency contact details for each dog owner. In addition, we always carry a canine first aid kit on our walks and we are trained in canine first aid treatment.
In addition, we always place the dog’s health and welfare above any commercial interest at all times. We aim to comply with all local legislation and legalities that surround the dog walking profession. We are fully insured against many eventualities, for your peace of mind.
It is hoped that these new guidelines will eliminate some of the problems associated within the dog walking industry and raise the standards as the same time.
As always, if you have any queries relating to this or any other aspect of dog walking, please contact Derek on 077 077 6 33 44
Here is a link to the related newspaper article