If you live in Surrey, Langley, Pitt Meadows, or New West British Columbia, you have different options for dog walkers to help you. Companies and solo dog walkers are happy to serve you in these areas. It’s you who is to decide who suits you the best. Cost isn’t the only variable that should be under consideration while making the decision if you want the best possible care for your fur baby. Here are some things to consider before hiring someone.
1. Know the Difference
A Hobby Sitter
A hobby sitter is a person who is fond of dogs and loves to offer services on an occasional basis. They are not professionals and are not bonded, licensed or have any training. These people are easy to find, and you can look them into social media groups or apps such as Rover, the uber of dog walking. Their services are usually on the less expensive end.
Professional Dog Walker
These are licensed, bonded and insured solo walkers or companies. They have procedures and policies written in black and white. You can ask them for a copy of the terms and conditions or any documents mentioned above to know them better. These organizations are guaranteed to provide you with the best services you can find to keep your dogs safe.
2. Does Company has Employees or Contractors
Usually, there are two methods by which companies opt to hire the staff. One is hiring employees, and the other is hiring independent contractors. If the company has employees, it will offer them training, tools, and education to offer you the best service to maintain their name and quality services. Following is the list of requirements which companies have to fulfill for their employees:
- Annual police record checks
- Regular training sessions
- Continuing education
- Tools and knowledge to make the job easy
- Follow company policies and regulations
- Covered by Workers Compensation for the clients protection
The contractors provide dog walkers who are not necessarily well trained, equipped with tools, and know to carry out the job. That’s why choosing a company with employees will always ensure high-quality services.
3. What About the Backup Plan?
Has it ever happened to you that the dog walker had to cancel the services on you because of some emergency? A dog walker can have a medical or work emergency, and he or she will be unable to provide you with the services right away. Since solo dog walkers work alone they don’t have backup plans if they get sick or their car breaks down they will be unable to complete their walks that day. You may also have to scramble to find care for your dog in the event the dog walker wants to take vacation or time off.
On the other hand, companies work as a team and have multiple staff to attend to those emergencies. Sometimes their office staff comes to help the client in the case the scheduled walker that day can not make the walk. With a company there is always a plan B so you can rest assured your pet will get the care they need.
4. Read Reviews
Reviews are not only the online responses in terms of feedback that customers write on websites and apps. Rather they are the true picture and nature of the company how they are doing in the business. Reviews will help you find out the approach and professionalism in the company. The words like responsive, friendly, and professional mean a lot in positive reviews about the company.
But negative reviews don’t necessarily mean that company is doing badly, and you should skip it. You must go to the negative review section and look for the company’s response. If they offered solutions, remained friendly, and helped the client. If their response seems rude and they don’t take responsibility, leave this option right away and go for another one.
5. What is the booking process, and how do they handle your information?
Technology has changed the outlook and interface of almost every business around. Dog walkers are no exception, and they also have to evolve and stand up to date with the help of technology. If your dog walker takes your cellphone and contacts you through text or call and doesn’t send you a proper invoice this creates a higher possibility for booking and billing errors to occur.
Other dog walkers have an app to put your personal information on it. Personal information is guarded with a high level of security and encryption. All of your invoices and schedules are managed online without any hassle. They are more secure and making booking and modifying services easy.
Over to You
There are many options to consider when choosing someone to trust with your fur children. We encourage you to do some research on your own to come up with the best option for you and your family. But the list mentioned above is a good head start when looking for the best care for your fur baby. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.