Where to find good dog walkers is important, because many people may have adopted dogs then find circumstances change so they can’t do as many walks, but don’t want to send dogs back to shelters. If you are older or disabled, you can find volunteer dog walkers. But if you are paying, here are some places to find a good dog walker. Also see how to find good dog walks (which includes safety tips and the Countryside Code). And train your dog with kindness so that they are more likely to be safe, when out with their walker.
If you want to be a dog walker, see build a successful dog-walking business, which includes lots of tips on how to safely walk dogs, where to find dog first aid courses, where to find good dog walks and how to advertise your dog-walking business. Next Door is a free software to set up a community website that works a bit like a local FaceBook. You set a boundary and then can use it to advertise or swap anything, and of course this site can be used to find dog walkers, pet sitters or lost pets.
Tips to Find a Good Dog Walker
- Have dogs and walkers meet in your own home, and ask for references, insurance and first aid certificates (and membership of a dog walking or pet sitting organisation).
- Ask questions: Where do they take your dog? How many dogs do they walk at one time? Is their vehicle air-conditioned and what are their plans for emergencies?
- Do they clean and dry your dogs after walks? What is their cancellation policy, and what do they charge?
Dog Walking Websites
The following sites are a mix. Some just offer quick affordable walks and ‘pee breaks and cuddles’ for older dogs who perhaps just want a quick potter and fuss nearby or in the garden. Others offer more expensive fully insured and vetted walkers, often sending photos of dogs on walk, by phone. Other companies offer house-sitting, pet taxis and services to help other animals.
Many of these sites offer their own safety checks, but take references and do your own checks too. Some of the main dog-walking sites (read each one’s safety info) are:
The same safety caveats apply to house-sitting sites (which also look after pets, water plants):
- Barking Mad
- Animal Angels, Animal Aunts
- Mind a Home, Mind My House
- Max & Kitty
- Find a Local Pet Sitter
- National Association for Pet Sitters & Dog Walkers
- Housesitters UK, Homesitters, House and Home Sitters
- Nina’s Nannies for Pets (south east)
- Very Important Pets (London)
- Luxury House Sitting
- Rural Property Watch
A Good Idea (but follow up references)
Borrow My Doggy is a service for people who like dogs, but can’t have one full-time. Dog guardians join up for £50 a year to find dog fans (£13 a year) who will ‘borrow your dog’ when you need someone to look after your pooch. The site has a safety page (they verify details). Premium members get insurance and access to 24/7 vet help.
This is a great idea for people who can’t find dog walkers, but could be abused by people involved in dog theft or puppy mills. So always ask for multiple references and follow them up, ensure you know their full contact details, and follow all safety advice on the website.