How to Hire the Right Dog Walker

dog walkers professional dog walking companies

If you’re a new puppy parent, congratulations! You’re em-bark-ing on a journey that’s guaranteed to be filled with love, loyalty, and a lot of memories!  For new puppy parents who know they’ll be out of the house for long stretches of time due to their work schedule or other away-from-home commitments, it can be gut-wrenching […]

If you’re a new puppy parent, congratulations! You’re em-bark-ing on a journey that’s guaranteed to be filled with love, loyalty, and a lot of memories! 

For new puppy parents who know they’ll be out of the house for long stretches of time due to their work schedule or other away-from-home commitments, it can be gut-wrenching having to leave your fur baby behind. 

Not only do you not want your puppy to have to be home alone for so long, you also don’t want to leave your home vulnerable to puppy poop and other potential damages that could result. 

An excellent solution is to have a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor commit to stopping by your home to tend to your puppy and take the little guy out for a walk. 

But what if all of the most trustworthy and reliable people in your life aren’t available to help? 

Hiring the right dog walker could be the answer you’re looking for. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can hire the right dog walker, and the information and tips that we’ll go over can be applied to dogs of all ages. If you’re considering getting a professional dog walker, this blog is for you!


Hiring a dog walker is a lot like hiring a babysitter. This individual will be responsible for the safety and wellbeing of your pet, and they’ll also have access to your home. Picking a trustworthy, reliable, and recommended person is key. 

This will take research in order to find dog walkers who potentially meet your requirements, followed by an interview process. The interview process will help you narrow down the prospects, and you’ll also be able to “get a feel” for the person as you speak with them. Finally, you’ll need to check the dog walker’s references. Who else are they currently working for? What kind of dogs are they walking? Speak with their references over the phone. 

The following is an in-depth look at what you can do to ensure that you hire the right dog walker for your puppy:

Be Clear About What the Requirements Are

When it comes to your puppy’s needs and requirements, there’s no such thing as being too clear. You’ll want to be as clear as possible with the dog walkers you speak with, because you want to eliminate anyone who can’t meet these requirements. For example, if you feed your puppy every afternoon at 1pm, then feeding your puppy at exactly that time might be a requirement. If that’s the case, say so. Don’t be wishy-washy about it and make it seem like feeding your puppy in the “afternoon” works. Define everything exactly. If you get home from work at 5pm and the dog walker has been permitted to stop in to feed and walk your puppy in the “afternoon,” they might show up at 4:45pm, and how does that help you? You get the point. 

Communicate Your Puppy’s Specific Needs

No one knows your puppy better than you. Even if you’ve only known each other for a week. You know your puppy’s daily routine, his favorite toys, the treats he likes the most, what makes him nervous, and his training challenges. You’ll want to communicate all of this to potential dog walkers to see if they can handle your puppy’s quirks and rise to the challenges therein. Does your puppy sometimes sneak off and pee in your closet? Your dog walker is going to need to know that, because part of their job will need to include checking the closet, cleaning up messes, and also contributing to the training process to help your puppy pee in the right spot, i.e. outside. By communicating these things to potential dog walkers, you’ll know right away which ones will or won’t meet these specific needs. 

Know the Dog Walking Services You Want

This is perhaps the most important aspect of hiring the right dog walker that you’ll need to figure out prior to interviewing dog walkers. The sky really is the limit. Do you want the dog walker to come by twice a day? If so, at what times? Do you want the dog walker to come by to feed, walk, and play with your puppy for 1 hour, 3 hours, or for shorter or longer periods of time like 15 minutes or “all day”? Get clear on what you want, refine your budget, and see which walkers can agree to doing what you want for the price you can afford. This is a critical step because the best dog walker in the world isn’t going to do you any good if you need them to spend a full hour with your puppy but they don’t have time in their schedule. 

Determine Your Budget & Find Out the Dog Walking Rates

Take the time now to sit down with a calculator and determine a realistic budget for dog walking expenses. Let’s say that you calculate you are willing to spend $300 per month on a dog walker, take the time to research what that will mean for time spent with your puppy every day. Dog walking rates don’t vary dramatically from one dog walker to the next, but they do vary, so it’s important to know your budget. Then, during your research process you can do the math and keep an eye on how your budget will translate in real life. For example, some dog walkers have a minimum “walk” requirement of an hour and that hour costs $30, while others have a minimum “walk” requirement of a ½ hour that costs $18. Calculate which is the most affordable for you and the best for your puppy. And bear in mind that your dog walking needs could lighten up greatly once your puppy has finished puppyhood and is an adult dog. 


Let’s take an in-depth look at the actual questions you can ask potential dog walkers during an interview. For the sake of time and convenience, you may prefer to speak with dog walkers over the phone. That being said, we recommend that, if possible, you sit down with them face-to-face, perhaps at a coffee shop. This can be done with or without your puppy. The reason why we recommend this is that you will be able to get a clear impression and a strong gut feeling about the dog walker when you meet them in person. 

The specific questions to ask during the interview should include:

  • Where will you walk my dog?
  • Do you walk multiple dogs together or one at a time?
  • Are you experienced with dogs similar to mine?
  • How long have you been a dog walker? 
  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
  • Can you provide client references?
  • Have you participated in any pet-care training, such as pet first aid?
  • What’s your cancellation policy, and what happens if you are sick and unable to come on a scheduled day?

Once you’ve asked these questions and collected the answers, if you know that you would like to move forward with the vetting process, go on to communicate all of your requirements, including your budget. Find out if the dog walker can meet your needs for the cost you can afford. If all those details are “a go,” collect and contact the dog walker’s references to make sure they check out.

Then hopefully, you’ll hire them, or if not, move on to speak with and interview the next dog walker! 

A huge portion of the vetting and interview process for finding a dog walker can be eliminated if you choose to use a dog walking service, which we’ll cover in the next section of this article. 


If you live in a city or suburb, there’s a really great chance that there are professional, app-based dog walking services in your area. One of the greatest benefits of using a professional dog walking service is that the company itself has already handled the vetting process to make sure the hired dog walkers are trustworthy, reliable, and legit. 

These companies also have liability insurance and will quickly reconcile any issues that may arise. They also tend to take customer complaints very seriously and solicit customer feedback regularly to make sure that the dog walkers they use are the best of the best. And if not, the feedback collected is used to better train their staff, or used to let certain individuals go if they’re not properly representing the dog walking company.

A great benefit of using a dog walking service is that you can read through the customer reviews and gain an accurate impression of both the dog walking company and the individual dog walkers to choose from. Depending on the dog walking service and app, each dog walker’s profile will have a star rating, customer reviews, and the dog walker’s personal preferences and requirements. For example, some dog walkers will not walk large dog breeds. With such detailed information in their profiles, a lot of time can be saved during the selection process. 

The most popular and reputable dog walking services include: 


Congratulations! You researched dog walkers, spoke with the most appropriate ones, connected with a dog walker who’s trustworthy and affordable, and contacted his or her references, which resulted in you selecting that person! The hard part is over! 

Now all you have to do is trust that you’re leaving your puppy in good hands… and also be sure to leave the lines of communication open so that your new dog walker can reach you easily. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Make sure the dog walker has your contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses
  • Provide the dog walker with your puppy’s veterinary information
  • Leave them with clear Information and instructions about any puppy medication: indicate what the medication is for, and if there’s a chance he might have to administer it, exact instructions on how to do so, if applicable
  • Provide exact feeding instructions if the arrangement includes feeding your puppy meals
  • If your home has an alarm, then provide the dog walker with the alarm code and instructions 
  • Finally, give your new dog walker a tour of the relevant areas of your home so that he or she knows where to locate dog food, treats, toys, leashes, pee pads, and any other relevant supply items 

There you have it! Everything you need to know and do in order to hire the right dog walker for your puppy! We hope you found this article helpful, and everyone at Petland Florida wishes you and your puppy the best!