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Find a local dog walker

    How much does a dog walker cost?

    We show how to hire a walker for your furry friend

    Hannah | Oneflare

    It’s no piece of cake to work all day, deal with the kids, and get your dog out for walks. A tired dog is a happy dog. If you’re running out of hours in the day why not try a local dog walking service?

    You wouldn’t pick just anyone to mind your furry friend – so read on for our tips and tricks for hiring the best walker for the job.

    How much do dog walkers charge?

    These are the average dog walking rates in different major cities:

    • New South Wales: $25 -$28/per hour
    • Queensland: $31 – $50/per hour
    • Victoria: $26 – $30/per hour
    Source: Petmates Pet Services

    Considerations when hiring a dog walker

    To find your perfect dog walker, there are several things to consider.

    Understand your dog’s welfare needs

    Before you call a dog walker, it’s essential to sit down and decide what you need in a walking service. Go over every need or concern you have, and during the interview make sure you receive a satisfactory answer on each issue before deciding on a walker. These could be things like:

    • How frequently does your dog need to be walked? Is it daily, or just a few times a week?
    • Do you need someone to fit your schedule or can you be flexible with the times that your dog is walked?
    • Does your dog need to be walked alone, or is it trained enough to be walked in a group?
    • What are the exercise needs of your pup according to its age and breed? Ask your vet if unsure.

    Be completely honest with your perspective dog walker so they can determine if they can keep your four-legged family member safe.

    Before meeting with your walker, ask yourself some questions about your canine’s health and behaviour. Make sure your dog walker understands these issues so they can reassure you about their ability to handle every item on this list.

    • What is the health of your dog? Do they have joint problems that require them to walk on soft surfaces or avoid stairs? If they have breathing problems, do they need to avoid strenuous activity?
    • Will the walking service need to apply sunscreen for the dog? Try to think of anything that may not be routine.
    • Is your small dog scared of big dogs? Does your dog not like kids? Are they nervous around loud noises or crowds?
    Source: Mutts On The Move

    Keep a close eye on your dog’s activities with modern technology

    Unfortunately, not all dog walkers are honest. There are stories out there of dog walkers that never showed up, but said they did. Some have been caught just tying the dog to a tree while they did their errands. There are terrifying stories of dogs dying due to a walker’s negligence. Here are some tips to make sure your dog is safe:

    Pet Selfies – Keep tabs on your fur-baby’s activity. Have your dog walker send you a few photos of themselves with your canine while they are on their outing.

    Journaling – Have a journal to keep an open communication with the dog walker. Maybe have them put a route guide, poo and pee output results, and anything unusual that may have occurred.

    GPS collar – Ask your potential walker if they have a system set up already for dog tracking or if they are willing to carry a GPS tracker in case of an emergency.

    Where to find a trustworthy dog walker?

    A professional dog walker should have training in certain skills, including Canine First Aid, Pack Training, and Social Behavior. Most programs offer a certificate of completion.

    Ask for referrals: Ask a pet professional you trust, like your dog’s groomer or vet, if they have someone they can recommend. Check with your friends, neighbours or even your favourite clerk at the local pet supply store.

    Find dog walking services on credible directories: Ask for proof of appropriate licenses, bonding, and insurances. Most states only require a general business license for dog walkers, but check with your local and state authorities to see if there is anything else you need to be looking out for. Make sure that the person is also bonded and insured. This will protect you and the people that your dog is around if something happens like an injury or a bite accident.

    Tip: Oneflare’s dog walking services have listed their ABN, Insurance, and past reviews on their profile. You can also pursue their social media accounts and look for complaints and praises.

    Find dog walkers near you: Take a few days to sit in your local park and see if you see any dog walkers. This way, you can easily find someone from your neighborhood.

    Be mindful about transportation

    When it involves getting from point A to B, it’s important for the dog walker to use a canine seatbelt, a puppy seat, a kennel, or any other safety equipment to make sure your dog is safe inside the vehicle.

    Does your dog get along with the dog walker?

    Some dog walking services will provide a free, no obligation meet and greet. Make sure that your canine is comfortable with the person and that they are comfortable with the dog.

    • Your pooch may be curious and shy, but make sure they are not cowering in fear or growling. If this is the case, your four-legged friend may need some socialisation training before it is ready to participate in a dog walking service.
    • Shadow your candidate on a test walk. Let your walker hold the leash and walk your dog through the neighbourhood while you hang back a little. Watch how your pup and the walker interact together. This also gives you a chance to see how the applicant handles traffic, other pets, and crowds of people.

    The better prepared you are through the entire process of hiring a dog walker for your pooch; the smoother the whole experience will go. Follow the guide above and find the most suited dog walker in your area.

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    How much will your job cost?

    The Oneflare Cost Guide Centre is your one-stop shop to help you set your budget; from smaller tasks to larger projects.