Safety Concerns when Hiring Dog Walkers

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Safety Concerns when Hiring Dog Walkers

Staff Writer · Sep 9, 2010

Those who are new to hiring dog walkers will generally have a few questions about safety and security. This is only natural, because dog walking includes some very fundamental challenges about the security of the client’s home. In most cases, dog walkers will have to access the house or apartment during the day, and that makes pet walking or sitting services uniquely involved in sensitive home security issues. A good dog walking business will address this up front and put customers at ease. Here are some of the top security issues that dog owners are concerned about.

Access to Your Home

For most people, there’s no way around it. The customer has to trust the dog walkers who have access to their homes and their pets. In some residential situations, customers can give walkers access to a dog, while limiting their access to the rest of the home, but in most cases, dog walkers will be able to routinely go into the public areas of a house. Clients address this issue by talking to business owners in depth about security, and by getting more information about how the business works to protect their privacy and personal belongings.

They May Not Properly Activate the Home Security Systems

In addition to the issue of home access by the dog walkers themselves, there’s also a lot of concern in urban areas about how carelessness by a dog walker could give someone else access to a home. Whether your home security system is as simple as a deadbolt, or as complex as a remote security service, it’s important that your dog walkers understand your home security system and use it correctly. This is another issue where working out the details up front and leaving accurate instructions can make all the difference.

Losing Your Dog

Some dogs are more prone to run away than others, and walking some kinds of aggressive or exploration-minded dogs can be a challenge. Try to set your dog walkers up for success by explaining any issues up front, and asking that your more hyperactive dogs be kept on a shorter leash or checked more thoroughly for loose collars. Good, experienced walkers will usually not lose any dogs, but once in a while, a dog will slip a leash or otherwise vanish, and this can be a trying time for everyone involved.

Employee Turnover

Sometimes, everything is going great until a veteran dog walker leaves his or her post. Then, things get all mixed up. The dogs have to bond to a new stranger, which they sometimes don’t like to do. Someone has to relearn the interior of your home. Above all, there’s the issue of trust. The old walker may have been great, but what about this new individual? One thing that customers can request is that the business owner inform them in advance if staffing will change. This way, clients can be more careful to hide valuables or limit access until they can be convinced that the new walker is on the up and up.

The above is by no means an exhaustive list of security issues, but these key considerations can help a dog walking customer to get more peace of mind when hiring professional services to walk or dogsit.

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