What Makes a Good Dog Walker?

professional dog walker

Dogs don’t like solitude as they are social animals. Going on a walk allows them to explore their surroundings and get in some much-needed exercise. 

They use this opportunity to play hide and seek, explore, socialise and run around parks. As a pet parent, it’s upon you to ensure your pet gets to go on a walk as often as possible.

However, most people aren’t able to handle this responsibility due to working throughout the day or being away from home for days at a time. For this reason, they have no option but to hire a qualified dog walker!

The process of hiring a walker isn’t simple and can easily prove strenuous if one doesn’t know what to look for in potential candidates.

Skills to Consider When Hiring a Dog Walker

Every pet parent wants to hire someone who will take good care of their furry friends. The following are skills every first-rate pet sitter ought to possess.


The best dog walkers are those who possess experience working with pets. Individuals who own and operate dog walking businesses are the best options as they are more hands-on and flexible with scheduling.

Experienced dog walkers such as Boni Dogs know what they have to do to make the walk fun, enjoyable, and memorable. Through experience, they know how much energy every dog breed requires, how to deal with slow dogs, old dogs, puppies and the importance of carrying all-natural treats.


Although this likely sounds like an obvious point, there’s still a need to stress it. Hiring a walker who can’t keep up with your pet’s energy means you’re letting her down. Stamina ensures the walker will go the extra mile to ensure the pet receives the exercise it needs.

You can confirm whether the walker has stamina by inquiring about this during your initial consultation with him/her. If the pet expects to go on a thirty-minute hike each day, ask whether the professional is willing to commit to such a schedule.


Hiring a dog walker means you are allowing them to enter your home and your pet’s life. As a walker, there are specific responsibilities that will come with this position.

It includes taking care of the dogs when they take them out for walks. Walkers need to keep in mind all the likely dangers, including:

 • Other dogs

 • Construction sites

 • Cars and bikes on the walking/hiking trails

Great walkers will plan for an alternative escape route in case of an emergence, and they need to get away with the pets. Being responsible will include carrying a first aid kit, treats, and extra poop bags. It’s always best to be prepared during these walks.

They Should Be Dog Lovers

Walking dogs shouldn’t be seen as just any other job. Any person interested in becoming a pet sitter or dog walker should have a genuine interest in looking after furry animals. 

The good news is that it’s not easy to fake a love for animals. All pet parents need to do is check how the potential hires interact with the dogs. If they show a genuine interest in them and their well-being, it means they are good candidates for the role.

Attention to Detail

The best dog walkers in the business make it a point to pay attention to everything regarding the pets, including but not limited to their:

 • feeding schedule

 • health issues

 • walk preferences 

He or she will take it upon themselves to remember the dog’s needs and follow through on this at all times. 


Pets can be unpredictable at times, and impatient walkers may start disciplining the dog immediately it begins to bark. An experienced professional won’t rush to punish the pet but will instead seek to understand what has caused the pup to lose her temper. 

Canine caring involves much more than dealing with the normal gushes and fusses of daily pet care. The carer needs to know what they have to do to keep the dog healthy and happy. 


Every walker needs to be thorough when executing their duties. It’s not uncommon for pet parents to leave notes behind communicating their pet’s preferences, triggers, and health issues. 

The walker should read and memorize every detail in the note before starting the walk. No one wants to work with a walker who can’t be bothered to read and follow instructions.

Professional pet walkers are calm, thorough, and responsible for the pets under their care. They are also honest!


As a pet owner, you want to hire someone who will connect with your pet, care for them, and spend quality time with them. The seven tips discussed above should help you hire a dependable dog walker. 

About the author

David Evans

David is Editor-in-chief.

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