What to Look For in a Dog Walker

  1. Professional dogwalkers in Toronto are required to be licensed by the city and insured by a qualifying insurer. This requirement will ensure your dogwalker will be committed to your dog for years to come and has enough experience to be dedicated to their profession and, therefore, your dog's care.
  2. The by-laws currently state that walkers in City parks can take a maximum of six dogs out in one walk. Ask the maximum number of dogs your walker will take and make sure you are comfortable with the answer.
  3. If your walker will have dogs in his/her car, ask about their driving record. Is the car insured commercially? What is their procedure if they were to have an accident with dogs in the car? Is their car suitable for transporting six or more dogs at once comfortably? Will your dog have trouble getting in or out of their vehicle?
  4. If you think you might require services other than walking, ask what the scope of the walkers business is. Do they board? Do they daycare? Do they provide consultations or advice about the care of your dog if needed?
  5. Does the walker have a contract to sign? A signed agreement makes sure there is no misunderstanding about what expectations are for the walker and the client. A professional will have a document outlining service and compensation. A good contract will also outline what is not provided including a disclaimer for injury.
  6. Does your walker employ contract workers and if so, are they bonded, insured and licensed?
  7. Arrange a consultation to meet more than one walker. How does your dog respond to the walker? Do you feel the energy of the walker "fits" with your energy and philosophy about your pet?
  8. We are a close community and know which dogs might be best suited to our colleagues and their packs. If the walker decides they are not a good fit after your consultation, ask for referrals.