Image courtesy of @barneycockapooadventures
We all know just how good the last 12 months have been for our doggies.
Despite the many humorous posts on Instagram of dogs rolling their eyes as their lead is waved at them for the fourth time that day, in reality they have loved having the whole family around more and spending time with us outdoors.
But all good things must come to an end (only dogs would call the pandemic a good thing) and as we slowly but surely emerge from home offices and start to enjoy (??) the daily commute to the office again, there is just one problem.
WHO IS GOING TO WALK THE DOG?
You may already have a dog walker from before lockdown and hopefully you will be able to engage their services again. But if not, or if you got your dog in the last 12 months, you will find yourself needing to employ a professional dog walker.
If you type "dog walker London" into Google, you will get pages and pages of results. So who do you choose? To whom do you entrust the latest (and let's face it best) member of your family?
Here are some things to consider when looking for a dog walker and 4 London dog walkers who meet all those requirements.
Where will your dog be walked?
Professional dog walkers in London don't usually cover a wide area as the logistics of getting around to pick up and drop off in busy London traffic makes that impossible.
So you can immediately slim down your search to ones that cover your area. You will then see from their website where they take the dogs once they pick them up.
Lito's Banditos are ideally located in the middle of Battersea Park, Wandsworth Common and Clapham Common so your dog will be walked in one of these beautiful London green spaces.
I operate on foot so your dog will get the optimal amount of exercise necessary to make sure they come home happily worn out and stimulated enough to rest until you're back with them.
Amie and her trusty sidekick Theo the miniature pinscher are the perfect choice for dogs who don't travel well in vehicles.
Amie will walk your dog in a small carefully selected group for at least one hour and can also offer solo walks by request. Lito's Banditos also offer pet sitting services and dog photography.
Who will be walking your dog?
Most London dog walkers work alone or with one or 2 helpers but it is important to know exactly who will be responsible for your pooch.
You may choose your walker based on a recommendation from a dog friend or you may have met them walking in your local area. It is still important to check they have 2 basic requirements of a professional dog walker:
- They are DBS checked - they will have keys to your home and will be entering when you are not home so you need to trust them.
- They have insurance - in case of accidents whilst your dog is in their care.
Once you have established this then it's a good idea to meet your new walker and introduce them to your dog. Maybe arrange a walk together so they can meet your dog with you.
You don’t need to be best friends with your dog walker but it’s important you have confidence in them. Our dogs are all different and some take longer than others to trust people, especially rescues so you need to know that your walker has your dog’s best interests at heart.
Anna from It's A Dog's Life Islington knows the importance of keeping owners reassured whilst their dog is in her care.
We keep you updated on your dog's adventures throughout the day on Whatsapp, and we take care of your pet like they're our own
It's A Dog's Life walk no more than 4 dogs at a time and offer a mixture of street and park walks so your dog will get to explore a variety of sights and sounds in their area and is great for getting dogs used to city life.
If you live in the Islington, Angel, Barnsbury, Highbury Fields area visit their website for more details and how to contact Anna. You can also see photos of their happy clients @itsadogslife.islington
Who will be your dog's new friends?
I’m a firm believer that dogs should be walked in groups of similar sized dogs. Of course it’s possible (and really cute) for a chihuahua to be best friends with a Great Dane but when it comes to walking, their needs are very different. I’ve seen too many small pups being dragged along, as the walker tries desperately to keep up with another dog four or five times the size.
Ask your walker how many dogs they walk together and what other dogs are in the pack. If your dog doesn’t like particular breeds or isn’t good with unneutered males or won’t tolerate pups etc etc, you need to let your walker know so they can avoid any unnecessary conflict. Your dog’s walk should be enjoyable not traumatic and if you get the right mix in the pack, he will look forward to his hour with his pals every day.
Tom from King's Cross Dogs has one mission in life - to be your dog's second best friend.
Be assured that I will treat your dog as I treat my own, with all of the care and playfulness they need.
Tom picks up dogs from King's Cross and Bloomsbury and takes them on canal side adventures or off lead walks on beautiful Primrose Hill.
Will your pup be safe and secure?
We already mentioned 2 basic requirements that every professional dog walker should have but you should also check a few other details to ensure your pup is kept safe whilst out with their walker.
A professional dog walker shouldn’t walk more than 4 dogs at one time. Any more and it becomes increasingly difficult to keep an eye on them all, especially if they are all off lead. Always let your walker know if you prefer your dog to be kept on a lead.
If your dog is going to be transported in a vehicle you should check that he has plenty of space away from other dogs and that the vehicle has air conditioning. A good dog walker will never leave dogs unattended and out of sight in a vehicle for more than a couple of minutes. This is particularly important at the moment with an increase in dog theft.
With easy Dog Walker London your dog's welfare is their top priority. They are a team of experienced dog professionals who are all fully insured, DBS checked, pet first aid trained and have all taken a course in canine behaviour and leadership skills.
Our vehicles are fully kitted out and ventilated for the safe transportation of you beloved pets
easy Dog Walkers also offer house and pet sitting and all bookings are made through your own online portal and booking system. You can book and track your walks from your phone. They aim to be as convenient and flexible as possible with a team of professional pet lovers and you don't need to worry about leaving cash out as they bill you at the end of each month.