In many ways, hiring a dog walker is more stressful than hiring a babysitter. For one, a dog can’t tell you if the walker did anything wrong. Secondly, their fur will likely hide any physical abuse that may happen. Lastly, many dogs will forget past injustices the moment they see you. If they had a bad day, you probably won’t be able to tell if they’re wagging their tail and jumping all over you. Truly understanding dog behavior is a lifelong venture.
For these reasons and many others, you should protect your dog just as you would your child. Here are three ways to ensure your dog is receiving the care he or she deserves.
1. Install Nanny Cams Throughout Your Home
There’s no reason to be coy about this. Go ahead and tell your dog walker that you have cameras installed to ensure your pet’s safety. If you don’t want to be outright alpha about it (pun intended), say that you like to check up on him throughout the day. Otherwise, be honest and say that it’s for your pet’s protection and that you will be watching to ensure your pet is being treated well.
2. Call Your Dog Walker When He Should Be Walking Your Pet
Call to ensure your dog is getting the daily exercise and socialization he deserves (and that you’re paying for). Don’t be weird and ask to talk to your pet. There’s no need for that, but there’s also no need to beat around the bush either. Ask the walker how everything is going and if your pet is doing well. Listen out for unusual dog behavior. Is he whining? Is she making any noises you know she doesn’t normally make? Is he quiet when he’s normally “talkative”?
While you’re at it, ask for pictures. Dogs reveal how they feel in their eyes as much as people do. Study it for a moment; you know your dog’s mental and physical health better than anyone. Does he look happy in the picture? Is there any amount of socialization taking place? Is he laying down or standing? Few dogs sit still long enough for a picture, so if it’s blurry, ask for a better one to be taken. Blurry doesn’t mean bad, but it also doesn’t necessarily mean good.
3. Perform a Background Check on the Dog Walker
With CheckThem you can look up anyone in any state. It’s great for finding out if anyone has a criminal history, whether they’ve been or are married, and other details. What it won’t tell you is their employment history and their credit score, but if they’ve ever been on the other side of the law, you’ll be able to find out.
Every bad person in the world hasn’t been arrested, and every good person in the world isn’t necessarily spotless; however, look at the nature of the crime. Is it domestic violence related? Use your gut reaction. If, for whatever reason, what you find puts you on edge, don’t hire that person. Your pet’s safety is no one’s responsibility but yours.