Looking for a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter?
Worried or concerned about finding the right one for you and your pet?
How do you know who is going to be reliable, honest and trustworthy with your home and pet?
Here are some handy tips to help you to find the right Pet Care company!
One of the best ways to find a reliable pet care service is to get a recommendation from someone who already uses the company and is happy to vouch for the standard of their service. Always be wary of recommendations that come from third parties i.e. vets, groomers. This isn't to say that all third party recommendations are bad, but you want to know if they have actually looked in to how the company practises and have heard positive comments from actual clients or are they working in partnership with this company to help mutually boost their businesses?
Does the company display client testimonials on their website? Simply the Pets is very proud of the positive comments we get from our clients and we display these on our Testimonials page for all prospective new clients to see. By seeing a large number of testimonials you will be able to see if there is consistency in the level of service they provide. There is also very little chance of these reviews being mocked up in order to try and show the company being more reputable than it is.
Always ensure the company you choose is fully insured for: third party pubic liability, care custody and control of your pet and loss of key cover. Also, ask what the walker/ sitter does with your keys when they have them; what do they use to identify your keys (we only ever use a tag with your pets name on. No addresses or phone numbers are ever included); where are they kept when their not working. These are all questions they should be happy to answer.
Ask the company what a normal day is like for them. What is their usual routine? Their answer should be quick without much thought. A dog walkers busiest and most requested time is around midday. Croydon Council only allows a maximum of four dogs to be walked at any one time. In order to fufill the clients requirement and the councils bylaw Simply the Pets has standard group walk times of 11am and 1pm. This is the same for most other dog walking companies. With our walks being a full hour, once at the park and then collections and drop offs either side, our walkers are usually out from 10am and 3pm. Home Visits take place either before or after our walks.
As you can see it would not be possible to offer a lunchtime home visit i.e. for a young puppy. You may find companies who say they are able to perform your requested service at a time chosen by you. Whilst this may seem more convenient and accomodating to begin with it is unlikely that once the service gets up and running that this will actually be the case and with most clients being at work all day, how will you know?
As the age old saying goes - you get what you pay for. You may find a walker on gumtree offering ultra-cheap walks (e.g. £5 an hour), often a student looking for some extra cash. These walkers are fine as long as the dog is easy to handle or if you are not looking for a truly reliable service, however if they encounter unexpected problems like an aggressive off-lead dog, a broken lead, or any number of unpredictable medical issues, will they have the experience, resources and knowledge to handle it? It may even come down to the walker deciding not to turn up in the rain! (ps. we go out in all weathers!)
The security and safety of our clients homes and pets is of the upmost priority to us. It is for this reason we do not have sign-written vehicles or uniforms. Sign written vehicles and uniforms serve no purpose to our clients and are only of benefit to the company they are advertising. With dog thefts on the rise and burglaries of continual concern we feel that this is an important, yet often overlooked, factor when choosing a Pet Services provider.
Make sure you have an interview with all potential dog walkers. Transparency, friendliness, and willingness to spend time answering your questions are good signs; nevertheless, the proof is in the meeting. Go with your gut and trust your instincts. If someone doesn't feel like the right 'fit' for you, ask yourself why.