Pet Sitters International has deemed the first week in March Professional Pet Sitters Week as a way to honor professional sitters and to educate the public the advantages of using a pet care provider with the proper qualifications. This March 3rd through the 9th marks the 25th Annual Celebration of Professional Pet Sitter’s Week.
To honor this holiday, Homeward Bound is presenting you with a side by side comparison of hiring a professional dog walker, a friend or neighbor, or a dog walking app run by a large corporation (such as Rover or Wag!).
When looking for someone to walk your dog, there are several requirements for hiring them as you are most likely looking for quality care. These requirements are laid out below.
Can My Lakes Region Neighbor or Dog Walking App Provide the Same Level of Care as a Professional?
Proof of a Visit
A friend or neighbor may or may not update you after they have checked in on your dog. This will depend with what arrangements you work out with them.
With a dog walking app, proof of a visit is dependent on who is caring for your animal. Some large technology corporations offer proof of a visit, while others do not. It can also be dependent on the walker regardless of the company.
Local businesses such as Homeward Bound, will make sure that you know that your pet was cared for to your standards. Homeward Bound does this through detailed Pet Care Journals. We’ll provide you with pictures of your dog during their visit, a short comment about the visit and peace of mind knowing your dog was in great hands!
Trustworthy & Reliable
Your friend or neighbor is local and you most likely know them well enough to trust them with your dog but do you know if they are reliable enough to be there when they say they will. Your friend or neighbor can only do so much as a single individual. You may want to have a back up plan for the times when they could be unexpectedly unavailable.
Large corporations and their technology apps have no way to know exactly the quality of the care that your dog is receiving. The internet is ripe with examples and videos of dog walkers from apps such as Rover or Wag! violating the trust placed in them by snooping through houses, losing dogs, and worst of all, dogs ending up dead while in the care of an Uber-like on demand app walker. Reliability is a gamble with dog walking apps as they are online businesses who serve not only all over the country, but also in different parts of the world.
A professional business in the Lakes Region is likely to pride themselves on consistent quality care making them easy to trust. With numerous employees on hand at Homeward Bound, we have back-up plans should an employee call in sick, have an emergency, or just need a vacation. We will always be available to walk your dog!
Your friend and neighbor may provide personalized care or they may not. When they are in a rush, can you guarantee they are going to provide Fido with exactly five and a half treats after his walk?
With a dog walking app, customized care is another gamble. Due to the fact that these large companies have several dog walkers in cities across the country, it can be hard to guarantee personalized treatment for your dog. Some apps do not allow you to choose your walker. With an on demand app, you get whomever decides to accept the gig.
At Homeward Bound, we save all of your information in our secure online scheduler. Since you fill in your profile, we will provide care exactly how you tell us to! We customize the visits to each household. Do you want fluffy to have filtered water, no problem. We have an icon that shows up on the sitter’s schedule so they know tap water is off limits. That’s just one of the more common requests.
Experienced and Educated About Dog Behavior
In regards to your friend or neighbor, they may or may not be educated about dogs and their behavior. Sure they may have a dog, but do they know what a fearful dog looks like? Will they notice small little nuances that may indicate your dog is in need of veterinary care?
Large technology apps cannot guarantee all of their walkers are educated and experienced. Ask yourself, does the app walker know anything about dog behavior, safety techniques, walking accessories, etc.? If the answer is no to any of these, you may want to explore other options.
Small businesses are very conscious of their quality of care. This means that their employees are usually required to understand the basics of dog behavior as well as how to properly interact with and care for your pup. Employees at Homeward Bound receive training from our owner, Alix DiLorenzo, who is a Certified Professional Pet Sitter by Pet Sitter’s International. Certified Professional Pet Sitters (CPPS) must demonstrate knowledge in not only animal behavior, but safety and also techniques on running a business. To maintain CPPS status, a certain number continuing education credits must be earned over the years.
A Happy Dog
When thinking of hiring a friend or neighbor, ask yourself, will the needs of your dog always be met with quality care? That’s for you to decide.
When considering a dog walking app remember that with several dog walkers serving the area, it can be hard to get a person who you know gives quality care for every single walk.
For professional dog walking businesses, the safety and happiness of your dog is the number one reason for business operation. Homeward Bound will always treat your dog like a member of our own family!
Reviews may or may not apply to your friend or neighbor, but doing your research about who you are entrusting with your dog is still important.
With dog walking apps, research is key as they are such large businesses. Make sure to search their site and independent 3rd party review sites for all reviews, not just the top reviews. Do the dog walkers have one review or several? Do they have repeat clients?
For a professional dog walking business, be sure to check their website or ask around to gauge the quality of care that your dog will receive.
We hope that this makes things a little easier for you when deciding who you would like to walk your dog. Happy Professional Pet Sitters Week!