Even though most people would like to be with their dogs every moment, they couldn’t possibly lounge around every day of the week. Ultimately, there is a need for someone to actually go to work to be able to pay for mounds of kibble and chew toys. Apart from work, there are of course times that people are out of the house for business trips, vacations, holiday get-togethers, or late nights out on the town where dogs are simply not always able to join in on the fun.
Being away from your home for these long hours or even days at a time, leaves your dog with no one to take them for their normal routine of outside walks. Not only is going to the bathroom a potential messy problem here, but your dog also needs that exercise to keep healthy and expend all of their pent up energy.
This is especially true for dogs living in a small city apartment. In these cases – the answer is easy. For a helping hand, a dog walker is clearly the best solution. A dog walker lets your dog avoid the stress of having a disrupted routine or the anxiety of being home alone for extended periods of time. Dogs need this human interaction and all of the love that comes with it.
A dog walker is trusted to exercise your dog and keep it safe while out and about on walks. He is the one responsible for taking all considerations that ensure both the dog and the dog’s owner are comfortable with the arrangement.
Scary as it may sound, some dog owners are shocked to discover that their trusted dog walker has not been doing his job! Would you believe that there are cases where dog walkers say they’ve walked a dog but have not actually done so? Sadly, this happens more often than you would think and is in fact a fairly common problem facing dog owners.
5 Ways to Know if Your Dog Walker Actually Walked Your Dog
Make Friends With Your Doorman
If you live in a doorman building, you can ask your doorman to keep an eye out. An attentive and responsible doorman will be able to inform you of the arrival and departure times of visitors to your apartment.
An extra attentive one will not only tell you if there was a visit, but will have recorded arrival and departure times as well. He also might get a feeling about the tine of the relationship between the dog walker and the dog, and will probably notice if your dog walker treats the dog well. Depending on the amount of visitors to your building, and the ‘above and beyond’ attitude of your doorman, this could prove effective.
With some extra conversation you should be able to work out an arrangement like this – especially when starting an engagement with a new dog walker you don’t yet know and trust.2
Rig Your Doorway
Think: matchstick in the outside hinge. Leaving a trap on your entry door is a pretty foolproof way to know if someone has entered your apartment. While it doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of a walk, or the way the dog walker treats your pet – it will at least tell you that they’ve been inside and didn’t skip out on the visit altogether. To avoid unfairly blaming someone for something they didn’t do, make sure you test thoroughly, and establish that it’s happening more than once to account for potential error.3
Install a Webcam
Installing a webcam (or a pet camera) in your home is an absolute must if you want to really know what your dog walker does inside your apartment. You’ll get to keep an eye on when they come, go, and how long they stay outside with your dog. You’ll also get to see the reaction your dog has when the dog walker enters the apartment – are they excited and happy to see them? Does the dog walker show them any affection? Does the dog walker stay too long inside your apartment or go into rooms that they don’t need to?4
When in doubt – use Swifto. It’s an app/service that provides professional dog walkers and gives you the tools to make sure they’re doing their job. Say, for instance, that you hire one of their dog walkers to take your dog out for a 30 minute walk and want to be sure that they’re abiding by that timeline. The Swifto smartphone app allows you to track the dog walk from its start to end. You’ll get a text message as the walk begins and another when it is completed. You’ll also be sent a photo of your dog during the walk.
Ultimately, you want to find a dog walking service that you completely trust, but this may take a long time to develop. While trying out new independent dog walkers or hiring from a service like Swifto, it’s best to be equipped with a tool to put your mind at ease and assure you that the service you’ve hired is being provided properly.5
Put a GPS Collar on the Dog
Have some money to spare? Think about getting your dog a GPS collar. Not only will you be able to track if, when, and how long your dog is away from your home – but you can see where they go on their walk and the length of time they’re gone. As an added bonus – this can be used to track the whereabouts of your dog even when he isn’t on his walk with the dog walker. If he goes chasing after a deer, or gets out of a closed gate, you’ll be able to track his precise location and avoid the harrowing trail of finding a lost dog. Even though this may cost you a bit, it’s a sure fire way of tracking your pet and can tell you without doubt whether your dog has actually been walked.