Should I choose a dog walker based on price?
Perhaps you have children. Would you hire the cheapest nanny available to watch your children?
Or, maybe you’re getting ready to have oral surgery but don’t have dental insurance. Will you consider hiring the least expensive dentist to care for your teeth?
Chances are you want to ensure your children are cared for by the best, most qualified nanny and to ensure your surgery is performed by a highly qualified, seasoned dentist.
You wouldn’t make such an important decision based on price. So, it’s probably safe to say, while you might be tempted to choose a dog walker based, in part, on price, you probably shouldn’t do that either.
Why? Here are a few reasons you shouldn’t choose a dog walker based on price:
Cheaper isn’t necessarily better.
Do you want to pay rock bottom prices for your dog’s walks? Or are you more concerned about your dog being cared for and walked by a professional, seasoned dog walker who will ensure your dog’s safety? A dog walker may charge lower prices because she isn’t experienced, she’s desperate for work, or she is only walking dogs as a hobby.
Professionalism doesn’t come at rock bottom prices.
A professional dog walker must charge professional rates because she’s running a business. She holds insurance, which protects you and your dog. She may have taken steps to educate herself further on caring for your dog, including completing pet first aid classes or dog training courses. A professional dog walker works hard to provide a high quality service.
You get what you pay for.
Sure, it’s an old and tired, grammatically incorrect cliché but it’s true. You get what you pay for. If you want to pay bottom of the barrel prices, expect less than stellar service. A professional dog walker will set appropriate rates because she’s providing a professional service. She will show up to each dog walk on time, will have a backup in place if she can’t make it, and will let you know your dog is okay after each walk.
Your dog deserves one-on-one attention.
A dog walker who charges below market rates will likely need to walk more dogs to make a livable wage. As a result, your dog may go for walks as part of a group, which means he will receive less attention than he would on a one-on-walk. And, if the dog walker offers one-on-one walks, those walks may not be as long or your dog might not get as much attention because your dog walker has to make it to the next appointment.
You want to feel confident and secure.
You’re hiring a dog walker to make your life easier and to ensure your dog gets the physically and mental stimulation he needs. The last thing you want or need is to worry whether your dog walker will show up for a scheduled visit, whether she will leave your home secure, and whether you will receive an update by email or text letting you know your dog and your home are both okay.
What is the most important factor you consider when hiring a professional dog walker?