Kiele Goo and Bleu
  • Kiele Goo and Bleu
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Not all dog walkers are created equal. When I acquired my Frenchie Bleu, I knew that I needed dog walking services midday for my little guy because I work full-time and can be gone for ten hours at a time. French Bulldogs in particular require a lot of time and attention or they tend to “act out.” And no one wants their peeing or pooping on their honeyed-hardwood floors, eating their pumps, or gnawing on their Pier 1 furniture. So, how do you choose which one is right for your furry friend?

Just as a mom would research and interview her potential babysitters, a pet parent should do the same. With a dog walker, you are entrusting your pup’s life and well-being to a complete stranger, so it’s very important you get to know your dog walker and make sure they are professional and trustworthy.

Kiele Goo, owner of Paws Four Time-Out (619-987-6888), is a top dog walker in San Diego. She sends me personal messages about her daily excursion with my dog, like: “Hi Mary, Bleu is doing great! He made friends today on our walk. People love petting him in Little Italy. He peed a lot, but no poopers. We walked for about 40 minutes, and he ate his cucumber treats.” I look forward to these little notes every day, and they give me peace of mind.

You Know You Have a Great Dog Walker When:

1) She meets with you prior to the first dog walk to get to know you and your pup’s preferences and personality.

2) She asks how your dog is doing via text on her days off.

3) She sends you real-time iPhone pics of their walks and of his furry friends he meets along the way.

4) She has a professional website and business cards. 

5) She is certified by the ASPCA and knows how to administer Pet First Aid.

6) She asks for emergency contacts, including your vet, emergency vet, and closest friend or relative if you are unavailable.

7) She has references readily available.

8) She gives out free doggy massages, toys, and treats just because she cares.

9) She gives you a report of his pees, poops, and overall behavior after each walk.

10) She alerts you to any unusual doggy behavior, such as mood swings or potential illnesses.

How Can I Find A Great Dog Walker?

1) Referrals – Finding a dog walker through word-of-mouth is the best way to find an ideal personal assistant for your dog. Ask other pet parents your dog plays with, your veterinarian office, or your local pet store.

20 Walking Around – Keep your eye out for dog walkers when you are out strolling the streets with your pup. You can spot them if they are walking multiple dogs at a time. I met my current dog walker by greeting her and her Boston terrier in East Village one day with my Frenchie Bleu.

3) Yelp – You can see actual reviews from other customers.

Signs That A Dog Walker Isn’t So Great:

1) They walk too many dogs at once.

2) They are on their cell phones while walking your dog.

3) You don’t hear from them often.

4) You sense they are more in it for the money than compassionate about dogs.

5) They advertise one thing, but do another. One company owner advertised her personal services, but then hired very young assistants to do the dog walking instead.

6) Misses appointments or runs late constantly.

7) Has no certifications and does not know how to administer CPR.

8) Has no other clients or references to speak of.

9) Will not meet you or your dog beforehand.

10) Charges you extra for things like: feeding the dog food, treats, or administering medication.

[Post edited for length]

Post Date: January 29, 2014

Title: Fur Babies | Address: lovemyfurbaby.blogspot.com

Author: Mary Catania | From: Little Italy | Blogging since: 2009

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Comments

monaghan Feb. 28, 2014 @ 8:38 p.m.

Key questions: how much are you charged for how much time spent walking the dog? All the folderol has nothing to do with exercising the animal.

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