- A discussion with your walker about your dog, its general health and behaviour prior to the first walk and thereafter ongoing communication between you and the walker;
- Your walker will be able to provide advice on the best walking and exercise regime for your dog and request written agreement from you that you are content if other dogs are to be walked at the same time;
- A professional attitude i.e. all dogs will be walked responsibly, all mess will be cleared up and disposed of properly during the walk and no dog will ever be left unattended in a public place;
- Your dog will only be allowed off the lead with your prior written agreement and you or your walker must provide a suitable lead and collar with address tag;
- Reassurance that your walker is fully insured, providing protection for you and your dog whilst in their care. You can ask the walker to see their insurance cover. Your walker’s insurance will specify how many dogs they can walk at any time;
- Reassurance that your walker has a duty of care to your dog throughout its walk and that your walker will abide by all local authority park walking instructions and comply with local legislation where appropriate;
- If your walker is to transport your pet, your walker will not leave your pet unattended in a vehicle (unless collecting or dropping off other dogs) and you can expect your dog to be transported with suitable crating or harnesses and in a vehicle with adequate ventilation and temperature control;
- Communication from your walker by keeping you informed immediately if issues arise or problems are found during your dog’s time with the walker;
- Reassurance that your walker will consider the safety and welfare of your dog, whilst in their care, at all times;
- Your walker will either be able to provide you evidence of being first aid trained, or show they have access to a trained pet first aider or veterinary surgeon in the event of an accident or emergency;
- If house keys are entrusted to your dog walker, your walker should (if requested) be able to satisfy you that he or she has been DBS (formerly CRB) checked and can show you the appropriate certification.
Your walker is a member of the Pet Services Association (PSA), a division of the Pet Industry Federation (PIF), the largest UK trade association for pet businesses. Your dog walker abides by the PIF membership charter and the PSA’s code of conduct.
The Pet Industry Federation offers a dispute resolution service should you find that your walker is not abiding by this code.