Consumers today have to be savvy. Sure, it’s fine to choose some things based on price –  a vehicle, or a holiday perhaps – but sometimes you shouldn’t use price as the determining factor for making an important purchase – and few things are more important than your much loved family pet.

Trusted pet care shouldn’t be all about price
When it comes to looking after your pets, you should never choose a dog walker, a veterinarian, or a dog groomer based on price alone. There’s just too much at stake – at the top of the list being the safety and welfare of your pet. Here are the top reasons you should never choose a dog walker based on price alone:

We’re committed professionals
Professionals charge professional rates to stay in business. You will very rarely find a committed, professional dog walker charging cheap rates, offering a half hour walk for a fiver, for example. There are lots of pet agencies in Edinburgh, offering students and hobby sitters for hire, but is this really what you want for your pet?

If you do find a dog walker who quotes you a cheap rate, ask yourself a question: How many hours does the dog walker have to work to make enough money just to break even after paying her bills every month? If a dog walker is charging very low rates, she’s going to have to work doubly hard to make enough money, which means your dog’s walks could ultimately suffer, or they may not be around long enough to offer long term, consistent and reliable pet care. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Running a professional dog walking service, whether there’s one or 100 employees, simply costs money. A professional dog walker must pay for employee salaries, their pensions, proper insurance, professional affiliations, car maintenance & fuel costs, travelling time to your home, marketing costs, phones, pet software, adverts, websites, book keepers, accountants, national insurance, corporation tax – the costs are endless and surprising! Like any other small business, a professional dog walker must run a prudent business to stay profitable and that costs lots of money. To survive the ups and downs of running a business, a professional must truly love pets and have their best interests at heart – at all times.

Experience counts to minimise risks
A professional dog walker brings valuable experience to her job. She’s spent years honing her skills and continuing her education to ensure she provides you, and your dog, with a reliable and trustworthy service. To minimise any risks to your pet and deal with any unforseen circumstances, it’s essential to have someone who know’s what they’re doing – i.e. an experienced dog walker.

When choosing a dog walker, always check how many dogs your pet will be out with. Less dogs means more one-to-one time and, naturally, a higher cost. Solo dog walking simply costs more as your dog is getting loving one to one care and attention that simply can’t be given to a group of eight to ten. It just depends on what you want for your dog. Some dogs love being out with a pack of other dogs and others don’t – they’re all individuals with their own doggie personalities.

You enjoy peace of mind and a trustworthy service for many years to come
In paying a professional rate for a dog walker, you’ll ensure your own peace of mind and a consistent, long term service. A professional dog walker has insurance, a council licence and experience and, most importantly, a backup walker, so your dog will never miss a walk.

A professional dog walker will always have emergency protocols to follow in case your dog becomes sick or injured. She will always be attentive to her dogs and monitor their behaviour and demeanour at all times. We always leave a short note to say if your dog pooped or pee’d, which may seem strange but, if your dog does not toilet on its walk, then it’s important to monitor and query with a vet after a day or two.

Your dog receives professional care
We’ve used the word “professional” throughout this article a lot. That’s because your dog will always receive professional and loving care from us. As a professional dog walker, I have dedicated my career to caring for and walking dogs and it’s only by receiving a living wage that I can continue to do the job I love.

An amateur or a hobbyist, who will in all likelihood charge less than a professional, walks dogs for fun which is fine. But it’s always worth asking whether they’ll be there for you when you really need them and whether they really have the experience and backup systems, or emergency protocols, in place to deal with emergencies.

We’re very proud to call ourselves ‘professional dog walkers’ and that means we always put the welfare of the pets we care for first. That’s the business we’ve designed and what being a professional is all about.