Recently, I’ve been trying to hire a contractor to redo my kitchen. I feel like Goldilocks as I try on this contractor (too soft) and that (too hard). These are all licensed professionals and yet, it is imperative that I screen them carefully. I'll regret it if I don't.
Afterall, a contractor who isn’t an expert could cause my house to fall down.
When you are searching for a dog walker, be like Goldilocks. Ask questions. Trust your gut. No matter how charming he is, do not blindly trust the first person you meet.
I take this very seriously. A dog walker who does a bad job could kill my dog.
Hand to God, I’d rather have my house fall down.
It may seem simple to take a dog out on a walk, but a lot can go wrong (even with a great dog walker). A decent walker understands the risks and cares enough to educate herself on the best ways to prevent problems. She should know basic dog first aid, safety precautions to prevent runaways, signs of common health problems and how to handle them, and (above all) she should be loving and completely transparent with the owners. So many dog walkers fall woefully short of this description. Be careful! Ask lots of questions. And don’t hesitate for one single moment to switch walkers if you think something is off.
There are a few truly great walkers out there. Landing one of the best is like getting your dog into the best private school. You have to apply (the best walkers are overbooked and turn people away regularly), you need to do everything you can to hold your spot (bad clients are turned away more frequently than bad dogs), and it costs more than you expect. But it is SO worth it.
Below is a list of the people who are currently my go to dog walkers on the Upper West Side. They are not the only good walkers, but I think they are the best! The UWS is my home, so I am most familiar with the walkers in this area. If you have a great walker (or you ARE a great walker) who is not listed here, let us know. We'll check it out and consider adding them to a more complete list that we are building for Manhattan.
Benterprise Dog Walking - Ben loves every dog he handles and he cares deeply about hiring and educating his team. Every person who works for him is knowledgeable about dog behavior, schooled on the individual dogs, and paid the premium rate they deserve for being the best.
Bryce Smith - 917-319-0579 - Bryce is a one-man operation who takes phenomenal care of his dogs. He is smart and driven and believes in keeping his operation small in order to maintain the best possible quality of care.
Hoochie Poochie - Lauren and her team are an established group of caring, loving individuals. Their service is unique because they take the dogs out for mini-adventures (called playgroups) with other pups. This gives the dogs awesome exercise and mental stimulation.
Luke Dog Walker - Tony and Christina own this service. It is a small group of well-trained, attentive, dog walkers who care deeply about their clients. They have been in the area for years and are well-loved by their clients.
Christa Clark - Christa is another one-man operation. She is a sweet, attentive walker who has been in the business for more than five years. Her clients appreciate her for her gentle, trustworthy, effective style and her reliability.