Q. I want to become a professional dog walker. Where should I start?
A. You will need to understand the practicality of walking multiples dogs and perhaps contact dog walkers, local to you, and ask them if you could join them for a few walks. You never know they might be recruiting and looking to expand their business. Check the APDW directory to see if some of our members operate in your area. At least you will know that they have signed up to the APDW Code of Conduct and should therefore be good role models.
APDW promotes responsible dog walking and advises professional dog walkers to adopt the following code of conduct:
• Walk no more than six dogs at any given time
• Clean up after the dogs in their care and dispose properly of all waste
• Respect and promote all animal control by-laws
• Hold current public liability insurance covering 6 dogs
• Attach identification tags to any dog in their care displaying owners/handlers contact details
• Ensure all dogs in your care are microchipped
• Ensure dogs are never left unattended in public places
• Show care and respect for the public and the environment
• Be courteous at all times to members of the public
• Not advertise falsely any service or similar credentials
• Ensure dogs are transported in a safe and legal manner
• Not use any form of corporal punishment on a dog
Professional dog walkers should abide by local by-laws or dog control orders. For more information, contact your local council or search on Internet for any information related to the park or parks in which you wish to walk.
Some councils have introduced licences regulating dog walking. A yearly fee and/or a limitation of the number of dogs walked per walker at any one time may accompany these licences. Please visit your local council’s website for more information.
Some councils have also introduced licences regulating dog boarding and transporting. Please visit their website for more information.
Every dog owner and dog walker, whether professional or not, should be aware of the dog laws in UK. Please refer to the Government’s Website for more details https://www.gov.uk/control-dog-public/overview.
The welfare of the dogs is paramount. The Kennel Club is continuously campaigning to raise the awareness of dog owners, dog walkers. For more information, read about their programme http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/responsibledogownership.
The Kennel Club is also working on a dog walker’s accreditation scheme. You could perhaps contact them and get some advice.
Dogs should be transported safely when travelling in a car, for their own safety and the safety of the other dogs. Crates or customised partitions/tailgates can be made to measure for your car or bought as standard from Dog Crates Manufacturers www.dogpods.com www.lintran.co.uk www.barjo.co.uk
Insurance is a must when becoming a professional dog walker. There are a number of insurers offering a standard cover for public liability, care and custody: JPR, Cliverton among others.
Professional Dog Walkers may benefit from attending Dog Training Classes in order to gain or improve their knowledge of dog behaviour and pack behaviour. For more information about a course near you, please contact the Association of Pet Dog Trainers http://www.apdt.co.uk/dog-owners/local-dog-trainers.
Finally, Pet First Aid Courses are an essential part of caring for dogs. Your local vet might be able to advise you on good local courses or even deliver such courses themselves.
Q. I have applied to be a member of APDW. How long will it take for my application to be processed?
A. Complete applications will be processed within 10 days of the membership fee being cleared. You will be assigned a membership number and will be emailed a welcome letter. Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery of your certificate and membership ID tag following receipt of the welcome letter.
Q. What are the benefits of becoming a member of APDW?
A. A chance to influence the profession you work in and to become part of the ‘united voice’ APDW provides.
Q. I want to be a member of APDW but I do not want my details to be displayed on this site. Is this possible?
A. Yes, simply write ‘do not display my details’ on your application form.
Q. I am not a professional dog walker. Can I still join APDW?
A. Unfortunately not, you can contact dog owners associations or sign up to dog forums or contact the Kennel Club http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/
Q. We are a team of professional dog walkers. Some of us do not want to join the Association. What impact will this have on our business?
A. Membership is individual. Unless all of the team are members you will not be able to display the APDW logo and link on your literature or web site.
Q. Who decides how the monies raised by the Association will be spent?
A. Membership fee’s will be used for the running of the Association and to invest in community related projects. The committee will agree these projects. All profits from Fund Raising Events will go to the nominated charities. Members will vote for these charities each year.
Q. Will the membership fee increase every year?
A. Fees may increase from time to time in line with inflation, but as a not-for-profit organisation the increases will be kept to a minimum.
Q. Can I add the APDW logo to my site? How?
A. The APDW Logo can only be displayed on your website once your membership has been accepted and fully processed. A Welcome Letter and a link to the Logo will then be emailed to you. All dog walkers operating under your business name have to become Members before you can display the APDW Logo or refer to APDW on your website or literature.
Q. Do I need to delete the logo from my site if I leave APDW?
Q. Do I need to renew my membership every year or will it be automatically renewed?
A. You will need to renew it every year IN JANUARY. We will send you a reminder nearer the time so please ensure that we have the correct email address.
Q. I am a dog owner. What should I be looking for when hiring a dog walker?
A. We cannot dictate what you should be looking for when hiring a dog walker. However, by using this website to look for a dog walker in your area, you should be able to understand what your expectations should be.
Q. How do I know if my professional dog walker is a member of APDW?
A. All APDW Members will have a membership ID tag and certificate. Their name and business are displayed on our website once their application has been fully processed. Please contact us if your dog walker displays the APDW logo on their website but are not listed on the APDW directory.
Q. I have a complaint about an APDW Member. What do I do?
A. Please email your complaint to APDW at email@example.com. Please be aware that APDW can only get involved with complaints that involve a member not abiding by APDW Code of Conduct, Ethics or Constitution. Any other complaints should be addressed direct to the dog walker or referred to your council or local dog warden.