The Most Important Question to Ask When Hiring a Dog Walker

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Have you ever considered the framework of how a dog walking or pet sitting company operates or how it trains its new hires? Have you thought about how it treats its people to ensure happy, healthy, and invested service providers are entering your home to work with your pet?

A key ingredient in the quality of service a pet care company offers is its choice to hire employees or outsource work to independent contractors, and it’s something pet owners should seriously consider before hiring.

As a pet owner, why should you care?

Between on-demand dog walking apps with flimsy training practices and a laundry list of horror stories, to companies who choose to evade the law of paying employment taxes, unemployment and workers’ compensation to fatten their bottom line, the reasons are compelling.

Let’s take a closer look at the critical differences between a company that contracts with independent contractors vs. a company that hires and retains employees.

By law, a pet service company that hires independent contractors CANNOT:
• Have an employee manual
• Provide specific rules or oversight to its contractors
• Monitor staff activity using GPS

By law, independent contractors who walk dogs:
• Must purchase their own insurance (which is unlikely considering the cost of coverage is often more than a week’s pay)
• Are free to adjust their schedules as they see fit
• May perform the service to their standards rather than the company they contract for

When selecting the company that provides care for your pet, it’s important to keep in mind the significant differences between independent contractors and employees. Be sure to ask any prospective dog-walking or pet-sitting company: “Does your company invest in employees or do you contract with independent contractors?”

Rover-Time is proud of the strong workplace we’ve created by employing its entire team. We do not use independent contractors for everyone’s safety, yours and ours.

In the comments, let us know your questions. We’re happy to help!

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Comments (3)

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Millie Hue

I totally agree when you said that it is important to be aware of choosing the right person or company to keep you and your pet from experiencing any horror stories. I will definitely choose carefully when hiring a pet sitter because I am at work most of the time which means that my dog will be handled by a stranger for a long period of time. My dog is a small kind of breed that is why it can't be left alone for long. Thanks!

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