The Duke and Duchess recently celebrated the arrival of their first non-canine baby, little Archie. And the demands of parenthood, along with a host of royal commitments, means the couple have started a search for an extra pair of paws to take their pooches for a stroll around the royal gardens.
A royal appointment
Dog sitters provide vital services to UK pet owners from all walks of life. As people try to juggle busy work lives with the responsibilities of pet care, sitters help out by taking pups for walkies, or simply keeping them company.
But as some experts have warned, finding the right sitter can be tough. Dr Sam Gaines is a dog welfare expert. She said:
“Dog walkers are currently unregulated and unlicensed, meaning there are no checks on who these people are and how they ensure the needs of the dogs in their care are being met."
Almost 60% of dog owners have no contract or legal agreement in place with the sitter, and many fail to carry out basic background checks, including previous experience.
How to pick the perfect sitter
Thankfully, the Dogs Trust and the Pet Industry Federation have drawn up guidelines for anyone looking to employ a dog sitter.
They include making sure the sitter has previous experience handling dogs, has the right kind of transport, is insured in case of any accidents, and always ask for references from past clients.
Most importantly,take your time when it comes to finding the right sitter. If something doesn't feel quite right, then wait until it does. After all, there's no room for shortcuts when it comes to looking after our pooches.