Supporting you and the puppy
Regular visits and support
Volunteer puppy walkers receive regular support from their puppy training supervisors. These virtual or face to face visits are normally carried out every four to six weeks, although new puppy walkers are contacted more frequently.
This enables both Guide Dogs and the volunteer to check in and discuss the puppy’s progress. It also gives you an opportunity to raise any concerns you may have. The puppy training supervisor will monitor the puppy’s health, care, socialisation and educational development, and offer you a great deal of support in many areas.
Whilst we carry full public liability insurance for any injury or accidents that might be caused by our dogs, we will not carry out property insurance for our volunteers.
Puppies, by their very nature, can cause damage in the home unless they are carefully supervised. As a puppy walking volunteer, you would be expected to teach the puppy how to behave within your home. Our staff will provide advice and equipment to prevent damage to the home.
Guide Dogs will pay all veterinary expenses whilst the puppy is in your care.
It is vital that you have access to a local veterinary practice with 24-hour cover which is close enough to be reached quickly in an emergency.
Before arriving at your home, the puppy will be vaccinated with the appropriate vaccine covering all the major diseases. Our vaccination policy was drawn up under the guidance of our veterinary advisers and your puppy training supervisor will keep you up to date with vaccinations that may later be due.
All our puppies are given treatment against roundworms before they arrive at your home and they are wormed again at two, three and six months of age. Your puppy training supervisor will provide the medication, together with instructions on how to give the treatment as well as general advice.
Neutering and bitches in season
It is Guide Dogs’ policy to neuter all dogs other than active breeding stock. Timing will depend on the puppy but males are usually castrated between eight and nine months of age. The operation will normally be carried out by your chosen vet and the puppy will recuperate at home.
Bitches are normally spayed following their first season, which can occur any time after six months of age. If the season happens whilst still being puppy walked, it is far better to leave a bitch with you for the duration of her season (about three weeks) wherever possible.
Your puppy training supervisor will be able to answer any questions you may have.