How to Be a Dog Walker
How to Be a Dog Walker
An essential part of dog ownership is giving it regular exercise. A dog walker gets paid for exercising other people’s dogs. They would normally pick them up from the owner’s house and take them back afterwards. Dog walkers may have regular clients, walking the dogs on a daily basis or may supply a service to people who may have a short term problem such as injury or health which restricts their ability to walk their dogs.
Dog walking is becoming a very popular business as many people are now working longer hours and do not have the time to exercise their pet.
The dogs may have to be left alone for long hours which can lead to behaviour problems
There may be some opportunities to do this type of work for a larger establishments, such as a kennel or animal shelter, but almost all dog walkers will be self employed. The work exists; but you need to be the sort of person who can go out and market your services.
Risks and Challenges
There is a great responsibility in looking after somebody else’s dog, especially in a situation where it has the potential to run off if not under proper control.
Many councils have specific rulings on the numbers of dogs that can be walked at any one time. It is recommended that no more than 4 dogs are walked at one time by any single person. Any more than and they may develop a pack mentality and become difficult to control.
Insurance is not compulsory but should be seriously considered in case the dogs in your care damage property or injure anyone.
How to become a Dog Walker
No formal qualifications are needed to become a dog walker but obviously its beneficial if you have experience of owning and walking dogs and a love for dogs in general. You also need to be quite fit.
Dog walkers are self employed, and need to be able to manage dogs of different temperaments , shapes and sizes.
You must be capable of communicating effectively with both people (owners and passers by), and with animals (yours, and others that your dogs socialize with). To do so, you need an understanding of dog psychology, and human psychology (we have courses in both). You must also understand the basics of how to run a business; handling money, keeping records, advertising your services, etc. A small business course is also valuable.
Potential clientele will be local, so advertising may work best with leaflets dropped in letter boxes, adverts placed in local media or in shop windows. You may also start your own website or social media account to promote the service.
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