What is a Dog Walker?

Do you love spending time with dogs? Would you prefer working outside over being cooped up in an office? You may want to consider becoming a dog walker!

Walking a dog is part of the daily exercise regime needed in order to keep a dog healthy and happy. However, there are times when dog owners are unable to take their dog(s) out for their much needed walks, and that's where the services of a dog walker comes in.

What does a Dog Walker do?

Dog walkers can either be independent business owners or part of a larger dog-walking business. They are typically paid by the half hour or by the hour which allows dog owners to get out of the house and do errands, work overtime, or take some time away. Having a dog walker means knowing that their dog will get the care and exercise they need.

A dog walker outside with four dogs.

A dog walker will typically pick the dog up at the owner's house, take it out for its walk, and return the animal back to the house. Some dog walkers take many dogs for a walk at the same time, while others prefer to take only one at a time. Some, especially those who own their own business, may choose to include grooming services as well.

Dog walkers need to have complete control, as they may be walking several dogs at a time, and need to have full authority so that one does not get away from the group. In some cases, a walker may have to deal with breaking up dogs in a fight, or with runaways. Physical stamina is sometimes necessary.

Some other requirements of the job are:

  • being comfortable working with pet owners
  • coordinating many schedules at a time
  • having an understanding of animal restraints and the use of transportation kennels
  • having the ability to control dogs of various sizes
  • obtaining and updating licenses or permits (if necessary)

A dog walker also needs to clean up after the dog and make sure that no droppings are left behind. While this is arguably one of the worst aspects of the job, dog walkers are animal lovers and know that it is all part of taking care of the animal.

One of the most important aspects of becoming a dog walker is finding clients who can trust you to take care of their pet. In many cases, dog walkers will be given a key to the residence while the owner is at work. This means that dog walkers must be very respectful and trustworthy in order to gain new clients and keep them.

Another aspect of the job is being flexible with your time, working with the owner to set up a time that can accommodate everyone. Peak hours for dog walkers tend to fall between 11am and 2pm.

Are you suited to be a dog walker?

Dog walkers have distinct personalities. They tend to be investigative individuals, which means they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive. They are curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical. Some of them are also artistic, meaning they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if dog walker is one of your top career matches.

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What is the workplace of a Dog Walker like?

A dog walker spends almost all of their time outside, rain or shine, taking a dog(s) out for their exercise. These excursions not only provide exercise, but also stimulation and socialization with people and other dogs that a dog needs and wants. As a result, the dog is more content, displays less destructive tendencies, and is calmer for their owner.

Dog Walkers are also known as:
Professional Dog Walker