Dog walkers generally work on an on-call, per-need basis. Some focus on taking dogs on walks for people who are busy or physically unable to do so themselves, while others serve as dog-sitters when their owners are away on vacation.
This job does require some physical strength in order to maintain control of one or multiple dogs which may be large or particularly strong; bending and stooping is also necessary in order to interact with dogs and clean up the messes they leave. The weather outside may not always be ideal and may occasionally subject the dog walker to heat, sun, and rain. Strong customer service skills are important in order to maintain a large base and of loyal clients.
Dog walkers may go on several walks a day with different dogs or take individual dogs on multiple walks per day, which varies based on the needs of the dogs and their owners. Dog walkers may also keep note of which dogs get along in order to create ideal walking schedules which save time. Basic knowledge of dog training is essential for the job, as some of the dogs may not be sociable with humans or other animals.
Generally, there are no minimum educational requirements for this job. Often, dog walkers also offer pet-sitting services for those who work long hours or are occasionally out of town. Many dog walkers work as individual contractors, though some fixed positions are available through dog-sitting companies. This is most often a part-time job.
Dog Walker Tasks
Walk and sit clients' dogs.
Ensure dogs are safe and properly cared for.
Play with dogs.
Give dogs water, food and simple medication when requested by clients.