What Does A Dog Walker Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Dog Walkers

The primary responsibility of a dog walker is to walk dogs. They will have different clients who have varying needs. Some clients may work full time and need a dog walker five days a week, and others might need a dog walker temporarily while they are out of town. Dog walkers need to have excellent time-management skills to schedule their clients throughout the day and arrive on time.

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A dog walker is a person who goes to people’s homes and takes their dogs out for walks while the owner is at work, away, or unable to walk the dog themselves. As a dog walker, you can work on your own and have your own business, or you can work for a company or another individual. Some dog walkers walk dogs for one owner at a time, and others take a number of dogs all at once.

There are different rules and regulations that might include the need for a license. You need to look at the rules in your jurisdiction to find out. You can start this job as an entry-based position before you have any formal education. However, having experience and credentials will help you get more dog walking jobs. A dog walker needs good skills in handling dogs, as well as time management and communication skills to make sure that you get to your clients on time and communicate effectively with them.

What they do

The primary responsibility of a dog walker is to walk dogs. They will have different clients who have varying needs. Some clients may work full time and need a dog walker five days a week, and others might need a dog walker temporarily while they are out of town. Dog walkers need to have excellent time-management skills to schedule their clients throughout the day and arrive on time.

Walk Dogs for Clients

The most important part of this job is walking dogs for clients. You will pick up dogs at their owners’ houses and take them out for their exercise. Most dogs need a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day, and dogs need to go out to go to the bathroom.

Dog walkers can walk one dog at a time, but some walk a number of dogs together. If you live in a city where you have multiple clients in an apartment or condo building, you might take them out together.

Give Food and Water to Dogs

Often, a dog walker will need to make sure that the dogs they walk have food and water. It is important for dogs to have fresh, clean water at all times, and it is likely that the dogs you are walking will need their bowls refilled every time you come to walk them. This is as important as walking the dogs because they must have water available to them.


Many dog walkers offer grooming as an additional service to their clients. If you offer this service, you will want to know the best way to groom each dog. Grooming might include bathing the dog with shampoo, trimming the nails, and trimming the fur of the dogs. You might walk the dog first, and then do the grooming. You can offer this service to some or all of your clients, and it is a great way to extend your business.

Keep Client Records

It is very important to keep accurate detailed records of your clients. You should have a file for each dog where you note the name, breed, age, and their veterinarian. You will want to keep track of when you walk the dog and other services you provide.

What is the job like

Pet Checkers

I’m the owner of a local pet care company called Pet Checkers that provides dog walking, pet sitting, dog grooming, and pet photography services. Working with animals is super fun and as ‘the boss’, my day is made up of lots of different tasks. A typical day for me is to get up early and … Read More

Raintown Dog Training

I was a dog walker in Vancouver for a year before I became a dog trainer and then a dog training business owner. I often miss the walking days! I walked 3-4 days a week, usually for around 5 hours a day. It was physically demanding, with a route of up to 30km on longer … Read More

What is it like being a Dog Walker? Being a dog-walker is considered to be one of the most desirable jobs, because of getting to spend time with dogs. People consider it to be an easy job, however, it isn’t really. Some dogs can really be hard to handle, whereas, on the other hand, some … Read More

Although many may not see it that way, being a dog walker requires the same amount of discipline and commitment as any other profession, which means I wake up early in the morning, get dressed for the job, and hit the streets to meet my furry customers. Being a dog-walker is a huge commitment and … Read More

Being an independently contracted dog walker from a company like Rover or Wag is great if you want a flexible schedule. While those businesses do take a percentage of your earnings, they handle all of the payment processing and you get listed on their site for free. If you set up your profile right, it’s … Read More


You get to work with dogs

If you enjoy working with dogs, this is a great career. You spend your days walking different dogs and helping to care for them. This is very rewarding for people who love dogs.

You can make your own schedule

When you work as a dog walker, you can organize your time in the way that is best for your life.

You gain experience working with dogs

When you work as a dog walker, you can gain valuable experience working with dogs.

You get to work outdoors

It is good for you to get exercise and be outdoors, and this job ensures that you will. Getting regular exercise will keep you healthier.


You may end up doing more work than you expect

You might find that you arrive at a client’s home and find a mess. Whether it is part of your agreement or not, you will need to clean the mess up. This can take extra time that you didn’t plan on.

You might deal with an escape artist

At some point, you are likely to run into a dog that is an escape artist. This can be terrifying, and you need to stay calm and do what you can to catch and find the dog.

Where they work

Client’s homes
Veterinarian’s and pet rescues
Grooming facilities

Dog walkers usually work out of people’s homes. They travel to people’s homes to walk their dogs. They can be based out of their homes, or they might maintain an office. They usually go to clients’ homes and walk the dogs, and they sometimes stay over when clients are out of town. In addition, dog walkers can work for pet rescues and veterinarians. They often keep the dogs in kennels, and they need people to walk the dogs throughout the day. Finally, they can work at their own homes and take dogs in for boarding when people go out of town.

How to become one

Step 1: Walk Dogs for Neighbors

The first step to becoming a dog walker is to gain experience by walking dogs in your neighborhood. You can start off by knocking on your neighbors’ doors. When you start working as a dog walker, it is important to have references for your clients. Start keeping a record right away so that you can show what you have done.

Step 2: Earn a High School Diploma

You need to earn your high school diploma. Although you do not have to graduate from high school to start walking dogs, many services will want you to have your diploma. While you are in school, you can gain experience and do your best in your classes.

Step 3: Earn a Business Degree (optional)

You do not need to earn a college degree to become a dog walker, but it can be very helpful if you plan to start your own business. Owning a business is more complicated than you might think. Earning a business degree offers you the opportunity to expand your business and hire employees who go out to walk the dogs.

Step 4: Get Your License and Certification

Different states have different requirements, so you need to check the rules and laws in your state. You also need to obtain a business license if you plan to operate a business. In addition, you can get certification from the International Association of Dog Walkers by taking an online program. There are other certifications as well, so you should research this. It will help give your clients confidence that you can handle the job.

Step 5: Find Clients

Now you can go out and start finding clients. You can advertise locally and on the Internet. See if you can give your business card to local pet stores, vets, and grooming salons.

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

You can read more about these career personality types here.

Dog walkers are smart, and they are able to think quickly. They have intuition and understand dogs when they are acting strangely. They are also compassionate and kind, and they love animals. They care about making sure that dogs have everything they need, and they are very thorough and willing to do more than they need to do. They are also strong and fit.

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