Day in the life of
Dog Walker – Ales Wilk
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 dog owners can be quite finicky which makes the job a handful.
I’ve often gotten to hear “you must be earning quite a lot”, every time I tell someone that I’m a dog walker. However, the riches involved in this job aren’t as much as people assume. On average you get to earn $28513 or £21000 annually, which isn’t as much as people assume.
This job has a lot of responsibility that comes along with it. You need to be highly vigilant and make sure the dogs are safe at all times, even as you play with them or they play with other dogs. Dog owners treat their fluffy ones as their children, and a single notch on them can create quite a lot of trouble for us.
Moreover, the weather outside may not always be at its best, but you’ll still be expected to take the dogs out for a walk or for their playtime because that is your job. This means you don’t even get to have any sick days off, until or unless you’re genuinely unable to get out of bed.
What is your work life like?
My work life is a seven days a week responsibility and duty, which you can’t get any days off from. Whatever demands the dog owner has for you, they need to be fulfilled no matter what. If someone expects you to take their dog out for their outdoor time in a pram, you take them out like so.
This job is more than just taking the dog out to the park. It’s a proper business that you need to look into properly. From promotions to marketing, everything needs to be managed by you.
You’re required to spend a minimum of 25 minutes with each dog, and your conveyance cost is completely on you; it is not accommodated by the client. Moreover, you’re also expected to pay self-employment tax. When you’re earning as little as $25813 a year, and the tax amount is not deducted from your paycheck, being able to put aside a certain amount for the tax payable feels sad and seems difficult as well.
You’re not just required to work on sick days, but also have to be available on holidays. In situations where you’re really sick, and can’t even leave the bed, there is no sick pay that is covered. The pay for the day is deducted from your monthly salary.
However, you get to choose your own schedule from the time slots that the dog owner had available, and there is no dress code whatsoever that is required to follow. You just need to take care of the dogs and are not required to interact with anyone else. Go by your own rules, but just follow the directions of the dog owner when it comes to their dog and you’re good to go.
- Spending time with dogs
- Aligning a schedule of your choice
- No requirement of interacting with other people
- No room for office politics or drama
- The flexibility to set your own rates
- Flexibility to run an independent business
- No paid-leaves
- The requirement to work on holidays
- Finicky dog owners with irrational demands
- Difficult to find clients initially
- Annual income is not as much as it should be
- The probability of clients canceling on you even after making an appointment
- The requirement to walk dogs even in difficult weather conditions
- Self-employment tax payment takes up a huge chunk of the overall annual income
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.