Day in the life of
Dog Walker – Sharon van Donkelaar
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 it can really take up a lot of your physical and mental energy if you do it full-time. You need to be constantly vigilant and most importantly, disciplined, as our furry friends like to test our patience on a daily basis! So you need to be focused at all times and be firm since dogs can sense when you are a little bit distracted or weak on a particular day. I recommend starting on a part-time basis and dog-walking as a side gig since you will really need to love dogs to do this every day!
I usually walk three or four batches of dogs in a day for about an hour and a half. Never walk more than five dogs per batch (learned my lesson), since controlling them at the park can be real mayhem (especially if they are large dogs).
It might be tempting to try and “bundle” several dogs on one walk, but I recommend not trying more than 2, especially if you are just starting out. I find that dogs work best in pairs since it’s easier to coordinate them on walks. Once two dogs are familiar walking together, then it’s ok to add another, and build your way up to more dogs per walk. Unless you are really passionate about dogs and experienced enough to pull it off, I would recommend not walking more than four dogs at a time. Training and walking logistics aside, you still need to account for more “poop-per-walk” the more dogs you add, which can get really tedious!
One of the best things about being a dog walker is that there won’t be any ‘office drama’; four-legged friends are much easier and more pleasant to handle than their human counterparts. Besides, those every day walks will become an enjoyable exercise.
However, like any other profession, being a dog walker has its downsides, being the most crucial one the physical aspect. What happens if for any reason you can’t carry out the demanding physical activity of handling a pack of dogs? This happening is certainly the worst that could happen to a professional dog walker.
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.