Dog walking is mainly described as the act of an individual walking with a dog, usually with or sometimes even without a leash. The walk is typically conducted from the owner’s home to a particular distance and then returned home safe and sound. At times the walk even includes a fitness regime for the dogs. Mostly dogs are walked by their owner but there are even professional dog walkers who would do the deed for you. These jobs are quite popular in London and all over the UK and have slowly and gradually gained popularity as well. You can find dog walking professional individuals or even companies who offer a variety of services for your dogs apart from walking your dog. Dog walking has also advanced to dog running these days where a professional will take your dog running anywhere between 1 to 10 miles.
Although the term dog walker may seem self-explanatory it is not that simple. Being a professional dog walker requires a lot of responsibilities and dedication. If you are an individual who is on the lookout to start your own dog walking firm then these pointers will assist you. Always be clear about the job description and make sure to list out clearly what you will be providing as a dog walker. Dog walking can last anywhere from 15 minutes to even 2 hours. Safety of the dogs would be your top priority and knowing their illness and allergies if any. A dog walker should be able to walk dogs in any weather condition be it rain or shine. Each of the dogs should be cared for and loved individually whilst also maintaining a strong leadership to let them know who’s in charge. Potty breaks and disposing of the poop is equally important. Some of the higher end companies even offer continuous updates like photos of the dog walk and records where the details of the walk including the distance and time are all mentioned. Always remember that a happy dog equals a happy client which makes you a lot of money. Although this may sound challenging a dog walker has to be comfortable walking all types of dogs meaning any shape, size, strengths and breeds. Having previous experience in working with dogs and a good reference also helps in gaining the trust and respect of different dog owners. Attitude matters a lot, so do remember that a dog walker needs to be outgoing and have a very friendly approach be it to the owner or the dog.
Dog walkers in the UK can earn anywhere between £8 to £15 for a walk that could last between 30 minutes to an hour. But these rates can fluctuate depending on the kind of business and services provided. Some services even charge £20 for an hour’s walk which can put a professional dog walker’s salary at easily £22,000 on a yearly basis. Those who provide overnight care which involves taking care of the dogs sometimes even for months when the owner is away can make close to £65,000 annually. The demand for dog walkers is pretty high in the UK where owners are ready to invest a lot in their pets. A majority of the clients who prefer to hire dog walkers in the UK are customers with high-powered jobs who love to own pets but do not have the time to walk them. Dog walking costs are not limited to the owners alone but the dog walkers too who need to own a vehicle to transport the dogs at times and also pay parking charges around parks, which are quite steep in London. Royal Park in London, UK for instance charges £300 for a year’s permit with no more than 4 dogs per dog walker, whereas in Queen’s Park all dogs must be on leads at all times. Hence you will notice that every park and every area has their own set of rules which need to be followed and adhered to at all time. This means that the dog walker should be aware of the rules in every park.
Group dog walking is where one can make the most income, it is also one of the best ways to introduce new dogs to other dogs and get solitary dogs to mingle and accept one another. But one should never underestimate group walks, it requires double the effort and dedication when compared to solo walks. Some dog walkers walk 8-9 dogs at one walk in order to earn a lot but this invariably results in dog leashes getting tangled and a higher chance of mess. It is ideal to restrict group walks to 3-4 dogs at one walk. But with 4-5 group walks in a day a professional dog walker can easily earn approximately £160 a day. It is crucial that a dog is always heeling next to the dog walker when on a leash and that all dogs walk together as pack. If either one of the dogs in a group walk tend to lead a pack they would consider themselves as Alpha making it all the more difficult for the dog walker to get control of the pack. Always make sure you are in charge and leading the walk.
Nothing is more important than giving the dogs a good walk/run whilst remembering to also clean up after them. Cleaning up poo isn’t a glamorous job but it is the duty of a professional dog walker, hence it is best to restrict yourself from large group walks unless you are absolutely confident. Poo bags are rather essential and help to avoid an unnecessary fine. There are tons of options when it comes to locations for those in the UK who would like to walk dogs. Some of the top walking trails include Chapel Cliff walk, Cornwall and Clent Hills dog walk, Romsey, Worcestershire or if your pup is more of the country pet you could try the Attingham Park or Hardcastle Crags. Marloes Sands, Wales and Studland Beach, Dorset are some of the best beach spots in UK for those furry pooches who love a good dip.
At the end of the day we understand that all dogs regardless of size or breed need to be taken on walks or runs. It is an important ritual that will keep your dog mentally stable and physically strong!