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  • How to Become a Dog Walker

    by Emily Bergquist
    Four dogs on leashes all sitting outside a park with a dog walker

    Are you the kind of person who is more likely found hanging out with dogs at a party than with people? Maybe you’re the type who spends hours scrolling through cute dog pictures on Instagram, or the type who has to stop to say hello to every dog on the street. Well, dog walking may just be the perfect job for you! Becoming a dog walker is no simple task though. It requires hard work, reliability, good communication skills, attention to detail, and of course, a passion for pets.

    If you want to become a true professional dog walker, you have two options: 1) start your own dog walking business or 2) join a dog walking platform. We’ll evaluate both options and discuss relevant pointers regardless of which option you choose.

    A black pug walking down the street on a leash

    Starting Your Own Dog Walking Business

    Starting your own business has many perks such as being your own boss, having the freedom to create your own brand, and being the one in charge. However, that also means you handle all of the administrative labor. You started your business because you love dogs! The downside of starting your own company, is being distracted with logistics such as building a website, forming an LLC, finding clients, finding walkers, managing schedules, accounting, etc. If you’re passionate about starting your own business, just keep in mind it can be a lot to handle, so be sure you are ready to deal with the craziness that comes with it!

    person holding short-coat black dog

    Joining an Dog Walking Agency or Platform

    A lot of walkers find it easiest to work for an already established dog walking company. There are an overwhelming number of companies, so how do you choose? There are larger companies and smaller companies. The large companies may service more areas, and offer other services such as overnight pet sitting or doggy daycare.

    When evaluating the companies that you want to apply to walk with, keep in mind things like what they pay their walkers, what benefits and insurance they offer, and how much training and support they offer their walkers. Here at Barkly Pets, we go to great lengths to offer our walkers the highest pay in the industry among many other benefits. The job can be a tough one and that’s why we offer 24/7 walker support where you can reach out and actually speak with a team member for support when needed.

    whit and black pug standing with leash with tennis balls surrounding

    Dog Walker Certifications

    It’s important to keep in mind that there are a lot of dog walkers out there, so try to separate yourself by getting certifications like pet first aid and CPR. This will help highlight your professional skills and make customers more likely to choose you as their walker.

    two white and brown dogs on concrete floor

    Dog walking can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the market if you’re willing to do the work. Remember, the job takes just as much people skills as it does canine skills!

    two brown labs inside living room of home

    Once you decide if you want to start a your own dog walking business or join a dog walking platform, take a look at this helpful guide for all of the next steps. And if you’re not sold on being a dog walker yet, keep in mind it is one of the healthiest jobs of the 21st century!

    Barkly Pets is hiring dog walkers currently. Apply here.

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