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What You Need To Know About Dog Walking

Dog walking is a great way to make a little extra cash or to turn into a full-time career. Either way, there is more to know about dog walking outside of the fact that walking dogs is required as part of the job. So, what else is there to know? How do you start and what other details does the job entail? One thing you should always start with, whether you are walking dogs part-time or fulltime, is the love of dogs. Dogs can sense a non-dog lover and this can make your job from difficult to impossible.

Part time – extra cash

If you plan to start dog walking as a part time job, start small and close to home. This means that you should start with friends and neighbors you know have dogs and let them know you plan to start dog walking for a side job. Would they like you to walk their dog? Starting with people you know helps in several ways:

  • You may already be used to their dog and know the dog and its personality.
  • It will be easier to start working with a more comfortable relationship of already knowing the clients.
  • Starting with a small, comfortable set of clients will give you a better look into the business to see if you want to keep it part-time, or grow it into a bigger, fulltime business.
  • You can take as few or as many dogs as clients as you want or can handle. It will also give you an idea if you prefer to walk small dogs, medium, large, or a combination of any.

Grow dog walking into a fulltime business

If dog walking is something you feel could make a fulltime business for you, go for it! It’s a great way to do something you enjoy, interact with dogs daily, help you and dogs get daily exercise, meet people, and own your own business to decide how big or small you want it to be. Creating a dog walking business can take two directions: You can develop your own company or business or work for an agency.

Working for an agency definitely has its perks. You get all the help of getting clients to walk but won’t have to worry about the legalities of operating your own business. They do all the work for you. You will have to give the agency a cut of the money you make, but for some, this can be worth it to be working and not have to handle the logistics of running a business.

If agency work doesn’t appeal to you and you’d rather do everything yourself, it will take more effort to get going but it can be fun and adventurous. Some of the most important things you will need to do if you plan to start a dog walking business include:

  • Certification or licensure – It’s important you obtain your licensure or certification in dog handling. This shows you are educated and trained in handling canines. This goes a long way with human clients. You also want to be certified in canine first aid.
  • Know all about your city – You want to make sure you are extremely familiar with your city to avoid unnecessary in route time and get more dog walking time. Know the city’s laws on dogs, where dog walking areas and parks are, closest to your clients. Know the places you will take them to each time so you build a routine and familiarity for the dogs.
  • Research all about dogs – The more you know and understand about dogs, the better the relationship will be between you and your furry clients. You may think you know dogs well, but once you start researching and reading, the more you’ll see you need to learn.
  • Get the word out – Print flyers, business cards and tell everyone you know about your new business. The best way to build your clientele is to advertise and word-of-mouth.

Things to consider

Not everything about being a dog walker is glamorous. You will need be able to handle certain, less pleasant aspects about the job. Some of the most common un-pleasantries of dog walking will be:

  • Picking up poo – Dealing with dog poo on a daily basis is a big part of the job. You’ll need to be able to handle this aspect of your business or you’ll never make it in dog walking.
  • Weather conditions – dogs will need to be walked in every type of weather so consider your climate. Can you handle walking dogs in high heat? Freezing temps and snow?
  • Misbehaving dogs – More than likely you will have some unruly dogs on your hand at some point.
    The possibility of handling a dog who is in heat – this can be an interesting twist on your business if you’ve never been around a dog in heat.

If you or anyone you know needs a high quality dog walking service in the Portland Oregon area, visit to learn more.

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