Download My Free Dog Walking Client Checklist.
Whether you want to work for a dog walking company or establish your own business, here are some things you should know:
You MUST truly love and care about dogs. Anyone can adore a dog from the sidelines but it takes someone who is committed to show up, walk the dog and do the dirty work. This means picking up poop or even cleaning out a crate. If that’s not for you I suggest you stop right here.
Are you punctual and reliable? The dog is waiting on you to go and showing up consistently around the same time is important to the dog and to your relationship with the client. Yes, you will have clients; they will be paying you to take care of their furry children when they’re not there. You must have a solid work ethic.
No flakiness. No forgetting. No excuses.
Which leads me to my next point, which is, you will have to walk in all sorts of weather. Rain, shine, snow, extreme cold and heat. It’s not ideal but when nature calls, nature roars! Thoroughly examine if you are willing to work in all weather conditions.
If you are still reading and haven’t been put off by the realities of the job, there is one more thing you need and that is street smarts. You must be able to pay attention and always be scanning the area you are walking in to be on the lookout and anticipate any and all challenges. You cannot be on your phone while you are walking a dog and even more so if you are going to offer group walks. Always be looking out for other dogs, squirrels, garbage and people that might cause your dog to pull suddenly on his or her leash. And one more thing, NEVER use a retractable leash. Even if your client supplies you with a retractable leash for her one-pound Chihuahua, leave it at home and bring your own nylon leash or lead.
In fact, any dog walker who is any good carries leashes, poop bags and dog treats with her or in her car at all times. You never know when you will come across a stray and need to leash them up. Make sure you carry at least one leash that is the slip over the head kind so if you come across a large or small dog you might be able to rescue them.
Click here to download the free Client Checklist I promised. It is customizable so feel free to add your business name and logo.
This is a client intake sheet. Bring it with you to all your client meetings and make sure to add all the pertinent information about the client and the dog.
Questions? Hit me up at Laura@thepetsitterstale.com