Thursday, March 18, 2004

Dog Walking Tips

[continued from here]

If you're serious about venturing into the world of dogwalking and petsitting, consider the following:

You must:
Love animals and be willing to learn their language.
Be responsible, reliable, ethical and willing to work hard.
Be able to deal with people [clients and other dog-parents].
Have dependable form of transportation.

Erratic and sometimes unreliable schedule
No guaranteed income
No holidays, vacations or sick days
No "snow days" - Dogs need walking, rain or shine; sleet or snow
And say goodbye to clean - clothes, shoes, body and car!

Create your own schedule
Get exercise while working
No more business suits
Part time work for full time pay [in some cases]
Endless supply of unconditional love
Great blogging material

Get bonded, insured and licensed
Get certified in Pet First Aid
Join Pet Sitters International 

There's a market for dogwalking in many major cities. Search the internet for local dog walkers and network with them. Also network with local Vets, Groomers, Pet Stores, Pet Adoption Agencies and Trainers. Post fliers and business cards everywhere there's a community bulletin board - Dogparks, coffee shops, bookstores, fitness centers, etc.

If you have a dog, get walking!  If your friends have dogs, walk their dogs too. Show that you can handle more than one dog.  The more, the merrier.  The best times to network with neighbors and locals are early mornings around 7 or 8 [before people leave for work] and evenings around 6 or 7 [when everyone comes home].  And of course, spend your entire weekend at the dogpark with your dog, your friend's dog and your friend's friend's dog! 

Most of all - Don't be pushy, needy or aggressive! There are plenty of dogs to go around. A competitive dogwalker can be smelled a mile away.  Believe in what you do. Love what you do. Of all creatures on this earth, dogs know if you're in it for love or not.


queenz43 said...

Be responsible, reliable, ethical and willing to work hard.
Well the list of things above rule me out!! Sooo Just Kidding. Hey Freee, I think this was a VERY thorough explanation of what it takes to be a DogWalker. I had no idea you could get certified in PET first aid. Duh!! I have a little Jack Russell Terrier that drags me all over the place and is SO spoiled. I am feeling that yoga energy over here. Keep it going. And I'm jonesing for that mini bundt!! Very Informative entry. ~RC~

mallory4284 said...

Great info for people considering being a dogwalker!! You reminded me about your feature on AOL, and i finally got to go take a look. That's a great picture! Hunny's such a cutie!

And way to go with the yoga! Sounds like it must be getting better. and mmmm chocolate cake, but I don't need it, you can keep it! ;)

-- Mallory :)

krobbie67 said...

This was very nice of you! Helping out the competition! But, I guess like you said there are plenty of dogs to go around. And, Yah! that was a freaky pose! Ouch.
:-) ---Robbie

s0ngbird1962 said...

Freee, I have had dogs most of my life (have one now), but that being said, I've always been fearful of dogs that aren't mine. (I was bit twice in the face when I was a child. One of the dogs I knew casually). Anyways, my question....
Have you ever been bitten?

andreakingme said...

Great information, Trish! You're so sweet. And fulla good sense. I hope potential dog walkers take to heart what you've shared here. (You need to save these two Entries on your computer. They're too good to lose or miss.)

Have you considered doing a brochure that contains some of this information, as a way to advertise YOUR services? :-)

babyshark28 said...

Very good Freee. It sounds like you know what your doing....of course that's a joke! I know you do. and I can feel your passion for it through your writing :)
dem sure lucky dogs.

slowmotionlife said...

Wow... I guess I didn't know all the many aspects of your job. You've given some fabulous advice and things to consider here. Dog-walking isn't something I'd ever personally consider, but that's because I know I'm not right for the job. It's good to know there are people like you who are PERFECT for the position! :)

musenla said...

All words of wisdom from a gal who obviously loves her work and her charges! An image of you walking a dozen doggies flashed through my mind a la Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, minus the Manolo Blahniks and the lost, what-am-I-doing confused look on her face, lol.

bridgetteleigh75 said...

Great tips and very valid points, Freee. I truly hope people aren't getting into this for the wrong reasons.

XO ~ Bridgett

p.s. You'll die when you see the picture of Saucy with his muzzle and ears all shaved. I'm almost embarrassed to post them (after I get them developed, that is)....he looks terrible! LOL

gingergirl05 said...

What an awesome entry! These two entries really show your love for animals and for what you do. I think that dog walking sounds pretty hard. I've never had a dog so I'm not sure that I'd be able to handle them too well. I cat sit for my neighbors, and that's enough for me. Actually, I don't even get paid for it. But they tell me to stay with their cat as long as possible because she likes company. They have even told me that I could stay there while they are away. Such nice people!! Though I have not stayed overnight, I have spent some time there because I never get to be home alone. Boy, it's nice! lol

Anyway, your job sounds radical and exhilarating! Very cool :o) ~ Kate xo

somenuttychic said...

This is great advice! I'm surprised that this one didn't get you another feature in the business community. And you're so right, it's important to love what you do. Especially if it comes to animals. They know.

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