Why pet sitting and dog walking are in high demand these days

BY | August 20 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Why pet sitting and dog walking are in high demand these days

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It is important to comprehend from the first that dog walking and pet sitting comprise strenuous work. You have to acquire substantial knowledge about dogs and other pet animals to be successful in this field. The profession demands physical stamina and technical skill. You also must have a sweeping idea of a broad plethora of knowledge ranging from animal behavior to giving first aid to pets. Understanding city laws are a plus.

Not a bed of roses

Health insurance is non-existent. There is no paid time off. Extra money can be earned from taking care of the client's pet on weekends and holidays. Many clients may ask you to take care of their pets during week evenings too. It means substantial driving from one client's place to another and limited parking spots in downtown areas. Then again, taking care of pets is a business, and like any other money-making scheme, there are a lot of similarities to other professions. You will be responsible for generating invoices, marketing, banking, and advertising. There are a number of other important tasks which keep the business running. You should answer the phone and return calls. You must also reply to important emails and do all the things that must be done. Do not be discouraged by such bureaucratese. Dog walking and pet sitting are extremely profitable professions. The monetary returns are truly spectacular. You may find people from other professions resigning their jobs and joining your venture.

Finding afoot

By this time, you feel comfortable beginning your own dog-walking business. It is now important for you to examine yourself as to whether you have the acumen to make this venture a successful one. The first factor is, of course, doing a market survey as to whether there is a market demand for walking dogs in the area you wish to operate. Do not venture if there is no demand or too much competition already exists. The easiest way to find out the quantity of demand is to visit the local pet store and make a few discreet inquiries. Classified advertisements in newspapers offer a mine of information in this regard. Go through the lists and find out the number of people offering the dog walking business. It is important that you must love the pet you are hired to pamper or walk. It is also vital that you must have the experience or skill in keeping control over the dogs. If you were around only a few dogs before, volunteer at the local dog pound or animal shelter. It is no harm to take a formal course in caring for animals. Once you take the course, you will feel much more confident when walking the pet.

Top Five Tips To Choose A Dog Walker

For people who have full-time jobs or highly energetic dogs, a dog walker can be a real godsend. A dog walkerโ€™s job is to stop by your house and take your pup out for a stroll, for anywhere from 15 minutes to a full hour. This time outside not only gives your dog a chance to relieve themselves, but it also provides them with exercise and a break from the boredom that can set in during hours spent alone.

So to choose a good dog walker?

The first thing to remember is that because professional dog walking is a fairly new business, there are no regulations in place. What this means is that anyone can become a dog walker without any sort of training or certification, and itโ€™s up to you to find an individual who will keep your pal safe and be worth your money. Take a look at these tips for how to choose a dog walker.

#1 Ask Around

When beginning to choose a dog walker, start with the people you know. Ask your dog-owning friends and neighbors if they use a dog walker, and if so what they like or donโ€™t like about them. Who knows -- you may just end up with a phone number for the perfect canine companion.

#2 Search the Web

The internet can be a great place to search for a dog walker (or dog walking company) in your area, and sites like Yelp make it easy to read reviews from real customers. Pay close attention to any negative reviews, but give the positive reviews a glance too. This can be a good way to get an overall picture of the dog walker and their practices.

RELATED STORY: How to Teach Your Dog to Heel

#3 Decide What Is Important to You

Some dog walkers are also obedience trainers. Some dog walkers take your dog to new locations every time, while others always stick to the same stroll around the block. Some dog walkers offer weekly or monthly report cards on your dogโ€™s behavior and activities. Some dog walkers will take pictures of your dog and send them to you. Decide what is important to you, and go from there.

#4 Ask Questions!

Once youโ€™ve zeroed in on a dog walker, itโ€™s time to ask lots of questions. Here are some that you should be sure to ask:- What will you do with my dog when youโ€™re with them? (Walk? Play? Feed them?)- Where will you take my dog? (Just the neighborhood? Outside of the neighborhood?)- How much time will my dog spend actually walking? (Excluding any car time).- How many dogs do you walk at once? (Fewer dogs mean that your dog will get more attention and the risk of conflict or injury will be less than with a large group).- What sort of punishments or rewards do you use? (If you use positive reinforcement training, for example, youโ€™ll want to find a dog walker who does the same).- How do you handle emergencies? (Such as injuries and natural disasters). - Do you have any professional training or certification, such as obedience training or pet first aid?- Are you licensed, bonded, and insured? (Professional dog walkers should have a business license, carry insurance, and all employees should be bonded). - What are your rates?- Do you have references, and may I contact them?

RELATED STORY: Which Type of Dog Behaviorist or Trainer Do You Need?

#5 Trust Your Instincts (and your dogโ€™s, too!)

You can often get a good feel for a person just by meeting with them, and if a little voice inside of your head is saying that something is not quite right, itโ€™s a good idea to listen in order to choose a dog walker. Dogs can also be great judges of character, and seeing how your dog and a potential walker interact can be a good way to make the final decision. Do you like the way they are interacting with your dog? Does your dog seem comfortable? You may even want to pay the dog walker to take your pal for a stroll around the block and walk behind them to see how things go.

Do you use a dog walker? What or what donโ€™t you like about them? Leave a comment and let us know, and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.

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