Pet Walker, Pet Trainer – Jobs for Teens and Students
Most animal lovers would agree that getting paid to spend time with their four-legged friends would be a pretty cool way to make a living. Did you know that there are people that actually make a lot of money by walking their clients’ pets for an hour or two every day? There’s definitely more to becoming a paid pet walker than taking out your own dog and asking your parents for money, but if you work hard and take your business seriously, then you could end up turning your love for the canine variety into a profitable career.
Pet walking has become a bustling business for many entrepreneurs living in large cities where there is a high demand for their services. People that live in condominiums, apartment complexes and lofts not only lack the space to provide their pets with plenty of room to run off their energy; oftentimes they lack the time, too. That’s where you come in.
Creating your own pet walking service isn’t something that you can do overnight, but you can definitely rack up a few clients quickly by talking to your friends and family that might be interested in your services. Offering different rates for different lengths of time you’ll be spending with each pet is probably a bad idea, considering you’ll want to take as many pets as possible on each daily excursion. You’ll make more money walking several pets in shifts, rather than taking one dog out for an hour, then another, then another…
Don’t forget to treat your pet walking business like a real business, either, because it is one. People actually making a living in large cities by getting up each morning and walking dogs through the pet-friendly areas of their local metropolis, which is why keeping a serious attitude towards your business is the first step towards building a business that could last a lifetime. Print up nice packets to give to your clients when you meet them that detail your rates as well as your contact information. Dressing appropriately when meeting clients will also help you secure their pet as your next customer.
Pet walking is a great way to spend time with some furry friends while making money doing what you love. Building your own pet walking business can be difficult, as any small business is, but working hard, keeping your head up, and above all maintaining a positive attitude can lead to success. If you treat your business professionally and remain a reliable walker for your clients’ pets, then you’ll develop a reputation that will have pet owners lining up for your services.
Job Summary: Pet walker
- Suitable for age range: The minimum age is usually around fourteen years old, but really depends on the size of the pet walker. Walking several Great Danes could be difficult for a middle schooler, so keep pet size and quantity in mind when you’re booking your clients!
- Safety and security: Risks may include crossing streets, dogs running into traffic, losing control of leashes, and dealing with the general public while handling other people’s animals.
- Can improve your: Multi-tasking skills, physical agility (especially if a dog breaks free from your leash: don’t ever let them get away).
- Can continue as a career? Yes, as long as the clients are there. Professional dog walkers that do it for a living usually live in rather large cities and urban areas.
- Required soft skills: Confidence with approaching new potential clients, talking to people, working while out in public.
- Required hard skills: Handling multiple dogs at once, maintaining a professional business, remaining punctual when picking up dogs for their daily walks and never calling in sick.
- Resources and network:
o PetMD – How to become a professional dog walker
o Care.com – Dog walkers
o Dogwalker.com – Advertise your services today!
o LocoBiz.com – Build a profile and make an Ad under Pets category
- Where & how to find one? Perusing your neighborhood for clients is the best way to start. If you can go door-to-door and rack up enough dogs to keep you busy just on your street alone, then there’s no point spreading out much further. If you’re looking to expand, think about advertising your services online on Craigslist (it’s free) or Dogwalker.com.
- Estimated pay: Pay is based on the amount you are able to charge a client per dog, per walk. A common range for walking a single dog for thirty minutes is between $10 and $30, depending on your location. Don’t expect to charge too much if you’re working in the suburbs, but don’t undervalue yourself, either. Dog walking can be hairy work!