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How to become a dog walker?

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Becoming a dog walker in the UK is probably the easiest job you could do for quick cash. This is because you do not have to have any special certification or obtain a special license from any local or federal official licensing body to carry out your duty successfully.

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Answer Adeosun
Jan 30, 23 · min read
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If all you want to do is dog sitting within the confines of your home, you would need special licensing. The steps to becoming a dog walker or sitter and the requirements for each will be discussed in this article. So, sit tight and educate yourself.

Why should I take up a dog walking job?

There are about three reasons that should let you know you are doing society a lot of good by walking dogs.

First and most importantly, you are an animal lover. Yes, the requirements for being a dog walker are as simple as just taking them out on a ‘playdate’. Yet, your attitude and disposition to them will greatly influence if you could keep the customers (the dog owners) and get referrals.

Secondly, a lot of dog owners do not have the time to walk their dogs due to jobs and other commitments. This, therefore, means that they have to rely on others to do the dog walking job for them and that is where you come in.

Thirdly and lastly, dogs, like humans, need their limbs exercised from time to time to avoid joint pains, stiffness, and other related health issues. Therefore, it is important for the health of these man’s best friends that they get their daily walks in, in the company of supervision of course. 

All in all, your role as a dog walker or sitter is as significant as that of the next person.

Guide to becoming a dog walker: step by step

  1. Train yourself in all things dog or animal related. Although you do not need a certification or qualification to be a dog walker, you still need basic training in how to take care of the animals when they are in your care. Remember that you are a stand-in caregiver to these dogs when they are with you which means you must be able to cater to them adequately. So, working as a volunteer at an animal shelter for a time and maybe adopting your own puppy can help in this regard. Every little detail of what you learn will count. Think of this like an animal daycare. Any of the dogs could become violent or sick and you don’t want to be caught unprepared when that happens. So, you can help yourself by taking self-help courses in animal first aid or care. This could also boost your resume.
  2. Gain work experience. Of course, your clients would like to know they can trust you with their dogs. So, getting work experience from an established dog-sitting facility or even a pet shop could go a long way. Thus, your former boss can provide you with a much-needed referee which will work well to garner the trust of your clients and potential clients. Sometimes, having some established names on your resume is even a low-key advertisement to get you some high-end clients.
  3. Get marketing experience. It is not enough to know about dogs or even gain experience. You need to be able to market your freelance dog-walking business such that you can attract the right clients. You could do this while apprenticing or do an online search instead.
  4. Know your competition. That’s right. You cannot be the only one in the business. There are other dog walkers in your locality whose businesses are probably already booming. When you know your competition, you can know how to do your job better and also price your services in a way that makes clients want to come to you. In the same vein, when you know your competition’s price lists, it could help you bill more than you intended originally so that you will not inadvertently shortchange yourself.
  5. Expand your business. Don’t just stop at walking dogs. Take your business up a notch by offering additional services like dog sitting, grooming, training, etc. 

Roles of a dog walker

Being a dog walker goes beyond just taking dogs on walks. Here are a few things you may need to do for your dogs and their owners.

  • Transporting the dogs to and from their owner’s place. For this, you may need to have a vehicle and a valid driver’s licence. 
  • Wipe the paws of the dogs after the walk.
  • Provide food, water, and treats to the dogs when on the walk.
  • Make records and reports of any unusual behaviour in the dogs to their owners
  • Walk multiple dogs in any weather condition.
  • Provide regular updates to the dog owners, including videos, pictures, location sharing, etc.
  • Always know when to consult the veterinary doctor sometimes before alerting the owner.
  • Give customised preferences to each dog owner as they require for their dogs.
  • Understand all safety protocols for taking care of dogs

Attractive characteristics of a dog walker

  • Dog lover. You must love dogs and love playing with them. That means they should be able to take to you within minutes of knowing them.
  • Must be able to work with different breeds of dogs. You cannot afford to be selective in the breed of dogs you can work with.
  • Be pre-emptive. You must be able to pre-empt situations and be on top of it where the safety and health of the dogs are concerned.
  • Ability to give care and attention to each dog, no matter how many they are during each walk.
  • Honesty and trustworthiness. Some owners may require that you walk their dogs within their homes. Displaying some level of trustworthiness and honesty will give you a lot of credibility and referrals to their friends.


Being a dog walker is a good way to make extra cash in the evenings. You can even make it a day job because making your home into a dog-sitting area is another good way to earn cash when the dog owners want to take a vacation or travel out of town. 

You simply need to be able to work with many dogs at a time and cater for them according to how their owners want with nothing amiss.

How to become a dog walker?

Step by step:
HowTo step image

1. Get the necessary experience or training.

You will have to work in close quarters with one or more animals at a time, so you will need to understand the basics of animal care and first aid administration. You may choose to get this from a related diploma course or simply take up an apprenticeship with an established animal shelter or sitter.

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