The more you try to improve your dog walking business, the better your reviews and references will be. Over time professional dog walkers will be able to increase their dog walking rates and gain more clients. Even though you may think you’re doing all you can to be the best dog walker, it’s important to learn a few professional tips for dog walkers.
1. Stick to the schedule.
Show up five minutes before your dog walking gig starts. Don’t leave the owner or the dog waiting. Ensure you allow plenty of transit time in between appointments, whether you’re walking or driving to the next doggie home.
2. Pack extra bags.
One of the best tips for dog walkers is to be prepared. The owner may have been too busy to get you everything you need. While some dog parks and dog runs have waste bags, be sure you are prepared just in case they don’t.
3. Avoid midday.
Chat with your dog clients and see if you can walk their dogs during a less busy time of day. This decreases the chances that local paths will be packed full of people, kids, and other dogs. This helps to minimize the stress of more anxious or nervous dog breeds.
4. Walk only one or two dogs.
It can be tempting to walk five or six dogs at once, but what happens if something goes wrong? Even if a client says their dog is well-behaved, there are no guarantees. If you’re new to dog walking, it’s better to walk only one or two dogs at once. Once you become confident you can handle several dogs on the leash at once, then you can increase your doggie clients.
5. Use a front clip harness.
If you find that your doggy clients are constantly pulling against the leash, you may want to opt for a different type of harness. Professional dog walkers often invest in their own dog walking equipment. A front clip harness can decrease the chances that the dog will pull against it. Do not use a retractable leash. You should always be in control of the leash and not rely on a safety mechanism for reeling it back in.
6. Don’t rush the dog.
Some dogs like to take their time on walks. They like to sniff around the trees and scope out the yard. Don’t try to pull them away from trees or hydrants. Their sense of smell is extremely important for dogs. Learn how to give a “go smell” cue, then a “let’s walk” cue so that they understand what’s next on the agenda.
7. Create a report card.
The dog owner will love reading about their dog’s fun day. Spend a bit of time near the end of the walk filling out the card. If there are any concerns, note them on the card so the owner can book an appointment at the vet, buy a new leash, or anything important. You can even snap a few photos to show the fun their dog had that day.