What is Dog Walker Job Description?
Isn’t it quite self-explanatory? You just walk your client’s dog, and pick up its poop, right?
Well, yes and no. That’s actually only 20% of the job of a dog walker.
Whether you are a job seeker or business starter, you need to know what responsibilities a dog walker job description includes. For job seekers, this will help you write cover letters and resumes that are targeted to the job you are applying to. For business starters, if you are hiring dog walkers, you need to properly describe the job on your postings to attract the right people that you can grow your business with.
We have reviewed over 40 postings for dog walking jobs, and based on our research, we’ve found that the most common job description for a dog walker includes:
- Pick up and drop off dogs from their homes
- Ensure security of their homes when picking up and dropping off
- Understand special requests and conditions for each dog
- Walk dogs outdoors in all weather conditions (anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours at a time)
- Transport dogs safely to and from their homes in a company van or your own
- Give each dog love and attention
- Ensure each dog is getting exercise and potty breaks
- Ensure safety of the dogs you are walking and those (humans and dogs) around them
- Remove pet waste
- Maintain leadership of the pack of dogs (if walking multiple dogs at a time)
- Take photos of the dogs (so human clients can see how they are doing)
- Refresh water, wipe paws and give treats
- Communicate with clients and schedule appointments (may conduct consultations for new clients)
- Conduct initial consultation with new clients and fill out client information sheets
- Update clients with email including photos and videos of their dogs
- Answer inquiries related to your service, clients’ dogs
- Record which dog(s) you walked, how long the walks were, anything abnormal that you noticed during the walk
- Manage your own schedule via phone, email and text message
- Keep track of your time and submit to the employer
The list may vary depending on the company’s size of operation and service area, but this is a summary of what we have seen. I did expect to see the top half of the list, as they are what you would think dog walkers do. But when I was surprised to learn that the other half is more administrative, and it makes sense – you have to talk to your human clients, schedule appointments and invoice them, in order to make money! Also it is very important for the owners to know that their family members are happy – happy dogs, happy clients.
Oh and yes, nowadays employers like to contact you via texting, including schedule changes. So having a reliable cell phone is a must. Smart phones are a good investment if you don’t have one yet, as they take high quality photos and videos, which you can share with clients instantly via email.
We have also seen other interesting ones:
- Deliver a couple of 2-hour hike sessions a day with a group of off-leash dogs (oh you can just imagine the excitement on the dogs’ faces!)
- Walk dogs on private, on-leash neighbourhood walks (Not so exciting, but I’m sure it’s exciting enough for our furry friends)
- Administer pills
- Overnight pet sitting
- Taking in mail & newspaper, plant watering, cleaning pet bowls (when clients are on vacation)
- Nanny/baby sitting (Actually, baby sitting is the main work, and dog walking is an additional task)
- Supervision of indoor play, feeding and watering, clean kennels, do laundry, wash dishes
Again, these ones are specific to the business. For example, the last one comes from postings from kennel/day care businesses. Many businesses try to not limit their services to dog walking but to include pet sitting and overnight pet sitting, boarding, grooming, and pet taxi. Some even offer GPS tracking on dog walks, pet healing and acupuncture!
So what do you think? Did any of these tasks surprise you? Have you seen any other interesting dog walker job descriptions? If so, write it in the comment below!
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Image credit: Anthony Arrigo on Flickr