dog walking as a job

December 2023

Dog Walking As A Job In December 2023

As more and more people in the United Kingdom cannot meet their dog’s and animals’ exercise requirements, dog walking has become a popular career option.

This article will explore dog walking as a profession in-depth and provide aspiring dog walkers with a comprehensive guide.

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What is Dog Walking in the United Kingdom?

A dog walking business is a service in which a professional has become a dog walker on behalf of their owners. In the United Kingdom, dog walking businesses offer a valuable service to pet owners too busy to walk their dogs as frequently as they should.

Benefits of Dog Walking as a Job


Dog walkers can set their hours, work independently, and serve as their bosses.


Daily dog walking provides physical activity and fresh air.


Dog walkers can earn a stable income by setting their rates with clients.

Understanding the Role of a Professional Dog Walker

A professional dog walker is responsible for the dogs’ safety and well-being during walks. They must know canine behaviour, handle multiple dogs, and meet each dog’s needs. While other dog walkers are walking their own business and clients’ dogs, they must also be conscious of other dogs and their behaviour.

Responsibilities and Requirements

A dependable dog walker must be capable of handling dogs and animals of various breeds, sizes, and temperaments. Additionally, they should be trained in pet first aid and know about animal nutrition and behaviour.

Working Conditions

Dog walkers must be prepared to walk dogs in various weather conditions, including rain and cold temperatures, as they work outdoors. Additionally, they may be required to provide their vehicle for transporting their dogs to dog-friendly parks.

Dealing with Bad Weather and Low Visibility

In inclement weather, dog walkers should dress appropriately, wear reflective gear, and be vigilant around traffic. Low visibility can make it difficult to see oncoming vehicles; therefore, it is vital to maintain vigilance outdoors.

Dealing with Animal Behaviour Issues

A person who picked dog walking as a job must comprehend animal behaviour and be able to decide how to handle anxious, aggressive, injured or fearful dogs. They must recognise signs of stress in dogs and employ the appropriate techniques to calm them.

Potential Hazards and Safety Protocols for Dog Walkers

Dog walkers must be conscious of potential dangers such as traffic, other dogs, and health concerns. They must always carry a pet first aid kit and be prepared to respond to emergencies.

Physical Strength and Endurance for the Job

Walking a dog requires physical strength and endurance. Dog walkers must be able to walk for extended periods and simultaneously manage multiple dogs.

Understanding Your Limitations

Dog walkers must recognise their limitations and only accept clients or dogs they can safely manage.

Building Up Stamina and Endurance Over Time

Increasing the distance and number of dogs walked over time can help build stamina and endurance.

Implementing Proper Exercise Routines to Prepare for Walks

Dog walkers should establish a regular exercise regimen to maintain their physical fitness and ensure they can meet the job’s demands.

Preparing for Clients and Walking Business

To be successful as a dog walker, one must establish a professional image and the necessary skills, network with other experienced dog walkers, and build a dependable clientele.

dog walking as a job in the UK

Creating a Professional Image to Attract Clients

A professional website, business cards, and positive reviews can help establish a dog-walking business’s credibility and attract new clients.

Adhering to Client Instructions and Expectations

To ensure the dogs’ well-being and maintain satisfied clients, dog walkers must adhere to clients’ instructions, such as specific walking routes or medication administration.

Keeping Track of Logs, Bookings, and Payment Transactions

A successful dog-walking business requires accurate walks, bookings, and payment records.

Providing Additional Services Beyond Dog Walking

Puppy Care Services

Offering puppy care, including socialisation and fundamental training, can attract customers with young dogs.

"A dog walking business is a service in which a professional has become a dog walker on behalf of their owners."

Cat Sitting Services

Expanding into cat and pet sitting enables dog walkers to offer pet care services to a broader clientele.

Stress-Free Care Options

Providing services, such as in-home care, that focus on reducing stress in pets can be advantageous for clients with anxious animals.

Comprehensive Care Plans

Creating individualised care plans for clients with specific requirements can distinguish a professional dog walker from competitors.

Dedicated Puppy Care Solutions

Specialised puppy care services, such as age-appropriate exercise and training, can assist in attracting and retaining clients.

Hygiene Practices During Walks

Dog walkers must clean up after their dogs, groom their canine companions, dispose of waste properly and respect public spaces.

Benefits of Dog Walking job

Providing Fresh Water During Walks:

Providing fresh water and a portable bowl to keep dogs hydrated during walks is essential.

Taking Breaks When Necessary During Longer Walks

Scheduling rest breaks, especially for older dogs or those with health issues, is crucial for their well-being.

Legitimate Traffic Rules for Pet Care Professionals

Observing Traffic Laws at All Times

Dog walkers must observe traffic laws and exercise caution when crossing roads, incredibly when responsible for multiple dogs.

Utilising Pedestrian Crossings and Adhering to Safety Regulations

Utilising pedestrian crossings and adhering to safety regulations are essential for ensuring dogs’ safety on walks.

Maintaining Peace of Mind through Regular Shifts

Creating Regular Schedules for Night Shifts and Day Shifts

Establishing a routine and reliable dog walker with consistent walking hours enables dog walkers to manage their time effectively, accommodate all clients, and maintain a work-life balance. Dog walking is a flexible and rewarding career option for animal lovers. 

Adhering to the guidelines outlined in this article, aspiring dog walkers can position themselves for career success in the dog walking industry, providing pet owners with a valuable service and reaping the numerous benefits of working with dogs.

How much can you get paid to walk a dog?

According to our research, dog walkers in the United Kingdom charge between £10 and £20 per hour. However, a dog walker who offers additional services, such as dog grooming or dog and pet sitting, can earn more money. 

Expanding your skill set and offering services, such as pet and dog sitting, can increase your income potential.

Dog Walking job in UK

Is dog walking a freelance job?

Dog walking can be a freelance occupation. Numerous professional dog walkers are self-employed and run their businesses.

This allows them to work from their own home only, set their hours and rates, and choose their own business and clients, making freelance animal care an attractive option.

What are some risks of a dog walking business?

Running a dog walking business entails risks like injuries to the dog walker or dogs, potential liabilities, and legal issues. These risks can be mitigated by having pet insurance, proper training in animal care, and first aid skills. 

A trustworthy and reliable dog walker must also be prepared for unforeseen obstacles like dealing with dogs with special needs.

What are the cons of being a dog walker?

The disadvantages of being a dog walker include working in inclement weather, meeting the physical demands of walking multiple dogs and dealing with animals with special needs. Additionally, investing in a vehicle, marketing, and client acquisition may be required. 

Despite these obstacles, become a dog walker because walking provides daily exercise and the chance to make new human and canine friends.

Is dog walking in high demand?

As many pet owners in the United Kingdom work long hours or struggle to find time for their pets’ daily exercise, dog walking services are in high demand.

This growing demand for dog walking services makes it an attractive career option for animal lovers seeking fun, flexibility, and the opportunity to work for themselves.

How can a dog walker grow their client base?

A successful dog walker can expand their clientele by providing superior service, establishing a solid reputation, and employing effective marketing techniques. 

Referrals can result from networking with other pet professionals, such as groomers and veterinarians. Joining local dog walking groups, utilising social media, and investing in a professional website are additional ways to attract new customers. 

Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend a trustworthy dog walker to their friends, so it is essential for successful dog walkers to always prioritise customer satisfaction.

What is the step-by-step guide to becoming a dog walker?

  • Investigate the local dog-walking market, including local rates, competition, and demand.
  • Acquire experience by walking dogs for family, friends, or animal shelters.
  • Take courses in animal care, canine behaviour, and pet first aid to acquire the necessary knowledge.
  • Obtain pet insurance to safeguard yourself and your clients in the event of an accident or injury.
  • Select a business name and develop a professional image, including a logo and promotional materials.
  • Create a client agreement form and establish cancellation, payment, and emergency procedures policies.
  • Establish a system for tracking bookings, payments, and client information.
  • Utilise social media, local advertising, and networking with other pet professionals to promote your business.
  • Grow your clientele by providing superior service and encouraging referrals through word-of-mouth.
  • Enhance your skill set and knowledge, stay abreast of industry trends and maintain a competitive advantage.

What should a dog walker do if something goes wrong during a walk?

If something goes wrong during a walk, the dog walker must remain calm, assess the situation, and act accordingly. The dog walker should carry a first aid kit and backup supplies for minor incidents, such as a paw injury or a misplaced lead. 

In more challenging situations, such as a dog bite or an accident, the dog walker must contact the owner and seek immediate veterinary care. Dog walkers should be prepared for emergencies by having a plan and keeping contact information handy.

How can a dog walker determine the weight and specific needs of the dogs they walk?

By communicating with pet owners and observing each dog’s behaviour closely, a dog walker can determine the weight and specific needs of the dogs they walk. 

The dog walker requires who dog’s paw breed, age, weight, health conditions, and any special requirements that the owner can providentially; dog walkers should be knowledgeable about various dog breeds and their exercise requirements. 

Observing the dogs’ behaviour during walks can help a dog walker identify signs of discomfort or fatigue, allowing them to adjust the duration and intensity of the walk accordingly.

Meet the author

Jane Parkinson

Jane Parkinson

Jane is one of our primary content writers and specialises in elder care. She has a degree in English language and literature from Manchester University and has been writing and reviewing products for a number of years.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I ensure the safety of the dogs I walk as a professional dog walker?

As a professional dog walker, ensuring the dogs’ safety requires vigilance, preparation, and knowledge of canine behaviour. Ensure each dog wears a secure collar and lead before beginning a walk. Observe your surroundings, including traffic, other dogs, and potential dangers. Acquaint yourself with dog behaviour cues to recognise any signs of stress or discomfort in the dogs you walk. Carry an emergency pet first aid kit and a mobile phone. Maintain an open dialogue with pet owners regarding their dogs’ specific requirements and always adhere to their instructions and preferences.

How can I balance my personal life and my dog-walking business?

You must effectively manage your time and set boundaries to balance your personal life and dog-walking business. Consider your clients’ obligations by establishing a regular work schedule with consistent walking hours. Utilise digital tools, such as online calendars and booking systems, to expedite and save time on administrative tasks. Schedule breaks and days off to ensure you have time to recharge and focus on your personal life. Finally, communicate your availability and work hours to clients to establish clear expectations.

What additional services can I offer to expand my dog-walking business?

You can expand your dog walking business and attract customers by providing additional services. Dog sitting, pet sitting for other animals such as cats, dog grooming, and dog training are popular services. You could also offer specialised care for puppies, seniors, and dogs with unique medical requirements. By expanding your skill set and offering various services, you can distinguish yourself from competitors and meet the needs of a broader range of clients.

How can I develop the necessary skills and knowledge to become a successful dog walker?

Developing the necessary skills and knowledge to become a successful dog walker requires gaining practical experience, enrolling in relevant courses, and keeping abreast of industry developments. To familiarise yourself with different breeds and temperaments, you should begin by walking dogs for friends, family, or local animal shelters. Enrol in dog behaviour, pet first aid, and animal care courses to increase your knowledge. Networking with other pet industry professionals, such as veterinarians and groomers, can provide invaluable insight and assistance. Regularly read articles, attend workshops or join professional organisations to stay abreast of the most recent dog-walking industry developments.

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