11 Reasons To Become A Dog-Walker

11 Reasons To Become A Dog-Walker

Yes, you can be paid for your love of dogs.
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I really love dogs.

Like, I love dogs. So much.

For a long time I had considered becoming a dog-walker, but the idea of finding my own customers, deciding what to charge for the service... all the logistics made me feel really intimidated and nervous.

However, a few months ago, in my post-college search for a purpose, I did some research and finally decided to take a leap and apply for a dog-walking website.

So far, my career with dogs has been a joy and a great adventure. If you love dogs, but you aren't sure yet if this would be a good job for you, I would like to share some reasons why I believe being a dog-walker/sitter is absolutely the best.


1. You get to set your own rates and hours

You're work schedule is completely up to you. You choose what jobs you accept, and you get to be the one that decides your availability and you work out with each pet parent when is the best time for you to visit their babies. Even better, YOU are the one that sets your wages. Major score. Just make sure you research the rates of other sitters and walkers in the area. You can make gooood money in some places. Make sure not to sell yourself short.


2. It's so easy to book jobs nowadays!

Gone are the times of making flyers and advertising for yourself on street lamps, subjecting yourself to possible prank calls... Now we have amazing websites that allow pet parents in your area find you. I personally use one called Rover to book my services, and I've experienced a lot of success through it. I like this one particularly, because the application is fairly simple, and it lets you really personalize your experience, including allowing you to set your own rates. I also know some people who have been successful through Wag , which sets rates of services for you depending on the market in your area, and requires a bit more extensive of an application. There is also Care.com, and many other up-and-coming services being created by the dog-lovers of the world. Do your research. See if there are any smaller services concentrated to your neighborhood. Each service often charges a small fee or percentage of your rates to cover what they do, but it is absolutely worth it for the ease and sense of security they provide. They make scheduling easy and payments secure, and if you end up making a lot of money by pet-sitting, they even help you sort out all the info you need to do your taxes. Most services have mobile apps as well, so you can stay connected and book jobs from wherever you are. What a time to be alive.


3. When they start to recognize you

It's so great when you become a regular walker for a pup and they begin to form a relationship with you. I don't know about you, but nothing makes my day like a little furry baby getting SUPER excited about seeing me. When their parent is at work and they are missing them, you become a superhero the moment you walk through the door. That feels really darn good.


4. When they give you the eyes

You know you have become real friends when they give you the sad eyes when you leave. It's SO HARD to say goodbye to that face, but that's the moment that you know they really love you. My heart is melting just thinking about it.


5. When they bring joy to strangers

I really love it when people passing by get really happy about seeing the dog I'm walking. It feels so great to know that a great part of my day has become a great part of theirs too. AND it's so cute to see the little pup get excited about getting a stranger's attention. Dogs love everyone. They are just too good.


7. When people ask how they can become a dog walker

I personally love it when I'm wearing my Rover.com t-shirt and someone asks me about my job. Or, when I run into somebody else that works as a walker. There's a feeling of community among dog walkers. Some great conversations take place at dog parks. It's a nice thing to be a part of, and I find it really sweet when people can see how much I like my job, and want to join that community.


8. Showing pictures of them to everyone like they are your kids

I love sending photos of my dogs to their owners and making their day at work a little brighter. I really just love taking photos of my dogs in general. And I will show those photos to anyone and everyone that asks about my job. I have so many photos of all of mine, and I refer to them as my kids. They will become your babies.


9. Seeing puppies grow up

They grow up so fast. I wasn't able to walk one of my regular puppies for just a week and I swear when saw him again he had gotten SO BIG!! Its such a joy to see them grow up, and so heartwarming to share that experience with their proud parents.


10. Getting to know each dog's unique personality

Every single pup is different. Just like us two-legged folks, they are all special snowflakes with their own likes and dislikes and quirks. It's really fun to get to know them all. I don't know if I've made this clear enough yet buuut... It will feel like they are your children.


11. You get to meet cool people that also love dogs

Dogs bring people together. And if you love dogs as much as I do, you know how fantastic it is to meet people that love dogs as much as you do. It's really great to share that with other people. And all different kinds of people love dogs and need their own pups to get some lovin' while they're at work, or on vacation. This job gives you the opportunity to meets all kinds of people, knowing right off that bat that you have something in common. I've made friends with some of the pet parents I work with. We have good conversations (often about the funny and adorable things their dogs do). It's pretty neat.


Now, since I mentioned all these pros to dog walking, I suppose I should be fair and list the cons.

Cons:

...Picking up poop, I guess??


Honestly, dog-walking and dog-sitting is a really great job. It isn't an easy job, and it does take a lot of work, but it is also really fun and rewarding. You will learn a lot, and meet a lot of good two-legged and four-legged people while doing it. And let me tell you, after a few months of walking multiple dogs a day, your legs will be looking fiiiiine.

So if you're interested, do some research and start applying! I highly recommend it.

Cover Image Credit: Amsterdam dog walking

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Mother Nature Needs Us, Grow A Pair And Help Her

In only 11 years our carbon pollution needs to be cut in half... and we aren't doing our part.

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The Earth is dying.

Did that catch your attention? I would sincerely hope it would, but I'm afraid it's a message that too many of us have become desensitized to. How many times have you scrolled through your Twitter or Facebook feed only to barely skim your eyes over the post after post of messages similar to this one? Exactly.

It's pretty easy to like a few motivational pictures on Instagram about saving the ocean, to retweet a thread showing you images of wildlife we've harmed with our careless waste, or to share that video of Bill Nye setting a globe on fire and yelling at us to get a clue. What's meaningful and useful, however, is actually putting forth the effort to make a change. Actions speak louder than words; so far it seems that we're just all talk and no walk.

You might believe that you can't make a difference, that you making any contribution at all will not help in the grand scheme of things. That's such a sad and pessimistic way to think. Every contribution, no matter how big or small, is a step in the right direction. It's not even just your actions that will help, but you will also be setting an example for others. Your decision to make smarter, more environmentally friendly choices can and will inspire others to follow your lead.

There are a number of small and incredibly simple ways you can become more sustainable and help the planet. Here are a few examples, just so you can get the idea: stop using plastic straws and utensils, use reusable containers/water bottles/travel cups, stop drinking cow milk, try to eat at least one vegan meal a day, recycle, use bamboo toothbrushes, and try using bar soap or bar shampoo in the shower. These may all seem like silly or even pointless changes to some people, but they really do add up. Especially when these small changes turn into a lifestyle.

Want to know something bigger we can do than just recycling and avoiding using single-use plastics? Here are a few examples of policy ideas that governments can start enacting to make a difference: putting restrictions on air conditioners with high global warming potential or requiring a limit/reduction of HFCs, transition to electric only transportation, creating more walkable communities so it is easier to live without cars, create policies that restrict food waste (such as bans on throwing it in landfills or fees if you do), and establish a carbon tax.

There is a multitude of choices that we have to pick from. Big or small, we can make a change to help our planet before it's too late. Start making changes in your own lives, encourage others to do the same, and start getting on legislators to make and push policies that matter.

Mother Nature needs us. We're all that she has and we've let her down for far too long.

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