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  • Writer's pictureNicola Smith

Tips from a Toronto Dog Walker on how to become a Professional Dog Walker

Cute Bulldog out with her professional dog walker near st lawrence market in Toronto

Written by Alejandro Posada, Toronto Dog Walker with We Wag, servicing the St Lawrence Market neighbourhood.

With the experience of being a dog parent I decided to start my journey of working with dogs as a Professional Dog Walker in Toronto. In this last year as a Dog Walker, I've gained personal experience that I want to share with all those interested in entering this spectacular field of dog walking.

First and foremost, when entering this industry, you need to consider the responsibility you are taking on when walking these important family members and dogs. It's crucial to ask yourself whether you have a personal interest beyond the love. Do you have a genuine desire to immerse yourself in as much information as possible from the beginning? There is a lot involved in becoming a well-prepared Dog Walker capable of providing excellent service.

Once you've considered this and decided you are ready for the task, I encourage you to start your training and preparation in advance.

It's essential to review the requirements for dog walking in the area where you plan to start. I recommend the following: get certified in Canine First Aid—, study canine body language, get up to date with some basic Dog Training techniques to help you along the way. There are many content-rich courses will be helpful in your daily life as a walker, covering basics like identifying small wounds to important knowledge such as checking the vital signs of the pet, understanding body language cues, and how to properly walk dogs on leash. There are many Youtube videos for free to help you with basic training that will help you when working with many different types of dogs and personalities. You must obtain Dog Walker insurance that provides peace of mind in case of any incident that may occur to both you and the dog, ensuring reliable support without incurring significant expenses if the need arises. Lastly, as initial preparation, acquire the necessary elements for a safe and enjoyable walk, including leashes, a safety belt, safety hooks, and any other items you consider important for your walks.

Once you've started as a dog walker, it's crucial to take the time to get to know each dog you walk. Consider the following: establish a trusting relationship with the owner from the beginning, obtaining as much information as possible, such as allergies, behavioural patterns, or medical conditions that are important for a calm and safe walk. Take the time to observe and interact with the dog during your time with them; this will provide valuable information for your work, such as sociability, energy levels, and overall well-being. Communicate with the owner whenever necessary; this is important for both you and the owner, as building trust through communication is key. Share reports on how the walk went, bring attention to anything unusual about the dog that may need the owner's attention, and, of course, share many photos of these beautiful beings.

From there on, experience will teach you how to improve and make your job the most valuable for your clients, who, at the end of the day, yes are the pet parents but really are the dogs. They are allowing you to enter their homes, welcoming you with a big smile, wagging their tails, and filled with excitement for the countless adventures that can be experienced in this incredible rewarding job.

If you think you have what it takes to be a Professional Dog Walker, send in your Resume and a detailed cover letter explaining why you would be an amazing Dog Walker and what experience you have with dogs.


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