When I tell people that I’m a dog walker and pet sitter, I often hear exclamations like “Oh, that would be so fun!” or “I would love to spend all day with dogs!” I can’t really argue with these sentiments most of the time. But there is more that goes into being a daily dog walker or pet sitter than one might think.
To determine whether you too could “play with dogs all day,” I’ve developed a highly scientific quiz to determine whether you could make it as a dog walker in the Twin Cities. So grab a piece of paper and number 1-10 (wow, memories of my old teaching days are surfacing), and answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions:
1. Can you deal with poop? I mean loads of poop. Not only do I pick up at least five piles of poop a day, but I talk about poop a lot. I leave notes to clients about poop. I notice changes in dogs’ poop consistency and inform clients. Poop consumes a large portion of my day.
2. Can you walk for at least five hours a day? I actually love this part of the job. I’ve enjoyed fall leaves and gorgeous summer days. But when I first started walking five big dogs who want to walk fast, it took me a few days to adjust to the added exercise.
3. Do you enjoy all types of weather? And being outside in all types of weather? For the most part, the dogs don’t mind the weather, so neither should you. Let’s not forget, we live in Minnesota, so you must be comfortable with winter.
4. Do you like driving? I know it seems weird to include this in a dog walking quiz, but I do almost as much driving as I do walking. Pup Culture offers individual walks for clients, so we drive from house to house.
5. Do you LOVE dogs? As a dog walker, you’re going to hang out with a lot of dogs, so you better love them.
6. Do you know a bit about dog behaviors? Do you know what it means when a dog’s ears are back? Can you tell when a dog is happy? How about when a dog is about to attack? Knowing basic dog behaviors is a must for a dog walker.
7. Are you reliable? Daily dog walkers are expected to show up everyday around the same time. Your furry clients depend on it.
8. Do you like being treated like a celebrity when you walk into a room? I’m guessing at your current job, most people don’t jump up and down, yell, scream, and rush over to you when you enter the room. The dogs learn to expect you every day and most absolutely lose it when their dog walker walks in the door. It’s a pretty great feeling.
9. Do you enjoy working independently? Most of the time it’s just me and the dogs. I might go a whole work day without talking to a human. I personally don’t mind this, but I know a lot of people who would.
10. Can you think on your feet? Accidents happen, emergencies arise, a dog gets loose on a leash. Can you keep a cool head when things go astray?
If you answered “yes” to seven or more of these questions, then you might make it as a dog walker. Lucky for you, Pup Culture is hiring! Head on over to our Employment Page to find out more information. You too can make everyone jealous when you tell them what you do.