Starting a fresh career as a dog walker has become incredibly popular over the past few years. At Protectivity alone, we have provided insurance for over 5,000 pet professionals in the last 12 months.
Potentially halting a career you have developed elsewhere to dedicate your life to walking other people’s pooches may sound daunting, but there are a number of benefits to doing so.
By its very nature, working in this industry you will be on your feet for much of the day. Most walkers offer services of one hour or half-hour walks for their canine clients. And if you manage to squeeze four hour-long walks into a single day, you could potentially cover over 70 miles a week if you operated for six out of the seven days (we’re all allowed a day off!). That is, the distance between Manchester and York, or nearly three marathons every week.
Spending so much time on the go is likely to do untold wonders to your physical well-being. Obviously, your leg muscles will get an excellent workout every day from pounding the pavements or wooded trails (whichever your preferred route).
However, your upper body will also feel the benefits from walking dogs, especially if you’re charged with walking a particularly headstrong pooch. Keeping control of hard-pullers is going to put your arm and shoulder muscles to the test – meaning you’re getting an all-round workout, helping you maintain a healthy weight.
Aside from what you can see, regular walking is good for your internal organs and systems. Walking for 30 minutes a day is good for getting the blood pumping around your body and is excellent for all things cardio-related, from blood pressure to cholesterol. There’s also the plus-side that it’s also good for reducing the risk of diabetes, arthritis and other diseases.
Other benefits from a career as a dog walker concern your mental health. Studies have shown that spending time with dogs is a hit when it comes to reducing the level of the stress-inducing hormone, cortisol, in your body.
It’s not just the presence of dogs that can relive the stresses of everyday life. By swapping a busy office with tasks to be done left, right and centre, for an open field with just you and your canine clients, your working environment is improved.
There’s no manager expecting a piece of work on their desk first thing in the morning, or demanding customers causing a headache (the customer can’t always be right, right?). There’s no guarantee every dog owner is going to be a ray of sunshine, but you are highly likely to experience a more relaxing workplace as a dog walker.
Following on from a change of office space, comes the benefits associated with having no manager. A 2017 Protectivity survey found that 25% of Pet Business Insurance customers opted to start their dog walking business for the primary reason of becoming their own boss.
You set the hours, you decide how much to charge, and you have a huge input to the success of your venture. The flexibility to have a day off or to start later one day in the week is seen as one of the biggest benefits to becoming a professional dog walker.
Of course, there is the downside to it that you are responsible for the less glamourous side of things such as tax and National Insurance, but many walkers will take the rough with the smooth and appreciate the flexible working environment they are treated to.
So, are you now wondering how to become a dog walker? Well, a love of dogs, good organisation and a will to succeed are all a great start. With the benefits highlighted above, there’s no reason why many others won’t soon be switching career.
One you are set up as a dog walker, remember there is one thing in particular you shouldn’t be without. Get a quote for your Protectivity Dog Walking Insurance today for immediate protection.