Must-Have Equipment Every Dog Walker Needs
Dog walking is now big business, and in order to get started, you will need to have thorough experience of working with or owning dogs. Dog walkers are estimated to earn 20% above the average salary in the UK – a huge incentive to begin walking pooches for a living. Before sourcing the necessary equipment, you should invest in some dog behavioural lessons so that you know how to keep dogs feeling calm, happy, safe, and cooperative. Dog walking can be a hugely rewarding job, because it involves exercise, boosting natural endorphins, walking in nature, and best of all, getting to spend many hours of your day surrounded by excitable and fun-loving dogs.
A Grab Bag
Inside this bag, you should keep small essential items such as waste bags, your keys, a mobile phone, and an emergency first aid kit complete with sterilising alcoholic wipes, tweezers in case of splinters, a pop-up water bowl, water purifying tablets, a small flashlight, a microfibre towel, and emetics just in case a dog in your care consumes something toxic or poisonous. You can wear this bag around your person – much like a belt. This is ideal, as it won’t then get tangled up around the leads you’re carrying.
Dog walkers typically spend many hours of the day outside and, thus, exposed to the sunlight. It’s crucial to be safe, and apply sun cream to exposed skin as regularly as every fifteen minutes if it’s a hot day. You can apply sun cream suitable for dogs on areas that are similarly exposed to the UVA, such as the inside of their ears, and their nose. On hot days, remember to stick to shadier routes and take regular breaks in order to give every dog water. When temperatures are very high, ideally you shouldn’t take dogs out of the shade and engage them in exercise, so perhaps consider taking the day off, rearranging the date with the owner, or only working the morning and evening hours.
Dogs can be distracted by food if you need to turn their attention away from someone or a small animal, for example. So, dog walkers should keep a steady supply of small healthy dog biscuits with them at all times. If you’re planning to take dogs on a particularly long and strenuous trek, then you’ll need snacks to keep their energy levels up. Always take plenty of water with you, as dogs can overheat remarkably easily. Since they’re not able to sweat, you must keep at least three cups of water for each dog with you. Consider packing a two or three-litre bottle of water in a backpack wherever you go.
You shouldn’t walk more than four dogs at one time, as you need to be in control at all times. Use your common sense and stay away from deep water and other potentially dangerous situations. Ensure that you’ve got a lead for each pooch you’re taking care of, and that each and every collar you’re using fits the dog correctly, and that it isn’t too tight or too loose. The lead and collar should be robust and free from wear and tear. Check them regularly and be aware of fraying, as well as metal fatigue.