Find Dog Walking Certification Programs and Training
Formal education is not required to become a dog walker, however, as with most jobs a minimum of a high school diploma or a GED is highly recommended. Secondary school courses on dog walking and animal care are available as well as the rudimentary business courses needed to set up your own successful business in this field. A lifestyle that involves caring for animals is important to help you enjoy your career and do a good job.
There are different organizations that offer programs to learn about caring for pets. Community colleges may offer certificates in animal care. These courses can cover animal psychology, feeding, training, medical issues and grooming. Earning a certificate may involve a passing grade on exams at the completion of the course. You may have to present this certificate to potential employers and clients as proof of your qualifications.
If you intend to set up your own business, you may focus on courses that offer specific skills such as business planning, how to obtain insurance, promoting your business, operating a profitable business, how to set prices and how to bill. An ambitious dog walker can also gain insight and experience by applying for a junior role at a well established and successful professional dog walking business. Here they can receive “on-the-job” training or instead may choose to volunteer at the ASPCA or other animal welfare organizations. This will provide even more skills, such as feeding animals, how to transport them safely, how to control and leash animals correctly and how to clean up after them. Entry-level positions at dog walking companies may also provide skills such as how to manage a schedule, talk to clients, promote your business and balance your budget.