Pros And Cons Of Dog Sitting/Dog Walking

  • 19/06/2020

Most people dream of doing work that they’re passionate about. After all, as Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” If you love animals, the idea of earning money as a dog sitter or dog walker likely has you wagging your tail.

While a love of animals is a good place to start, it’s only one part of running a dog sitting or dog walking service. In order for people to confidently leave their pets in your care, you must also exhibit trustworthiness and have consistent availability.

Even if, at a glance, you think you’re a good candidate, there are a few things you should consider before jumping into the gig economy or starting your own business. Working with dogs isn’t all scratches behind the ears and belly rubs. It’s important you take the time to weigh the pros and cons of dog sitting.

Pros of Dog Sitting/Dog Walking

If you love the idea of running your own business, both dog sitting and dog walking are great options. Unlike other ventures, they have relatively low start-up costs. While you may need to purchase some basic pet supplies, owners generally provide food and equipment such as leashes and collars. Furthermore, you won’t need to spend money on a physical location since most pet sitters use their home as a base of operation and their personal vehicle for transportation.

Another pro of dog walking is all the fresh air and exercise you get on the job. If you hate being stuck behind a desk all day, dog walking could be a great option for an active job. Because part of caring for dogs is taking them outside to run around, you will be able to do the same. You may even need to alternate throwing arms so one bicep doesn’t get too strong with all the fetch you will be playing.

Along with the physical benefits, dog walking and dog sitting are both good jobs for people dealing with social anxiety. For the most part, you’re interacting with animals and not people. Spending time with dogs is also a natural remedy for stress and anxiety.

One of the biggest pros of these jobs is having a flexible work schedule. You set your own hours. You can start dog walking and sitting as a side job to earn extra income. Then, if you enjoy the work and have enough clients, you can turn it into a full-time job.

According to Pet Sitters International, the average price of a single pet visit is around 17.13 EUR or $19.35 US. You can earn even more if you board dogs in your home. Clearly, there is money to be made as either a dog walker or dog sitter.

Cons of Dog Sitting/Dog Walking

Of course, you also need to consider the cons of dog sitting and dog walking.

First and foremost, if you plan on making this your full-time job, understand that keeping up with multiple animals is exhausting. With the energy it requires to handle numerous dogs, you might not have much left in the tank for other activities.

In addition to being physically tiring, dog sitting or walking can be emotionally taxing as well. You must have the knowledge, experience, and patience to care for multiple dogs of various breeds and with different temperaments. Keep in mind that not all dogs passed obedience school with flying colors, meaning you might have your work cut out for you in some cases.

Other cons of dog walking or dog sitting coincide with the challenge of running your own business. You will need to learn the basics such as bookkeeping. Perhaps even more important, you need to research and purchase insurance so you’re protected from liability. Unfortunately, accidents and emergencies happen. Dogs get injured or run away, and you don’t want an owner to sue you for negligence.

As with insurance for your business, you have to think about personal insurance coverage. Because you are self-employed, you won’t have the benefits or insurance of traditional employees. Private insurance can be expensive, but gig workers who forgo insurance are running a risk.

Even though flexibility is one of the primary pros, the fact that it is essential also makes it a con. Especially when you’re first starting your dog walking or dog sitting business, you need consistent availability in order to get clients. That will likely entail working on weekends and holidays. You might even get owners calling you at odd hours or at the last minute to make immediate arrangements for their dog.

Should You Become a Dog Sitter/Dog Walker?

Now that you know the pros and cons of dog sitting and dog walking, you can make an informed decision about whether or not it is the right job for you. As you can see, there’s a lot more to it than simply loving dogs. There is even more to the position than just walking them, feeding them, and cleaning their cages.

While a love for animals alone isn’t enough to make you a good dog sitter, you shouldn’t overlook its importance either. Unlike some other jobs, a lack of enthusiasm will hurt your business. Owners won’t want to leave their beloved pet with someone who doesn’t even like dogs. Additionally, dogs themselves are sensitive to a person’s attitude and could react negatively if they pick up on an apathetic mood.

Loving dogs is an essential baseline criterion for becoming a dog sitter or dog walker. Beyond that fact, you will need to weigh the pros and cons to decide if the job is a good fit for you.

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