Walk a dog for health and dollars

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According to the ASPCA, Americans own nearly 80 million dogs!  Wow, dogs are a big part of the American life.  While this is great for the owners and the dogs sadly most of those dogs are left alone for up to 10 hours a day while their owners work.  Not so good for the dogs, lots of guilt for their owners.

This provides an opening in the gig economy for anyone who love dogs, but don’t have the situation for one now.

Why not become a dog-walker! Everyone has a side job in the 2019 Gig Economy. Why not you? Less guilt for the owners, a healthy activity for you and extra income. What’s not to like?
A good idea, perhaps, but let’s think this through.

Do you really have the ability to control every breed of dog? Maybe yes, maybe no. Start by taking on just one or two dogs you know and can control.

Consider what you want in terms of activity and money. Some city dog-walking services walk 20 dogs at a time at $20 each. That’s a tidy $400 a day, but that’s also a lot of dogs on leashes.

However, at $20 a walk, even a daily walk of one dog equals a budget-friendly $100-$140 a week. Not bad if you consider you’ll be taking a dog friend out to the park for 20 or 30 minutes. That’s good enough to finance dinner out and save a few extra dollars. And, yes, you can tell your doctor you regularly walk. Bonus.

Of course, the dog will depend on you. Even when it is cold and rainy, the dog will be expecting you. Decide in advance if you want that particular responsibility. One thing you could do is arrange to take the dog home for a game of ball.

Here are some other things to keep in mind:
– Make a plan with the owner about how to enter the house, where you will take the dog, how long you will be gone, and what the payment arrangements will be. Put that in writing, even if you know the dog and owner.
– Get a written authorization for emergency dog care if the dog is sick when you get there or if something happens during the walk.
– You’ll want to leave a note for the owner after the walk telling a little about what happened. Or, if you use a smart phone, simply message a picture of the dog on the walk.

Think about how you will get your first customer. You could do a Website advertisement. Or call friends. Screen the people closely and meet them and the dog before you agree to take on the job. Insist on cash in advance of each walk.

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PHOTO SOURCE: MabelAmber