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Do you love dogs and enjoy spending time outdoors? If so, becoming a dog walker might be the perfect job for you. While formal study isn’t necessary to become a dog walker, taking a pet care course can significantly enhance your skills, boost your employability, and allow you to charge higher rates. Let’s explore what it takes to become a dog walker and how an online course in pet care can help you get started.

What Does a Dog Walker Do?

A dog walker takes dogs out for exercise, providing them with the physical activity and socialisation they need. Dog walkers may work with individual clients or for a dog walking service, and their duties can range from simple walks to more complex care responsibilities, such as grooming, feeding and basic training.

Day in the Life of a Dog Walker  

  • Take dogs out for regular walks, ensuring they get enough exercise.
  • Provide food and water as needed, following any specific dietary requirements.
  • Reinforce basic commands and good behaviour during walks.
  • Keep an eye on the dogs' health and well-being, watching for any signs of illness or distress.
  • Update owners on their dogs' activities and any notable observations.
  • Manage a schedule to ensure all dogs get their walks on time.

Dog Walker Skills

To be a successful dog walker, you’ll need a blend of soft skills (skills you innately possess) and hard skills (skills you’d learn in a pet care and training course). 

Soft Skills in Dog Walking

  • Clear Communication
  • Physical Stamina
  • Love for Pets
  • Empathic Abilities
  • Organisational 
  • Customer Service Skills

Hard Skills for a Dog Walker

  • Dog Behaviour Understanding: Knowledge of dog behaviour and body language to handle various situations.
  • Leash Handling Techniques: Skills for managing multiple dogs and ensuring safe walks.
  • Basic First Aid: Knowing how to handle minor injuries or emergencies.
  • Training Techniques: Basic knowledge of dog training to reinforce good behaviour during walks.
  • Health and Nutrition: Understanding of proper feeding practices and dietary needs.
  • Business Management: Even if you're employed by someone else, understanding the basics of running a dog walking business can give you a leg up in your career. This includes aspects like customer service, marketing, and basic accounting.

Dog Walker Salary (2024)

Thinking about a career as a dog walker in Australia? Here’s how much you can earn.

  • Starting Out: Fresh in the field? Expect around $20 to $25 per hour.
  • Seasoned Pros: With a few years and extra study, you could make between $30 and $50 per hour.
  • Full-Time Gigs: Running your own show full-time could bring in an annual salary ranging from $70,000 or more, depending on your expertise.
  • Specialisation: A higher level of specialisation like dog psychology, Behaviour & Training can boost your earning potential. 
  • Add-Ons: Offering more than just a walk? Services like basic first aid or grooming can up your rates.

Bottom Line: Your income will depend on your experience, skills, and how you choose to run your business. With the right moves, dog walking can be both a rewarding and lucrative career path. 

Dog Walker Employment Outlook 

The demand for dog walkers in Australia is growing, as busy pet owners seek reliable and caring individuals to ensure their dogs get the exercise and attention they need. This creates numerous opportunities for those looking to enter the field, especially for individuals who can offer specialised services and have a strong understanding of dog care.

How to Become a Dog Walker 

If you're considering a career or side hustle as a dog walker in Australia, formal study isn’t necessary, but taking a pet care course can give you an upper edge. Online Courses Australia offers specialised courses that cover essential skills and knowledge for this role.

  • Online Training Courses: Platforms like Online Courses Australia offer in-depth courses tailored for aspiring dog walkers. These courses delve into essential topics such as dog training & psychology, animal first aid and more, equipping you with the fundamental skills to thrive as a dog walker.
  • Join Industry Associations: Being a part of a respected industry association can give your dog walking business a significant boost. Membership in groups like the Pet Industry Association not only provides networking opportunities with fellow professionals but also keeps you in the loop on industry regulations and trends.

The bottom line is with the right mix of online education and specialised skills, you can carve out a fulfilling and profitable career in dog walking. 

Start Your Online Pet Care Course Today 

Ready to turn your love for dogs into a rewarding career? Online Courses Australia offers flexible and comprehensive training to help you gain the skills and knowledge needed for success in dog walking.

Develop Practical Skills

Our courses cover all essential areas, from understanding dog behaviour and leash management to first aid and client communication.

Flexible Learning Options

Study at your own pace, balancing your education with other commitments. Our online format allows you to learn from anywhere, anytime.

Boost Your Career

Start your journey in dog walking today by enrolling in a course with Online Courses Australia. Gain the expertise to provide quality care and build a successful dog walking business.

Dog Training & Psychology Course Info Pack Download

If you have additional questions about our full range of courses that cover more than 20 different professional industries: 

Related Courses & Roles 

If you have a genuine passion for animals and a knack for empathy, the pet care industry offers a wealth of career options beyond just dog walking 

From roles in veterinary clinics to dog training and psychology, to wildlife conservation and more, the opportunities are abundant. 

Here are some related courses and roles to check out:

  • Career Development

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