Whether you’re planning to be a dog walker or just hiring one, you’re probably asking one question. What are some necessary tools for a dog walker to carry? Some of them are poop bags, pet first aid kit, treats, dog wipes, and a heavy-duty leash. Other dog walkers will also carry flashlights, dog collapsible dog bowls, and dog jackets.
Below, I discussed these dog walking essentials. It can come in handy on your dog’s next walk around the neighborhood:
Dog walking essentials
1. Poop bags
One of the most important accessories a dog walker should carry is poop bags. While picking up dog poop isn’t the most enjoyable task, it’s an unwritten rule for all dog owners and walkers.
Dog poop can pose a threat to human and dog health. Also, it’s irresponsible to leave a dog’s poop behind when you know your pooch has relieved itself.
You can find scented poop bags that block the odor of the fecal matter inside. This will save your nose from the stench, especially for dogs on special diets.
I suggest buying durable poop bags that won’t puncture easily. The last you’d want is picking up dog poop that has fallen all over, especially on your clothes. A dog walker can also bring a scooper if he or she doesn’t want to deal with the poop firsthand.
2. Dog leash
A dog walker should always have a durable dog leash in tow. It’s like the string on a kite. The leash will keep you connected to the dog and prevent it from escaping.
Dog leashes are made for specific dog sizes. Experienced dog owners will own several leashes to ensure they are prepared for the canine they will walk.
Many dog walkers opt for hands-free leashes, the ones that they can tie around their wastes. This lets them carry other things while preventing the risk of losing their grip on the leash. It also prevents rope burns on the hands.
3. Pet first aid kit
Another important tool to carry for dog walkers is a pet first aid kit. You’ll never know when a dog can get caught in a dogfight or sustain injured. A canine first aid kit will be the first source of treatment.
Dog walkers have to be very careful not to get the dog hurt. But in some instances, when the dog escapes or starts a brawl with other canines, injuries are inevitable. Dog walkers just can’t take the dog back to its owners with bloody injuries.
A pet first aid kit will allow dog walkers to clean the wound and bandage it. While the dog owner may still be upset over the injury, providing first aid will reduce bad feedback.
Treats are very important when walking dogs, regardless if you’re the dog owner or a hired dog walker. Dog treats will be your power over the canine. It will help lure the dog back when it escapes. It will also let you use positive reinforcement when commanding the dog.
For hired dog walkers, it’s important to ask the dog owner about the treats. Some dogs are sensitive to specific ingredients, while others are on a special diet. You’d never want to return the dog sick after the walk.
5. Dog wipes
Dog wipes will be useful when the dog gets smeared with the dirt during the walk. Dog walkers will also need the wipes to clean the canine’s rear after it poops.
Remember to use dog wipes made for pets. Those for humans are often scented, which can irritate the dog. The dog wipes should also be alcohol-free so that it won’t mess with the dog’s normal skin pH level.
Aside from cleaning, dog wipes help deodorize the dog’s body. It allows quick clean-up to prevent dirt, dander, and tough odors from clinging to the canine’s body.
If you’re walking the dog at night, a flashlight is very important. This will keep the walker and the dog safe. It’s very important, especially if you’re walking the dog nearby a road and on poorly lit sidewalks.
Aside from flashlights, dog walkers should also wear some kind of reflective material. This will add visibility since reflective material illuminates when strike by light.
7. Collapsible dog bowl
Dogs need to drink water during a walk, regardless if it’s a hot summer day or a cool afternoon. However, dogs shouldn’t be given water by pouring it into their mouths. Pouring from the bottle just wastes water, and it makes the dog gulp a lot of air.
Instead, a dog walker should carry a collapsible dog bowl. These bowls are portable and often come with a carabiner clip to secure it on the dog’s leash, harness, or belt loop.
8. Water tumbler
To pair with the collapsible dog bowl, a dog walker should also bring a tumbler with clean water. This way, the dog can rest and rehydrate, especially on a hot day. Flat-nosed breeds like Pugs, Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus are more likely to overheat than other breeds. Drinking water will help the dog cool down under a shade.
9. Dog boots
Dog boots protect the canine’s paws from heat and snow. It’s made of a rubber material that acts as insulation. This is very useful during summer and winter when the snow is mixed with salt.
However, not all dogs are used to wearing booties. A dog walker can ask the owner prior to the walk, so he or she will know whether to put the boots on to the canine or not.
10. Dog jacket
While this isn’t necessary, some dog walkers will carry a dog jacket. This is very helpful during cold days and for dogs with thin coats. The dog jacket serves as protection from the low temperature and outdoor elements that may get into the canine’s skin.
Not all dog walkers bring this, and most of the time, it’s provided by the owner. But if you’re aspiring to be a dog walker, a dog jacket is a plus point for your service.
What are the responsibilities of a dog walker?
Professional dog walkers are expected to take a canine through a specific route set by the owner. They are usually hired by busy dog owners who can’t take the time to take their pets for a stroll.
Aside from following a route, dog walkers are expected to follow a specific schedule. All of these are decided and agreed upon with the dog owner.
Moreover, a dog walker should follow specific instructions, especially for dogs with health problems. In some cases, the dog walker can be contracted to look after the pet through multiple home visits.
And if emergencies occur, the dog walker should have the contact number of the dog’s veterinarian.
What do dog walks charge per hour?
Dog walkers charge around $20 for a 30-minute walk. The longer the walk is, the higher the rate will be.
Rover, a popular dog walking service app, dog walking rates are at an average of $20. However, the rates tend to vary on the time of the day of the walk and the walker’s experience.
Meanwhile, its competitor dog walking service Wag! charges a base rate of $20 for a 30-minute walk. You can also pay for 20-minute express walks or up to 60 minutes based on your dog needs. You can also hire one walker for multiple dogs for the same rate, but with a $5 fee for every additional dog.
Do I need insurance to be a dog walker?
If you work as a dog walker for companies like Wag! or Rover, you need to have general liability insurance. This will protect you from financial liabilities should the dog you’re walking gets injured.
But for those who are not affiliated with any services, added insurance coverage might not be necessary. This is the case if you’re just walking your neighbor’s dogs and has an internal arrangement with them. But if you want added peace of mind, it won’t hurt to secure this insurance policy if you have the budget.
How old do you have to be to walk dogs?
If you’re planning to apply for a dog walker slot in Wag! or Rover, you have to be at least 18 years old. But in terms of physical capabilities, a 12-year-old can walk a small to medium-sized canine. Still, minors should be supervised in case the dog misbehaves.
In some communities, it’s illegal to let 10-year-olds and below walk a dog. Kids that are under 10 years old don’t have the physique required to control a canine. Also, kids at this age aren’t mentally fit to act in compromising situations. The child might be injured in the process, aside from the dog sustaining wounds.
What are some necessary tools for a dog walker to carry? The basics are dog leashes, poop bags, first aid kit, treats, and dog wipes. A dog walker can also carry a flashlight, collapsible dog bowl, dog boots, and water tumbler if need be. Overall, most short walks don’t require a lot of accessories unless the dog has special needs.