So, you want to be a dog walker? I don’t blame you. It’s one of the best jobs out there, and trust us when we say it’s rewarding as well. But when you’re out hustling, there are things you need to be prepared for. I went asking some of our best NYC Pooch walkers what they carry with them on their day-to-day.
Water For You, and Your Dog
This may seem like a no-brainer, but trust me. Make sure you have your water, and drink it often in all types of weather! And if you’re really in a bind, electrolyte-heavy drinks can give you a nice boost. Keeping up your hydration is the best way to make sure you can take care of your dogs! If you start slowing down, chances are you are running on empty.
Next to your water bottle, pack a snack! Some of us dog walkers go all day without sitting down, and that burns a lot of calories. If you’re planning a long day, make sure you have nutritious and energizing foods that can easily be munched on. If you forget, make yourself time to get something healthy (avoid the easy, and delicious junk.) A healthier snack will fuel you, while a greasy one will make you feel worse. You can’t walk if you’re not top-notch!
The number one thing professional dog walkers will tell you is that weather can be a problem. If you can get through the elements, you’re golden! Make sure you’re prepared with light weight gear to protect you from all elements. Snow boots designed to be walked in, a small umbrella, durable gloves, and other wet or cold weather clothing is important. But so are items that will help you in the hot New York summer! Breathable sneakers, spray-on sunblock, maybe even a self-cooling towel will help you through the heat.
A true dog walker familiarizes him/herself with as much dog oriented gear as possible. You will be able to quickly learn how different harnesses work, and what a certain dog’s personality needs. While you can recommend certain gear to owners, it’s never a bad idea to carry your favorite tools with you. These can be as fun as a couple toys, to packing an extra gentle lead. Generally, you should carry an extra leash, training treats, and the items that you’ve found make your route easier.
Take Care of Yourself
This is the most important part of working with dogs. Your health, hands, and especially your feet are top priority. If you’re not taking care of yourself, how can you give the dogs all the love? Make sure your footwear is in good condition, and gives you the right support. Wash your hands and rest often!
When it comes to being a NYC Pooch dog walker, we prepare for everything by creating the perfect Dog Walker’s Survival Kit!