Dog Walker, Toronto, ON - 9 August 2016
My day at work would start with picking up the morning day care dogs and dropping them off. From there I would pick up my required client keys for the day and set off on my walks, and puppy and/or cat visits for the day. All keys must be returned by the end of the day and by then I would usually have dogs to drop off on my way home.
The job will teach a lot about navigating the city (especially when driving). I quickly learned the fastest ways around town when picking up my furry clients. I learned a lot about the parks in Toronto, where off leash is allowed and where it is prohibited. The most important thing I learned was dog pack dynamics: which dogs will get along and which won't, when to spot a fight about to start, when to spot anxiety, overheating, or sickness. I learned which dogs are comfortable off leash and which have poor recall and would be better on leash.
The most enjoyable part of the job is the time you get to spend with the animals, of course. You quickly build bonds and trust with your pack and you become their fearless leader. Leaving the pets behind is indeed the hardest part.
Though you will not interact very often with co-workers, I found them all to be very pleasant and they are all in it for the same reason: the animals.
The hardest part of the job is that it seems the company has taken on more clients than the staff can handle, so expect your day to be extremely busy from morning to end, expect to always prepare to have food and water on hand because you will have little time to stop as your schedule will be jam-packed. I believe they will hire part-time workers so I doubt it is as busy for part timers.
Due to the volume of clients, it can be hard to contact the head office sometimes, and you must call the head office every time you need to make a change to your day or are having difficulty with a dog as you will not have access to the client information. There is a bit of disorganization within the administrative structure so just be aware - they are busy people with a lot on their plates.
Overall the job itself is a lot of fun and worth it for the experience alone, especially if you're between jobs and want to try something new. They do a lot of training so you don't need to have a lot of experience.