Here are some of the reasons the task has become so popular in the UK:
1) You make really good money. £10-15 per dog per hour. So if you walk four at a time you could make £60 an hour! You could work through an agency or set up on your own.
2) You take exercise in the open air. Of course, sometimes you'll walk in the pouring rain.
3) The hours are flexible and suitable to you. No more office politics or doing a thankless task.
The work is as simple as it sounds. You arrange to pick up the animals, take them for a walk and then return them home. You might need to do it twice a day for each dog and a good walk means a minimum of half an hour – ideally an hour.
The main problems are:
1) Dogs running away and not coming back That's a no-brainer.
2) Not being able to clean up after them all – illegal and a health hazard. This is probably the most odious (and malodorous) part of the job.
Unfortunately in the US, a dog walker earns considerably less; an average of $10.80 per hour. Most people move on to other positions after 20 years in this field.
Last week, we suggested this job to my husband's son who was visiting from California. He has suffered from a bad back since he lost his job. He could combine walking his own pup with other people's pampered pets. He didn't look too enthusiastic—not after managing a golf buggy company which involved various overseas trips. However, when I pointed out that the best thing for a bad back was exercise, he showed more interest.
I couldn't do it, with my walking disability. But, I would have jumped at the chance to take doggies for walks and get paid for doing so. Our wonderful 76 year-old neighbor walks dogs in a field every day from our closest town Radlett, a large affluent village in the county of Hertfordshire between St Albans and Borehamwood on Watling Street with a population of approximately 8,000. He's a keen bird-watcher, and keeps a sharp eye above while he's walking. That's probably why he's so fit and enthusiastic.
Would you consider taking on this job?