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The days of hiring the teenager down the street to walk your dog are over. Today, pet owners do whatever it takes to give their pets the best care. That includes hiring a dog walker with specific qualifications.

I did some investigating to find out how one finds a job as a dog walker. To learn the craft, I spoke to a dog walking pro, Bonnie Baron.

Bonnie is the owner of Walkin’ the Dog SF—a very cool pet care business. Every dog at Walkin' the Dog SF receives its own personalized walk and each pet owner is able to tailor a workout for her or his dog. Now that's service!

Bonnie broke down 4 ways that future dog-walking professionals can improve their skill-sets to land the perfect dog-walking job.

1. Get a Dog Walking Certification

There are a lot of great agencies that certify dog walkers. Bonnie recommends Dog Tec’s Dog Walking Academy. In this program, you will learn the dog walking business inside and out. Dog walkers who take this course come out of it with a host of marketable skills like the ability to walk multiple dogs at once, to prevent dog fights, and to tend to canine wounds.

Alumni of the Dog Walking Academy leave with confidence because they understand the fundamentals of pack composition, the theory behind canine behavior, and the basics behind running a business and protecting themselves from liability.

Jon and Ky, two professional dog walkers who work with Tails & Trails Dog Services in San Francisco Jon and Ky, two professional dog walkers in San Francisco | Photo Credit: Yelp

2. Get Animal First Aid and CPR training

If pet owners are paying you top dollar for pet care, they expect you to know what to do in emergency situations. Bonnie recommends getting first aid and CPR training from an organization like PetTech. Classes taken through PetTech are an affordable way to show clients that you care about their pets' safety.

3. Get experience interacting with a variety of dogs

Pet owners like to see that you know how to handle different breeds of dogs with different personality types. To get this experience, Bonnie recommends volunteering for organizations devoted to rescuing dogs.

4. Get experience walking dogs

Dog walkers are by and large extremely friendly people. Reach out to dog walkers in your community. Ask to shadow them to learn the tricks and get some experience under your belt!

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