Dog walkers receive no health insurance or paid time off. Making extra money requires open availability to work evenings, weekends, and holidays. Tampa’s weather can keep the walker outdoors when absolutely no one else wants to be outdoors. Dogs must be walked even on super hot summer days, hurricane season, and even those few crazy cold days!
And much of the time required by this profession is unpaid but that is not apparent to most people. Some examples are driving between clients homes , navigating through slow city traffic, and searching for limited, legal (and free!) parking spots. Even more time can be spent waiting on access to key fobs at the high end apartment complexes!
This brings me to my next point. Our days are really intense. Every client has a different routine, every dog a different need. During holiday season hours can range from 4 a.m. to midnight depending on reservations, requirements, and to make sure each pup gets the utmost care, time, and attention. Patience is a must to be able to cope with difficulties such as a stubborn lock, walking into doggie destruction, or blanking out on an alarm code. Other time-consuming problems can range from wrestling an energized dog into his harness to coaxing pups too excited to eat their lunch - and leaving is not an option if it is in the routine for them to have lunch during your visit.