There are plenty of reasons why being a dog walker is great, but there are also some downsides to the job. These include pushy pet owners, managing a busy schedule, and the stress that comes with being your own boss. In this post, we'll share some advice to help you practice self-care and avoid burnout. We hope these tips will help you eliminate stress so you can enjoy all the best parts of your job!
Set Clear Client Expectations
Dealing with clients is not always easy but setting clear expectations can help prevent problems. We recommend letting clients know your business hours and when you're available to answer calls, texts, or emails. If you have a website, it's a great idea to create some guidelines and an FAQ page so clients understand what your job involves (and what it doesn't).
Learn When to Say "No"
Be firm but fair with clients and don't be afraid to say "no" to unreasonable requests like working outside of business hours. You should also let clients know when you're fully booked and unavailable to take on more work. If you know other dog walkers in your area, consider referring them to clients when you're overbooked. Chances are they'll return the favour in future when they're overbooked themselves.
Schedule Time Off
Make sure to take regular days off and let clients know well in advance. It also makes sense to take at least a week or two off work each year to recharge your batteries and unwind. During your scheduled time off, avoid responding to client questions and requests. Good clients will understand you need time off and they'll be there when you get back!
Take Care of Yourself
It's easy to overstretch yourself and work on your business until late in the evening, but it pays to take care of yourself and build some downtime into your day. Spend this time doing things you enjoy, like hanging out with friends and family, watching your favourite TV programme, or snuggling up with a great book. It's also important to eat healthily and engage in light exercise outside of work.
We hope these tips and tricks were useful. And remember, being a dog walker is far more rewarding and enjoyable if you set clear boundaries and practice self-care.