Here you can view our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get from dog walker applicants.
What sets WCP apart from an on-demand/app dog walking company?
What makes Windy City Paws a good fit for me?
Is WCP taking COVID-19 precautions?
Yes. We are taking COVID-19 precautions, and we want our dog walkers to feel safe and comfortable during this time. We provide masks and hand sanitizer to all dog walkers. We also have instituted no-contact dropoff/pickup for keys and other supplies.
Does Windy City Paws provide training for dog walkers?
How does Windy City Paws ensure my safety while on the job?
What kind of support do I get from Windy City Paws?
How many miles do you walk in a given day?
What does a cat visit entail?
What makes Windy City Paws a good fit for someone in a creative field?
What is the Windy City Paws community like?
What career growth opportunities available at Windy City Paws?
Many of our tenured walkers are entrusted with additional opportunities outside of dog walking within the company! After 3 months tenure, you’ll be eligible to take on extra responsibilities for additional pay.
Our Representatives conduct client Meet & Greets where they meet all new clients, review WCP’s policies and procedures and take detailed care visit notes that we use for all services.
Our Ambassador Walkers conduct Field Interviews with potential dog walking applicants. They are an integral step in the recruitment process.
We also have additional opportunities to help out with various marketing projects such as hosting yappy hours in some high rise buildings or hanging up door hangers around one of our service areas!
Are Windy City Paws Dog Walkers employees or independent contractors?
We do not require our dog walkers to have a car or a bike! Our dog walking routes cover a single neighborhood and are walkable. Most walkers commute to their route area by using the CTA, walking or biking. If you are a biker, you’ll be able to take on more work (if you want) and if you have a car, you’ll likely park it once and walk to all of your dog walks.
What are some of the perks of working with WCP?
WCP dog walkers receive regular performance reviews with raises as long as they are performing their jobs appropriately. Within just the first year, you can receive up to 3 raises! As an employee, you also get overtime pay if you take on additional services during evening or weekends. Because Windy City Paws walkers are employees, they also accrue paid time off.
Some other perks include: 401k, several social events throughout the year, constant access to training videos for education, WCP swag, and breakfast provided on the first Friday of the month!
Do I walk multiple dogs at once?
At Windy City Paws, we don’t do pack walking or “buddy” walks. All of our dog walks are one-on-one so each pup gets the individualized attention they need. However, if there are multiple dogs in one household, we walk those dogs together.
Can I take any of the dogs I walk to dog parks?
Windy City Paws has a strict policy that we can not take dogs to dog parks or allow them to socialize with other dogs. This not only limits our liability but more importantly helps ensure everyone’s safety. All dogs are always walked on-leash so as to abide by Chicago leash laws.
Do WCP dog walkers walk dogs in all weather?
Yes, WCP walkers walk dogs in all weather. Walking outside in inclement weather can be a little tricky if you're not fully prepared for it. You’ll need to prepare by regularly checking your weather app since temperatures can vary dramatically during the course of a day. WCP walkers also make sure they have appropriate gear so that they’re ready for anything.
Do you think being a dog walker for Windy City Paws is for everyone?
No, being a WCP walker is not for everyone. We want to make sure that all of our walkers truly enjoy working with animals. Many people think that they would be interested in dog walking because they enjoy spending time around dogs, but they often underestimate just how much of this job is spent with dogs. You need to truly be obsessed with dogs to get the most satisfaction from this job. You also need to be comfortable walking several miles a day during all four seasons.
What opportunities are available for someone who can walk dogs regularly versus someone who has limited availability?
Routed walkers have a consistent weekly schedule with the same regular clients Monday through Friday from roughly 10:00am-3:00pm. Routed walkers can also agree to take on extra services if they’d like as it can be a great way to make extra money!Another way to join our team is as a Back-up walker! This is a great opportunity for someone to start dog walking in a more limited capacity, If you don’t have the required availability to be a routed walker (M-F 10-3pm), but you have 3+ days during the week where you have some daytime availability, then you may qualify to be a back-up walker. As a back-up walker, you are able to provide our office staff with your availability each week and they will notify you of services that need to be filled and you can confirm your availability and accept services that fit into your schedule.
What traits does a WCP walker need to possess?
There are a few traits that make for the absolute best dog walkers:
Attention to detail: Dog walkers must focus on every aspect of a client’s individualized visit routine so as to be able to provide the highest level of care.
Organized: A highly organized walker is prepared and prompt because they are consistently referencing and planning for their daily schedule.
Friendliness: Exuberance, friendliness, and communication are excellent traits for a dog walker. Every day you will be meeting new people, such as door attendants, building staff, neighbors or clients working from home. It is very important to maintain a positive relationship with everyone since our dog walkers are always representing Windy City Paws.
How important would you consider customer service in this job?
All of our walkers are customer service representatives, so it’s vitally important! We are here to service our clients’ dogs by following the owners’ individualized care instructions. When dogs are happy, their owners are happy and satisfied.
How can I use my work as a dog walker to further my knowledge about dogs or in a career with animals?
There are many ways at Windy City Paws to advance your understanding and knowledge of animals. For example, our online training service, Fetchfind, has a robust library of animal behavior training videos that offer great insight you can use on your walks. With experience, your dog handling and training skills will improve. We’ve had walkers explore dog training, veterinary tech work, grooming and doggy day care professions after working for WCP as a dog walker.