Dog walkers usually consider themselves to be self employed. However, a small minority of dog walkers work as volunteers for groups.
What is an agent?
A dog walker agent is someone responsible for arranging pet walkers. This helps to ensure that all walks are arranged by dog walkers in good time to meet the dog’s needs.
Dog walkers are not generally employed as agents, however there are some exceptions as below:
Dog walkers who work in conjunction with non-profit organisations can be agents.
Dog walkers who work as their own employer can be agents, although only in limited circumstances.
Dog walkers who live alone, or who have no partner who is likely to be available for walkie-talkies, may be agents.
What is a dog walkers’ contracts?
When the dog is picked – typically at the appointment – the dog walker makes the contract in the amount of the cost of the kennel, a copy of which has to be provided to the dog walker. The dog’s owner must pay up front from their own funds or the money the dog walker charges during a walk. They can also make payments on top of the cost of a kennel.
A dog walker’s contract must be signed by the dog walker and the dog’s owner. This agreement is called a dog walkers’ contract of hire. Dog walkers who work full time can be employed as agents for hire, with the consent of their employer/entertainer. If the dog walker works part time, they do not need to be provided with a contract of hire.
Dog walkers may not be contracted to work more than six months out of the year, or in the case of dogs that are overweight or otherwise over-weight, for short periods. They are also required to pay back any training costs incurred by dog walkers over the course of their career if they do not keep up with new and current dog walkers and they are under the age of 18 while performing their duties.
Dog walkers who work with dogs that do not require a walk may have contracted for the right and liability of the dogs being cared for, in lieu of their dog walkers.
What if the dog does not walk?
If a dog does not walk or is not well behaved, the dog walker may be able to be found liable for its own damages and other possible consequences.
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