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Level 3 Award in Dog Walking and Pet Sitting for Professionals

Ofqual Code 603/6844/5
Qualification Level 3
Award type Award
Guided Learning Hours 16 hours
Total Qualification Time 20 hours
Enrolment will be valid for 2 years
Study mode Online Theory
Start Date Anytime
Entry Criteria There are no entry criteria for this qualification, however you must be over age 16 to enrol.
Assessment Method Assessment will take the form of a range of in-depth theory assessments for each individual unit. Learners will need to complete a 1 hour recorded professional discussion with their Tutor
Units 2

Course Summary:

This iPET Network Level 3 Award in Dog Walking and Pet Sitting for Professionals is an Ofqual regulated qualification for learners who want to operate a dog walking or pet-sitting business.

This qualification allows students to develop the necessary skills that comply with the Defra Animal Activity Licensing requirements for working as a Pet Sitter. This award qualification consists of 2 comprehensive theory units. It has been developed by iPET Network, a recognised Ofqual accredited awarding organisation. This qualification is perfect for anyone wanting to kick-start their career working with dogs, or who already works as a Dog Walker or Pet Sitter and wishes to obtain the relevant qualifications and training.


This qualification has been created alongside the highest standards in canine education. Learners will complete the necessary theory on two core topics which include:

  • Professional Dog Walking and Pet Sitting
  • Planning the Operation of a Small Animal Business

A career working with dogs is extremely rewarding as dogs are sociable animals, with many widely regarding them as man’s best friend. Dogs require a high standard of care and have different welfare needs and requirements. As such, there are many different jobs and careers working with canines. A job role working with dogs is a popular career choice, and most vacancies tend to attract large numbers of applicants. It is therefore advisable to gain the relevant training before applying for your chosen vacancies or setting up your own business.
Dog Walking and Pet Sitting are popular roles for anyone wishing to work with dogs, or other household pets. This comes as no surprise as the work itself is extremely fulfilling, allowing professionals to spend quality time with dogs, a flexible working schedule and plenty of outdoor exercise. With an increasing number of pets, many owners need support from a daily Dog Walker and Sitter. Dogs are sociable animals who enjoy the company of others and will feel mental and physiological benefits from increased time spent with human interaction and scheduled outdoor exercise.

What you will study:

Through completion of this Ofqual regulated qualification, learners will develop confidence in Professional Dog Walking and Professional Pet Sitting. This qualification explores a range of important aspects such as responsibility, legislation and legal requirements to be aware of, knowledge and skills necessary to carry out Dog Walking or Pet Sitting and basic canine behaviour and psychology. The qualification is available online, to start at any time. There are no pre-requisites, however, you must be over 16 years of age to enrol and ideally learners should be physically mobile and have the appropriate strength to handle dogs of different weight and size.

Unit 1

Professional Dog Walking and Pet Sitting


This unit explores the knowledge, skills and understanding of Dog Walking and Pet Sitting roles. Learn about responsibilities, legislation, and legal requirements relevant to providing a professional dog walking and pet sitting service to the public. Additionally, this unit includes best practice, business operation and a basic understanding of canine behaviours, characteristics, and welfare needs.

In completing this unit, learners will:

  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of a professional dog walker and pet sitter.
  • Record details of animals and clients for the purpose of pet sitting.
  • Study the policies and procedures that need to be put in place prior to setting up a dog walking and pet sitting business.
  • Understand client requirements and requests when carrying out dog walking and pet sitting services.
  • Know how to minimise risks when lone working as a dog walker or pet sitter.
  • Study the requirements of current legislation and codes of practice for transporting animals in relation to dog walking and pet sitting.
  • Learn the variety of dog breeds and behaviours typical to their breed group.
  • Understand how to care for small animals that may require a pet sitting service.
  • Observe and record behaviour demonstrated by a dog, when working as a dog walker or pet sitter
  • Discover the potential hazards that may be experienced whilst in a small animal business.

Unit 2

Planning the Operation of a Small Animal Business


This unit covers the essentials of running your own pet sitting and dog walking business – this includes everything from the fundamental requirements such as operations, creating a business plan and legislation, to discovering how best to market your small business to increase visibility, gaining new clients and how to keep and monitor financial records within your business.

Theory Assessment Criteria

For the iPET Network Level 3 Award in Dog Walking and Pet Sitting for Professionals, learners must demonstrate:

  • Factual, procedural and theoretical knowledge and understanding of a subject or field of work to complete tasks that while well-defined, may be complex and non-routine.
  • Interpretation and evaluation of relevant information and ideas.
  • Awareness of the nature of the area of study or work.
  • Awareness of different perspectives or approaches within the area of study or work.

Skills Assessment Criteria

For the iPET Network Level 3 Award in Dog Walking and Pet Sitting for Professionals, students must demonstrate:

  • Identification, selection and use of appropriate cognitive and practical skills, methods and procedures to address problems that while well-defined, may be complex and non-routine.
  • Use of appropriate investigation to inform actions.
  • The ability to review how effective methods and actions have been.

Career Progression:

With over 1 in 4 UK households now owning a pet dog, it hardly comes as a surprise to hear that careers with dogs are increasing not only in popularity but also in demand. A canine career can take you in many different directions, including working as a Kennel Assistant, Kennel Manager, Dog Home Boarder, Day Care for Dogs, Dog Trainer, Dog Handler (including Fire service, Search and Rescue, Customs & Excise and Military), Assistance Dog Trainer, Dog Behaviourist, Animal Welfare Officer/Inspector, Dog Groomer, and Dog Walker.

Why is it a good idea to obtain a regulated qualification to become a professional Dog Walker or Pet Sitter?

1) Meets the Defra Animal Activity Licensing requirements
2) Reassures customers that you have the right training to provide the appropriate care for their pet

This iPET Network Level 3 Award in Dog Walking and Pet Sitting for Professionals enables learners to develop the necessary skills and tools to become a qualified Dog Walker and Pet Sitter. This Ofqual regulated and nationally recognised qualification will show employers and customers that students have the correct theory and practical training to start a career in dog walking or pet sitting, or both!

This Ofqual regulated qualification has been expertly created specifically for anybody wishing to become a professional Dog Walker or for anyone who may already walk dogs or act as a Pet Sitter, but does yet not hold a nationally recognised qualification.

For more information on Canine Careers, please visit our Careers with Dogs page, or alternatively you may like to Contact Us to speak directly with one of our team who can advise you on your career working with dogs.

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