Starting a Dog Walking Business

dog walking, dog walking business

Sometimes, passion can turn into a big business that brings-in thousands of dollars monthly. However, when it comes to converting your passion for dog walking into a real business, it can be challenging to know where to start. When it comes to starting a dog walking business, you will need the right information and knowledge to get started, and you can find that information right here. So, if you are looking for information to starting a dog walking business, read on.

A dog walking business can be likened to other businesses where owners are required to be equipped with the key knowledge that keeps you in the business. You will be in charge of advertising, banking, invoicing, and overall smooth running of the business. With high demand for dog walking experts in the United States to cater for over 89 million dogs that are presently living in the US as estimated here, starting a dog walking business can be an option to consider.

There are required roles and responsibilities of running a dog walking business and can range from creating a business plan, business name, logo, advertising, answering and returning phones calls, responding to email messages, keeping appointments, to the more important ones like checking local laws for proper licensing, fair but competitive pricing plus creating and maintaining your website. Once all these things are known and planned for, you are one step away from starting a dog walking business.

This post aims to answer basic questions and provide information to get you started.

How to Become a Professional Dog Walker?

You don’t need a degree to become a dog walker. Once you have the interest to take up the task, becoming a dog walker shouldn’t cost any other thing other than to get trained, having a legal backup and license and as well as insurance to operate in the environment you have chosen to work. Finding clients who have belief in you to take care of their dogs is another important aspect to consider.

Trust plays a vital role in getting them to release their pets to you. Remember, there are cases where clients give dog walkers their resident’s keys to access their dogs when they are not around. You must be flexible in your schedule with clients, be respectful and honest in dealing with them.

Generally, most dog walkers do their business between 11 am and 2 pm. Dog walking business is a business like other business; hence, you must put things in place to build your reputation in achieving your goals. The main point is that, you must know what it takes to become a dog walker. This leads us to the next question.

What type of training is required for a Dog Walking Business?

Having both experience and skill in walking dogs is essential to your prospective dog walking business. Don’t forget that dog walking is quite different from a walk in the street. In the minds of many dog owners, becoming a dog walker does not necessarily require qualifications or training. However, when it comes to building a career in pet-related businesses, having creditable and supportive documentation can enhance your overall appearance as a business, position your brand to stand out from competitors, display professionalism in winning clients to your side.

There are many ways to acquire skills and knowledge in walking a dog in a correct manner. Whether you decide to take up a formal course in dog training or consider volunteering at a local shelter, gaining experience in dealing and interacting with different types of dogs will prepare you towards starting your potential dog walking business. You will be able to offer your services as a dog walker with confidence. When it comes to gaining skill and experience, some of the qualifications and training worthy of considering are animal care, animal behavior, and animal first aid.

What are the Legal Considerations for a Dog Walking Business?

To start a dog walking business, there are a variety of legal considerations involved for a successful dog walking business. Step number one get professional legal advice. Many dog walking starters may want to skip this step, but it may expose your business to serious penalties and fines as your business grows. We are living in a time where dogs are often times considered family. Dogs are at times included in family documents. Understand the business that you are in.

It is important to have a legal business license or permit as required by your state or local authorities. There are specific rules and regulations targeting dog walkers, and this must be taken seriously. One of the legal requirements for providing dog walking service is to get public liability insurance to operate. You would ask why all these legal requirements? Remember there may be times when you must deal with business issues such as dog injuring person or dog injuring another dog during the walk out. Only the right insurance coverage can support you from legal claims that may come on your way. However, below are a few tips will help you in your legal consideration assurance:

  • Avoid walking with more than four dogs so that you can be in total control of them all.
  • Meet the dog owners before your first booking.
  • Don’t ignore record keeping of all your business transactions to keep track of your clients.
  • Protect personal information of your clients.
  • All dogs walking in public must wear an identity such as a collar with owners’ details.

These and many other rules and regulations are required by a dog walking business owner. You must put them into consideration to avoid anything that can endanger the safety of others and your business as a whole. It is worthy of mentioning that, joining relative pet walking associations can help you to know more about required rules and regulations of the business.

What Insurance is Required for a Dog Walking Business?

You need insurance for your dog walking business because you will be responsible for all the dogs you are walking at that particular time of your service. This is not limited to damage done by the dogs to people, but as well as the harm done to the dogs. While one cannot predict an accident hence, one needs to prepare and protect oneself by ensuring the provision of proper insurance coverage for your dog business.

There are different insurance policies designed to cover pet businesses. You can check around for the best policy for your business. Note that, having required insurance policy will boost your reputation and show to your clients that you are professional, display a keen sense of attention to detail and can deliver as promised.

How much do Dog Walkers make on an Annual Basis?

Your annual earning depends on the state and location of your business. For instance, dog walkers who walk 3 – 4 dogs daily at $25/dog earn $75 – $100 on a daily basis. Assuming you walk 4 dogs a day, 28 dogs in a week, you will earn a total annual income of approx. $36,400. If you can walk more than this number a day, say you have two sections of walk in a day; you can calculate how much you can earn annually.

Some cities even countries can earn even more than this amount. Walking dog business in New York may fetch you up to $150,000 annually.

Final Words

Starting a dog walking business can be the best option waiting to be explored to bring you to the limelight of success. It is a profitable business with low startup and running capital. Conduct your research way in advance to include checking other similar businesses in your market. These tips and more should get you headed in the right direction.


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