How to start a dog walking business...

Become a professional Dog Walker - The ultimate dog walking job - Dog walker opportunity

This short guide has been written with a view to explaining what is required to start up a professional dog walking business. It should give you a good idea about what you need to consider in your pursuit of becoming a full time Dog Walker. This guide is designed to give you an idea as to what is involved in starting up a professional dog walking business to run on a commercial full time basis. There are many adverts out there offering "dog walking jobs" but there is no need to look for employment as a dog walker or indeed to apply for dog walking jobs, when you can run your very own successful dog walking business.

There are many people, many dog loving people, who are in jobs that they dislike and would give their right arm for an opportunity to make a successful career in some form of dog care. Imagine keeping fit whilst being out in the fresh air and countryside. Could you think of a better way to make a living than keeping fit in the fresh air, whilst working with loads of different dogs every day? The list below will give you a good idea about how to become a self employed dog walker, so that you don't have to apply for so called "dog walking jobs" or "dog walking opportunities".

we can offer an alternative

When starting a dog walking/pet sitting business, there is a lot of things to take into consideration:

Business Insurance - You will need quality business insurance which should include the likes of Public Liability, Care Custody & Control/Animal Liability, Professional Indemnity, Equipment Insurance, Personal Accident Cover, Vet Fees Extension, Loss of Key Cover, Glass Cover & Holiday Emergency Cover.

A professionally equipped van - For the transportation of dogs, your van should be professionally kitted out in the inside, be fitted with a moisture extraction system and your livery should be undertaken by professional Sign Writers.

Van Insurance - Suitable cover for a self-employed Dog Walker.

Relevant Local Council Licences - Depending on your local authority, there may be a variety of licences which you must hold, if you wish to operate as a Dog Walker in your local parks or you plan to offer dog home boarding services.

DBS/Disclosure Scotland - Undertake relevant police checks to inspire confidence in your future clients and to demonstrate trustworthiness.

Website - A modern, vibrant website is a must to convey professionalism and to allow prospective clients to find you easily.

or there is the wacky way...

Dog Walking/Boarding/Sitting - There is a variety of services that you can offer.

Branding/Trademark - In order to distinguish yourself from your peers, a great deal of thought should go into your brand and the protection of it.

Stationery - Your stationery should be consistent with your brand, and cover the likes of business cards, letterheads & envelopes.

Marketing - It is important to keep your advertising costs to a minimum when starting up any business, yet vital to find clients. Keeping your overheads as low as possible yet effective is advised.

Registration Forms - You will need an easily managed system to sign up new clients and will need well designed forms to cover the likes of Information Form, Terms and Conditions, Veterinary Authorisation, Walking Off the Lead and Customer Satisfaction Surveys.

Cover Letters - Easily edited to cover a wide range of scenarios, to save on administration time.

too much to consider? Try this...

Charging Structure - The importance of this cannot be understated as there is a fine line between competitiveness and profitability.

Uniform - In accordance with your brand, you must be seen to be smart and professional at all times.

Key Management - It is extremely important that your key management systems are infallible.

Rota Management - In order to run an efficient operation, good time-management is essential.

Accounts - Not only is there a legal requirement for tax purposes, but tidy book keeping will save you a lot of time and expense.

Filing - You should have a tidy and appropriate system in place that complies with all relevant data protection rules and regulations.

we offer a hassle free option

Equipment - The types of equipment that you will need on a day to day business will include; Leads, Couplers, nail clippers, tick-removers, waterproof camera and phone, good boots and waterproof trousers and jacket.

Branded Dog I.D tags - Essential that all of your dogs wear these on every walk.

Training - It is not easy to take out a group of dogs for an hour's walk. The practicalities of being a Dog Walker are far reaching, and you need to consider things like: basic group formation, collection of dogs, positioning of dogs in van, safe release of dogs from van, your walks, photo and video taking, using a dog whistle, potential hazards, safely getting your dogs back in the van and a suitable procedure for returning your dogs. With all of this in mind, you should undertake suitable before commencing with commercial dog walking.

Clients - Last but not least, you need to build and look after your client bank.

Join the Wacky Hounds team

As you can see with this brief guide to becoming a dog walker, there is a lot of things to give consideration to. It may seem like a lot, but starting up a professional dog walking service requires a lot of planning.If, however, you would like the backing and help from an already successful and established dog walking company, then please take a look at our franchise page and download a free copy of our prospectus. Also, why not pop in to say hello to us on our facebook page, we won't bite!

Have a Wacky day!

visit our franchise page