Walking a dog is an important part of being a dog owner and keeping it in good health. Unfortunately, some owners cannot always find the time to walk their dogs and therefore pay dog walkers to help them walk their dogs. Starting a neighborhood dog walking business is an easy and low-cost way for a dog lover to make a significant amount of money taking care of his/her furry friends. If you are considering starting a dog walking business, here is how to easily get started.
Get Some Training
The dog care industry is fairly unregulated and it is easy for anyone in the UK to become a dog walker without qualifications. However, walking a dog properly is no easy task and getting the appropriate training will make your job much easier. Also, having a certification would add a significant boost to your credibility when you are trying to build a steady base of clients. If you are considering getting training, you can choose to focus on areas like animal first aid, positive reinforcement training, and animal care.
Learn the Rules and Regulations of The Business
Although there are no regulations about who can start a dog walking business, there are a number of rules regarding conduct in the dog walking business. The UK’s National Association of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers (NarpsUK) has a helpful website where they outline the rules and regulations, including rules related to the number of dogs that can be walked at one time, how to book clients for the first time, privacy protection, and feces treatment.
A good way to ensure that you are always cognizant of the rules and regulations of the trade is to join NarpsUK. Although it is not mandatory, just like getting a certification, it adds to your businesses’ credibility
Every dog lover knows that dogs can sometimes behave in ways that can spell disaster, for an external party or for the dog itself. In the event that something does happen while you are walking a dog, you want to be covered by a comprehensive dog walker’s insurance that will protect you from legal action or financial wipeout.
Create a Pricing Structure
You will need to decide how much to charge. Most dog walkers are paid between £6-10 per dog for blocks of time ranging from fifteen to sixty minutes. Your price can also vary if you want to walk multiple dogs at once. You can also work ancillary services like pet sitting or communication and obedience training to extend your pricing.
If your business has any chances of growing in an organized manner, you will need to keep detailed records. You will need to keep records of each dog owner, including information on where they live, the name of their dog(s) and the specific breed, color, and vet care history. You also want to have contact details such as the owner’s phone number, email, and emergency contact details. Create a specific log on excel for this or search online for templates you can reuse.
Spread The Word
Once you have carried out all the steps above, your dog walking business is pretty much ready to begin. Now, you will need to start telling the dog owners in your neighborhood about your business. You can print flyers and handbills and take a few to local vet clinics and pet stores. You can also advertise online using pay-per-click adverts.
Getting your name out there will help you to grow your side hustle!
Dog training is a fairly simple way to make money and you want to start properly.