How to Start a Dog Walking Business

Everything you need to know about starting your own dog walking business.

There is nothing better than doing a business you are passionate about. Imagine the joy you will get if you have to wake up every day to interact with dogs; especially if you are a dog lover. Even though it is great to have a business in a field you enjoy, you still need to have a solid plan to succeed. In fact, dog walking is becoming a popular business among pet lovers. Read on to find out more about this job.

The first steps

A dog walker is a person who specializes in walking dogs. He or she usually walks groups of 4 to 6 dogs at a time. However, some clients may prefer you to walk their dog alone.

Before starting the business, it is important to assess a clientele through market research. Start by locating an area with potential customers. For example, your clients may be elderly people who can’t take their dogs for long walks. Alternatively, they could be families who are away from home during the day and need company for their dogs.

In contact with animals and nature

If you love dogs and enjoy the outdoor life, starting a dog walking business is undoubtedly the perfect job for you. In fact, dog walking is an ideal profession for those who love animals and want to turn this passion into a professional vocation. Apart from staying in contact with your favorite animal, you are also on the move every day.

Whether you are looking to do this as a part-time or full-time job, there are a few things you need to take into consideration before setting out. Dog sitters are becoming more and more popular, especially in big cities, where people need someone to walk their dogs. So, if you are interested in this profession, let’s take a look at what this job involves, along with a few tips to get you started.

Start with research

Before you come up with a business plan, you should first start by doing general research. Read books on starting a business and use the knowledge you get to create a layout of what your business will look like. However, the most important research should narrow things down to learning about dogs. Understand the important details of dog breeds. You should know the ones that get agitated easily, the ones that can stand long walks, and breeds that do not enjoy walks in cold weather.

Another aspect of your research should be observation and inquiry on how many dog walkers are in the area you are interested in. Know your competition so that you either move to another area or up your game to become more attractive to potential clients.

Basic knowledge

As there is no specific regulation on the subject, you can take some general rules as a reference. Anyone who takes up this activity must know it is not just a matter of taking the dogs for a walk every now and then. Therefore, it is preferable to have a basic knowledge of both dog education and the different breeds.

To enrich your background, it may also be useful to attend courses to learn more about the behavior of different dogs and the strategies that can help in handling particular emergency situations. There are also courses on dog education.

Qualifications needed

Although you do not need any type of academic or scholastic preparation from a legal point of view, you do need to know how to take care of dogs and their needs.

In order to become a dog walker, you obviously need to love animals. However, you also need other qualities, including:

  • Reliability
  • Ability to interact with customers
  • Communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Flexibility in terms of working days and hours.

If you are looking to work full time as a dog walker, it is advisable to follow:

  • A first aid course for animals
  • A course dedicated to their training
  • Professional training courses for dog walkers

Also, if you carry out this profession as a freelancer, you should know that even if it is a part-time job, you will need to keep track of your earnings. In fact, you will need to find out the regulations for your country. A simple way to keep track of all income is to issue an invoice to your clients, and pay contributions and taxes.

Advertising your business

There is nothing more effective than word of mouth to advertise your business. However, to create a clientele, you need to advertise your dog-walking business.

Naturally, you need to use eye-catching ads to attract attention. The first piece of advice is to write ads on flyers. Take them to grooming centers, pet shops and notice boards in municipal parks. It is also advisable to use social media such as Facebook or Instagram to promote your activity.

Try writing a short text that is easy to read, explaining your love and passion for animals. Convey that you are a reliable, responsible person that can be trusted at all times.

Indicate which breeds of dogs you deal with and whether you only work with small or large dogs, or both.

Promote yourself to work on your own

If you want to be self-employed, you will obviously have to find work yourself. You can help yourself with advertisements and flyers, using the tips we have given you on how to write an ad for a dog walker.

In addition to flyers, and promoting on social networks, you can use word of mouth to ask people you’ve worked for to recommend you to friends and family who have pets.

To find a job as an employee, the advice is to prepare a CV and take it to pet shops and businesses that offer dog walking services. In addition, you can check advertisements that are posted on notice boards or online sites in the area where you live.

Creating Your Website

In this digital age, you need to have a solid digital presence to survive. People need to know where to find you and what services you offer. Set up a website listing prices and some reviews from your clients. You could also post some photos of the dogs you walk. However, remember to ask permission from the owners before posting the photo on your website.

A functional interface

Give the website an easy-to-use layout with a simple catchy name. Setting up a website isn’t as hard as it may sound. Indeed, diverse hosting providers cater for businesses who may have difficulty when it comes to setting up a website. We suggest going with BlueHost to host your website as they have an easy one-click WordPress installation tool, where you can get 60% Off hosting and a free domain name here.

Provide your name, address, contact details, working hours, prices and any relevant qualifications you may possess. There is also a likelihood that a majority of people will be using their mobile devices to check out your website. That is why your web design must be mobile-enabled. It should also be easy to navigate. Have clearly labeled sections on a functional interface.

Memorable web name

The name that you choose for your website should be memorable. Therefore, you can use our domain name generator to create a unique and simple name. It is a simple process. Come up with keywords on what your dog walking business is all about. Input those words in the name generator and watch as several options of domain names pop up for you to choose from. Indeed, you can also use our catchy name generator to come up with a unique name for your business.

Use SEO

Work on your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by mastering the right keyword combinations. This makes your page appear on top pages when clients need someone to walk their dogs. When people are doing internet searches on “Dog Walking Businesses” around your area, your name should be at the top of the page.

You should also have photos that represent you in action. Have different images of you taking dogs for a walk. Animals photograph beautifully, so it is easy to capture a great photo. Indeed, multimedia gets your page ranked highly.

Getting on well with the owners

It is important to know how to handle dogs, but you will also need to maintain a good relationship and communicate with the owners. Think that being polite, flexible and reasonable are qualities that everyone will appreciate. A good impression translates into an excellent reputation and will win you more customers through word of mouth.

It is possible that misunderstandings may arise at some point, but if you can handle them calmly and sympathetically, you will gain everyone’s trust and open new doors to other customers.

Dog-friendly places

If you are dedicated to this job, you will need to know the city like the back of your hand, especially when it comes to dog-friendly places.

Find out where the best parks, beaches or natural places are where you can walk with them and any other places where you can spend time with your dogs. If you can locate all these places, you will enjoy walking with your four-legged friends even more without wandering around unnecessarily.

How long will your visits last?

As most dog walkers are independent contractors, they do not earn a regular hourly wage and are compensated solely for the time they spend with the dogs.

Using a regular client base with recurring walks is the best approach to ensure a regular income. The more customers you have, the less time you will want to spend on recruiting new customers. Placing customers is not only effective in offering a stable salary, but you create a bond with your customers and their dogs by being their walker.

Customers can become your main cheerleaders by inviting other dog owners by word of mouth. Make sure you also collect testimonials to show on your website from customers or in promotional material. Time is money and money is time

Covering the Essentials

A dog walking business entails a lot of walking and interacting with dogs. It helps if you have worked with dogs before. If not, you need to get tested for dog allergies.

The next tip when doing a dog walking business is to have a first aid kit for both the dog walker and the dog. Anything could happen when you are out on your walk. Always have it with you before stepping out to take care of minor injuries.

You also need a good phone that has access to the internet or maps. This is important if you are thinking of starting your dog walking business in an area you are not so familiar with. The worst thing that could happen to any dog walker is for them to get lost and cause the dog owner to panic.

Conclusion — Use Our Tools to Grow

There are many people who have made a fulfilling career out of the dog walking business. You need a solid plan and a team to help you pursue this interest. Getting the perfect name for your business and website is a perfect way to start. The good news is that we have a functioning business name generator that does all the work for you.

Whether you are looking for a catchy name for your business or a domain name for your website, all you need to do is use the generator. It will do everything for you as long as you have keywords that give some basic description of what your business is all about. Try it today, and you are guaranteed nothing but the best brand names and domains for your dog walking business.

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