HOW TO START A DOG WALKING BUSINESS: A Step By Step Guide

How to start a dog walking business
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Due to the rising need for professional dog care, a teenager or kid who is a dog lover might get curious about learning how to start a dog walking business in their neighborhood. For someone who loves dogs, this might be an option for you to make extra cash. One must take into account the financial risks of starting a dog walking business. In this article, we’ll talk about the dog-walking business salary alongside how it works.

How to Start a Dog Walking Business

It may seem funny to wonder how to start a dog walking business, but it’s not as straightforward as putting on some sneakers and heading out. There are many things to think about before starting an entrepreneurial venture, just like with any other kind.

You’ll have to make the same financial considerations as any other small business venture, and will most certainly have to juggle administrative tasks alongside your daily walk schedule. Let’s dive into what you need to know before starting your dog walking business, step by step.

#1.Plan Your Dog Walking Business

Before you start, writing a business plan can help you identify the opportunity, your rivals, and how you’ll actually operate your company. By doing this at the beginning of the process, you may address all pertinent queries and address any potential issues as soon as they arise.

#2. Analyze the Market for Dog Walking in Your Area

The concept of “supply and demand,” which is relevant to almost every industry, is probably already familiar to you. Demand for a business in a certain neighborhood or specialty aids in determining how much supply there should be.

As long as there are more customers than businesses, services that are in higher demand can charge their clients more to preserve a competitive advantage. Because of the smaller pool of consumers, each provider must cut prices if there are too many providers serving too few customers.

#3. Consider Getting Business Insurance

It is important to get insurance for dog walking and pet sitting. Dog owners give their pets to you, so they count on you to be responsible and dependable. You can convince clients that you take your job seriously by obtaining a customized dog walking insurance policy.

#4. Get the Business Licenses You Need

Almost every state and city requires businesses to get business licenses in order to operate legally. Both individuals and sole traders, as well as large businesses, can attest to this. In order to make sure that what you’re doing is ethical and legal, you’ll still need to register with your local governing body even if you only want to start a dog walking business with your five companions. Generally speaking, you can get by with a fairly basic company license.

#5. Figure Out the Price You’ll Charge

For walks that last between 30 minutes and an hour, a dog walker should expect to make between $10 and $15 per dog. This suggests that you might be able to make a substantial income if you’re walking multiple dogs at once. However, this pricing can change based on your business overheads, how many dogs you walk at a time, and how many hours you walk each day. Be ready to negotiate with your clients on price as well.

#6. Promote Yourself

You must draw clients to your company if you want to be successful. To achieve this, you can build a website to promote yourself, put your business on websites, and use the social media platforms that are most appropriate for your requirements.

#7. Acquire Proper Transportation

Although you could use public transportation to move around with the dogs (for example, if you live in a city with good transportation), having a car makes things a lot simpler, especially if you don’t live close to places where you can take them for walks.

However, taking the time to learn how to start a dog walking business can be well worth it. In addition to the obvious benefits, it offers a ton of freedom and flexibility.

How to Start a Dog Walking Business in Your Neighborhood

One of the most crucial aspects of owning a dog and maintaining its health is walking it. Unfortunately, some dog owners struggle to find the time to walk their pets and must instead hire a dog walker to assist them. One simple and inexpensive option for a dog lover to start making a good living caring for their furry friends is to start a neighborhood dog walking business. Here’s how to quickly launch a dog walking business if you’re thinking about doing so.

#1. Get Some Training 

It’s not simple to walk a dog properly, but having the right training will make your job a lot simpler. Additionally, if you’re attempting to establish a steady client, having a certification will give your credibility a big boost. If you’re thinking about receiving training, you can decide to concentrate on topics like animal first aid, positive reinforcement training, and animal care.

#2. Market Research on Opportunities for Dog Walking

Look around you or the neighborhood where you reside to see how many homes have dogs. This is known in the business world as conducting market research, and it provides you with crucial information about your potential customers.

#3. Learn the Business’s Rules and Regulations

There are a variety of standards surrounding behavior in the dog walking business, even though there are no restrictions on who can establish a dog walking service. Some organizations that represent pet sitters and dog walkers have helpful guidelines that include issues like how many dogs can be walked at once, how to schedule new customers, privacy protection, and feces treatment.

#4. Purchase Dog Walking Tools

Fortunately, there aren’t many different types of equipment used in the dog walking profession. Thus, the investment is not significant. A few leashes, some kibble bags, and a plastic bag are all you need to get rolling.

‍#5.Create Records

As a person who wants to start up a dog walking business in his or her neighborhood, you must maintain thorough records if you want your business to grow in a planned manner. Each dog owner will need to have their information recorded, including their address, the name of their dog or dogs, breed, color, and medical history. You should also provide the owner’s phone number, email address, and emergency contact information. Create a specific Excel log for this purpose or go online for reusable templates.

#6.Promote Awareness

After completing all of the above procedures, your dog walking business is essentially set to start in your neighborhood. You must now begin informing the neighborhood’s dog owners about your venture. You can print flyers and handbills and deliver a couple to neighborhood veterinary offices and pet supply stores. Pay-per-click advertisements are another method of online advertising.

#7. Customer Scheduling

Following your advertisement, you will likely begin to get calls or texts from neighborhood pet owners who are interested in hiring you for your services or who have questions. To get a better grasp of their dog’s condition, schedule a meeting with them and go over the specifics in person.

Starting a dog walking business in your neighborhood is a fairly easy way to earn money, and you should start out right.

Risks of Starting a Dog Walking Business

Dog walking is becoming increasingly common as a side business or small business. To keep the larger breeds, all you need is proximity to dog owners, some patience, and some power. But much like every business, starting a dog walking business comes with risks. You may prepare for the risks of starting a dog walking business by being aware of them, and you’ll be less likely to make mistakes or have accidents. Such in-depth experience in the field aids in establishing a friendly relationship between you, the customer, the dog, and the neighborhood.

Read through the list below to see risks and solutions to reduce or eliminate them before starting your new dog walking business. The greatest method to safeguard your company’s endeavor is to learn everything you can about it.

#1. An Aggressive Dog

Any dog, regardless of breed, has the potential to be aggressive when you first meet them. If you are unfamiliar with the protocol for meeting and welcoming the dogs, you could find yourself in a messy situation. It’s admirable to be eager to get new customers, but before taking their business, make sure to meet the owners and their dogs. 

So, if you don’t know how to handle a dog’s behavioral issues, you could end up hurting yourself, the dog, or even bystanders and their property. So it’s advisable to get prior knowledge and experience in raising pets (dogs). Failing to get this knowledge, training, and knowing the risks of starting a dog walking business might jeopardize it

#2. Acquiring New Clients Without Taking Into Account Local Limitations

The main focus of dog walking is retaining clients. Taking on numerous clients on the same day who are far away may be acceptable when you are first starting out if you are seeking to let your business grow, but it restricts your possibilities as your firm grows.

To make it simple to group clients, choose a geographical limit and assign different days to different areas. This reduces travel and gives you more time for several clients.

#3. Accident and Mistake 

Pet dogs, are unaware of the fast-moving cars and may suffer catastrophic injuries if the dog walker is not fully ready.

When you take your dog for a walk, they often get more playful because dogs are usually quite happy. Due to their owners’ irresponsibility, thousands of dogs risk suffering a cruel death while roaming the streets.

Low-quality leashes are the main cause of mishaps and accidents when walking a dog. It is therefore advisable for a dog walker to have quality tools to avoid these risks.

#4. Sick Dogs (Physically and Mentally)

Mentally ill dogs are more likely to get into trouble, especially while out on the street or playground. When a dog is physically ill, it may also become weary of the walking routine, so you must be ready with an emergency phone number or special training in handling sick dogs. That’s why it’s important to have good training in animal therapy, especially for dogs, to avoid the risk.

Most businesses need to have insurance of some kind to safeguard both themselves and their clients. Working with animals has inherent risks, and dog walking adds a higher risk that something may go wrong with your client’s asset, in this example, their highly prized dog. So it’s important to have, at the very least, basic public liability insurance. Public liability insurance protects your company in the event that it hurts someone or damages property.

#6. Refusing to Execute a Contract

A contract must be in place for your dog walking business in order to safeguard you from harm and stop unhappy pet owners from jeopardizing it. The agreement will enable you to establish clear expectations from the start and help you set clear boundaries with clients.

Many brand-new business owners take an informal approach at first and only use formal legal documents like contracts after they have gained some experience. It is never worthwhile to take a risk like this.

However, it’s important to be completely aware of any significant risks and prepare to handle as many of them as you can when starting a dog walking business.

How to Start a Dog Walking Business as a Teenager

Starting a dog walking business can be an ideal choice for a teenager looking for business ideas. You must, first and foremost, adore animals. Knowing a little bit about their conduct will also be helpful. A walker needs to have some skills in handling dogs because they must be under control when on walks.

As a teenager who wants to start a dog walking business, you should be in good physical shape and know the risks involved. This is a difficult profession that calls for a lot of endurance. Dogs are active animals, so dog handlers need to be able to keep up.

Additionally, being well organized is helpful. Pet owners will anticipate that you will maintain a schedule. If you end up having a lot of clients, it is easy to forget which dog you are supposed to walk with.

Starting out is really straightforward. But before you start, there are a few things to consider. Let’s get some advice on how to start a dog walking business as a teenager.

#1.  Fit as a Bow

Dog walkers must be in good physical condition. This is a difficult profession that requires a lot of stamina. Dogs are active animals, so you must be able to keep up when handling them as a teenager. Additionally, being well organized is helpful. Pet owners will anticipate that you will maintain a schedule. It is simple to lose track of which dog you are supposed to be walking if you end up receiving a lot of clients.

#2.Experience and Training 

As for a teenager who wants to start a dog walking business, he or she should have prior experience caring for their own pets or other dogs in the neighborhood. Before establishing your business, it’s crucial to have experience if you haven’t already handled and walked dogs as a teenager. If, however, you do not have access to any dogs in the area to begin practicing, volunteering at a dog shelter in your community is one option.

#3. Passion for Dogs

To give your customers the greatest service possible, you must genuinely have a passion for dogs as a teenager who wants to start a dog walking business.

#4. Patience 

When working with dogs as a teenager, it’s necessary to have patience because they can not always be cooperative.

#5. Check Out the Price 

The price totally depends on you. For walking dogs, there is no standard fee. Furthermore, it will vary depending on how far the walk is.

You should budget $5 to $10 per dog and per stroll. For longer walks or pet sitting, that amount may increase. Additionally, a lot of pet owners don’t love or have time for pet grooming, so providing that service is a fantastic way to generate extra money. Of course, taking more pets at once will cost more money. However, that is a topic to discuss with the clients. Always be upfront when stating the number of pets you’ll be bringing with you.

#6. Guard Yourself

Despite your best efforts as a teenager, dogs can still suffer injuries. They could eat something they shouldn’t or be terrified by an automobile. In either case, if it occurs while under your supervision, you may be held accountable.

Additionally, you don’t want to be left with a big medical debt. Therefore, you might want to consider purchasing pet sitter insurance. However, this can be quite expensive, so consider if it will be worthwhile.

#7. Start Advertising Yourself

All you need now are some customers. Therefore, to start a dog walking business as a teenager, you need to spread the word. Ask your neighbors who own dogs if they need assistance, or create posters and post them around the neighborhood. 

Utilizing social media platforms is yet another fantastic way to advertise yourself. For your business, you can set up a page where you can post pictures of the dogs you walk, showcase the service you provide, and promote your fees.

It’s crucial to stay in touch with your customers after you’ve acquired some through one of these strategies and ensure that they are pleased with the service you are offering.

Dog Walking Business Salary

You’ll want to keep one thing under strict control: your salary, whether you’re pursuing your dog walking goals as a side business or as a full-time job as a dog walker.

The salary for a dog walking business ranges between fair pay and poor pay. Nevertheless, a lot of people choose to work as dog walkers because it offers benefits that higher-paying jobs cannot. Dog walkers may be paid hourly, weekly, or monthly depending on where they live. The consistency of revenue is influenced by a variety of variables, including the volume of clients, experience, educational background, and many others. You might be inquisitive about the potential earnings of this profession before launching a dog walking business.

According to research in the US, there are more than 15,000 people who walk dogs. $30,428 is the average yearly salary for the position or $15.11 per hour. 

How to Start a Dog Walking Business as a Kid

Children under the age of 13 have few career options, so a dog walking job is a good choice to think about for any kid who enjoys dogs and wants to earn some extra cash.

A dog-loving kid or adult can learn the fundamentals of managing a business by starting a dog-walking business. So, as an adult, you can assist the kid in your life in starting a successful dog walking business with these tips.

  • Create a parental bank account for the kid so that he or she can deposit his or her earnings from the business. A parent, relative, or friend may open the account on the child’s behalf. For him or her to track income and keep track of expenses, make a budget worksheet.
  • If you want to walk more than one dog during the day or take them home with you, think about getting liability insurance. This must be emphasized because dealing with dogs as a kid increases the chance of accidents. You don’t want to deal with lawsuits for your family.
  • Make fliers and professional business cards to promote the kid’s dog walking business. Make sure the cards have appealing dog pictures and your home’s contact details. For their safety, don’t let potential clients call the kid directly on a cell phone.
  • The kid should be given a route to follow when picking up and walking the dogs. To help you and the kid become accustomed to the route, go there several times. Also, emphasize to the kid the significance of sticking carefully to that route.
  • Give the kid a cell phone or other GPS tracking device so you can watch his or her location while they visit houses and walks dogs for clients.
  • Help the kid plan out the price if a neighbor is interested in hiring him or her. Consider $5 as a starting price for the first time, and perhaps a few dollars more if the dog you’ll be walking needs more care.

Conclusion

A dog walking business can be the ideal fit if you’re the kind of person who wants to run their own business and loves dogs. Keep in mind that starting a business is not that simple. Even when everything is going well, a sudden occurrence might suddenly knock the wind out of your sails.

How to Start a Dog Walking Business FAQs

Do you need a qualification to do dog walking business?

While there are no formal requirements to work as a dog walker or pet sitter, possessing certifications in disciplines like animal first aid, animal behavior, or animal care will boost your career prospects.

Why is dog walking a good business?

It makes sense to offer dog walking services. Dog walking generates a consistent income that might enhance your pet care business’s cash flow so it’s a good business.

How many dogs are you allowed to walk?

It is advised to never walk more than four dogs at once.

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