Dog Walking Business
This guide has been written to provide helpful information to people who are interested in starting their own dog walking business.
Dog walking is becoming a very popular business that many dog lovers are starting to take up. There are many good reasons for wanting to start your own dog walking busines, being a dog walker means you can work from home, choose your own hours and more importantly for some, they get to work with animals which may have been a lifelong ambition. Many people want to be their own boss and a dog walking business is an excellent opportunity for many to start their own business with a relatively low start-up cost.
With well over 8 Million dogs currently in the UK and many dog owners working longer and longer hours, dog walking is becoming very popular and now is an excellent time to start up a dog walking business of your own.
Where to Start?
If your thinking about starting your own dog walking business a good place to start is to ask any of your friends and family if they know anyone who owns dogs and would be interested in using your services. It may be wise to offer a discount on your costs at first to get people interested in your services and so you can gain some more experience.
You should also think of a good catchy name for your dog walking business and maybe hire a graphic designer to create a logo for your business. Having a good name and logo will be benefical to your business and can be used on all flyers and promotional material for your business.
Do I need Training & Qualifications?
You dont actually need any training or qualifications to become a dog walker but obviously its beneficial if you have experience of owning and walking dogs and a love for dogs in general.
There are animal care courses and qualifications which you can take at your local college which would be benficial to your business if you took and passed these courses.
Advertising my Business
Advertising your Dog Walking business is extremely important if you wish to create a successful business and it is advisable to set aside a budget for advertising each month. There are many places where you can advertise for free also. The list below are some of the more important places to advertise.
1) Create your own dog walking website with the details of your business including the services your provide, the areas you cover, your costs and your contact information. You can either create your own website or get a respectable website design company to create one for you. Creating your own would save you a lot of money as a website can cost several hundreds of pounds to create.
2) Promote your business online by adding your business details to as many dog services websites as possible. One example of a popular pet website where you can advertise your dog walking services for free is PetsLocally (Click here to view the PetsLocally website
). There are also many others which are free and some which charge a fee.
3) Create flyers advertising your business and deliver them to all the house in your local area where you would be prepared to travel too. This is an excellent and cheap way to advertise. You can create your flyers yourself and print them out on your home computer, or if you wish to give your business a more professional touch, you could get them designed and printed professionally. You can also ask your local pet shops, groomers etc to display your flyers in their shops. You could even ask them to mention your business to their customers if you offer the same in return.
4) Advertise in your local newspaper. This is probably more expensive than the other methods, but you could try it out for a week or 2 and measure the response to see if it is worth the cost.
5) Word of Mouth is a very important and free way to advertise. If you provide an excellent service to your clients, you could ask the to mention you to their friends who also have dogs.
How many dogs can I walk at one time?
It is recommended that no more than 4 dogs are walked at one time by any single person. Any more than this and it can be very difficult to control them. If you where to walk 5 or more dogs at one time, it is possible that you will create a "Pack Mentality" with the dogs, where the dogs are more likely to disregard the walkers commands.
Many councils have rules on how many dogs can be walked at any one time and is is usally a maximum of 4 dogs.
How much can I charge?
The average dog walker charges around £10 an hour for walking one dog. The more dogs you walk at any one time you can slightly less per dog. Its also a good idea to offer shorter walks, a half hour walk for example for £5.
Do I need Insurance?
It is not necessary but it is recommended that you do take out at least Public Liability insurance to protect yourself incase one of the dogs damages anyones property or attacks another dog or person. You can read more information about Dog Walking insurance by Clicking here