Venturing into a dog walking business is pretty easy and straightforward; it is one of the lower-cost ways of entry into the animal industry. Most people usually begin as sole practitioners, and if you are still green, it would be a great idea to speak to someone who is already into the game.
Before you set off into your business as a dog walker, consult friends, neighbors, or other people you know that have experience in pet care.
If you are interested in getting a side hustle going in the world of dog walking, read over this article to get an idea of what will be in store for you.
Creating Your Dog Walking Business
Most people start as sole practitioners; this means you will solely be responsible for all payment of taxes and debts, and you will make your own decisions. Check with your state’s requirements as you might have to register for a business license.
There is insurance explicitly tailored to cover dog walkers and pet sitters. It protects you from potential actions if a pet causes any damage under your care. You will only part with a few hundreds of dollars, and trust me; it is worth it. If you want to consider this, look into companies such as Pet Sitter Insurance, LLC and Pet Sitters Association.
Setting Your Prices and Other Services
Most dog walkers usually work in blocks of time, such as 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or even one hour. You can decide to walk one dog or a number of them, walking from the same apartment or a residential area.
If you like, you can also consider offering other services such as obedience training, pet sitting, or even poop scooping. Ensure to check within your area to find out how much they usually charge for such services.
Get Signed Contracts
Never work for anyone without a signed contract. State the relationship between both parties and stick to them. Always be specific and strict in what is and is not included within your contract. Also, specify if the dog will be walked on its own or as a group.
You should also use the same agreement to discuss payment options, service offers, damages, cancellations, plus other health issues that may arise. Ensure your client gives you their full information and contact details before you begin working together.
Furthermore, include a veterinary release in your contract. The release should clearly state that in case of an emergency, you will seek veterinary care. It should also include which party will incur the expense.
Spread the Word
You can start simply by designing a flyer and business cards and distribute them in your neighborhood, supermarkets, veterinary clinics, pet stores, and dog groomers as well.
Have your contact information and list of services offered and stick them on people’s cars and doors. You can also advertise on Craigslist, newsletters, and church bulletins. What’s more, create a website with your personalized domain name.
Start Your Dog Walking Business
Consider having some pepper spray in case your dogs get approached by strays while walking. Also, invest in proper clothing and footwear for the right climate and season. Wearing clothes that are customized with your business logo and phone number is a great way to advertise your business.
If you want to make a lucrative business out of a side gig such as dog walking, you can do so in good time. Make sure to get advice from friends in the business, put your name out there, and make sure the boundaries are clear. Good luck with your job search!