How To Start A Dog Walking
Start A Dog Walking Business
Our step-by-step guide on how to start a dog walking business. From choosing your name to pricing, marketing and much more.
Why Start A Dog Walking Business
If you enjoy working with animals and being outdoors than starting a dog walking business can be a very flexible and profitable way to work. The UK public loves their pooches and pet care is a high priority for most owners so your new dog walking business could provide dogs with the care and attention required when their owners aren't around.
Although you do not require formal qualifications to start a dog walking business it is advisable to have experience of dog walking and dog behaviour.
How To Become A Dog Walker
To start your own dog walking business you will need a small amount of capital to cover dog walking business start-up costs, ideally transport to get to and from dog walking jobs, leads, collars and other equipment, dog walking business insurance and a positive attitude.
Research Your Local Market & Other Dog Walkers
In most areas, there will already be other dog walking businesses that have already started so now is the time for you to carry out your research on the other local dog walking companies. Make a note of how much they charge per walk, what areas they cover, what their branding and marketing is like and what kind of reviews they have.
Your aim when starting your dog walking business is to establish yourself as quickly as possible as one of the leading dog walking companies in your local area.
Start-Up Costs For Starting A Dog Walking Business
Start-up costs for starting a dog walking business can usually be kept to a minimum although there are some essential costs that you will need to factor in. Insurance for a dog walking business is important as is a website and a social media presence. Transport costs when starting your dog walking business will also need to be factored in whether they are vehicle running cost or fares on public transport.
Dog Walking Skills, Training, Experience & Qualifications
Although formal training and qualifications are not essential when starting a dog walking business, it is advisable that you have an understanding of dog behaviour.
Register Your Dog Walking Business
You can register your new dog walking business either as a sole trader, company, or partnership.
Register Your Dog Walking Business Domain Name
Having a great domain name for your dog walking business is pretty important as your website can be used to cheaply advertise your dog walking business to new customers in your local area.
Understand The Rules & Regulations Required When Starting A Dog Walking Business
There are certain rules that need to be followed when starting your dog walking business. Some of these rules include:
Always meeting owners and dogs prior to the first booking
Restricting the number of dogs walked to no more than four at a time although two is preferable
Keeping records of all walks and work undertaken
Protecting your clients’ personal information
Making sure that all dogs out in public are wearing a collar with the owner's name and address on it
cleaning up doggy doo (if you don’t do this, you could be fined up to £1,000
Promoting Your New Dog Walking Business
Website SEO is one of the cheapest ways of promoting your new dog walking business on a budget by ensuring that your website shows in local search results when people search on Google. Wix.com allows you to build your own website for a small fee and helps with SEO for your new dog walking business.
Facebook is a great way to promote your new dog walking business by setting up a company page and posting in local community groups.
Leafleting might seem a little old fashioned but it can be an effective way to reach the local dog owners. You can get leaflets printed cheaply and then put them up in local shops, pet shops, and vets surgeries.