When starting a dog walking business your job duty will be to walk dogs in packs or individually. Dogs often need to be taken for walks to exercise and for potty breaks. You must be able to get along with dogs. If you are walking big dogs you should be strong enough to handle them. Many states require you to pick up after dogs when it takes a potty break.
Where will you work?
When starting a dog walking business you will be primarily working outside. You will be walking your client’s dogs around the neighborhood and in local parks. You do not have to walk far from your client’s house.
When starting a dog walking business, costs will be very low. You can set up an office at home if you wish but it is not necessary. You can decide to purchase a pooper scooper or use plastic bags for when the dogs go on their potty breaks. Dog owners will usually supply their own leash. It is a good idea to have a schedule book or calendar to keep track of all your dog walking appointments. You can also decide to purchase a dog water bottle which can be found in pet supply stores.
Tips for Starting a Dog Walking Business
- Walk in Packs– When starting a dog walking business it will be more productive to walk dogs in packs since you will be making more money in a less amount of time; however before walking dogs in packs set some strict guidelines for yourself.
- Figure out how many dogs are too many.– Your town may have a limit on how many dogs can be walked together. Also figure out how many dogs are too many for you to watch over at once. For example if you have to use the pooper scooper will you still be able to handle the other dogs at the same time?
- Determine which dogs will be able to walk in packs.– Keep in mind there are some dogs that just don’t get along with other dogs or are scared of other dogs. You may have to walk these dogs individually. The dog’s owner may request that the dog be walked individually. Your dog walking business can decide to charge extra for these kind of dogs.
- Find out if dog walking is in demand in your area.– Do you know many people in your area that are in need of a dog walker but can’t find one? Is there a lot of competition in your area already offering dog walking services? In order to have a successful dog walking business your service must be in demand or your service must offer something the competition does not such as lower prices or a more flexible schedule to accommodate clients.
- Be prepared in an Emergency– When starting a dog walking business you need to ensure that you have a plan of action should a medical emergency arise. Make sure to obtain written permission from pet owners to obtain medical service in the case of an emergency. Make sure you consult with pet owners on what actions to take in the case of a medical emergency.
- Pet Sitting– When starting a dog walking business you can decide to offer pet sitting services as well. When starting a pet sitting business you will be responsible for watching over dogs and pets while their owners are away.
Advertising a Dog Walking Business
- Word-of-Mouth– Word of mouth is a very effective way of advertising a dog walking business. Get recommendations from friends and family. Let everyone know you are offering dog walking services.
- Flyers– Determine if you can put up flyers in local grocery stores, pet stores, pet supply stores, dog grooming centers, veterinarian offices, animal shelters, parks and community centers. It is best to ask the owner of these businesses for permission first. You can conduct a search on a search engine to locate these businesses in your zip code or local area. Also hand out flyers to passer byers on the street.
- Dog Walking Business Cards– Create business cards and hand them whenever an opportunity appears.
- Local.com Having a listing at Local.com can help people that are searching for your service or product locally find you.
- Yahoo Local Searches– If you include your business in the Yahoo Local Searches, when people search for your service your business will appear in the list. To add your business to Yahoo local search, enter the term “add business to yahoo local search” in Yahoo.com and click on the first link.
- Google Local Searches– Google has a local search as well. To add your business to Google local search, enter the term “add business to google search” in Google.com and click on the first link.
- Website– You can decide to develop a website to provide clients with access to general information about your dog walking business.
- Newspaper classified ads– You can advertise your dog walking business in newspaper ads in your local newspaper.