Pet Business Central:

How to Choose, Start, Market & Grow a Business in the Booming Pet Industry - FAST!

pet health business photo 1 health pets business photo 2
Home •  Free Newsletter: BONUSES! •  Pet Business Cards
Send for FREE Newsletter!
 
About the Pet Business Industry
Why A Pet-Related Business?
Which One is Right for YOU?
List of Pet Business Ideas
Specific Pet Business Ideas
Pet Direct Sales ("Party Plan") Businesses
Services to Current Pet Owners
Services to Prospective Pet Owners
Selling Pet Products/Supplies
Health-Related Pet Services
Miscellaneous Pet Businesses
Creative - No Contact w/Pets
Creative - Direct Contact w/Pets
Pet-Related Employment
Pet Franchises
Marketing Your Pet Business
Marketing Overview
Offline Marketing
Online Marketing
Helpful Pet Resources
Pet Resources
Helpful Pet Products
Pet Nutrition
Pet Health
Been There, Done That
Dog Training Books
About Us
Pet Website Design NEW!
More Info
Promote Your Business
Newsletter
Contact

Dog Walking:
These Pets Are Made for Walkin'...

Let’s face it, Fido doesn’t need to be sitting on his butt all day (or licking it, which is more common with MY dog) – and a daily walk might be good for you, too. Why not combine the two? You both get exercise and YOU make money!

What a Dog Walker Business Involves:
The name says it all – you give Rover his daily walk(s). You can do this as part of another service, like pet sitting, or do this as a stand-alone business. Since most dog owners are usually home in the evening, you’re most likely to be busy in the early morning or mid-day. Typically, you’ll offer walks of no more than half an hour (at least, for your base price) and limit yourself to a certain geographic area.

Knowledge or Skills Required:
None, really; good rapport with animals and the physical stamina to walk with them (or have them walk YOU) are the basics.

You’ll need a couple of good quality leashes and some pooper-scooper baggies. It’s also a good idea to carry something like pepper spray or vinegar in case a stray dog attacks – a small first aid kit comes in handy, too. A backpack or large fanny pack should hold your supplies.

Advantages:

  • Minimal start-up costs. Mostly you'll need business cards and/or flyers to announce your business to vets, obedience schools, groomers, pet shops, etc. Just limit yourself, geographically. If there’s an upscale condominium or retirement community nearby, that might also be a good source of clients.
     

  • Good exercise for you!
     
  • Growing demand since many adults are away from home most of the day; competition varies

Disadvantages:

  • You don’t get to take the day off if the weather’s bad
     
  • You're not likely to get rich doing this
     
  • You need to be focused about where you walk and how much time you spend
     

  • There’s a danger in dealing with aggressive dogs. Before accepting a client, meet the dog ahead of time, see if he/she responds to commands and seems well-socialized. However, you may also run into stray dogs who are aggressive, too, while you’re out walking. You need to be prepared to deal with that situation.

Resources for More Information on Starting a Dog Walking Business:
Pet sitting associations may have information, since dog walking is often combined with pet sitting. They’re also a good source for liability insurance – you never know when the dog you’re walking will accidentally knock down a child who winds up chipping her tooth.

Pet Sitters International
http://www.petsit.com

Professional Dog Walkers Assn
http://www.prodogwalker.com

Comments/Ideas:
Make sure clients (the human ones) sign an agreement authorizing you to walk their dog. The pet sitting organization may have sample forms for this. You can also get dog walking signed service agreement forms at BusinessFormsStore.com.

Offer doggie raincoats or sweaters for additional income.