If you’re a pet lover looking to earn some cash, a dog walker business might just be the one for you. A professional dog walker is paid to care for animals and walk other people’s dogs for an agreed period. Some walkers will take out multiple dogs together so they can play and socialise. Others prefer to do one or two at a time to make it a little more manageable for themselves. Dog walkers can spend their days in the fresh air surrounded by loving animals. Sounds like a dream, right?
The Telegraph found that dog walkers can earn up to 20% more than the average UK salary and typically charge £10 to £20 an hour. If you can find enough clients, you could have a thriving dog walking business in no time at all.
Here are a few things to consider if you want to set up a dog walking business.
What are you responsible for?
You can decide what is included in your service. Typically, a dog walker will take the dogs on designated walking routes, clean up after them, water them and bring them home. After the walk, you should make sure the dog is well fed and hydrated with healthy food. You will also need to organise appointments, take calls, fill out paperwork, configure schedules and organise your business.
What are the requirements?
A high school education and a good fitness level are all you need to be a fantastic dog walker. You should also like dogs and enjoy taking care of them – after all, they are your new colleagues.
It also helps to have a driving license to transport yourself and the dogs to different walking routes. You will need to register as a small business owner or as self-employed with HMRC. Some clients may require you to have a dog walker certificate from The International Association of Professional Dog Walkers.
What skills do you need?
It’s important to have good communication and organisational skills when running a small business. You are responsible for managing your finances and finding clients. You need to empathise with clients and gain their trust to take care of their animals. You should have some experience with dogs and how to train them. You need to know how to use animal restraints, cages and first aid treatments. If you have cared for a pet before, you will probably know most of this already.
Start a dog walking business as a side hustle, and enjoy spending time with some new furry friends!