How To Start A Dog Walking Business

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How To Start a Dog Walking Business from Home

By Tl Kleban

Most working Americans share the same problem. They are low on time and high on tasks. It’s like a never-ending cycle. We spend our days working long hours at the office, only to come home with another few hours worth of

chores that need to be done. This unfortunately shortens the amount of time we get to spend with our dogs doing fun activities like playing catch or walking.

While this may seem like a minor inconvenience for you, it’s actually unhealthy for your canine best friend. Different dogs have different daily exercise requirements; some might need a quick walk around the block and other needs a good run in the middle of the afternoon. This is where the professional dog walker becomes so important.

Hire a professional dog walker while you are at work. Many dog walkers are out there every day walking dogs or taking them on

outings while you, the owner, is working, on vacation, or unavailable for some other reason. More and more people are creating businesses that cater strictly to owners looking for

professional dog walking services. Here is how you can begin your own career as a dog walker.

  • The first thing you’re going need is customers. Ask family, neighbors, cousins, friends, co-workers and in laws to give your name out to anyone that owns a dog. Have them talk you up about how you’re great with animals and your dog loves going for walks with you, so they should have no problem that you’ve decided to take on this love of dogs as a full time career.
  • If you happen to already walk a few dogs on the side for something to do, warn their owners that you may start charging them a small amount for your services in the near future. Try to give them adequate time before you looking to collect and don’t just show up banging on their door for them to pay you. Do a search online to find out what other dog walkers are charging as the going rate. It is a good idea to keep your prices a little low in the beginning as you are trying build up a client base.
  • You’re going to need to advertise. There are plenty of sign and business card printing businesses which create either a magnetic sign for the door of your car including your name and phone number or personalized business cards that you can hand out at the local dog park in your town. You can also hand out your business cards in places, like animal hospitals and pet stores. Create and post a few flyers in the local mall, supermarket and post office to get the word out.
  • Make sure you have all the correct doggie gear you’ll need. Most dog owners let their professional dog walkers use their leashes or water bowls but it is always a good idea to have a few extras handy laying around in your car or office, just in case. A box of dog treats isn’t too bad of an idea either.
  • If you’re lucky enough to see your small business grow, you may need to hire some people to help you out. You’ll know when to bring in a co-worker if you don’t have enough time to match the amount jobs you have scheduled. Consider hiring some college or high school students as part time options to lessen some of the stress.
  • Taking a dog obedience class isn’t a bad idea. It can never hurt to know the basic dog handling skills, like dealing with dogs that bark constantly or pull on their leashes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how much your customers will appreciate it too.

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