How to Start a Dog Walking Business: A Complete Guide

How to Start a Dog Walking Business

Want to learn How to start a dog walking business successfully? Then you’re in the right spot.

If you are a lover of dogs and you are very passionate about dogs – to be precise. 

Dog walking business could be the perfect way to fill your passion and time and your wallet.

There are lots of ways to earn extra money passively these days, and if you love dogs, you’re in luck.

Just remember this; dog walking is a business, and you need to treat it like one if you want to

Succeed at it.

The following are critical steps to getting started with the dog walking business:

  1. Make a plan
  2. Know the laws
  3. Set your rates in the middle
  4. Find clients
  5. Keep tracks and records
  6. Make sure you’re ready for it
  7. Have some fun
  8. Start by dog walking your friends and neighbors dogs
  9. Know your surrounding
  10. Love and understand your canine clients
  11. Think about business insurance

dog walking business

1. Make a plan

Before kicking-off, some plans are supposed to be on the ground.

There is a saying that goes thus; when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is very true even in this business.

In providing dog walking services, there are a few things that must be put into considerations.

This will require adequate planning.

There are factors to be considered, and some of them may include;

  • Breeds of dogs to be walked
  • Leashes and collars to be bought
  • Mouthguards or protective
  • Roads to walkthrough
  • Your service cost
  • Mode and type of payment
  • Time to be spent on the business
  • How many clients will you need to meet to make it worth your while?

You need these and many other things to enable you to plan effectively.

Think it through in advance so you can respond to potential clients’ questions, and be prepared to price that service.

Other expenses may include; 

  • Water cans,
  • Bags used to pick up dog poop, and 
  • Most importantly, money for incidentals if an owner on vacation fails to leave enough food or other supplies.


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2. Check the laws

This part is essential in learning how to start a dog walking business successfully.

Know what the law (traditionally and court-wise) has to say concerning your business. – This is essential.

If you must be free from any public embarrassment, then you must be prepared to take out time to know what the law has to say concerning your business (both traditionally and court-wise).

Now, if you do not put what the law has to say about your business into consideration, you might end up becoming a victim, and that may cost you heavily.

Different laws concerning your business may apply. – This solely depends on the way you structure it.

These laws may vary from state to state and from locality to locality.

You may be able to find information online.

dog walking business

3. Set your rates in the middle

As in any business, you want to set competitive rates. Look at other dog walking service providers and see what people in your area charge. You shouldn’t be the most expensive, but if you set your price too low, people may think you are also offering a more economical quality/service.

4. Find clients

So many dog lovers and owners don’t trust their dogs to just anyone, so you must start by walking the dogs for your family, friends, or acquaintances.

Word-of-mouth is the best form of marketing a business. – So, making your first clients happy will make them talk to other dog lovers.

Social media is another source through which you can get more clients to yourself. – Post pictures and videos of you walking dogs, you can also post photos of the tools and types of equipment you use in your services.

You can also post about the advantages of working with you. – What potential clients stand to gain from working with you.

5. Keep track and records

This is a significant point in learning how to start a dog walking business successfully.

Running a successful dog walking business is just like every other business; you must keep track of every income you make. – This is essential if you must run this business for a long time.

As soon as you start getting some income, you must keep a record of it.

Use a simple system, either with software or paper, to keep track of the money you make and the expenses you incur.

dog walking business

6. Make sure you’re prepared for it

In learning how to start a dog walking business successfully, there’s going to be a lot of dogs walking.

Be very sure that you can handle the challenge attached to walking dogs. – You must keep in mind when

you decide to start a dog walking business successfully.

If you have to drive to go check up on your clients’ dog, ensure that your car is fit and reliable for that.

Also, ensure that your schedule is flexible enough to enable you to take excellent care of the dogs in your care.

If you’re boarding dogs, consider how many dogs you can accommodate or will fit in your place.

Consider how you will cope if some of the dogs in your boarding facility are not getting along with each other, do you have enough space to keep them separate?

Remember: Those Dogs in your custody are part of the family to your clients.

7. Have some fun

The good thing about walking dogs is that while it’s a business, it can also be an avenue to get fun.

8. Start by walking your friends and neighbors dogs

Enquire from your friends and neighbors if you can walk their dogs for them.

You can make some money from it.

You can also do it for free.

What matters most is the experience you get from walking these dogs.

dog walking business

9. Know your surrounding

First of all, you have to know what your city’s laws are when it comes to canines and their walkers. Some towns require dog walkers to be insured; if you’re working with an agency, hopefully, they took care of that for you.

But if you’re thinking about doing it on your own time, it’s something not to be taken lightly.

10. Love and understand Dogs

To have a successful dog walking career, you must love dogs. – It is as simple as that.

Dogs know those who love them and those who don’t like them and are not genuinely comfortable around them.

Specific considerations are to be put in place; they include:

– Do you know much about dogs?

Research and read to know more about dogs. – Experience is not enough,  

You can also speak to dog owners and your local veterinarian.

– How many dogs can you walk at a time?

Some dog-walkers can walk up to ten dogs(regardless of their breed and size) at a time.

Consider if you can do the same.

– Do you know the compatibilities of each breed of dogs?

You need to know the compatibility of different dog breeds before you team them up for a walk.

– Can you handle situations of heatstroke?

You must know what to do during events of heatstroke.

You have to know what you have to do in times of emergencies. – So, know all about the possible events that may arise during dog walks and how to handle them when they arise.

– Can you handle a dog that suddenly turns aggressive on either you or a passer-by?

– Do you know the by-laws regarding the walking of dogs in your locality?

In learning how to successfully start a dog walking business, being well-informed will impress your clients and will reassure them of your competence.

Your level of knowledge will also show that you are not amateur. – This will help your clients to feel you are going to have their dog’s best interests at heart.

11.Think about business insurance

Finally, if you want to be on a safer side, then you have to think about business insurance.

Talking of peace of mind, everyone who runs a business seeks to have peace of mind.

Dog owners will be handing over their dogs to you. – This means that should anything happen to them, you are going to be held accountable, and responsible, since they expect a level of care and reliability from you. Getting a good business insurance policy will help show your clients that you’re serious about your business.

Carrying liability insurance in case the dog hurts someone while in your care is also very essential

You can also get a dog walking insurance if possible.

I hope the above information was very helpful to you.

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If you have any questions or contributions feel free to make use of the comment section.

Dr. Jason Williams

Dr. Jason Williams has served the veterinary field for over 26 years. After graduating from the Prestigious University of California--Davis. He has practiced in both the large and small animal sectors. His experience with Animals is immeasurable. Dr. Jason has found pleasure helping pet owners find the best information they'll ever need for their pets(companion). He currently has 20 pets and is dedicated to sharing from his wealth of experience to pet owners all over the world.

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