A dog walking business can be an extremely rewarding and lucrative business to get into, especially if you love dogs. Pet sitting is a business that goes hand-in-hand with dog walking, and many dog walkers also offer pet sitting services. The dog walking industry is still a fairly new profession. According to some industry experts, only about 3 percent of all households nationally pay a dog walker to walk their dogs, but this number is steadily growing.
What this means for you is that the market is still wide open to start your own dog walking business. The outlook for dog walkers has never been better. Some estimates state that there are only around 10,000 bonded and insured dog walking businesses in operation, which isn't that many nationally. The great thing about the business is that it's very simple to set up, and it can be run completely from home.
How To Start A Dog Walking Business
The concept of a dog walking business is very simple... people hire you to walk their dogs when they don't have time, or if they aren't physically able to do it on their own. Sounds easy, right? Well, it is, but there are several important things to keep in mind.
If you don't have any experience being around dogs, then you'll need to get some. Luckily, most people have been around dogs their whole life and are comfortable with them, and if you're reading this, then you probably already have a lot of experience with dogs.
Another basic qualification is that you need to be in good enough shape to walk several miles per day. That might sound pretty easy too, but walking while controlling one or even several dogs is very different than just walking by yourself. But, you get used to it very quickly, as it's not extremely physically demanding.
The other qualification that is probably most important, is that you are a people person and that you are trustworthy. You could be the dog whisperer himself, but if you can't relate with people and communicate effectively, no one is going to hire you. The trust your clients have in you is by far your biggest business asset. If they don't completely trust you, they will quit calling you and find someone else.
Many dog owners think of their dog as their child, or at least a member of their family, so they are putting a huge amount of trust in you as their dog walker. You come over, likely when they aren't home, and you have access to their home and to their dog. The other big reason why trust is so important is that if they completely trust you, then they will definitely recommend you to their friends and family who own dogs.
There are other formalities that come with starting any business, but the main thing to keep in mind when starting a dog walking business is that you need to be good with dogs, good with people, and you need to be completely trustworthy. If your clients don't like you and completely trust you, than you won't be in business very long.