Dog Walking Business in Your Community
If you’re great with dogs and you like getting plenty of exercise, then you already have what it takes to start a dog walking business and work from home. There may still be a few things you need to think about, however. Do you have insurance? Do you know where dogs aren’t allowed in your area? Here are a few ideas to help you launch your enterprise successfully:
Know the Legal Side of the Business
It’s highly recommended that you know the local laws and get full coverage before you start a dog walking business. It will make you look professional and trustworthy, and you’ll be able to rest at ease knowing that you have all your bases covered.
In most cities and towns you’ll be required to clean up after the dog, so make sure to carry a pooper scooper or plastic bag. Even if it isn’t legally required, this is a polite and professional thing to do. You should also always be careful to look for signs forbidding dogs or pets before entering a park, beach, or other public area.
Next, it’s extremely important to buy dog walking insurance, and in some areas it’s legally required. Good insurance will protect you from being sued if something happens to the dog or if the dog hurts another animal or person.
If your service involves walking into people’s homes while they’re away in order to get their dogs, getting bonded is highly recommended. If something gets stolen or damaged or the house burns down on a day you’ve walked inside, you can be held accountable. A pet care bond will cover losses you’re blamed for up to a fixed price. This will set a lot of owners’ minds at ease, since they’ll know that even if you couldn’t afford to pay them for the damage yourself, the bond would cover it.
Define your Dog Walking Service
How long will you walk the dogs? How far will you go? Will you only walk, or will you run or jog as well? How many dogs will you take at a time? Many clients will be willing to pay much more to have their dogs taken on five-mile jogs than they will for a twenty-minute walk, and, needless to say, you’ll be making more money faster if you’re capable of walking multiple dogs at once.
Whatever you do, though, don’t stretch the limits of your capabilities as soon as you start a dog walking business – these are other people’s dogs, after all! If running tires you out quickly and two dogs is one too many, then just walk one at a time. For the sake of your professional image, it’s much better to do an easy job well than to take on a complicated one and fail.
Your dog walking business is all set up, and now all you need are dogs to walk! Many towns and cities will have associations or webpages set up for local dog walkers and pet care services, so make sure you’re listed. You’ll also want your own webpage and business cards, of course.
This can be a competitive business, so you may need to find out what similar services in your neighborhood charge and offer a lower price at first. Once you build up a reputation you’ll be able to set a higher price.
It’s easy to start a dog walking business when you know what you’re doing. Whether you use it as a full-time job or in conjunction with other home business opportunities, you’ll be able to make good money while doing something you enjoy. If dog walking is not for you, check out these other home business opportunities.