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Business Insurance

Dog walking as a profession does not come without risks and therefore you need to have insurance in place to cover you should you have any incidents occur whilst walking dogs. As a minimum you should public liabilty insurance and business insurance on your car if you are transporting dogs. If you are self employed then you might want to consider personal accident insurance. If you have somebody working for you then you will also need employers liability insurance and this is a legal requirement.

Where to Start

There is no requirement for training or qualifications to become a dog walker. Having a basic knowledge of dog behaviour is essential as is the strenght to control the largest dog you are likely to walk. You should consider gaining some experience through volunteering at a local dog kennels or rescue centre.

Writing a business plan will help you understand the market place you are entering and your immediate competitors. With this information you will be able to assess the business opportunity and set out your fees.

Here at Association of Professional Dog Walkers & Sitters™ we have an open forum where you can ask questions regarding starting out and any possible pitfalls to be wary of. Our members are very approachable and helpful.

To succeed as a dog walker, you must carefully research your market to understand which dog walking services are in demand. You can use the internet to research your competition and find out where the gaps are.

The majority of people in this electronic age search for information online when purcasing an item or service and dog walking services are no exception. This means if your dog walking business is not online in some form, you are missing out on dog walking services in your area. It’s advised that you set aside time and budget, to create a online presence that will convert visitors into clients. A presence on Facebook, twitter and Instagram can make all the difference

Dog walkers can charge around £10 and £20 an hour, depending on location and demand.

Professional dog walkers can earn from £10 per hour, up to £20 based on location and demand in your area. It is essential that you set your rates according to your area, otherwise you could loose business to your competitors. Call around other dog walking businesses to find out what their rates our.

It's also possible to combine a dog walking business with other pet businesses, such as dog sitting and domestic boarding. If you do combine a number of services, please check that you have all the relevant insurances for each type of service.