Summary A personal and detailed account of what a dog walker’s life is actually like, including the mistakes I made and tips to make your own business successful.

TYPICAL QUESTIONS I ALWAYS GET ASKED

HOW DO I BECOME A DOG WALKER?

HOW DO I PAY MY BILLS WHILE I GET STARTED?

DO I NEED ANY TRAINING TO BECOME A DOG WALKER?

My name is Jamie Shanks and I’ve been a pro dog walker since May 2010.  When I started they were no articles online telling you how to start a dog walking business and I didn’t know anyone willing to help.  So I had to learn it for myself and in my time as a dog walker I’ve probably helped several hundred dog walkers in the UK start their own business – not bragging though – just saying, I’ve learned enough to know what it’s all about.  I often get emails from people either asking for a job or for information so they can start their own dog walking business.  If you’re thinking about becoming a dog walker then I hope this article can help you become one of the successful ones because sadly I’ve seen many try but fail, but at least you have this article to give you some insight before you start.  If you’ve definitely decided you want to walk dogs for a living then it might make more sense to start your own business rather than work for another dog walker as you will have the unlimited potential that being a business owner provides rather than being trapped working for minimum wage, part time hours, without any future prospects and making some other sucker rich!

Starting any small business is hard especially when living with such a fragile economy as we do now, dog walking especially so as it appeals to so many people, because a) the start up costs are low, b) requires little knowledge and training and c) enables people to be their own boss and say goodbye to all those bosses that they’ve worked under before and get out of that job they hate!  More and more dog walkers are popping everywhere and all share the dream of finally earning a fair and honest wage while doing something they love.  Since the recession more and more people have turned to dog walking but the work is still there for you as the general public is becoming more aware that hiring a dog walker is an option should they consider getting a dog.  So you can get work and be successful even with little resources but you must be 100% committed and determined to make your new business work!

If you start and especially if you are short on cash then you then you can still succeed but you’re gonna just have to be a little more patient and optimistic cause you may have some tough times ahead!  You’ll be broke and times (many times) feel that you made the wrong choice, especially when you are at home all day earning nothing or spending the day walking a handful of dogs and coming home with just a few pound notes or because your first dog is a nightmare both off and on lead!   I looked at the first couple of years as if I was back at college or uni.  I put up with being broke-ass-broke because I knew it wouldn’t last and I would come out of it educated and experienced and knowing eventually I could make a decent if not very nice living out of it in the long term!

Preparation

Before you begin you need to research everything you can about dog walking and especially the dog walking in your area, the local dog walkers, the services they offer and the dog walking rates they charge etc.  I offer dog walking, dog boarding, pet sitting and puppy care services, but the money is in group dog walking.  You can leave comments at the bottom of this page if you want to ask me anything, find out how I started and read my blog to see for yourself what dog walking is actually like!  Make sure you read the hundreds of comments after this post as they are as valuable as the post itself.  A good way to find out where dog walkers are is to locate them using Google maps, many will have websites detailing their services, prices and general info – this is all useful stuff.  Find the going rate and stick to around that mark cause it’s awkward having to tell clients your putting up your prices nor do you want to be cutting yourself short by undercharging.

dogs being walked at beach

Deciding your prices

The prices of dog walking can range between £5-£12+ but generally it’s about £8-£10 per hour walked with discounts offered for secondary dogs in the home.  There are two types of dog walking, group and solo.  Solo walks tend to cost more and demand for it is less compared to group walking which is ideally what you want to do cause that’s where the money is.  I remember when I first started (I had no car just a bike) the plan was to do solo walks throughout the day, one after the other from 9am-5pm.  I assumed people would prefer their dogs being given a solo walk over a group walk and not have their dog put into a vehicle with other dogs and with that reasoning I thought I could charge £10 per walk (in an area and at the time where other’s were charging around £8) with needing just 5 dogs a day to make a living.  It didn’t work out!  So I reduced my prices to £8 and focused on group walks.

Most people want their dogs walked at lunchtime while they’re at work and many owners of socialised dogs would prefer their dogs to be out with other dogs especially if those dogs are young and enjoy socialising.  Sure, they’re dogs out there that can only be walked on their own but most can be walked in groups.  Also I found out people didn’t want their dogs walked at 9am when they’ve only just left for work an hour before and neither 5pm when they are on there way home and can walk their dog themselves, so the lunchtime walk will be your peak working hours and you may only get two walks in that time (early lunch walk and a late lunch walk) and in that time you will earn most of your money for that day, so you cant dog solo walks or anything else through the lunchtime period, that time is for group walks only.  I’m not saying solo walks aren’t important and that you wont do them.  You may get asked to do solo walks from people like the elderly and disabled folk who don’t mind what time their dogs get walked during the day as long as they do get walked and as long as you can walk dogs like that outside of peak hours, then that’s fine!

You’d be surprised how much time is spent travelling, picking up and dropping off dogs, even in a small area.  I remember when I started I took on the dogs of another dog walker while they went on holiday as well as my own dogs, so at lunchtime I had two group walks to do,  I picked up my first lot about 11am took them to park for 1 hours play and then left.  By the time I dropped them home, picked up another four dogs and arrived back at the park it was exactly one hour later and none of the dogs I walked that day lived more than 2 miles away!  You don’t get paid for travelling so keep you area of work as small as you possibly can.  Petrol costs cost me about £10 a day so you don’t want a car that’s not economical.  I’m serious, when I got my first car I had 3 dogs all within 6 miles of me, just picking them up and taking them to the park and back home racked up well over 100 miles a week and I was driving around in a v6 Volvo estate – goodbye earnings!

I’m allowed to walk 6 dogs at a time by my insurance.  I know there are people out there who walk 10 dogs at a time but I wouldn’t recommend it, they are not insured when they do that.  Off-lead very few dogs are trained and while some will come when called some of the time, you are responsible for their well being.  I guess it all depends on what kind of dogs you’re walking, whether they will be walked on-lead or off-lead and how many you feel comfortable with.  Every dog walker will have a different opinion on this subject and you will have to find out for yourself what you can manage and that will depend on what dogs you are walking at the time.  It only takes one dog to turn it into a nightmare.

Regarding the dogs the most important thing is that they are friendly!  Most dog owners will tell you their dog is friendly, whether they are or not is another matter.  If their dog doesn’t want anything to do with other dogs and refrains from ripping them to bits then you’ll be told it’s friendly!  Dog walking can be quite funny that way cause unless it’s a puppy then you will have to find out for yourself what the dog is like.  You could have a great wee team filled with lovely sociable dogs all having a great time together then bring in a new dog that ruins the whole walk for everyone.  For me, dogs that cause problems in the pack is the worst part of dog walking and if I come across a dog that doesn’t fit in enough, cause it’s not good enough off lead, isn’t socialised enough or shows some form of aggression eg, defence aggression regarding toys and other resources then I will let owner know that its’ not working and end that dog’s time with us.

dogs running

Deciding what services to offer

Decide what services you are going to offer and your dog walking rates before you start, you don’t want leaflets here and there displaying different prices and services because you’ve learned that your prices were too high to begin with or the services you offered were unrealistic.  Services dog walkers/pet sitters offer can include, daycare, pet sitting in the owner’s home (including cat’s and other animals), dog boarding, puppy visits, pet visits (including cat’s and other animals) and pet taxi.  Some are even groomers.  A license may be required to dog board so contact your local council or visit their website for more info!

Outside dog walking, daycare, dog boarding and cat pet visits will be the most popular services, especially in the summer.  Doggy daycare is really taking off nowadays where dogs come to stay with you for the day while their owners are at work, I don’t offer this but it’s a major rival/addition to dog walking.  You can charge around £15 a day for dogs to stay but best to have someone at home to look after them. Some dog walkers offer this service, some folks just offer daycare and nothing else.  When looking for a dog walker, often clients will look for those that can board their dogs too.  Many like to go on holidays so having a a dog walker that can look after their dog is a big bonus, plus boarding pays well (£15-£25 per night) and in the summer months, a dog walkers wage can almost double with the addition of the boarders but it’s hard work.  Apart from group dog walking, dog boarding and daycare all other services are pocket money and if you don’t fancy them you can let them go.

dogs on hill

Common mistakes

I’ve seen on a website someone just starting their dog walking business and advertising pet sitting at £50 a day, which is madness!  Think about it, it would cost someone £350 on pet care a week plus the cost of their holiday if they were going away.  That pet service failed to put themselves in the owners position but I understand their thinking.  They were thinking “Hey, £50 is reasonable!  After all, it’s only around £2 per hour for 24 hours worth of care!  We’ll be living the dream in no time!”  But of course they weren’t living the dream but in a dream and soon their business disappeared never to be seen again!  A kennel will board a dog for about £8+ a day!  I offer dog boarding but only for my dog walking clients, I only charge £10 per night which is low for my area.  I also will stay at a clients home to look after their dog on occasion.   I charge £10 per night for that service too.

Not long ago I met up a guy who wanted to walk with me because he wanted to learn how to be a dog walker and was ready to start!  He was talking about how the people are very well off in the area that he lives in and he could take their dog on a 3-4 hour walk and charge £30-£40 a time!  I could see the pound signs appearing in his eyes and tried to let him know it doesn’t work like that.  £30 for a dog walk!  Think about it!  Even if that was just once a week for a month then you are asking someone to pay you £120 to take their dog out four times.  Just remember what your clients are going to have to keep aside from their monthly pay checks to pay just you and that hopefully will keep you grounded and from making expensive mistakes.  Like I said earlier, in 2010 I wanted to charge £10 for solo walks and ended up reducing my prices to £8.  Sadly I had delivered leaflets to half the village with the old price and the other half with the new price.

The responsibility

Being a professional dog walker is huge responsibility!  I often get told I’ve got a dream job and that it’s easy and at times it can be, but I’m responsible for the life and safety of another persons pet and I’m always aware of that! When walking one dog on a lead then it’s a care free walk but when I’m walking six dogs off lead then I am 100% focused and alert and on the lookout for problems and potential problems at all times – my brain is on overdrive, because just one lapse in concentration and I’m left having to explain to owner why their dog is hurt…or worse!

I’ve been dog walking for several years and know a lot of dog owners.  I hear about dogs being attacked or injuring themselves regularly.  I’m a dog walker who works at Erskine beach mainly and I see broken glass or planks of wood with nails sticking out of them alongside other potential dangers and they keep me focused and alert.

I’ve been lucky that no dog I walk has suffered serious injury – apart from a cut pad that didn’t bleed and a broken toenail I haven’t had to deal with an injured pet under my care!  But I’m aware that it will happen eventually no matter how vigilant and careful I am!  The dogs I walk tend to be young and very energetic, occasionally getting knocks and limps but then walking them off.  But what would I do if a dog I was caring for injured itself?

Walking lurchers and other fast dogs I’ve seen how fast they run and have worried about them breaking a leg.  I’ve always thought that I’d try or at least want to try to splint their leg and assumed this would be the right thing to do but after the excellent canine first aid course I recently attended I learnt that if a dog can walk on three legs then there’s no need for a splint.  In fact a splint can add extra weight onto their broken leg and you can end up hurting them further. I bought this pet first aid kit.

On my first day back dog walking after doing a first aid course I felt more in control and relaxed than I have ever done and it’s because I know now that if a dog needs CPR, the Heimlich manoeuvre, treatment of a cut or wound or collapses with a seizure I can deal with it and help with the situation until we get that animal to a vet.

If you want to be a dog walker or pet care service or even if you own a pet then I highly recommend doing a first aid course.  Dog walking isn’t all the ‘Sunshine and rainbows’ that some think it is and at times can be quite stressful but learning the skills you need so you can deal with the situations you may encounter will make your life a lot easier as well as taking a lot of the anxiety away and could potentially be the difference of life and death for the pet you are caring for!!

Get to know a dog behaviourist!  They can be quite easy to find on doggy forums or in your local area but learning and understanding dog behaviour is essential for a dog walker.  If a dog is doing something wrong then it is easy to reinforce that behaviour and make it worse!  Even just understanding why a dog is doing what it does can be important and help you learn about the dog you are walking.  How would you deal with it if a new dog joined the group but one of the other dogs didn’t like it or there were pack issues?  The dog behaviourist I work with also writes for my website and she has given me an insight into dog behaviour that I just could of never of found out on my own.  Essential if you are walking dogs in groups!

close up of dogs face

Being in control

This is what dog walking is all about and the most important thing.  Being in control is the number one rule, nothing is more important.  Nothing!  It’s more important than giving the dogs a good run and play, more important then letting them pee and poo. If you are in control, dogs are safe, if you’re not then the dogs are at risk and therefore so too is your business.  If a dog died would your business die as well?  You have to be able to control the dogs you walk and what that means is being centre of attention for them, so that might mean using a ball to keep the attention for some, having doggy pack-mates for others to play with but however you do it, the dog has to know being with you is way better than being away from you – and this is a mega secret of being a good dog walker.  Not many dog walkers understand this, but I’ll say it again, you are the centre of attention, it’s more fun for dogs to be with you than away from you – remember that and you will be in control!  If all else fails then they go on the lead or you pass them on to another dog walker.

Starting

You should really get dog walking insurance, they’re a few dedicated pet insurance businesses around.  Pet Businesses Insurance is one, Cliverton is another.  It should cost about £15-£20 a month.  Pet insurance covers things like liability, should the animal your walking cause an accident for example then you are liable and can be sued.  Cover also includes keys and locks of owners homes in case you lose their keys or they are stolen and also cover vet costs should the animal you are looking after be harmed through your own negligence.

Since generally you are going to be given a key to the owners home while they’re away, it’s best to have a certificate showing you have been police checked.  Letting strangers into their home alone is a big deal for most people and why dog walkers rely so heavily on recommendations, because if their friend or someone they know trusts you then they are far, far more likely to choose you than someone they know nothing about.

Getting known is the hardest thing.  Get nice business cards made and if you want get nice leaflets too.  While waiting for work you can distribute your leaflets in the area you want to work in, try and make them stand out and not just black text on white paper and keep the information brief and straight to the point.  But just know that leaflets are the equivalent of spam email and most will be binned without ever being looked at.  If you are really determined and have the nerve to make a real impact then get a outdoor banner made and place it somewhere like a busy junction in your town letting everyone know about your brand new business.  Banners can be made for less than £100 and after a few weeks you can change their location – so good value for money!

Don’t expect to get flooded with phone calls that night, but don’t be disheartened either as many will hold on to the leaflets and keep you in mind if they need a dog walker/pet sitter in the future.  Such people are those waiting to get a puppy, or those who know their circumstances may change or those planning a holiday etc.  Always keep business cards on you wherever you are, a conversion with a stranger while out walking a dog can lead to a potential new customer.  Pet shops, groomers, newsagents are ideal places to display leaflets and business cards, post offices, other small business premises should all be looked into.  These methods help but leaflets through the letterbox and in shops can also be easily ignored.

Regarding advertising  friends and family are great assets.  Get them to spread the word, they can be invaluable as they can give a personal testimonial for you.  A good website can also be helpful as those who don’t know of a dog walker will generally search for one online.  People most likely to search online for dog walkers are those that have just moved to the area, the younger generation and new puppy owners.  On your website make sure you tell potential customers a bit about yourself and what services you offer, also make sure you are listed on Google places and Google + business page as they help you rank better for local searches!  But just remember it’s not about being no.1 on Google it’s about building an effective website that turns visitors into clients.  I bought my web doman (bdws.co.uk) and web space from One.com as they are the cheapest, easiest and they have live online support and free website builders and one-click Wordpress installations.

For a free 10 point assessment of your website click here.  Graham helped me loads with my website! (Please note, if you are using WIX, Weebly, Vistaprint, GoDaddy, 1and1 and other poor online site builders then Graham can’t help.  One.com is the best imo.

Graham says:

“Nearly every dog walker site looks crap because they used a rubbish site builder and didn’t do any planning. The end result is a what’s commonly called ‘a complete dogs dinner’.  How to build a website should begin with the question: Why do you want a website?  Followed by: What do you want the website to do?  Then: Who are you targeting?  And: How are you going to market the website? If the answer to this last question is: using Facebook and Twitter you probably don’t even need a website, all you need is a Facebook business page.  If they get through the above question they then need to sit down and write their content and select their images. Then organise the site structure.  After all this is done they can start the actual online bit. “

There are loads of dog walking websites that rank high in local searches but their websites are hopeless and will never convert visitors to clients so make sure that if you have a website then you give the visitor what they want straight away.  Too many websites focus on themselves and not the clients, paragraph after paragraph of why they are so good, remember people don’t read they scan!  That means on the homepage you list what services you offer, how much they cost and how to get in contact with you.  Testimonials help greatly as well as pics of happy pets!  Don’t forget to add a ‘Call to action’ on every page.  Something like, “If you’d like to arrange a dog walking service then please call ***********”.

Once you’re website is built and you have your Google place and Google+ business page setup then it will be time to start making efforts to making sure you website ranks on local search results.  When people search online they tend to use phrases so it can be handy to have those phrases on your website.  If you live in London and want a dog walker you may  Google “London dog walkers”, so having that phrase in your homepage, homepage title and description is going to make sense.  Next you’re going to need links from other websites pointing to your website.  There are many factors in ranking on Google but it’s a bit like a popularity contest so the more links you get the higher you will list.  Generally the easier the link is to get the less it is worth and one great link from a powerful website can be worth hundreds of links from poor websites.

In my opinion stay away from clip-art and the high quality dog pictures taken from the net to make your website, many dog walkers do this and it looks naff, too generic, impersonal and gives potential customers very little information about YOU!  Once your businesses begins to take off you can then add a gallery,video and even a blog.

An excellent method of advertising is to get stickers put on your vehicle if you have one, that way hundreds of people see you every day and it doesn’t cost much.  I remember when I got stickers for my estate.  I was driving along and was slowing down to make a turn and someone was looking at my car and I’m thinking “why you staring at my car?” and then I realized it’s because I’ve got brand new stickers on it.  Now when people look at the logos on my car I’m used to it, but I always get a wee thrill from being noticed!  I also have hoodies and t-shirts that have my embroidered logo on them.  I remember taking a puppy to puppy class while their owners were at work and there was this training exercise going on.  We were all lined up and I noticed this woman staring from the corner of her eye at the logo on my hoodie.  I pretended I couldn’t see her looking, but I knew she was and she therefore was aware of my business without me saying a word!!!   Now talking about a logo, you’ll probably need one.  You could spend hundreds getting one made but save some cash and go on Fiverr.com and get one made for just $5.

While walking dogs you will tend to go to dog friendly areas where other people walking their dogs will be – all potential customers, so don’t be shy to say ‘Hi’ and start making as many dog owning friends as you can.

dog walking van

Getting your first job

When you get that first phone call or email find out what services they are after, what area they live in.  If you can give them the service they want and they live in your area that you’re prepared to go to and they are happy with the price then you can arrange to meet them and get to know their pet before you start working for them.  Personally I wouldn’t like to enter into someone’s home without meeting their dog beforehand.  Also understand that most dog owners are very forgiving of their pets sins, so even if their dog is unfriendly with other dogs many will tell you that their dog is fine.  Take caution especially if you are doing group walks that this new dog is going to be ok.  Also while you are meeting the new dog you can get to know each other, answer any queries they have and show them any documents you want to.  Some dog walkers have ‘Welcome packs’ that they give to new owners.  Make sure you take down their phone numbers including work, find out if there pet is insured and to what veterinary clinic they are with in case of emergency.

Do exactly as owner requires – no more & no less – do not improvise unless necessary.

Things you’ll need

You’ll need a few things when out dog walking.  Always carry a spare lead, I’ve had a new lead snap on me with a dog that was to be walked on-lead only and I got one hell of a fright, thankfully I got the dog back without any problems and put it on another lead.  Now I just use rope leads as they dont rust or get jammed with sand and are very quick to put on a dog. I’d never use a clip lead now. The leads I use are these ones. You are responsible only for the dogs you walk but sadly you will confront dogs that are not friendly and owners lacking in response, so a slip lead means you can whip it over anyone else’s dogs that may be troublesome and be in control of that dog before anything bad happens.  Poo bags are essential but instead of buying them buy baby nappy(diaper) bags as they cost a fraction of the price.

On hot days you might need to take water with you.  And let’s not forget how important treats are.  To begin with you wont have the same authority over the dog the owner has and it may take one day, several days or even weeks for the dog to bond with you and recognise you as a pack manager, treats make things a lot easier and I can’t think of a better treat than dried liver, every dog I’ve ever walked would walk on hot coals for a liver tit-bit, forget buying treats they are expensive and wont have the same appeal.

Most dogs can be let off lead so you might want to take a tennis ball and a ball launcher but don’t waste your money on the cheap launchers – they suck, pro dog walkers use Chuckit launchers which are tough and you can throw the ball much, much farther.  Now that I walk dogs in groups I find that some dogs like to play with other dogs but there will always be some that want to just play ball.

Dogs love rolling in poo and getting dirty but you can’t take them home like that, so if you are walking at places where there is no water (like a river or lake) to clean them in then you may want to buy a porta shower. That way you can clean them up and then dry them once they are home. And if you want to save yourself a lot of time then a doggy bathrobe is very handy, just wrap it over a wet dog and it will dry them while you are driving them home.  I bought some for clients, have many myself.  Where I live some dog walkers cut their walks from 1hr to just 45 minutes in winter to account for drying them off so it’s something to think about.

Another important thing you will need is a decent camera. Mobile phones make dogs look tiny so look for a camera that has a zoom lens.  Do you like the photo’s on my website?  My clients do and it has got me a lot of work.  I was taught by my uncle and know a little about cameras.  Nice pics on Facebook and your website get you a lot of work as clients love it and love seeing their dog having fun and you will notice your business take off especially on Facebook as people like and share the posts with their friends who could be potential new clients so don’t skip on how important photos are.  Photos are an essential part of your marketing so don’t be afraid to buy the best camera you can get as it’s an investment that will make you money.

If you have a van, then to keep the dogs safe and under control you will need to fit it with cages.  I use two large 42 inch cages in my van (other dog walkers may have more) but when I used a car I shared the dogs between the back seat and the boot.  To keep the dogs safe in the back seat and from getting to the front I bought and recommend a front seat dog guard.   And while dealing with the vehicle you do need good car seat covers as dogs ruin cars whether they are on the seats or not. Lots of moisture and dirt, day after day gets everywhere so get some decent seat covers for the front and a hammock to stop the back seats getting soaking wet, dirty and shredded from the dogs claws.

For yourself you’ll need the right clothes, waterproofs, woolly hats, gloves and a jackets with lots of pockets. You’ll need a good bag with differant departments so you can keep dirty, wet tennis balls in one area, the dog leads in another, a drink, poo bags etc and for me the best and most suitable bag for dog walkers are game/hunting bags – this is the bag I use and I keep dirty tennis balls in the mesh front where sand and dirt can fall out and stop the bag from getting dirty and wet inside. Last but not least is the dog walker’s best friend: a good pair of wellies.  I always wear wellies, have worn dozens of different brands.  Wellies are a big deal to dog walkers and many and go through many pairs trying to find a pair that last. Poorly made wellies will only last a couple of weeks, good ones can last a year or longer.  The best I have found by far are Dunlop’s Purofort wellies, as they are affordable, light and very durable.  When it’s dryer/warmer weather I always wear my Crocs All Cast Waterproof Duck boots because they are the lightest, comfiest footwear you can get for dog walking.

how to start a dog walking business

Be Patient!

It will take time for your businesses to pick up, but it will.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once you chuck out a few leaflets or posted your business on your local Facebook community page that in a week you’ll be inundated with dog walking jobs.  Everyone who needs a dog walker already has one that they trust and they ain’t going to chuck ’em cause some Joe claims that they’ll do it a £1 less!  It’s the people that will need a dog walker in the future because their circumstances change or because they are getting a puppy or because they have just moved into the area – they will be your potential customers so focus on them, but just remember you are fighting alongside the other more established dog walkers in your area to get those clients!  And on that note why not offer puppy services such as puppy visits, a service to take puppies to puppy classes (or even host puppy classes yourself ) and socialisation walks?  And why not offer to take the puppy on your group walks to get them socialised?  That’s what I did and partly cause I didn’t have the time to give puppy visits.  But I know what you’re thinking.  Pups are too young for group walks, you say! Bones are not formed properly!  Then get one of these and carry the puppy on the walk, they will become socialised and learn at their young age even when carried, I was taught this trick by my behaviourist and it works great for letting them see the world and other dogs from a safe place.  I did this with my own pup and the pups of clients and it works great.

Once you are established

Dog walking is where most of your income will come from (even though cat visits will bring in some nice pocket money).  Your most valuable dogs are going to be the dogs you walk Monday – Friday, with shift dogs making up the rest of your dog walking clients.  Shift dogs are the dogs you only get a few times a week depending on the work shift patterns of client.  The days you will be needed will be either the same days week in, week out or different days each week.  The problem with those dogs is that on some days you will get close to being fully booked because on those days you have many shift dogs all needing walked alongside your Monday-Friday dogs and other days you will only have your Monday – Friday dogs leaving you half empty!  The problem with shift dogs is that you’re limited to the possibility of being full rather than actually being full.  When you reach this point you will have to make a choice if you want to go forward in your career.  You can either employ someone to help walk the dogs or you can start to let shift dogs go when a new Monday – Friday dog comes along.

Good luck and please remember I am here to help!  Any questions, unsure about anything?  Ask me on the comment form below.  Dog walking contracts directly below, btw!  And finally…  thanks for reading and I hope this has helped 🙂

dogs walking together

Roundup

Group dog walking is where most of your money will come from.  3 group walks a day (6 dogs in each walk) is enough work for most dog walkers to earn a living.  Doggy daycare can be an addition to your services or an alternative to dog walking.  Dog boarding pays well (mainly happens over school holidays) and many dog walking clients look for it when choosing a dog walker.  You can offer other services like cat care, but they are not necessary.  Facebook, a Google business listing and a website will all get you work but nice pics make it easier.

A video of my dog walking

This video (with sound) was made in a week of the summer of 2016.  I filmed it myself while out with the dogs.  Hope you like it and let you see it at it’s best.  It’s not always this fun and easy though.