dog walker business

Do you want to become a dog walker or start your own dog walking businesss - dog walking is a great career for dog lovers. Dog walking is becoming big business and a very popular career choice amongst dog lovers, being a dog walking means that dog lovers can earn extra money by doing something they love, imagine what fun it would be taking four dogs for an hour long walk and being paid up to £60.00 for doing so.

Is starting your own dog walking business as easy as being an animal lover and going for a walk?

Of course not, you are talking about starting your own business and with that comes other responsibilities too.

You don't have to visit the gym every day to be a good dog walker, but you certainly have to be in good health. You may be dealing with large, strong dogs that need several walks a day. You should take care of yourself so that you are able to handle any animal you might be called upon to take care of. In the event that the animal becomes ill or injured, you may have to transport it to a vet, or arrange for a pet taxi to collect them. You also need to be able to control more than one animal at a time if you are walking dogs in a group. Remember, you have to be able to remain in control at all times.

A good business owner has to have a variety of skills in order to keep a business running smoothly, make money and keep clients satisfied. Organisational and marketing skills are essential, together with some understanding of basic record keeping, scheduling and general business practices. If you aren't yet familiar with some of the technical aspects of running a business, the NarpsUK Pet Sitting & Dog Walking Business Course will give you the knowledge to be able to set up standard business systems to help make your business a success. The key is to have the ability to learn.

These characteristics are all key to success in any type of pet caring business:

  • Love of Animals
  • Reliability
  • Patience
  • Flexibility
  • Authority
  • Level-headedness
  • Good Health
  • Business Skills
  • Self-Discipline
  • Genuine Concern
  • The will to succeed
  •  Good communication skills

Evaluate yourself honestly and talk to others. Ask them for their insights into your strengths and weaknesses. If you are still excited about the prospect of working with animals and are confident that you have what it takes to be successful, read on!

Animal Welfare

You will have Animal Welfare responsibilities The Animal Welfare Act 2006 (Animal Health and Welfare Act Scotland) places a legal responsibility on everyone working with, or caring for animals, for the duty of care of animals in order to meet their welfare needs. 

The five welfare needs of animals are:

  • Environment - the need for a suitable environment (place to live)
  • Diet - the need for a suitable diet
  • Behaviour - the need to be able to express normal behaviour
  • Companionship - the need to live with, or apart from, other animals
  • Health - the need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease 

You will need to consider how your actions and services may affect the welfare needs of the animals you work with but remember by providing a reliable, professional service you will help the pet owner to meet their animal’s welfare needs.

Now you have given some thought to things you must consider you will also need to think about aquiring pet sitting insurance and having a criminal record check done, both of which can be arranged through and getting your forms and contracts in place,  


The law on dogs

You should be aware of the law & legislation and your responsibilities.

For a breakdown of the relevant sections in all these acts, and for more information visit the Kennel Club website.
For information specific to Scotland visit The Scottish Government website.

As well as this legislation, you should check with your local authority for any by-laws and dog-restricted areas local to you, some local authorities require dog walkers to be licenced.