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Dog Walking Business

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    Hi everyone
    Just wanted to know how i would go about starting up my own dog walking business
    I know there is alot to it eg. Insurace etc. But does anyone have any ideas what steps i need to take or any info i might need.
    thanks for any help


    foxy is best one to ask thats what they do – what sort of experience do you have where you looking to set up?


    i have lots of experiance, i worked in a kennels for 3 and half years, i also have 2 certificates in animal Care and also just passed an Canine health care and behaviour course and looking to do another course in homepath remides.
    I work in a pet shop and alot of people advertise their dog walking business but i really want to do it properly. I know i need to get insurace and get registered but not sure how or where to go


    would be the best starting point for you 😉

    Hi and Welcome by the way!  🙂


    Ok good good – Foxy really is the best person to ask – not sure who she uses for insurance, but i knot pet business insurance do good deals I use them for my business.

    will keep bumping this till laura sees it.


    Ooh,i’ve seen it!  😀

    Well firstly the single most important thing is insurance!!!  We used pet business insurance  and are insured with Sterling.  We are covered for public liability (in case a dog in your care bites a member of the public etc) care, custody and control (for accidents etc) and we have keyholders insurance (in case we lose keys, it covers new locks and keys for the whole house)  having said that it really wouldn’t look good to lose keys so they need to be securely stored away with only the pets name on the key.

    Then you need to register as self employed with the NI and tax people, you have 3months from starting trading to do this.

    You need to sort out the obvious, prices!  Not forgetting mileage charges (which we so often do  ::) ) Get some leaflets printed for starters and drop them in the obvious places pet shops, [email protected], groomers, vets (although a lot of vets may not display your leaflets  ::) :tease: ) random drops in doggy areas.

    I would say you need to offer something which the others don’t, whether it be a cheaper price or deals.  And go the extra mile, we don’t have working hours as such, we work when people want us.  Be that rainy sunday mornings when you want to stay in bed, dark winter nights when it feels like you’ve been out all day or a last minute emergency must do walk, unless its impossible for us to get someone there, we do it! We work 7days a week if need be (we do have bank holidays off though!  🙂 ) oh and we go out in ALL weathers, not like some prissy part timers!  😀

    Reputation is EVERTHING in this job.  We get a lot of people recommending us to their friends etc, without that we wouldn’t have our business.  It gets around quick when you do a good job but it can get around even quicker if you do a bad job so rememember that and always be good!  ;D

    Another big thing is commitment.  Despite what people think, its a bloody hard job!  You’ve got a knowledge of dogs for a start (you’d be surprised the amount of people who don’t!) you need to have a big love for dogs too.  Not just the well behaved, cute ones.  We have customers who pay us because they can’t handle their own dogs, we have some little devils but at the end of the day you need to be able to laugh at it all and remember that a bit of spark keeps things interesting! LOL! 

    Lastly (for now  😉 ) most of our customers complain that their dogs give us a better welcome or would rather go with us than them!   ;D  That is the way you can be sure you’re doing a good job, the dogs don’t lie!!  🙂


    that’s great and alot off help too I knew I needed insurance but wasn’t sure what the best ones was, i didn’t think about getting insured with the customers keys :-\ but I guess it does make sense
    I don’t drive at the moment so I’m still a bit limited to what i can do but thanks for all the help, if anyone else has any suggestions would be great


    me again
    is there any laws i might want to look into as well eg: Dangerous Dogs Act etc… where would i find the full documents(copies to read) as I’ve only ever found parts of the act
    I just thinking if i really wanna do this i might as well ding it properly…


    Have a look on the DEFRA site that will cover the DDA


    I have now set up a website examining how to start a dog walking business:  It is based on my experience of setting up my own dog walking business, The Lead Role.

    Comments/suggestions as to how it can be improved very welcome.


    Follow the lead looks really good! I used a guide on Dog Walkers City when I set up, which was very helpful… You can find it here:

    (Dog Walkers City is a directory you can sign up to as well)


    I run Exeter Pet Sitters which has been hugely successful, its with the franchise GB Pet Sitters, which has no franchise fee which helps a lot at the start and I found them very useful and helpful. I’m sure it has grown more because of it, and many people find the fact its with a franchise reassuring. We are actively looking for more franchises, ones have now opened in Plymouth, Exmouth, Crediton and Torbay, so if you are interested give me a ring for more information, Anna 01392 811397 or see my website

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