DOG WALKING BUSINESS: How to Start a Dog Walking Business in 5 Steps

Dog walking business plan template example what is
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Do you want to know more about how to establish a dog walking business? If you love dogs, dog walking is surely a viable business endeavor to pursue. Not only is there a tremendous demand for dog walking, but the business also has a low entry hurdle and is quite profitable. One appealing aspect of this dog business opportunity is that you can earn money while doing something you like. However, having a dog walking business plan is important to guide your business startup. This article will guide you every step of the way when it comes to writing a dog-walking business plan. We will also provide a general dog walking business plan template. Enjoy the ride with us!

What Is Dog Walking Business?

Despite the possibility of a UK recession on the horizon, it’s evident that Brits still have a penchant for pet products. According to a recent report, Britons spent more than 12 billion pounds on pet-related items in 2018. In 2020 and beyond, the figures are likely to rise. These figures indicate that dog walkers are in high demand at the moment. People leave their dogs at home most days because they have to go to work. As a result, they require dog walking services to keep their pets active and healthy while they are away.

Dog walkers are also people who enjoy exercising and are looking for companionship. Walking a dog benefits both the walker and the dog because it provides them with health benefits such as exercise, as well as giving the dog a nice feeling and making them less inclined to be hostile. Professional dog walkers have become a necessity, especially for inaccessible dog owners who love their pets, due to the fact that most dog owners are tied up for long hours at the office and do not provide their dogs with the necessary walking exercise.

Setting up a Dog Walking Business – Is It Right for You?

Before you start advertising your dog walking business, be sure it’s a good choice for you. The following is the list you can use in checking if it’s right fr you:

  • You must genuinely enjoy or be interested in dogs.
  • When dealing with pet owners, you’ll need good interpersonal and communication skills.
  • You must be physically fit.
  • You must enjoy walking outdoor in all weather conditions

How to Start a Dog Walking Business

Having your own If you’ve never worked with animals professionally, it’s a good idea to volunteer at an animal shelter where you may gain experience with a variety of canines and how to interact with a large number of them in one go.

You must understand dog behavior and welfare, as well as pet first aid and the rules and regulations that regulate dog control in public. To attract new consumers, you’ll need adequate pet insurance, as well as the necessary equipment and a marketing strategy.

You’ll also need a way to carry the dogs to be walked if there aren’t any decent routes nearby, so having a car or van comes in handy.

How to Promote a Dog Walking Business

The difficult part of expanding a dog walking business to profitability is getting started. You’ll need a well-thought-out marketing strategy to effectively market your dog walking service. Here are some steps you may take to bring people into the store as soon as your business is up and running.

To start with, consider where your target audience is most likely to view and interact with your adverts.

A professional logo demonstrates your dedication to your dog walking service. Look for ideas for a dog walking logo on places like Pinterest and Business Yield. When you’ve come up with some good concepts, go to a good logo designer to make one for you. A professional logo should cost between £5 and £30.

#2. Social Media

Have you ever paused your Facebook or Instagram scrolling because of a lovely animal video? It’s likely that your target audience has as well. This implies that if you don’t have an online presence for your dog walking business, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers. It’s recommended that you set aside time and money to have a strong web presence that converts visitors into customers. 

Sharing social photographs and videos can be a terrific marketing strategy for dog walkers, just make sure you acquire permission from your clients first.

A strong web presence for your dog walking business involves the following:

  • Having a professional website
  • Having a search engine optimized website
  • Promote your dog walking business with paid ads.
  • Keeping your blog active
  • Being a member of the main professional dog walking directories on the internet.
  • Posting on the top social media platforms

#3. Word of Mouth

Never underestimate the value of a friend’s recommendation or a nice word. A good way to start is via referrals from friends, family, and current clients. However, if you want word-of-mouth referrals, your customer service must be exceptional; no one has ever referred a firm that treats its customers badly.

#4. Flyers and Posters

This is an effective technique to reach out to local customers.  Flyers may appear outdated, but they may be an effective way to get your company’s name in front of local customers. Create and print flyers, then place them in letterboxes across your neighborhood. Distribute flyers and cards to local veterinarians, animal shelters, pet stores, and newsstands.

Business Insurance for Dog Walkers

While it is not required by law, getting dog walking insurance for your business can be a good idea. While under your care, dogs can become lost, be wounded by other dogs, or injure people. A dog walking company’s insurance policy provides coverage in the event that something goes wrong with the pets you’re walking. It should also be able to cover both specialized equipment like leads and harnesses as well as more typical business goods like your laptop. Business insurance can get you back up and running fast if they are damaged or stolen, allowing you to keep your dog walking business on track.

Dog walking insurance covers include:

  • Employers’ liability insurance is usually a legal obligation if you have any employees. 
  • Public liability insurance can protect you in the event that a member of the public or a client is hurt or their property is destroyed as a result of your dog walking business.
  • Personal accident cover can compensate you in the event of an accident or even death.
  • Business equipment cover: any expensive equipment you use for your business, such as a laptop, is covered.
  • Van insurance It covers your dog walking business if your company transports dogs to and from the park in a van

Dog Walking Rules and Regulations

Your clients place their trust in you as a professional dog walker to look after their dogs. You are responsible for them while they are in your care. It means you must be aware of certain rules that relate to you and your dog walking business. 

To keep others safe and your business secure, it’s critical to stay up to date with the latest laws and guidelines.

They include:

  • Dogs must wear a collar displaying the owner’s name and address when out in public.
  • If you fail to clean up your dog’s feces, allow it to enter territory where dogs are prohibited, or fail to keep a dog on a leash or put it on a leash when ordered, you might be fined up to £1,000.
  • A dog that is wildly out of control in a public area is illegal, so you must be able to keep your dog under control at all times. A dog that chases, barks, or jumps up at a person or child may be the source of complaints.
  • Dogs must always be on a leash.
  • Allowing a dog to bother livestock on farmland is illegal.
  • You must have a criminal record. Check if you have a dog owner’s keys and enter their home to get a dog for a walk.
  • Restrictions on the number of dogs you can walk at a time

How Much Should I Charge as a Dog Walker?

Charges for dog walking vary by location. While there is no standard pricing, expect to charge between £8 and £20 per hour for each dog. You can make substantially more money by walking multiple pets at once, though there is a limit to how many dogs you can walk at once. This is determined by your local authorities and usually consists of four dogs at a time.

5 Steps to Start a Dog Walking Business

Learning the ins and outs of how to write a dog-walking business plan should be your first step. A dog walking business plan is essentially a roadmap that shows your concept to a bank, investors, or other potential backers.

You might not be planning on attracting any investors. But, if for no other reason, you must know how to write a dog walking business plan for yourself. This is your roadmap to where you want to go and where you want to be in a year, two years, or ten years. It may seem simple now, but there is a lot of planning involved in the startup of any dog walking business. We have a dog walking business plan just for you, to make your planning easier.

Here are 5 steps you can use to start your dog walking business:

#1. Choose a Business Name

Naming your dog walking business may not be as simple as it seems. When selecting a name, try to make the name short, easy to remember, descriptive of the business, and capable of drawing attention. Depending on the business form you choose, you may have to register and/or receive approval from the local or state government where your business is formed.

#2. Executive Summary

The Executive Summary is the first part of your dog walking business plan. An effective executive summary should mention how long you’ve been in business (or how new you are), who you are, and what qualifications you have for running a dog walking service.

It should give a quick overview of you, your company, what you intend to accomplish, and why you’re doing it in the first place.

#3. Research Your Market

This is one of the most important parts of your business plan. To flourish as a dog walker, you must conduct thorough market research to determine which dog walking services are in high demand. You can utilize the internet to research your competitors and identify any shortcomings.

Being as descriptive as possible can greatly assist you in the future. You want to target pet parents who are gone for long periods of time and can afford to hire a dog walker. What about old folks who are unable to walk their dogs? You should consider who your target market is and where they are located.

When evaluating the market, common questions to ask include:

  • What locations do the majority of dog walkers cover?
  • What is the hourly pay rate for dog walkers in my vicinity?
  • Is there a demand for group walks?

#4. Operations Plan

This is how you’ll make your company successful. Explain your objectives, as well as your company’s sales, marketing, and logistics plans, and back them up with concrete statistics to show you’re well-informed and making decisions based on facts.

Important business essentials like dog walking insurance should be included in the Operations Plan. This section of your plan should also include a statement of your customer policies, as well as your local company and dog walking licenses.

#5. Financial Plan

In the end, it’s all about the money. No business plan is complete without a solid financial forecast. This should include your budget as well as any anticipated inflows and outflows. It’s your proof that you understand how to use numbers to grow your firm.

You should also be able to predict your income and expenses in three separate scenarios: the worst case, average or expected case, and best case.

Dog Walking Business Plan Template

A dog walking business plan template is mostly a guide to help you write yours, but we are offering something way better than that. Our dog walking business plan template saves you the stress of writing one entirely, and at a cost effective rate.

It has just one requirement though; a business name to help you personalize this template. Besides that everything you’d need is already covered in this template; from a detailed 3-year financial plan to an industry-based marketing strategy.

So you can just visit our product section to get a copy.

Dog Walking Business Plan Template FAQs

Is a dog walking business profitable UK?

The average dog walker costs £14.51 per hour, making it a plainly realistic and successful business possibility. In fact, many dog walkers make more than the national average.

Do dog walkers need a license UK?

A dog walking license, qualification, or certification is currently not required in the United Kingdom because there are no uniform minimum standards. All you need to legally run a successful dog walking business is a passion for dogs and enough free time.

What qualifications do I need to be a dog walker UK?

While no specific qualifications are required to work as a dog walker/pet sitter, possessing certifications in areas such as animal first aid, animal behavior, or animal care will help you advance in your career.

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While no specific qualifications are required to work as a dog walker/pet sitter, possessing certifications in areas such as animal first aid, animal behavior, or animal care will help you advance in your career.

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