This post will cover how to start a dog walking business in the UK, including what it takes to become a professional dog walker and some of the important tips and tricks.
The first thing you need is a plan – “how much are you willing to invest?” Do you have any experience with pets or working with dogs? The next steps would be to find out where your potential customers will be. Google Maps is a good place to get started, since it’ll show you where houses are and offer insights on which houses might have more than one person living there.
It is also important to know that dog walking is a very competitive business. There’s the competition in a neighbourhood where all dog walkers are trying to provide excellent service, but there are also larger businesses providing such services as well. In this post I’ll try to describe what it takes to become a professional dog walker and how to succeed.
In terms of costs, there’s quite a high initial investment involved in becoming a professional dog walker. You need/should have experience with dogs, for example, if you’ve worked with dogs before as a pet owner or have been trained as an animal handler or groomer. Clients will expect you to have a degree of professionalism in your work. You’ll need to buy your own equipment, which might include leads, collars, and the like. You will also need to keep up-to-date with what’s required by your clients and suppliers.
The next step would be to choose your neighbourhood and start advertising. This is where it starts to get tricky.
There are many ways to advertise yourself as a dog walker. You can create your own website or Facebook page (make sure either one of them have “dog walking business” in the name) and put up posters or flyers at local supermarkets, vet clinics, and pet shops. You can also do leafleting in neighbourhood streets – this will probably get you more work than anything else.
Most of these methods will cost you some money, but it is recommended that you go this route because it will give you a better idea of the demand for your services. If your area is not very popular among pet owners and dog walkers, the demand for your services might be too low which means that you’ll have to find another neighbourhood with a higher demand.
In general, competition is a big problem in the dog walking business. This is because anyone can become a professional dog walker and provide excellent service (or not). But what does this mean?
It means that there are many companies out there providing dog walking services, but there’s only a limited amount of clients available. This means that the dog walking business is not a very profitable one, since there’s unlimited supply and limited demand.
This doesn’t mean that you should give up on starting a dog walking business. You still have a chance at success if you use all your resources to attract as many customers as possible.
There are basically two main ways to do this:
Word of mouth and advertising, which we’ve already talked about.
One way to advertise would be to reach out to local dog owners through social media (e.g. Facebook) – just follow the people with the most dogs and try to strike up a conversation with them about dog walking services, how much you charge, and what your experience with animals is like.
You can also print and flyer at your potential clients’ houses.
Another way to advertise your services is to create a website. This option costs a lot more, but it can help you manage the amount of work coming in and improve customer service. You could also sell some of your time to other dog walkers for extra income.
With any business, there are different levels of success and it’s important to respect that while remaining optimistic about becoming a professional dog walker. The overall success depends on how much effort you put into it, whether you get lucky or not, and what type of market you’re working with (e.g. quiet neighbourhoods or busy ones, etc.). As a general rule of thumb, you should try to provide the best service possible because word of mouth is more powerful than any advertisement you could put out there.
Make sure that you know your neighbourhood well and understand the needs of the people and dogs who live there. No matter if you’re an experienced dog walker or not, dealing with animals requires that you know some tricks and how to handle certain situations. Be aware of these things and always make sure that all parties involved in your business are happy! Enjoy!