Want to Become a Dog Walker? Here’s What You Need to Know (Do You Need a Dog Walking Insurance)
With the demand for expert dog care on the rise, it is no surprise that many business enthusiasts are looking for tips on how to start a dog walking business.
If you’re among the many would-be entrepreneurs wondering how to become a dog walker, this post is meant for you.
How to Become a Dog Walker
If you’re looking to become a dog walker, you need to consider a number of things first.
The pooches could be hard to deal with, so you should understand dog behavior and have their best interest at heart. It is, in fact, imperative to see some dog walkers walking several dogs at once.
One of the ways you can gain more experience with dogs is by volunteering at your local rescue center.
Also, you can have strong interpersonal skills by dealing more with pet owners as well as developing your network. Being physically fit is also important as you’ll be walking long distances with dogs, not to mention the dogs may be strong and can resort to pulling.
If you’re not comfortable with outdoor weather conditions such as cold, sun or mud, you better be prepared as you’ll be outside even during difficult weather conditions.
How to Start a Dog Walking Business?
Here are some top tips to consider when starting a dog walking business, and some key things to keep in mind before committing yourself to this business.
Training and Qualifications
While you don’t necessarily require any qualifications to become a dog walker, undergoing training can help boost your professional standing and credibility when creating your client base.
Some training and qualifications you can choose include animal behavior, first aid, and animal care.
Consider the Dog Walking Rules and Regulations
It is important to look at the local rules and regulations regarding a dog walking business. For instance, some jurisdictions regarding dog sanitation regulations require you to clean up after the dog. Regulation or not, it’s always good to clean up after the dog.
Also, some have leashing laws that state where dogs need to go on leashes and where they can run off-leash. Checking with the local authorities will help you know what rules and regulations will affect your dog walking business.
If you want to provide dog sitting services in your home along with dog walking services, be sure to check whether it is permitted by your local zoning regulations.
Dog owners will put you in charge of their dogs and they will expect a certain level of reliability and care. Having business insurance will mean that you care and you are serious about your work.
It will also give you peace of mind, knowing that you’re fully protected in case the unexpected happens.
For instance, public liability will offer protection if you’re sued because a member of the public is injured because of your business.
What About a Dog Walking Insurance?
It might not be a legal requirement but may still want to have a dog walker insurance policy. Being a dog walker, you’re responsible for all the dogs in your care. This does not only include damage caused by dogs, but also any injuries that occur to the dogs.
Having a comprehensive dog walking insurance policy means you’re protected in case something happens. Sometimes you might not know what policy you need, so be sure to talk to your insurer so they can advise you appropriately.
Dog Walking Contract
It is advisable to have a written contract between you and your clients. Among other things, the contract will set out your responsibilities, the terms of payment and how you relate with your clients.
It is also advisable to include other items related to dog walking in your contract, like the owner’s responsibility for damage done by their dog as well as the authorization to seek emergency medical care for your clients’ dogs.
How Are You Going to Charge?
Due to the nature of the dog walking business, there is no set rate to help determine your price. But depending on where you’re working from, you can earn a significant amount of money from the dog walking business. This is especially so if you’re walking more than one dog at a go.
The amount you earn is determined by the number of dogs you walk at once, the number of hours you work in a day, and your business overheads.
It is, therefore, important to do your research to find out how other dog walkers are charging, before setting your rate.