If you love dogs and live in a community that has a lot of households with dogs, you can make a good living as a professional dog walker. You don’t need a degree at all. You simply need to love dogs, love working for people, and be able to pay close attention to detail while providing a loving outing for your pet customers.
In some areas of the country, you may need some form of business license to start a dog walking business. You don’t need to have a special certification for walking dogs, though. You may also need to purchase permits to walk dogs on certain public lands. Check with your local business offices or SCORE.org to find out.
Skills You Need
You need to really love animals and not mind cleaning up after them too. When you walk dogs, you’ll have to pick up their poop and make sure they don’t pee on someone’s garden and flowers. You may need to be strong enough to pick up large dogs to put them in your vehicle for transport, and you need to be willing to work in all types of weather. Dogs must be walked even if it’s raining, snowing, or even if it’s hellish hot outside.
Set Up Your Website and Social Media
To market yourself as a professional dog walker, you’ll need to set up a website for yourself along with social media. Make sure you also get permission in writing from the owners of your pet customers before posting their images on your site. You can make that part of your contract and even incentivize them to allow you to post pictures by giving them a slight discount.
Set Your Prices
The prices you can charge for your services are totally dependent on the market and need for services in your area. On average, dog walkers can make between $12 and $25 per hour. You can offer additional services to boost your prices. For example, in addition to walking, you can offer to give the dog a bath, clip nails, offer extended walks, and that type of thing.
Use Some of the Gig Apps
It’s faster to get clients if you use one of the gig apps that exist for helping pet owners find their dog walkers. WagWalking.com, Rover.com, and DogWalker.com are all good options to check out and sign up with. Because they do a lot of marketing, you will get clients faster while you build your reputation in the community.
Remember to send a brochure to local vet offices, shelters, and groomers so that you can cross-promote each other. Once you build up a clientele, you won’t have any issues making a living wage as a dog walker working for yourself. If you charge just $20 an hour and walk five dogs a day for an hour each, you’ll earn $100 a day. You can even branch out and hire others to help you and take a percentage of their take for assisting them to get the jobs.