Starting a Dog Walkers Business

Wondering how dog walkers get started and make some money? Kids who are interested in being a dog walker need to know some basic things about the business. Dog walkers have a great deal of responsibility, so before starting, it's a good idea to know what's involved.

Things to Consider
Did you know there is dog walker insurance? Why would you need this? Suppose while walking someone's dog, the dog jumps on someone and hurts them? Or suppose while walking someone's dog, another dog runs up and starts attacking the dog you're walking? If there is a possibility of someone getting hurt, there is a need for insurance. Since kids aren't liable, parents would have to shoulder the burden should a lawsuit arise. A homeowners policy typically won't cover damages from a business. If you're walking a dog directly from a neighbor's home, or keeping the dog company in the afternoon, liability insurance may not be needed. If you're walking several dogs at once or bringing the dogs home with you, you could need liability coverage.

Finding a Customer
You'll want to start your business with a single customer. This should be someone you or your parents know, preferably in your own neighborhood. You could go door to door in your neighborhood to homes that have dogs, or ask your parents if anyone they know needs a dog walker.

Before you meet with a potential customer, you'll need to figure out how much you're going to charge. If other kids in the area are walking dogs, ask them how much they get paid. This will let you know what the going rate is for this service where you live.

You can also look at ads posted by professional dog walkers in your area. Don't expect to get the same pay as the professionals, because you won't have their level of experience. If professionals are charging $25 a day to walk dogs, you might do well by charging $5 a day. Feel free to charge a little more if a dog is hard to handle. You can also charge for other services, such as washing dogs or keeping an eye on them while their owners are away for the weekend.

Responsibilities
Once you find someone who wants your dog walking services, get all of their information and meet the dog. Find out when and how often the dog needs to be walked. Learn where the leash is and how to put it on the dog. Also find out where the bags are for disposing the dog's waste and get suggestions for good places for the dog to go.

Get s much information as you can about the dog's personality. Find out if the dog is leash trained, how the dog reacts to people and other animals and how to contact the owner in case of questions. You should also find out where a towel is in case the dog gets muddy or wet. Meet the dog and get a sense of the dog's personality and reaction to you.

Expectations
The pet owner will expect you to know something about dogs, be responsible about being on time and caring for the dog and follow all the directions you're given. You should tell the pet owner your rates and ask plenty of questions so you can do the best job and meet all expectations. Be sure to have an adult on call to help you in case any problems arise.  

Getting Referrals
Once you have started with one client and found success in dog walking, you can ask your client to recommend you to others. Start to market yourself to other dog owners who could use your services. Be sure not to take on too many clients at once. It can become hard to control a number of dogs on leashes at once, and you want to be sure to give good service to all of your clients.

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