Small dog walking business

(21 Posts)
Knowivedonewrong Wed 06-Feb-19 10:45:49

Just looking for some advice or pointers really.
I'm thinking of setting up a small dog walking business. I'm looking to maybe just have a few regular dogs to walk and particularly cater to dogs that like to have individual walks.
Would that appeal to people do you think?
Having two dogs of my own that did appeal to me when I used a dog walker.

I am DBS checked and will be getting insurance and signing up to a canine first aid course.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
Aprilshowersarecomingsoon Wed 06-Feb-19 10:49:00

Will you be a small business or walking small ddogs??

florentina1 Wed 06-Feb-19 11:03:09

I have a very reactive terrier. I would love someone who only walked one dog at a time.

BiteyShark Wed 06-Feb-19 11:09:31

When you say small business is it because you aren't looking to 'make much money' from it?

The only reason I am asking is that if you are tailoring to individual walks you might find that most people (due to the nature of working hours) want their dogs walked around the same time which is typically lunch time.

If you are happy to only take on a few dogs then that probably won't be much of an issue.

Knowivedonewrong Wed 06-Feb-19 11:22:12

*April *a small business, yes. 😃

I'm not wanting to be walking 4- 6 dogs at a time. There are lots of dog walkers around here who do that.
I'm not looking into earning big money. I'm very lucky in that I don't have to work full time.

OP’s posts: |
DogInATent Wed 06-Feb-19 11:27:24

There will be an appeal, but because your prices will be higher than someone that walks several dogs at once it's going to depend on how many people in your area need/want an individual service and will pay for it.

It might be worth talking to a few local dog behaviourists - they are a potentially good point of contact for referrals to owners with dogs that require individual walks for behavioural reasons.

Unless DBS rules have changed, be cautious claiming/advertising a DBS check for a non-relevant activity.

florentina1 Wed 06-Feb-19 15:06:13

I would see if you can target retired people like myself, as well as workers. My high energy dog has two walks a day, but I worry that in a few years I might not be able to go so far as I do now.


pigsDOfly Wed 06-Feb-19 17:05:16

I clicked on this just out of interest as I have a small dog and wondered if you meant small dogs or business.

I'm retired and thankfully in good health but if it ever came to a situation in which I wasn't well enough to walk my dog for a long period I'd need someone like you because I suspect my, soon to be, 8 year old dog wouldn't be happy walking with a strange dog and certainly not a larger or very boisterous strange dog. And I'd be prepared to paid the extra that it might cost.

I think there would be a market for it but suspect it wouldn't be something that would make you a great deal of money.

Knowivedonewrong Wed 06-Feb-19 17:22:41

Thanks for the replies. Some interesting things to think about.

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Scattyhattie Wed 06-Feb-19 22:57:28

My dog Walker walks mine & her other clients dogs alone from their homes rather than take a non family pack out in van somewhere (another walker I met did same), which seems very sensible as so much more can go wrong.

Price wise she's not much more than average locally, but perhaps doesn't have to rely solely on her income.

What I found while looking for a new walker was very few offered outside of school hours/weekends, which doesn't suit me as I do a mix of day/late shifts & weekends, its also similar times when i need cover for social activities.

pineapplebryanbrown Fri 08-Feb-19 23:08:41

Interesting thread as i was thinking how much my dogs like being off lead and I don't know how that would work with a group. I was also very idly musing on buying an air conditioned dog van and walking 5 at a time 3 or 4 times a day. I won't do it I was just running the figures in my head.

BiteyShark Sat 09-Feb-19 06:44:27

I think there is a business for both individual and group walks. My dog definitely benefits from group walks and according to my walker loves playing with his pals and I know that has given him confidence in other areas which he needs.

However, lots of people don't want that or their dog isn't suitable. The downside is that you can't walk many dogs a day and that either brings the cost up for the owner or means that the walker isn't using it as a sole income (can be good or bad).

anniehm Sat 09-Feb-19 07:16:47

Yes I would consider - my dog is not overly fond of company and expects us to continuously lob his ball, as I'm going to be working longer hours it would appeal (he's great being left actually, seems annoyed when I come home early but I feel guilty!)

Scattyhattie Sat 09-Feb-19 09:26:12

My walker hasn't had to fork out on vehicle for transporting dogs so I guess she saves there. Perhaps in time she will change way she operates.
There's now loads of Dogwalkers in my area and was only a few 10yrs ago when I first looked into it.

Knowivedonewrong Sat 09-Feb-19 09:31:09

Thanks for the support. I'm definitely going to have a go. Like I said I'm not interested in building a big business. Hopefully just a few regular dogs each week that I can walk individually, or with my own two given time.

If I have to invest in a van that won't be a problem as DH is in the trade, so I can pick up one easily. 😉

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labazsisgoingmad Sat 09-Feb-19 17:26:54

we have a van or at moment an estate car we need it obv to get to jobs and we do offer a transport to vets or groomers scheme so need transport plus it works for our own dogs. we only walk one clients dogs at a time some walkers mix dogs but i think this can lead to problems so we only multi dog walk if they are from same household and only 3 at a time

Blondiecub0109 Sat 09-Feb-19 17:33:00

We recently changed dog walker after our previous one moved away. The first was excellent with the pups but terrible at the business side - i.e. snippy email when all I had had done was ask if she had capacity to increase number of days or to let me know if any regulars were in hols and I’d take the slot. Never knew where we stood with holidays and more than once let down at last minute. New walker is a breathe of fresh air ... my dog is not as exhausted when he gets back but we receive periodic news letter with dates she’s on holidays, we got a proper T&Cs/ expectations list (ie notice period for cancelling). So I would recommend getting admin in order. Agree with PP about a useful service could be ad hoc evenings/ weekends

Knowivedonewrong Sat 09-Feb-19 17:33:27

Sounds like a planlabaz I won't be walking any more than 3 at a time. You never know what could happen.

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Knowivedonewrong Sat 09-Feb-19 17:36:32

Thanks Blondie the admin side shouldn't be a problem my DD is an ace administrator so could help. A good idea about ad hoc eves and weekends. I would be happy to provide these.

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HollyBollyBooBoo Sat 09-Feb-19 17:38:43

Sounds great. My dog walker is a god send, think my DDog loves her more than me!

T & Cs explained and she sticks to them, I.e if you give less than 24 hours notice you still get charged.

£10 hour, £20 for 24 hours staying at hers if we go away.

labazsisgoingmad Sun 10-Feb-19 16:24:23

go on NARPS they have all the forms you need and you can print them out we use a key permission paper; booking form; house details and pet details. they are standard forms and very good you can just add your own logo. they will also help with any problems
they can also do insurance to be quite honest without insurance you are taking a huge risk it covers lost keys dog accidents etc. otherwise there is cliverton not cheap but better than being sued if anything goes wrong. we know of a dog walker locally who mixed dogs and one dog killed another during a fight she was not insured and ended up owing a lot of money after court proceedings

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