Have you ever considered becoming a professional dog walker? It’s a great way to make extra money, exercise, and spend time outdoors with furry friends. Plus, it’s a job that’s in high demand! According to the American Pet Products Association, 70% of American households own a pet, which equates to nearly 90.5 million homes.
With so many pet owners, there’s a good chance you know someone who could use your dog walking services. But how do you get started? In this blog post, we’ll give you some tips on making money being a dog walker.
What Services Does a Dog Walker Offer?
The services that a dog walker provides will vary from person to person. But most services include a 30-minute to an hour walk, playtime with the pup, and cleaning messes. Rates for these services will also vary depending on your geographic area. But you can expect to make anywhere between $10-$20 per walk.
How to Find Clients as a Dog Walker
You can start by asking family, friends, and neighbors if they need a dog walker. You can advertise your services on local pet-focused websites or join online platforms. These platforms will connect you with people other people who offer dog-walking services and with those who are looking for them. Additionally, make sure to have business cards handy and spread the word about your services on social media.
Several dog-walking apps make it easy to find and book clients. These apps make the process of connecting with potential clients much more straightforward. Plus, many have built-in features such as GPS tracking that make your job safer and more efficient.
How to Promote Yourself as a Dog Walker
When it comes to making money being a dog walker, promoting yourself is key! Make sure you have a website or online portfolio that showcases your rates, services, and experience with animals. You can also use flyers and other printed materials to reach potential clients. Finally, join any local online pet groups or communities and make yourself known as the go-to dog walker in your area.
Tips to Becoming a Successful Dog Walker
While walking dogs may seem like a pretty straightforward task, there are a few things you can do to make your dog walking career a success.
Build up your client base.
The most important part of being a successful dog walker is having happy clients who are willing to recommend your services to others. Start by reaching out to your network of family and friends. Then, create some marketing materials (e.g., business cards, flyers) and post them around town (e.g., at the local dog park, pet store, etc.). You can also create an online profile on Rover or Wag!, websites that connect dog walkers with potential clients in their area.
Set your rates.
Before setting your rates, be sure to take into account living costs in your area as well as your experience level. It’s also important to factor in the time required for each job—the longer the walk, the higher the fee should be. Generally, dog walkers charge between $15 and $30 per hour for their services.
Get bonded and insured.
As a professional dog walker, getting bonded and insured is vital in case of any accidents or incidents that may occur while you’re on the job. This will protect both you and your clients if something goes wrong. You can get bonded and insured through companies like Pet Sitters International or The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.
Stay organized and efficient.
One of the keys to being a successful dog walker is staying organized and efficient. This means having a system for keeping track of clients’ information (e.g., contact info, address, payment info, etc.) and the routes you’ll take for each walk. A set routine will help ensure that each job is completed efficiently and without hiccups.
Other Things to Know About Being a Dog Walker
Dog walking can be a great way to make money and make your hours. But it’s important to remember that this job still requires patience, responsibility, and dedication.
It’s also important to note the safety risks associated with dog walking. As such, make sure you remain aware of your surroundings at all times and take the necessary precautions to ensure that both you and your clients’ dogs are safe.
Finally, make sure you know the local laws regarding dog walking. Some areas restrict the number of dogs one person can walk at a time. In contrast, others may require you to obtain a special permit or license before taking on any paying jobs. Knowing your area’s rules will ensure you remain compliant with all regulations.
Get to Walking!
If you love dogs and want to make some extra money, becoming a professional dog walker may be right up your alley! With some hard work and dedication, you can build a loyal client base that will keep returning (and referring others) time and again. And who knows? If you play your cards right, you could turn this side gig into a full-fledged business one day!
Pet Industry Market Size, americanpetproducts.org