If you think dog walking is fun, then this is an easy way for you to make some money!
Walking dogs can be a good source of income, but you need to realize that dog walking takes more than just pulling on the leash. You have to be organized and dedicated to be able to this job well, not to mention being caring towards animals and being a dog-lover yourself.
Dog walking can be done by almost anyone, whether you’re a part-time student, unemployed, retired, or simply someone who wants to earn extra cash on the side. There are other ways of earning money, but if you love the company of dogs and like the idea of getting some exercise while having fun with the animals, then dog walking is for you.
It may have crossed your mind that if people love dogs enough to have them as pets, why would they pay someone else to walk their furry friends for them? You may not immediately realize it, but the types of people who need a dog walker are as varied as their reasons for needing this particular pet service.
They can be people who work round the clock and have to leave their dogs at home alone, and would be too tired to walk the dog when they get home after work. They can be busy homemakers who simply have their hands full with smaller kids, and have to hand over the dog walking task to someone else.
They can be elderly people who do not have the energy to do it, or those who may have been ill or injured and unable to walk their pets. They can be rich people who’d rather pay someone to walk their dogs for them, or just lazy people who, well, you know….
Regardless of who your client is, you stand to gain from their need for your services. And there are perks that you also get to enjoy. You don’t only get to make some money walking these animals; you also get to meet more canine friends. You also get to have some fun and exercise, and have the chance to walk to nice places like the park, woodlands, or even the beach.
Pet owners will not only expect you to be a caring dog lover, they will also expect you to be professional, prompt, and organized. Almost each client will ask for references, and some will even look for public liability insurance or a criminal records check certificate to reassure them you are trustworthy around their homes. If you’re serious about your dog walking business, then it pays to be ready with all these credentials.
How much money you earn as a dog walker depends on how many pet dogs you can handle at one time. You can make more money if you are able to manage walking several dogs safely in one walking session. You can do this if the dog owners do not mind having their pets walk with other dogs; some will even welcome the chance of their pets socializing with other dogs (but keep the males away from females).
You can also take several walks in one day to make more money. Normally dog walkers charge for each hour spent with each dog, with a premium during weekends and special holidays. Rates can also vary from area to area.
You can set the amount you want to charge per hour or per walking session, keeping in mind the amount of effort and skill you put into doing the task, and how long you have been in this kind of work professionally. The longer you have been doing this successfully, the more skills you have, and the higher you can set your fee.
You can also compare your rate with other dog walkers in the area, to be able to offer a competitive price to your clients. Make friends with other dog walkers; they can give you referrals or even share their load with you if they have more than what they can handle. If there is some competition in the area you’re working, compete fairly.
Don’t offer rock bottom rates that can undermine your efforts to make money; people will also think you are an amateur and have little experience dog walking. Don’t set your price too high also, especially when you are still starting out because it won’t help you get a foothold in the business. Come up with a fair price and provide good, professional service in exchange for that rate.
Like any business, you need to advertise your dog walking business. Come up with flyers or business cards and pass them around, especially in pet shelters, dog groomers, veterinary clinics, pet stores, pet-friendly hotels, and other places frequented by pets and their owners.
Politely approach and introduce yourself to people walking their dogs as you walk around, and offer them your business cards. Ask your family and friends to help you spread the word about your dog walking services. Make sure you give excellent service especially to your first few clients to get the word spreading about your services.
As your reputation as a dog walker grows, and you have built a good client base, continue to give each client quality service. Happy customers will be glad to refer you to their family or friends who have pets, and everybody knows that there is nothing more convincing than word of mouth. It’s the best free advertising you can get.
Are you making money as a dog walker or thinking about doing so? Be sure to share your comments, thoughts, ideas below…