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If you are an animal lover then there can be few jobs as enjoyable as being a professional Dog Walker. Before you start out though there are some things to consider, like how to actually make it pay! But let’s start at the beginning.... A first basic requirement is transport:
This cannot be stressed enough. In order to be competitive you need to know what the going rate is and set your rates accordingly. Find out who is operating in your area and what they offer. Some dog walkers offer for instance that the dog is returned happy and clean. Think about it – if you don’t have the time to walk your dog then chances are you don’t want to have to wash its paws when it comes back either
If you walk a dog alone then it stands to reason you will earn less than if you walk two together. Take this into account when giving a price to your prospective client. The ideal situation is to have two or three dogs within the same area that you can walk together. This issue can be discussed with the client – it may be that they are happy to pay extra for a one to one service but if not then you have to be sure the dog is not aggressive with other dogs. (A word of warning – don’t take your clients word for it that their dog is fine. Make it your business to know the dog beforehand and make your own personal assessment.) Always take into account your travelling time and your travelling expenses when charging. It’s no use charging £10 per hour only to find that you spend £5 in petrol and it takes up a good hour and half to get there and back.
You will need a special pet insurance to cover you for accidents and emergencies and more importantly perhaps you will also need public liability. So make sure you contact a reputable insurer to discuss your needs. It really isn’t worth taking the risk of being caught out. If something untoward were to happen it would prove costly in more ways than one because for a dog walker, a good insurance is the pivotal spring upon which their business stands or falls.
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