Are you a pet lover?
Do you share an amazing bond with animals?
Are you looking to earn passive income while doing the thing you are passionate about?
Look no further. A dog walking business is the best business idea for you right now.
A lot of families take in pets today and with the daily hustle and hustle, rat-race kind of life, it is difficult for adults or kids to find little if any time aside to tend to their dogs.
This is the perfect opportunity for you to seize if you are thinking about starting your own business.
With this high demand for dog walking services, you may want to start your dog walking business.
Is a Dog Walking Business Profitable?
Dog walking is a good way to get passive income.
It is no doubt that many Kenyans today are whetting their appetites for dogs.
With this current rise, there is a high demand for dog walking services by dog owners who are too busy to keep their dogs active and healthy.
If you are still wondering whether this is a good investment and a viable business idea, wonder no more.
You can work as a full time or part-time dog walker.
What is a Dog Walking Business and How Does It Work?
A dog walking business is a business that starts to offer services to dogs to keep them entertained, healthy and active.
People who are too busy with work and barely have time for their dogs will entrust you with them so that you can take care of them.
They will later pay you for your dog walking services or any other service you offered to their dogs.
Dog walking is a good business idea, especially if you have good canine knowledge and are a pet lover.
How Do I Start a Dog Walking Business?
The following are successful steps to start a dog walking business whether as an agency or a solopreneur and they include:
Do market research
Before starting your dog walking business, you should study your market and make an analysis.
Who are your target customers?
What dog services are in demand?
What is the competition around the area?
What are other dog walkers doing wrong that you can possibly make up for?
What are their pricing models?
Once you have identified the market gaps, you can make a better judgement on how you can go into the dog walking business.
Determine the costs involved
Know the expenses that you are going to incur when you start your dog walking business.
Do you need to buy any training gear, leashes, dog treats, dispensing bags or crates for transporting?
Do you need any licenses that you need to pay for?
When you have determined what you need to start your business, you can make a clear budget.
Gain skills and experience
First off, you cannot just jump right off the bat and start walking people’s dogs.
You need to have some experience and skills in this area.
This includes leash training, first aid, pet grooming, animal language etc.
Although no education qualifications are required for this business, having a high school diploma is an added advantage.
Register your business
You need to register your business with the county or local authorities in your area so that you may operate with your business being in full compliance with the law.
You do not want to start a business and risk paying hefty fines or having your business shut down for failure to comply with the law.
Know the rules and regulations
As a dog walker, you will be going into different areas to walk people’s dogs and the more ground you cover, you have to know the rules and regulations that govern that particular jurisdiction.
What is the number of dogs you can walk?
What time are you allowed to walk your dogs?
Do you have any other duties and responsibilities like cleaning up after your dogs in that area?
Decide your pricing
You have to set the pricing that you are going to accept for your dog services.
You can make a decision on this based on the competition, location and numerical of dogs you are going to walk.
You want to be fair to your customers and remain profitable in your dog walking business.
Prepare forms and contracts
You have to prepare service contracts that you are going to give to your clients.
This contract should contain the terms and conditions for your service and an agreement on what your payment terms are going to be.
Be very precise when you prepare these forms and contracts to avoid any future mistakes.
Market your business
You have to promote your dog walking business so that more people may know about you and your dog walking services.
Find good marketing strategies that are going to put you on the map.
How Do I Become a Dog Walker?
This is what you need to do/have if you want to be a dog walker.
Have a high school diploma
Although this is not a necessary requirement, most employers will need you to have some educational background and at the very least have a high school diploma, before they can give you a job.
Take animal courses
You need to gain some knowledge about animals, for example, animal behaviour, body language, animal first aid, nutrition, dog obedience, leash training, disease prevention and pet grooming.
Get on the job training
You need to have good training on the job so that you can have a valid dog walking experience for your business.
You can become a certified dog walker by getting certification in dog walking before you start your dog walking business.
Licensing is one way to become a dog walker because you gave the necessary permits and licenses that you need to start your dog walking business.
Get the necessary insurance that you need so that you may not be liable for any accidents that may occur when you start your dog walking business.
What are the Qualifications to Become a Dog Walker?
There are certain qualifications that will set you apart as a great dog walker.
And the qualifications for an awesome dog walker include:
- Have some background in education
- Get on the job training
- Get certified
- Acquire dog skills
What Will I Do in a Dog Walking Business?
There are certain duties and responsibilities that you will have to take on in your dog walking business.
You have to know the roles you are going to play when starting a dog walking business so that you can get a good head start.
The roles and responsibilities of a dog walker include:
- Picking up dogs
- Taking the dogs out for a walk on designated routes
- Dropping the dogs off at their respective homes
- Making sure the dogs are fed and hydrate
- Placing the proper ID tags on the dogs and making sure they are wearing collars.
- Setting up appointments.
- Configuring schedules.
- Administrative duties
What Do I Need to Start a Dog Walking Business?
These are the necessary requirements for starting a dog walking business.
- Dog treats
- Dog equipment
- Dispensing bag
- Business license
- Service contract
What are the Expenses for a Starting a Dog Walking Business?
The startup capital and ongoing capital are the expenses to consider when starting a dog walking business.
Remember you don’t want to start a business with no clear budget.
- Dog supplies e.g dog treats
- Dog training equipment
- Business license
- Marketing costs
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Dog Walking Business?
Starting a dog walking business does not cost much.
You will invest little capital when you are starting this business.
Expect to spend more than Ksh. 10,000 or less to get the equipment and supplies that you need.
How Do I Make Money With a Dog Walking Business?
You make money with a dog walking business by walking people’s dogs.
If you can offer any other additional dog services such as feeding, grooming or training into your business, you can also earn from these areas.
How Much Should I Charge Customers in a Dog Walking Business?
The amount of money you charge customers will depend on the following factors.
- The number of dogs you are walking. If you are walking X number of dogs, you can charge an amount on each dog or for a group rate.
- Walking time. The more time you walk the dogs, the more you get paid.
- Any other special service. Any additional services that you are going to give the dogs apart from walking them, means you are going to be paid extra.
You can also look at the pricing model of your competitors and the location of your clients.
Charge $10/1000 shillings an hour or more depending on the number of dogs, repeat customers, special/additional services.
How Much Can I Make With a Dog Walking Business?
A dog walking business can earn you so much money if you are dedicated and passionate about your work.
The amount of money you can make from a dog walking business will depend on the number of dogs you can walk, the amount of time you walk them and any other additional services.
You can make over 250k a month working full-time or up to 100k or less working part-time.
The amount you work depends on the number of hours you work, how you treat customers and how skilful you’re with dogs.
The more additional services you offer as a dog walker, the more you make.
Legal Requirements for a Dog Walking Business
Starting a dog walking business has no hefty legal requirements although you must check with the local authorities in your area so that you don’t end up on the wrong side of the law.
These are the necessary permits and licenses you need to start a dog walking business.
- A business license
- Regional license since you will be out walking dogs in parks or other public areas
- A certificate in dog walking (optional)
What Skills Do I Need to Start a Dog Walking Business?
There are certain skills and qualities you must possess if you want to succeed in your dog walking business.
Here is a list of the skills and traits that you need to have.
Attention to detail
You have to be detail-oriented and know the breed of dogs you are taking care of.
Have good canine knowledge.
You also have to be keen on your clients’ instructions, the law and any other special needs the dogs have.
Be organized. Keep excellent records for clients and take note of any special requirements that they want.
Have strong interpersonal skills and always build strong connections with your clients.
It will help you to empathise with them in case of any problem.
Have good written and spoken communication skills to prepare contracts and take any instructions from your clients.
Know how to use dog equipment such as animal restraint and cages. Learn how to control animals and render first aid as well.
Marketing skills are important because they will help you to put yourself out there and get more clients for your dog walking business.
Who are Dog Walking Customers and How Do I Attract Them?
Your target audience can be literally anyone who has a dog sitting at home with no one to take it out for a walk. This is how you will attract them.
Examine the prospective customers that you have and prepare survey questions for them.
Ask what dog walking services they need and why?
This will allow you to generate new leads.
Ask for referrals
Have a referral program, whereby if a customer is satisfied with your dog walking services, they can recommend someone else to you.
Use social media
Use the connections you have built online to talk about your dog walking business.
Go to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and talk about your business or have your business advertisements set up so that people will contact you.
Have a business card with good branding, business details and contact information so that your customers will know how to reach you when they need your dog walking services.
Create a website
Every good business has a website.
Your website should have good content about your dog walking business and you should optimise it so that it appears on top of the lists when someone searches for it on Google.
Word of mouth
Be the best dog walking business in the area that everyone knows about and within no time, people will start contacting you for your services.
How Do I Promote a Dog Walking Business?
If you want your business to be more profitable and to grow, you need to expand your customer base.
You only do that by using some of the best marketing strategies to tell people more about you and your business.
The strategies I’ve listed below are the most effective.
Start doing quality dog walking services and build your brand through that.
It is easier to get more clients this way.
When people can acknowledge how great your services are, they will most definitely tell people who you are and how they can get in touch with you.
Ask for referrals and testimonials to get more clients.
Go online and take your time to optimise your website for SEO and also build content.
Your website will create a first impression on your customers and this will determine if they seek your dog walking services or not.
Leverage the connections you have on social media and use that to talk about your dog walking business on Facebook and Instagram, share relevant content and create promotions and advertisements to create more sales and leads.
Run an email sequence on your customers and offer solutions and tips to take care of their pain points.
You can offer free resources or provide educational content about dogs if you want to build trust with them
Business Listings and Directories
Make your dog walking business available on sites such as Google so that people can come online and search for your services easily.
Create a business profile, showcase your dog walking services and ask for customer reviews if you want to make it to these directories.
Postcards / Flyers / Door Hangers
By now you should know who your target audience is.
Dog owners need your dog walking services.
If you want to make your presence known to them, use postcards and flyers with good branding, details and contact information.
This will increase your chances of getting hired.
You can network with other dog walkers and participate in local dog events and activities and market yourself and your business.
Advantages of Starting a Dog Walking Business
These are some of the benefits of starting a dog walking business.
Low startup costs
Starting a dog walking business requires very little startup investment.
You only need to have dog leashes, chew toys and treats which don’t cost much.
When you work for different clients, you get to build meaningful long relationship bonds with them.
They trust your services and always rely on you to walk their dogs.
A dog walking business has very high-profit potential because you can walk many dogs in a day at different times.
If you are a dog lover, you make furry friends and the dogs love you.
There’s no one as loyal as dogs to their “owners”.
Starting your own business means you are your own boss and you get to plan your schedules how you see fit, without any friction.
Disadvantages of Starting a Dog Walking Business
These are the problems and challenges you are likely to face when you start a dog walking business.
You need to know them so that you know what you are signing up for.
Sometimes dogs get sick or get injured when they are in your care and you have to take accountability for that.
Difficult to find clients
Finding clients who
need dog walking services can be a bit hard, so you need to really market yourself and build trust with the clients you have now.
Dealing with difficult customers
Your clients may be too demanding and difficult to deal with so you need to have some extra sense of patience if you want to get through the day with a difficult customer.
You get variable income
The amount of money you earn in a day varies so you have to be aware of this and adjust how you can.
Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Dog Walking Business
The following are mistakes to avoid when starting a dog walking business and they include:
Starting too large
Do not dive headfirst into dog walking and start walking a large number of dogs from the start.
You will get burnt out.
Failing to track your expenses
If you do not track the amount of money you invest in getting the dog equipment and treats and what you use on marketing, you may suffer huge losses.
Avoid offering discounts, especially when you are just starting your dog walking business.
Some clients may adapt to your pricing model and not want to change.
Failing to understand your target audience
Always do your research and know what dog walking services your clients want so that you may gain the necessary skills.
Every business needs marketing.
Getting into dog walking for money
Money seems like a great move when you start a dog walking business, but it’s not always about it.
Sounds like a line from a movie, and not business-friendly advice diving into dog walking without basic training or behaviour of dogs, your business will fail.
Learn about dogs and their owners and how to run a business.
How Can I Run a Successful Dog Walking Business?
Remember you want a dog walking business that can give you high returns.
In order for this to happen, you must know how to successfully run your dog walking business.
Here are the best strategies for running a dog walking business and they include:
Find more clients
If you want to keep being in business, you need to keep on building your customer base.
After building your customer base, do not stop there.
Improve your skills
Always seek to gain more skills and experience in dog walking if you want to be more successful in your business.
Offer more dog services
If you can, offer more dog services to your clients so that you can make money in more than just one area.
This will make your business more profitable.
Set policies so that you know what you will accept and not accept in your business.
This will give you a spectrum of the service that you are going to offer, how and why.
Know the risks involved
Be aware of the risk involved in your dog walking business.
This will help you to put in measures that will combat or avert the risk involved for business success.
Have and provide the best customer service and experience.
The way you talk to your customers make them come back again.
And if your customer service is excellent, customers come back for more.
Knowing what your customers want in terms of dog care endears customers to you. Improve and keep learning about not only dogs but other pets.
Know the trends in the pet industry
These days customers aren’t only keeping dogs and cats.
Pet lovers are shifting from mammals to reptiles and they are keeping lizards, chameleons and interestingly, alligators.
As a dog walker, you’re deemed an animal lover, it pays to know that the pet industry isn’t for dogs only.
Keeping up with trends help you know how to deal with different customers’ demands.
How Do I Improve My Dog Walking Services?
When you are walking people’s dogs, you want to make sure that you are effective in your services in order to avoid any accidents or inconveniences.
Here are tips and advice on how to improve your dog walking business and they include:
Make safety your priority
Always ensure that the owner’s dogs are kept safe if you want your business to keep on operating well.
You will avoid lawsuits this way.
Use dog parks
While walking your dogs in neighbourhoods is okay, you may need to opt for dog parks because they are free and more active there.
Use a short leash
A short leash is easy to gain control over the dogs if you want to avoid accidents or walk them on a designated path.
Get to know the pet parents
Get to know who the owners of the dogs are so that you may take any other useful instructions you might need when handling their dogs.
Introduce dogs to each other
You have to use a calm and friendly voice when you introduce foreign dogs if you want to avoid dog fights or getting other dogs injured.
Unique Dog Business Ideas to Make More Money in a Dog Walking Business
When you are starting a dog walking business, you want to venture into unique relatable niches that will set you apart from the competition.
There are many lucrative dogs walking business ideas that you should be thinking about starting today.
Here are some unique dog walking business ideas you can try.
- Selling dog treats
- Starting a blog
- Become a professional dog trainer
- Advertising dog walking businesses
- Organising dog events and competitions
- Offering veterinary services
- Offering courses with certifications
- Offering dog training classes
FAQs on Starting a Dog Walking Business Making 250K/Month
1. How much can a dog walking business make?
2. What qualifications do you need to be a dog walker?
3. What are some good dog walking business names?
4. How many hours do dog walkers work?
5. Does dog walking pay well?
6. How do I get clients for my dog walking business?
7. How many dogs can you walk at a time?
8. What are some dog business ideas?
9. What’s another name for a dog walker?
10. What are the risks of dog walking?
11. How much money do dog walkers make a month?
12. How do I start a dog walking business and stand out?
13. Is dog walking self-employed?
14. Is it illegal to walk a dog without a leash?
15. How do I find pet-sitting clients?
16. How do I expand my pet sitting business?
17. What are dog walking requirements/costs?
18. What to consider before starting a dog walking business?
Resources on Starting a Dog Walking Business Making 250K/Month
How to Start a Dog Daycare Business in Kenya
Unique and Profitable Pet Business Ideas in Kenya
Popular and High Paying Dog Business Ideas in Kenya
Business Plan for Dog Walking Business in Kenya
If you’re strapped for cash and you love dogs, consider dog walking because it’s an easy way to make money without any expenses.
You need to be physically strong and love the outdoors; you cannot walk dogs indoors.
As more Kenyans get dogs, so are the services for dog walkers on the increase.
Look around your estate, who are the people most likely to keep dogs and why?
Do they need the services of a dog walker?
The people that need the services of a dog walker are the busy professionals that have dogs but don’t get the time to walk their dogs.
Most of these professionals live in apartments where there’s no space for letting the dogs go out for a walk.
Some customers also have large compounds but don’t have the time to let their dogs jump around the compound.
Are you tempted to start a dog walking business?
What’s stopping you from starting a dog walking business?