It is one of the most popular new small business ideas and in this guide you will learn on how to setup a dog walking business including all the advantages and disadvantages associated with this type of business.

Firstly, anyone who is thinking of starting a dog walking business should ask themselves a simple question which may be plain obvious but most important and that is do I actually have to like dogs in order to start a business walking them?

Well yes, it is very advisable to love dogs and animals in general but if you are unsure about dogs or feel nervous being around them then this does not necessarily result in putting this business idea in the bin. A simple test is to ask a friend or family member if you can take their dog for a walk (presuming you don’t have a dog). Animals and dogs in particular all have their own distinctive personalities and traits. Just like humans there will be some nice dogs and some dogs that are difficult to handle.

dog walking businessOnly experience will tell you if this business is for you so before you spend a penny on equipment, marketing and advertising then go and take a dog for a walk and see what you think. Once you have decided that you get on fine with man’s best friend then it is time to go off and plan your new dog walking business strategy.

You will need to register as self employed with the HMRC and from the start remember to keep all your receipts for all the items you have bought for your business as you can claim back expenses for equipment, marketing and utility usage such as heating and electric.

If you are setting up in the UK then the government website for business offer useful guides for setting yourself up as self employed. Next, it is time to gauge whether there is demand so you should be asking yourself at this point: “is there enough demand where I live to offer a dog walking service?”.

Have a look in the mornings and see if there are people in suits walking their dogs, check out the local parks, popular meeting places and housing estates and write down the numbers. Also look in your local newsagents window and look for anyone else offering dog walking services. If there are two or three then competition might be too fierce and thus the dog walking market too saturated.

Dog walking insurance is necessary because you need to make sure you and your customers are covered. There are a few companies in the UK that provide affordable dog walkers insurance so make sure you get the best deal for your needs.

Be responsible, reliable and trustworthy. These are probably the three most important qualities you should have in order to run your own dog walking business, if you want repeat orders and new customers then be the best you can and offer the best pet sitting service in your area.

Finally, consider getting a website built for your dog walking business where customers can quickly get in touch with you. Many people forget that they need someone to look after their dogs and at short notice you could get a phone call or email from someone desperate to give you their business.