If you are already walking your own dog, or dogs of friends or neighbours, and you love it; there’s no reason you can’t do it for a living. People find rewarding careers from their hobbies, and dog walking is no exception. Turn that hobby into a money making business, and keep fit at the same time.
1 Word of Mouth: Use your current customers to meet new customers; Ask them to give your name to their neighbours, cousins, friends, co-workers and in laws. They are obviously satisfied with your dog walking skills, so they should have no problem recommending you to others now that you’ve decided to take on this hobby as a full time career.
2 Warn your current customers that you will be charging for your services in the near future. Give them adequate time to prepare for this; don’t just show up with your hand out for money one day. Research local rates in your area for other dog walkers and consider giving your current customers a discount, at least for a little while, until you build up your clientele.
3 Advertise: Most sign making businesses can make you a magnetic sign for the door of your car, with your name and phone number. Post flyers in your local supermarket and post office; Take out an ad in the classifieds of your local newspaper. Leave your business cards in clever places, like animal hospitals and pet stores. Create a website for your new business.
4 Buy the gear: Most people who hire professional dog walkers make available their pets’ leashes and water bowls, but you should always have extra handy in your car just in case. Dog treats won’t hurt either!
5 Consider hiring helpers as your business grows. You may start to get more requests than you have time for. Finding employees to help do the walking will ease the burden and bring in more income. High school students are part time options.
6 Take an obedience class: Not for you, for the dogs. Learn some basic dog handling skills, such as dealing with dogs who pull on their leashes. Your customers will appreciate it, and they’ll trust you with their pets, more than they would the high school kid next door with no training.