Making money dog walking seems like the dream job for most of us. You get to spend time with adorable fluffy animals, keep healthy and get paid for it – why wouldn’t you want a job like this?! If this sounds like a side hustle idea you’d like to give a go, keep reading!
Becoming a dog walker is a fantastic side hustle and there are so many advantageous once you’re up and running:
This is perfect for getting those recommended steps in each day and they’ll add up without you even realising it. If you manage to get a few regular clients you might even get to ditch the costly gym membership!
Dog walker is extremely flexible as you are essentially your own boss. You can choose whether to work mornings, afternoons or evenings so it can fit perfectly around your day job.
Top tip: A great time for dog walking is afternoons if you can manage it as so many people work 9-5 and are tied up at work, they would definitely appreciate someone running their pooch around the park for them.
Cheap Running Costs
Arguably, you could even start this business up for less than a few quid as all you’ll probably need are some doggy bags and some treats. You might benefit from owning a lead but I’m sure you’ll know a friend or family member who has one going spare so you could just borrow theirs.
Top tip: If you want to stand out from other dog walkers it might be beneficial to own a car as you can market your services as being able to take the dogs to more enjoyable places (as opposed to the park or a quick walk around the block!)
So the first thing you’ll need to do once you’ve decided dog walking is what you want to do is get some clients. There’s lots of ways to do this so I’m sure it won’t take you long to get set up.
Ask your friends and family
The first point of contact regarding your dog walking business will of course be those close to you. Let them know your starting dog walks and if any of them are dog owners, ask if they’d be interested in your services. If not, see if they know anyone at work or in local clubs that might need a dog walker.
It sounds old fashioned but nothing gets the locals more intrigued than a new advert in the newsagents on the corner. It’s great because it’s free and will get you introduced to new potentials! You could also pay for an advert in the local newspaper, post on your social media accounts and get your friends to share/retweet. You could even create a Facebook Like page and ask al of your friends to like and share – a great way to look and sound professional.
Networking is huge in the business industry at the moment and side hustles like dog walking doesn’t fall short. A great way of getting your business talked about is to get out there amongst the owners; go for a walk with your own dog (or a friend’s) and get chatting to the people you meet along the way. Don’t bombard them with your business immediately but try to drop it into the conversation casually. Let them know you offer a dog walking service and if they’d be interested to get in touch. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
These will come in handy when you’re out walking. Most people carry minimal objects with them when they’re dog walking so if you get talking to someone who could potentially be interested, chances are they won’t have a pen and paper on them. Handing a business card makes you look professional as well as prepared. You could also post these through letterboxes around the neighbourhood. Small businesses do this all the time near where I live and I always stick them on the fridge just in case.
Next on the to-do list is coming up with a price. I think it’s always best to use a set price per amount of time when dog walking as it let’s the owners know exactly how much exercise their dog is getting as well as how much it’s going to cost. A great starting point would be £10 per 30 minutes and you could always increase/decrease for group walks/singular walks or special occasion trips!
There’s a few things to consider when dog walking but if you’re passionate about dogs and aren’t afraid to get out there and socialise, I’m sure you’ll do great.