How to Start a Dog Walking Business

Are you a dog walker and want to start your own business, but you’re unsure where to begin?

Starting a business is not the easiest walk in the park – even if that actually involves you walking through a park. Being your own boss, running your own business and spending your days walking dogs around sounds very enticing. It can be a little overwhelming when you start, but the first few steps are crucial to managing your new dog walking company.

There are various types of dog walkers in the industry today. They can range from large businesses that hire individuals through on-demand roles, local pet carers from specific cities and even teenagers looking for extra cash after school hours. Aside from your love for dogs, knowing the first steps of starting your new pet care business is essential.

Small businesses face various challenges, especially when they’re just starting. So we’ve created this guide to cover the first steps in embarking on your next business journey, including dog walking insurance and getting the right qualifications.


Write your business plan

Writing your business plan and ideas before commencing will allow you to identify your opportunities, your competitors and the goals you aim to reach. Beginning your first step here will give you a better understanding of what needs to be prioritised and how you will be able to manage possible bumps in the journey. A business plan will also be helpful down the road once you review and look back at what’s working well, what isn’t, and possibly any improvements that will upscale your dog walking business.

You might also want to consider some rules for yourself as a business owner and dog carer to understand how this career path might work around your personal life. This could include thinking about how many times of the day or week you can commit, whether you need to obtain products such as leashes, dog waste bags, portable water bottles, and dog treats, and how expenses like these might affect your starting costs.


Qualifications and Education

Unlike other careers, you don’t need a degree or education in how to walk a dog. But it would be essential to know the basics of how to manage dogs as well as care for them.  Having some dog training experience would be beneficial.

Since you don’t need an official professional qualification to walk dogs, it wouldn’t hurt to get the right qualifications and knowledge in business or marketing to get into the right mindset when you begin your dog walking company. Research is always good to know the industry you’re into, as well as getting some extra skills on the side for taking care of dogs.


Do your research

Researching your competitors, their prices, your target audience, registering your business, and understanding the market and industry are necessary for the early stages.

By staying up to date with your competitors, you will understand how to reach your audiences and form your clientele for repeating customers. Choosing your prices will also depend on your competitors, as you might want to offer different packages or costs to reach similar clients to theirs. Analysing how other dog walking companies run their business will help you to recognise how you can enhance your business strategy and be unique.

Constantly staying updated with the dog walking industry may help you construct your unique sales proposition that makes your business stand out from others. Knowing the market might also help you better understand your customers’ wants and needs and how you can adjust your services and offers to cater to them and their lifestyles.

Understanding who your customers are, what they buy, and why they buy it may help your decisions on the services you offer and the different ways how you can cater to them. Successful sales are driven by highlighting the benefits your products and services bring to your customers, which in this case could be packages of 10 walks or 6 hours per week or even the types of walks you offer, e.g. group walks versus a walk on their own. This might also give you an insight into how often the right customers need your service.



Advertising your dog walking business is an essential step to reaching out to possible clients. Building your online presence through a website or social media has many benefits, such as being cheap (sometimes free!), creating relationships with customers, updating your followers quickly, and being easily searchable.

With social media being an excellent platform, you can present your company in any way you want through creating content such as posting on Reels and TikTok. There are endless ways to use social media for small businesses, especially in a way that you can use it to speak to your customers directly to receive feedback that you can use to improve.

Similarly to researching your competitors, you can easily view what they do online to promote their products and services and grab some inspiration from what they do to communicate their brand’s message. Creating content to cater to your audiences has never been easier, and with the push of social media implementing paid ads, you will be able to target them as easy as 1, 2, and 3.


Choosing the right insurance

Another crucial step to starting your dog walking company is choosing the right business insurance. As your clients trust you to care for their fur babies, having the right dog walking insurance will help prevent everyday risks from hounding your small business. Any time you’re taking a dog out on a stroll, you could encounter risks that might lead to an expensive claim or lawsuit that might drain your bank account and lead you to close your business.

Running a small company can run some risks, so as a dog walker, you might consider insurance as a safety net. Dog walking liability insurance has also been designed to give you protection for you and your business in the occurrence a customer or member of the public is injured. Thankfully, sorting out business insurance has never been easier and quicker than comparing it in just minutes with BizCover.

This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.


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