If you are somebody that loves dogs, then you might be considering starting a dog walking business. The good news is that you don’t need any type of training or qualifications to become a dog walker, although having them will add to your credibility and give you the confidence that you’re offering a service during which you can really look after the dogs that are in your care. You will have to put in a significant amount of hard work for your business to see the rewards.
If you are worrying that you are not sure if you have thought of everything that will be involved, then below we have listed 6 essentials for your dog walking business.
#1 A DBS Check
You will need to acquire a Criminal Record Check, known in England and Wales as a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. In Scotland, you should apply for a Basic Disclosure and in Northern Ireland, the process is called Access NI. These types of checks exist to prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, such as children and animals, making this service absolutely essential.
It might also help provide reassurance to your customers if you sign up with The National Association for Pet Sitters & Dog Walkers. They assist pet businesses, pet owners, government departments, researchers and others to access information about the UK pet industry business sector and can provide help and advice on setting up a dog walking business.
#2 A Business Agreement
Providing a written business agreement to your clients is a great idea. These types of contracts can help to protect your business if any disputes arise. Include details of the service and costs, with a breakdown of your responsibilities, including how far the walks will be, what pet supplies should be provided by the client or by yourself and if the dog has any specific requirements, behavioural issues or medical conditions. Meeting the dog before you draw up a business agreement is always advised.
#3 Dog Walking Supplies
As well as leads and harnesses, you will find that you need lots of other supplies as a dog walker. This includes biodegradable poop bags, a bowl and water, dog treats, dog wipes and even a flashlight will all help you when walking dogs for a living. If you are a professional dog walker then you will need to be able to carry everything too, so investing in a suitable backpack is recommended.
#4 Your Own Transport
You will find it much easier having your own transport when running a dog walking business. It may be difficult to collect the dogs using public transport, and if you do not live near open spaces that are available for you to walk the dogs, then having your own transport is essential.
#5 A Business Website
As with any business, if you are running a dog walking business it’s important to have an online presence. Be sure to research all of your options and choose a website and design that suits the needs of you and your business.
#6 Dog Walkers Insurance
Public liability insurance is not compulsory but it is essential to ensure your dog walking business’ survival. It will protect you from the cost of any unexpected incidents that you could be held liable for and which could result in financial difficulties for you and your dog walking business. Ashburnham Insurance provides public liability insurance for dog walkers, dog runners and doggie daycare businesses. We compare a range of trusted insurers so that our customers can choose the best insurance provider for their dog walking business.
If you have people working for you, then you need employers liability insurance, not having this protection could financially damage your business. In some cases, businesses are exempt, such as family businesses, so for full clarification on whether the law applies to you, please consult the relevant HSE guides or speak to a qualified adviser.
Compare quotes quickly and easily online or contact Ashburnham Insurance for more help or advice on FREEPHONE 0800 1696137.