Dog Walking Business Insurance and Practicalities Questions

Discussion in 'Dog Walking' started by lemmsy, Jun 11, 2010.


  1. lemmsy

    lemmsy PetForums VIP

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    Hello all,

    For a long while now I have contemplated starting up my own business as a dog walker/pet sitter on a part-time basis (involving week days and weekend times but could sometimes/often provide a full time service).
    In fact about a year or so ago I posted a thread with my queries and recieved some excellent advice from alphadog (thanks btw :thumbup:)

    Up until recently it has remained just an idea but now my situation has changed slightly and I am now in the position where I can make it a reality and could even start working by the end of this month.

    I have done a fair amount of market research. There is nobody that provides this service in my immediate vicinity. Although there is someone who provides the service about 4 miles away, so there is definitely an opportunity in my area.

    Having spoken to other dog walkers, I know that the main time that people want their dogs walks between 10am and 3pm to provide them with a break in the typical 9-5pm working day. I am also aware that the other market I may be dealing with are the occasional day-outers who cannot take their dogs with them as well as possible the older generation.

    I have also researched the average price that people seem to charge for a 1 hour group walk which worked out at aprox £10.40
    whilst solo walks tend to be aprox £12.
    most also provided 1/2 hour and 45 minute options too.

    Home visits to top up food and play etc also tended to cost on average about the £7 mark per 20 min to 1/2 hour visit.

    I have looked into insurance and recieved several quotes which I am still in the process of comparing.
    The basic type policy covering public liability and cover for loss and injury to pets in my control.
    I have also got quotes for loss of key cover included too.
    One question I have is regarding my insurance cover for dogs in transit. I have my own transport- my car which is (and will be further) fitted out with crates in order to transport dogs to and from the walking location where necessary. However many policies do not appear to specify where and how this is covered in the policy or at least it is not clear. Am I right to understand that in many policies this aspect is covered under the "Care, Custody and Control of animals" part of the policy. Or do I need to cover my car or amend my car insurance policy details by selecting the "carrying other peoples' goods" option?
    confused.com :confused:

    Obviously I don't want to leave anything to chance as I certainly know that if I was looking for someone to care for my own dog I would want them to be fully insured etc.

    Any words of advice anyone could add?
    I will of course be setting up a website and looking into printing posters and flyers etc.
    I am friends with the local APDT behaviourist who I am sure would provide a reference for me, as well as our vet and members of my agility club etc.
    I am also looking into sorting a CRB check too.
    Also how have you lot gone about writing contracts etc?


    Thanks in advance :)
     
    #1 lemmsy, Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  2. PawsandPurrs-Bridgnorth

    PawsandPurrs-Bridgnorth PetForums Member

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    Hello, I dont have much time now as got to get my little boy from school.

    Im insured with Cliverton and offer a Dog Walking and Pet Sitting bussines.

    As for the transport Cliverton cover me as a "pet taxi" which basicaly means I can transport other peoples pets. Also you will need to change your car insurance to "business" use as well. This has only cost me an extra £5 a year :)

    I offer half hour, 45 minute and 1 hour walks. £6 for half an hour, £7 for 45 mins and £8 for an hour.

    A 20 minute pet visit to feed etc is £6

    I offer pet sitting too.

    Always meet new customers and their pets first face to face, dont just chat on the phone. Have forms for them to fill in and make sure they give as much info as possible.

    Ive got to go now but feel free to e mail or pm me if you want to chat about starting up this kind of business and good luck, its hard work but brilliant fun :)
     
  3. lemmsy

    lemmsy PetForums VIP

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    Brilliant thanks very much for confirming about the use of car etc.

    I am currently favouring "Pet Business Insurance". The only thing that confuses me is that companies such as PBI and cliverton seem to have separate policies for dog walkers and pet taxis but yet they seem to cover the same thing (public liability care, custody and control of animals, loss of key cover). Am I write in assuming that essentially you just select one and your cover is the same?

    I have had some really low quotes from some companies- one quoting me something like £49 pa for public liability and cover for injury, loss etc to animals in my care (which I assume is the same as care, custody and control of animals)? I'm thinking that there must be a catch somewhere!?!

    How have you all found establishing a base of customers? I live in quite a high dog population area as there are 3 big country parks in the immediate vicinity, so I'm hoping that this will help?

    On another note... I need to get thinking of names etc. Any ideas anyone?
    Anyway thanks for your help :) I'll pm you ;)
     
  4. lemmsy

    lemmsy PetForums VIP

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    Thanks Rona that's a big help.
    The basic disclosure is actually cheaper than what is charged on the CRB site for organized standard applicants and the waiting time seems better too.
     
  5. PawsandPurrs-Bridgnorth

    PawsandPurrs-Bridgnorth PetForums Member

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    Have replied to your pm. If your confused by Cliverton give them a ring, their really nice and really helpful x
     
  6. Nina

    Nina PetForums VIP

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    Have you considered NARP's (The National Association of Registered Petsitters), they also provide insurance as well as registration :)