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Starting a Dog Walking Business - Am I Doing Everything Right?t

Discussion in 'Animal Jobs & Working with Animals' started by Jacob Alexander, Jun 24, 2018.


  1. Jacob Alexander

    Jacob Alexander PetForums Newbie

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    Hello there, I noticed a gap in my area for pet services and due to my schedule not working with typical jobs I’m starting my own walking business (with hopes to expand into pet sitting in my own home once moved to a suitable property) but wanted to make sure I have everything sorted as I’m planning on opening mid-July (eek so soon).

    I’ve got contracts typed out, veterinary forms, all of the stuff to ensure of the worst happens I know who I need to contact (and the typical allergies, likes, dislikes, etc). My DBS check is currently processing, I’ve found the best insurance for myself (public liability, loss of keys, etc), I have designs for leaflets and a printer, then nearly lastly I’ve got a pet first aid certificate. I’ll be grabbing myself a slip lead, few toys and hypoallergenic treats closer to the time. I have a Facebook page sorted with details, booking information, hour availability too.

    Should I offer in-home visits right away (I would be insured for it and I can get a contract typed up fairly easily), or should I wait until I’m established with references/reviews?

    Also here comes some slight issues:
    I’m 17, and whilst I am trying to be as professional as possible to give piece of mind I don’t intend on kidnapping someone’s beloved fluff - I know some will be put off by that.
    But, I can’t figure out anywhere to state my age, it’s out of place on any leaflet design, I was thinking during booking? Slide it in then make sure they’re fully aware during a pre-walk meeting when they’re signing and reading forms. Do you think this is alright?

    And I’m also unsure about large dogs, I’m reasonably strong and I’ve recently been walking greyhounds for my local rescue to get more experience with larger dogs. Do you think I should operate policy that larger dogs must be particularly well behaved (obviously it’d be nice if they were regardless of size but I can pull against a Shih Tzu) or just try to gain more upper body strength?
     
  2. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    I'm currently setting up my own pet services business too.

    I see no reason not to be offering home visits straight away? If you have the proper insurance etc then why not? Make sure you have your DBS check through before you offer them though. You'll be entering peoples homes anyway to pick up dogs for a walk so it's not all that different.

    Is there a reason you want to state your age? I wouldn't bother. I'm not going to be putting my age anywhere. You should have an initial consultation with any client and they can ask you any questions then. So long as you come across in a professional, reliable manner I can't see there being a problem.

    Hmmm I'm not sure you should be stating 'larger dogs must be particularly well behaved', it may give off the impression you're not confident with large dogs and put off clients. Though, if you're really not comfortable with large dogs then you could politely decline those clients and say you don't have any walks suitable for them? I would say that any dog on a group walk must be reasonably well behaved as obviously you need to be keeping an eye on multiple dogs at once. At your initial meeting you should get a feel for the dog.
     
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