How to start a dog walking business

Could you become a professional pet sitter and be best of breed in the dog eat dog world of pooch care?

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What is a dog walking business?

It’s often said that Britain is a nation of animal lovers, but in credit crunching and belt tightening times, animal care is, err, going to the dogs, as owners put longer and longer hours in at the office in an attempt to pay off their debts.

There’s no doubt, then, that Britain’s dogs are crying out – pining, even – for attention, and if you’re an animal lover with an entrepreneurial streak who empathises with these oft-overlooked victims of the economic downturn, then starting a dog walking business could be right up your alley.

Despite reports that dog walkers have suffered from the effects of the credit crunch, a report by insurance company Insurantz.com, found that with 6.5 million dogs in the UK, dog walkers can earn up to £8 per hour per dog from time-strapped workers.

Need a loan to start your dog walking business? Find out more here

Marilyn Lewis from the National Association of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers, or NarpsUK says: “Pet owners are now more aware that it is unfair for a dog to be left for long periods with no company or exercise. More owners are now employing dog walkers to visit and walk their dogs during the day, usually with other dogs, so they get their time out of the house.

Pet sitting and dog walking is one of the fastest growing industries in the UK and can provide a respectable income, adds Lewis. To demonstrate this, NarpsUK provides an income calculator so anybody interested in starting a dog walking or pet sitting business can estimate how much they might earn.

“Many of our members left their jobs in the city for a calmer life,” adds Lewis. “They started on their own walking dogs and running pop-in services but now have staff working for them or even run an agency which brings them a higher income than their previous jobs.”

Ready to get started? Find out everything you need to know about how to start your own business here.