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Dog walking may not seem like the most lucrative way to make money, but pet owners often need extra cash.
In fact, as a niche or independent business, you can set your own price and charge whatever you're willing to accept from pet owners as payment.
Find out how you can start making money by dog walking at home with these tips:
What is A Dog Walking Career
Dog walking can be a business that grows really fast as long as you put in the effort.
But what is dog walking? Is it a business? How do I start? What are the benefits and risks? Are there other options?
Before we go into dog walking, let's take a look at the definition of dog walking. According to Merriam-Webster, dog walking is “the act or process of accompanying a dog on a walk.” This is a great definition because it encompasses everything that dog walking is.
A dog walker's job is to take care of dogs, provide exercise and socialization for pets, and ensure the pets stay safe.
It's not an easy job, but you can succeed with the proper training and knowledge.
There are many ways to make money by dog walking. This article will give you several tips and tricks to start a dog-walking business from home.
Conduct market research before launching your business
Before launching your own dog-walking business, conduct consumer research to find out what consumers want.
You can use a consumer research tool like Survey Monkey to conduct a survey on the topic.
Next, analyze the results to see the business model most appeals to consumers. You can also conduct survey research with friends, family, or your friends that have dogs to see what kind of needs they have.
For example, if you're planning to start a dog walking business, find out if your clients need someone who walks their dog only once a week or twice a day. You can offer a reduced rate if they need someone who only walks their dog on rainy days.
Set up a blog to grow your business
To start a dog-walking business, you may find it nice to create a blog to market your services.
This is a great way to attract new clients and expand your customer base. Setting up a blog also helps you promote your services and track how effective your marketing efforts are.
An influential blog can also help you gain exposure when looking for clients. People who read pet blogs are likely interested in pet-related services like dog walking.
Setting up a blog to sell your services can be time-consuming. However, there are a few easier ways to do it.
Using Rover Dog Walking App
The Rover Dog Walking App already has a website made up for you.
When you first sign up for an account, you will be directed to create a profile and set up your prices.
Once this is completed, you will be added to the list of people in your area who offer the same services. This will take out the time required to set up your blog.
You will also be able to view other Rover dog walkers in your area and read their reviews and profiles. You can then use this information to help you grow your business.
Passive Income Pathways
If you want to use your blog to make passive income and give your clients a place to sign up for your services, then Passive Income Pathways is a great place to go. They offer tutorials that take you through the blog setup process.
Once you finish setting up your blog, you can join VIP, giving you access to a group of individuals who work with each other and care about your success. They will be able to help you grow your blog to the 6-digit numbers on a passive income. This way, you will not only be helping others by walking their dogs but bringing in an even bigger income.
Set your pricing ahead of time
The most important thing you can do when considering how to make money dog walking is to know your pricing ahead of time.
Setting a price in your head before you have even started charging clients can be a bit trickier than you think.
Here are a few ways you can figure out your pricing ahead of time:
- Look around at what other dog walkers in your area charge for their services. This will be a good starting point for you to begin pricing out your services.
- Talk to your friends who have pets and see what they would pay for a dog walking service. This will give you a better idea of where to set your prices.
- Research what other companies charge for similar services. Many companies like pet sitters, dog walkers, and boarding services use a “market rate” as a price guideline. You can look up these “market rates” or search engines to find pet-sitting companies, dog-walking companies, and boarding companies near you.
You don't want to charge too little or too much. You want to set a price worth your time and what the pet owner will pay.
Rover Dog Walking is a great service to do some price research on because they list what people in your area charge for your services. You can also learn how long the other dog walkers have been walking dogs and, based on reviews, how many clients they have had.
Estimate How Much You'll Make Each Day
Estimating how much you'll make each day is crucial when you're starting a dog-walking business. It's also something that most people fail at.
First, determine your pricing strategy. Will you charge per walk, per month, per hour, etc.?
Next, determine the value of your services to your target clientele. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the average time it takes you to walk your client's dog?
- How much does it cost you in gas and food to drive to and from clients' houses?
- How much will parking fees, liability insurance, etc., cost me?
- How much will it cost me to buy supplies- treats, poop bags, leashes?
- How much do I need to make each day to pay my bills?
The cost of running a dog-walking business should be more than the income you make daily.
Tips to Cut Back On Costs
To help cut back on some of these costs, you can have the owner provide their own leashes and poop bags. Normally, the client already has these on hand and does not mind you using them for their dogs. However, make sure you only use them for the client's dog.
Another way to cut costs is using Rover Dog Walking apps. Rover Dog Walking does charge you a small fee to use their services. However, the insurance protection that they offer can be well worth it.
You can make money by providing extras with your service.
Like in any other business, dog walkers can make money by offering extras with their service.
These extras could include:
- Cleaning up the poop in the client's yard
- Giving the dog a wipe down to clean off any mud or dirt
- Having Bandanas for the client to choose from to let their dogs have after the walk
Offer A Great Dog Walking Experience
To be a great dog walker, make sure to provide value to your clients. Following these tips will help you provide your clients with a valuable dog-walking experience.
Be Knowledgeable About Dogs
Many dog owners will find you the expert in dogs and will want to ask you questions. Do not be afraid to answer these questions as long as you know the answer. If you do not, make sure to do your research. Chances are someone else will have the same question for you.
Dogs can be unpredictable, so learning to read their body language is very important. You can do this by taking a course on dog walking and behavior.
Don't Forget to Take Photos of the Dogs
Clients love pictures of their pets, especially when on dog walks! Taking high-quality pictures will help set you apart from other dog walkers and may even bring in more clients.
An excellent way to do this is to take photos of your clients. You can take pictures at every walk with a smartphone or digital camera.
To help you get the best shots, try to do the following:
- At different points in the walk.
- Try not to use flash because this often makes the dog look red-eyed.
- Take pictures of their face. Usually, dogs that go on walks will wear smiles, so try to capture these moments.
- Try to take pictures of the dog that the owners would want to post on the wall.
- Take photos every time; dog owners usually want to know that their dogs are being well cared for while on the walk.
Using the Rover Dog Walking for each dog walk you go on, you will be required to take pictures every time. This helps the dog owner to know that you actually walked their dog.
At the end of each walk, write a thank you note and stay in touch
At the end of every walk, write a thank you note to your client. You can also set up a system to remind you to check in with your clients a few days after the walk. Ask them how their dog is doing and let them know you would be happy to walk them again.
This shows that you care about the owner's dog. It also increases your likelihood of being invited to walk the client's dog again.
The Rover Dog Walking App has a section where you can write a quick thank you note. Make sure to always utilize this area, as the dog owners will typically read it. Many owners care if their dogs pooped and if it is firm or not. This is something that you can include in the note.
Don't be afraid to ask for feedback.
One of the best ways to find new clients is to ask for reviews from your existing clients.
If you have the Rover Dog Walking app, your client will automatically receive a message asking if they will leave a review. However, asking them to leave a review is still a great idea. This way, you can show other potential clients that you are proficient at dog walking.
By clients leaving you a review, you will also climb the ranks in the Rover Dog Walking app so that you can be at the top of the list.
Many potential clients will take their time to read reviews to learn about you, so it is important that you have trustworthy reviews to help set you apart from others.
A dog walking business is the perfect solution for anyone who loves dogs and wants to make extra money while having fun at the same time.
In this post, we've walked through what it takes to start your own dog walking business, how to be a successful dog walker, and how to add extras on to make more money.
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