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How to Start a Dog Walking Business

A dog walking business is a great small business to start. You don't need an office and there are no big expenses up front to get the business going. A dog walking business is based on reliability, trustworthiness, and a love of dogs [source:

AKC]. In urban areas, people and their dogs live in small spaces, and the owners are often at work all day. Owners need dog-walkers to walk and exercise their dogs. So spread the word, and you're good to go on a new and profitable venture, not to mention some good outdoor exercise to help keep you in shape.

Here are some tips to help you start a dog walking business.

  • Register your business with your state's Department of Commerce and get a federal tax identification number.
  • Learn how to handle all kinds of dogs. You may have to walk an aggressive dog, or a dog that doesn't like strangers. A good way to get experience is to volunteer your services at a local animal shelter.
  • Get some supplies. You should have pooper scooper handy, as well as waste bags, extra leashes and a muzzle, just in case [source: Walden University].
  • Purchase special insurance for pet sitters. This is important, in case a dog in your care harms someone or damages property [source: PUPS].
  • Decide on a fee for your services. Dog walkers usually charge per hour [source: AKC].
  • Build up a clientele. Advertise online, make up fliers, and post on your local community board. You can also advertise at local pet stores.
  • Draw up a contract for clients to sign. The contract should include your responsibilities as well as those of the client.
  • Meet all potential dogs and owners before accepting any jobs [source: Walden University]. //]]]]> ]]>