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Lead the Way! How to Make Money from Dog Walking

FACT: Dogs need a lot of walking. If you work all day, that’s a problem for the pooch – unless you pay someone to do it for you.

If you fancy keeping fit and earning some extra money at the same time, dog walking could be a whole new lease of life for you. Some people have even turned it into a full-time job.

If that’s got your ears pricking up, here’s a few tips on how to go about making some canine cash.

  • Dog walkers charge per dog, per walk.
  • A decent walk is usually between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size and breed of dog.
  • The going rate is about £10 an hour, but you’ll need to do your homework and price yourself competitively.
  • Prepare to use a lot of poo bags. And disinfectant hand gel. If the thought is already making you heave, maybe this isn’t the right path for you.
  • If you fail to pick up after your pooches, you risk an on-the-spot fine of at least £80 per… pile!
  • National guidelines suggest you shouldn’t walk more than six dogs at a time. Local councils set their own guidance so contact yours for advice.
  • Until you’re experienced and confident, you’d be better sticking to one or two dogs at first.
  • You could offer your services to a local dog-walking agency, but they’ll charge for putting you on their books. Search online to find what’s going on in your area.
  • If you decide to go it alone and already have a dog, spark up a conversation with other walkers on your travels. They might bite your hand off for the offer of a little help or know someone who needs it.
  • Stick a friendly advert on the supermarket notice board, in your local vets practice or in a pet shop.
  • Get a batch of cheap business cards printed – usually about £5 for 100 – and push them through the doors of homes where you know there’s a dog.
  • Check with the owner of any dog you’re walking that there is full pet insurance in place, to be on the safe side.
  • If your dog walking really takes off, consider getting Pet Business Insurance to cover all bases. You’ll be deemed more professional.

If all this sounds like a walk in the park, don’t be fooled. Should you venture near any livestock, and the dog you’re walking worries any sheep or cows, a farmer is within his rights to shoot it.

Also, under the Dangerous Dogs Act, if you lose control of a dog in your care, it’s your responsibility not the owners.

So, weigh up the pros and cons then lead the way!