Dog Walking Business
Accredited Diploma in Dog Walking Course
The 9 Dog Walking Course Modules
1. Becoming a dog walker or pet sitter
Your new career in dog walking and pet sitting
Why dog walking and pet sitting is better than most jobs.
What you will need
Filing system for keeping records
Your vehicle. Fixtures and fittings for transporting dogs. Moisture extraction system. Sign writing.
How to get experience (start with friends and neighbours)
How to get organised. Rota management. Time management.
Your appearance. Your choice of uniform. How it promotes your service and boosts credibility
Tools and equipment: Leads, couplers, nail clippers, tick-removers, waterproof camera and phone, footwear, waterproof trousers and jacket.
Outline of the main services (walking, pet sitting, boarding). Which will you offer?
2. Your Dog Walking service
How to provide a dog walking service.
Overview of pet sitting and dog walking
How to provide a dog walking service
Doing market research
How to get your first client
Earning trust and affection
The Point is Exercise
The right kind of lead
Tips for walking dogs
Collecting the dogs
Positioning the dogs in your van
Safely releasing the dogs from your van
Planning your routes
Taking photos and videos
Using a dog whistle
Identifying potential hazards
Getting your dogs back in the van
Returning your dogs to their owners.
Branded dog ID tags
Pricing Your Dog Service
Encounters with other dogs.
Dealing with aggression. How to manage a dog fight
Insurance is essential
Marketing when you’re out. Branded coats.
Interview with Jan Evans, Muddy Paws dog walking service
3. How to provide a Day care and Pet Sitting service
What is Pet Sitting?
How a pet sitting service works
Doing market research into day care and boarding
Getting your first client.
Doing a pre-visit.
Checklist of information you need from the owner
Taking client instructions
What to Charge for Pet Sitting. How to charge
How to reduce high pet anxiety
How to clean a pet’s bed or living area
Securing the property. Keys.
Securing the dog or cat
Giving feedback to the owner. Keeping a journal.
Getting repeat business and referrals
4. How to safely handle and transport dogs and cats
Approaching an animal
How to restrain a dog or cat.
How to handle a dog or cat
Behaviour: fear, self preservation
Transporting cats and dogs.
How to administer medication
5. An emergency! First aid
The moment of truth: Taking care of an injured pet
How to do an assessment
The Dr's ABC method
Airways, Breathing and Circulation
Poisoning, fitting and vomiting
Other animal injuries
Human first aid: Dog bites
What you need in a first aid kit.
How to contact a vet
Who will pay for treatment
6. Providing a home-from-home or boarding service.
What facilities you need for home-from-home
Facilities needed for boarding. Build or buy.
Questions a client asks
What to charge.
How to charge.
7. How to find clients for your Pet Care Business
Marketing Your Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Business
Your company name, brand image and identity
Postcards and business cards
Word of mouth. Referrals
How to set up a simple but effective website.
Handling enquiries. Your terms and conditions.
What to charge.
8. How to manage the money and stay within the law
Do you need to be registered?
How to form a Pet Sitting/Dog Walking business
Do you need a business plan?
Getting business insurance. Public Liability, Employee liability, Care Custody & Control/Animal Liability, Professional Indemnity, Equipment Insurance, Personal Accident Cover, Vet Fees Extension, Loss of Key Cover, Glass Cover. Some recommended companies.
Suitable van insurance
Local council licensing for operating as a dog walker in a local park or if you offer dog home boarding services.
Borrowing for your business
Your costs. Paying the bills
Keeping the books and using an accountant – we have this already.
What the law says
DBS checks (formerly CRB) to demonstrate trustworthiness and add confidence in your service.
Useful resources and links
9. Launching your service, and finding your first client
Marketing yourself/your service/practice/business
Positioning your business
USP - standing out from the crowd
How to find clients
Sources of work
Sustaining your profile
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