How to become a dog walker - Advice on becoming a UK dog walker

How to become a dog walker

How to become a dog walker takes more than just putting a leash on a dog and going for a stroll. Today’s dog walker is a profession that can earn a person a decent living while exercising and enjoying the great outdoors.

Whilst dog walking insurance UK is not mandatory, it will act as a passport to getting local waking jobs. You should also consider joining a professional dog walking organisations and completing any training course to improve your dog walking skills. These steps will ensure you do not miss out on business which is vital to grow your pet business

Minimal start up Expenditure

Initial setup costs are minimal whilst a professional dog walking certificate is not mandatory, it will prove to potential customers that you are committed, and they will be more likely to trust you with their precious pets. Dog walking and dog training course are available online.

You will need to have the correct walking gear, a good pair of outdoor dog waking boots, dog bag and weatherproof coat. Whilst owners will have their own leads they may not be suitable, as such it is advisable to invest in a dog waling harness in  range of sizes. This along with a range of waterproof dog coats preferably with legs and underbelly will help you stand instil further confidence.

As your business grows, you may start to consider investing in a van. Useful dog walking accessories to your van or car include a dog car ramp and dog car seats. The seats will provide some extra safety for the digs whilst also keeping your interior clean 

What are the legal requirements for being a dog walker?

Legally, there are no prerequisites or minimum level of education requirements for a person to become a dog walker. The only real requirement is to get someone to pay you to walk their dog, that’s it. Once that is accomplished, you will be a professional dog walker.

What is required by law is that since there will be a revenue stream, walking dogs is a business and must be registered with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs office. If you will be the only dog walker, then this register should be done as a sole trader. If you plan to hire others to help you in the business, then you should register as a limited company.

For those that have some success at this new business venture and are able to break the financial threshold of £11,500 within a year, then any amount above that will be taxed as income. Another requirement is that once that financial threshold is surpassed is you must have national insurance as required by law.

What can help my dog walking business grow?

There are several items a person can obtain to make their business more attractive to potential clients who have dogs. The reason for obtaining these items is to show you are operating a real business and take the care and wellbeing of the dog under your care seriously.

  • Certification; many institutions offer dog walking certifications. These establishments help a person to understand the business and how to properly handle a dog and dogs. Walking multiple dogs, being able to handle and break up a dog fight along with providing first aid to simple wounds on animals will be explained and learned.
  • Dog walking insurance; this is the protection a dog walker should have to protect their business. The most common is public liability cover that will handle the legal issues and costs if someone files a claim against you. It should also cover the cost of caring for a dog that might become injured, lost or killed while under your care. For more information on dog walker insurance is this helpful link.
  • DBS check; this is a simple disclosure and barring service check that shows any potential clients that you have no hidden secrets in legal terms. It is the same type of check most employers do on prospective employees. It provides evidence you are not a thief, a person who breaks the law or been mean to animals. Furthermore, it is a path to proving you are trustworthy.

How to become a dog walker is simple, just put a leash on a dog and go for a walk. What takes some planning is to become a professional walker where you handle someone else’s dogs while creating a revenue stream. What is known is that dogs need regular exercise. This is why professional dog walkers are needed and in demand to assist the dog owner who is too busy to provide the proper amount of exercise their canine friend needs.

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