Out of all early jobs kids might take to make some cash, merely mowing grass or working in a retail store might be considered first. But sometimes starting a simple business is just as worthy. A dog walking business is a perfect way for a dog-loving boy or girl to understand the concepts of running a basic business and learning that even the simplest business requires a lot of planning and hard work.
Planning & Running the Business
Consider liability insurance if you plan to walk more than one dog during the day or taking them home with you. This can’t be stressed enough since accidents are more than possible dealing with dogs. You don’t want your family to deal with lawsuits.
Scope out customers by talking with your parents about neighbors in the area who might need their dog walked. Talk with your neighbors directly if they need someone to take care of their dog while away at work or on vacation.
Plan out how much you’ll charge if a neighbor is interested in hiring you. Know that adult, professional dog walkers usually charge $25 a day or more, especially if the dogs are a challenge to take care of while the owners are out. For a first-time fee, consider $5 to start and maybe a few dollars more if the dog you’ll be walking requires extra attention.
Meet with your neighbors about the duties you’ll be performing as a dog walker. Discuss with them the best places to walk their dog or dogs. Know where the leash, dog food and other needed accessories are around the house so you can find them in a hurry.
Interact with the dog you’ll be walking with for a while before you start the job. Getting to know the dog or dogs helps you to bond with them and understand their personality to make the job easier. Learn whether the dog interacts well with other people and animals so you’ll know what to avoid when you walk them.
Ask your employers for a cell phone number so you can contact them in a hurry if you have any immediate issues that arise with the dogs. Have your parents be available as a back-up to handle emergencies.
Request a referral from your employer if you intend to work as a dog walker in the future. But be careful about how many dog walking jobs you take on in the future. Taking care of one dog is usually enough, so balance your future dog walking jobs to a level that’s workable for you.
- As you grow your dog walking business, print up fliers promoting your services and leave them on doors around your neighborhood or throughout your town or city. It’s a good idea to learn pet grooming skills along with pet feeding and sitting. The more skills you can offer in your business, the higher you can charge per day.
- Always have your parents go with you to meet with your respective neighborhood employers. Unfortunately, in this day and age, a sexual predator could lure a child in through this business. Respect your parents to make the ultimate decision whether working with the dogs from an unknown neighbor is a safe business opportunity for you.
- child walking dog image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com