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Starting a Dog Walking and/or Pet Sitting Business

(The following applies to the UK but the general information should be useful to all.)

If you love animals - deciding to become a pet-sitter gives you the opportunity to run your own pet-sitting business and be your own boss in a profession you’ll enjoy.

A pet sitting-business is easy to start and inexpensive to run and only requires some planning before you begin.

Knowledgeable and dedicated pet-sitters are always in demand. A pet-sitter is a contracted service provider who can provide a variety of services usually including one or more from the following list:

• Home Boarding

• Boarding in Client’s Home

• Dog Walking (A dog walking business is one of the most common to set up)

• Pop in Services

• Small Animal Boarding

• Cat Sitting

• Doggie Day Care

• Pet Taxi Services

Pet owners seek out pet sitters who make them feel confident that their pet will be cared for responsibly and that their pet will receive the care and attention it needs while its owner is away.

dog with suitacase Good pet sitters are respected and trusted amongst their clients. In the same way that a registered child-minder indicates a level of knowledge, experience, dependability and professionalism, a registered pet sitter providing a professional service will install confidence and peace of mind in your customers.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself before you begin:-

• Do I genuinely love animals?

• Do I have experience in caring for animals? ( your own or other peoples)

• Am I responsible enough to put the pet’s needs first? (dog walking - rain or shine)

• If home boarding, is my home safe & secure?

• Do I have social skills (you need to communicate to the owners that you are capable).

• Am I business minded? (Organisational skills and practicalities are essential)


7 must do’s to running a pet sitting business

1     Do have Pet Sitting Forms and Contracts in place.

2.     Do get Pet Sitters Insurance.

3.     Do get a Pet Sitter’s CRB check if you will be holding keys.

4.     Do have a paperwork storage system, ideally a Pet Sitters Database.

5.     Do write up a Pet Sitter’s Business Plan.

6.     Do run a Marketing Campaign and get flyers made up.

7.     Do join a pet sitting membership organisation that will help you with all of this.



NarpsUK is a pet sitter’s membership organisation who is there to help people start their own pet sitting business or grow and existing one. They can provide you with all of the above plus offer you help and advice when needed.
 

  How to choose a pet sitter

 


If you intend to start a dog home boarding business you may find a book called 'Starting Your Own Dog Home Boarding Business' by Tamsin Stone both useful and interesting.

The book is all about setting up a business including legal requirements, making sure your home is safe, choosing insurance, marketing, accounts etc. (it's aimed at UK boarders so the information is all about UK legislation). 

The author tell me she really wanted to help make sure that boarders that are starting out have all the information to run a successful business and just as importantly keep the dogs they are caring for safe. A lot of people start off with the best of intentions but don't do enough research - and sometimes it's tough to actually find the relevant information; that is where she hopes the book will help.


 

 

 

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