Dogs are animals that need a lot of attention and exercise. Unfortunately, not every owner can offer enough exercise. Above all, work and living in small apartments mean that more and more dogs suffer from the lack of activity. Masters and mistresses, who want to change this, may look forward to a new trend that has come from the United States to Germany and wins more and more followers. There is the talk of so-called Dog walkers – people who go with foreign dogs and get money for it. Sounds like a dream job for you? Then you should definitely read on to find out what requirements you have to fulfill as a budding dog walker. Dog Walker is the best idea for a small business ideas by which you can become an entrepreneur.
Dog walkers: tasks, workday, requirements
First of all, the activity of a dog walker is quite simple for outsiders, but appearances are clouding. If you are interested in implementing this business idea, you should know that there is much more to do than just “go for a walk”. As a dog walker, you must, among other things:
- Run several dogs at the same time
- Feed dogs
- Administer medication to dogs
- Pick up the dogs from the owner and bring them back
- Supervise dogs (until the owner picks him up)
- Do small exercises with the dogs
The daily work of a dog walker can, therefore, be described as very varied. Even if you are dealing daily with the cold-blooded four-legged friends, it is very unlikely that a boring routine sets in. On the contrary: The constant change of dogs will ensure that you have to get involved again and again in new situations and challenges.
When your working day starts as a dog walker and when it ends, depends largely on your customers. Many Dog walkers offer their services early in the morning and do not say no to an evening dog show.
Tip: If you want to avoid very early and very late orders, you should communicate fixed business hours from the beginning.
What must a Dog walkers be able to do?
Now we come to the requirements of a Dog Walker. Even though there is no state-recognized vocational training in Germany, this does not mean that anyone X-arbitrary can do this job. On the contrary, as Dog walker on the road to success, you must meet a whole range of conditions:
- The animal lover in general and dog lovers in particular
- professional knowledge about the dog
- lightning fast assessment of danger and conflict situations
- good reactivity
- Enjoy working outside (in wind and weather)
- Joy of movement
The typical career path of a dog walker
As already mentioned, one can not learn the profession of the Dogwalker neither in an education nor in the context of a study. However, anyone who wants to realize this business idea can nevertheless prepare for it technically.
Most Dog walkers can already look back on a multi-year experience as a pet lover in animal shelters and/or dog-sitter to start your self-employment. These activities are great for learning basic skills and getting a feel for all sorts of dogs. Because one thing every Dog walker should be aware of: There is not “the one” dog. Each animal is a unique individual with strengths and weaknesses, quirks and endearing features.
In order to recognize these as quickly as possible and to be able to work well with them, it also makes sense, as a dog walker training to complete an apprenticeship or a workshop to the dog trainer. In the course of these measures, you will not only learn the professional handling of the animals, but you will also learn how to de-escalate sensitive situations, keep particularly complicated cases at bay and teach dogs basic commands quickly.
If you do not want to leave anything to chance, you can now start looking for special training opportunities for budding dog walkers on the internet. The business idea has become so well-known that it is hardly surprising that the first seminars and online workshops are already mushrooming.
Dog walkers: What else do you need to consider?
- Insurances: Running strangers is always associated with a variety of risks – both for you and the dogs and not least other people who may be attacked by one of the animals, for example. In order to be sufficiently secured in such a situation, it is indispensable to conclude appropriate insurance.
- Customer acquisition: You are well prepared for the activity as a dog walker and cannot wait to carry out the first animals? Then you should first stir properly the advertising drum. In order to win customers, you can use a wide variety of advertising channels – from the Facebook page to flyers and trade fair stands.
- Office: Although you spend most of the day outdoors, you need to set up an office as a dog walker. Here you can check emails, make phone calls, coordinate customer inquiries, do marketing and do many other administrative and organizational tasks. To save costs, it makes sense to set up a home office.
- Clothing: One aspect that is often forgotten is the matching work wear for Dogwalker. Above all, it should be wind and weatherproof. In the beginning, be sure to invest in a pair of neat (hiking) shoes, comfortable trousers, and an all-weather jacket. The garments can be booked as operating expenses and tax deducted.
Dog walkers – A profession with a future?
The triumph of the Dog walker in Germany has just begun. The business idea is still perceived as exotic and unusual, but it also convinces more and more interested parties.
The fact is: Acceptance will continue to increase over the next few years. This, in turn, means that more and more dog owners are willing to put their pets in the care of a professional dog walker. After all, they only want the best for the dog, who in most cases is a firm and dearly beloved member of the family.
Important: register your business!
Anyone who wants to become self-employed as a Dog Walker and thus earn money may not, of course, forget an important step: The business registration with the resident trade office.
It should be noted that you specify a legal form. Most Dog walkers are sole proprietors. This legal form is not only relatively unbureaucratic but also requires no share capital. The big disadvantage of the sole proprietorship: If you fail with your business, you are liable not only with your business but also with your private assets.
Note: Many Dog walkers build your self-employment once in the ancillary industry. If you then have enough customers, the job can easily be changed to the main job.