For a richer life

Make £60 an hour while getting fit by dog walking

Make £60 an hour while getting fit by dog walking Cogdogblog/Flickr

 

Dog walking is a great way to make money on the side and get fit at the same time. In cities, particularly, there is a lot of call for dog walking services, and it’s well-paid. Some people even have given up their day job to set up a full-time dog-walking business. Here’s how you can make easy money as a dog walker.

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Dog walking is becoming a very popular way to make money on the side in the UK and it’s not surprising.

  • You make really good money (£10-15 per dog per hour or part of the hour)
  • It’s fantastic exercise
  • It’s pretty flexible
  • and (I’m told) a great way to meet a new partner. Imagine – you make money and you meet the love of your life while getting fit!

In London and the South particularly people are willing to pay £10-15 per dog, per hour or part of an hour. So if you walk four at a time you could make £60 an hour! Of course, there are other aspects to this work, so you need to know what the potential costs and downsides are before you dive in.

 

Dog walking – What’s involved?

Being a dog walker is as simple as it sounds. You arrange to pick up the animals, take them for a walk and then return them home. You might need to do it twice a day for each dog and a good walk means a minimum of half an hour – ideally an hour.

Dog walkers charge per dog, per hour. Rates range from about £10-15 per dog, per hour (or half hour in some cases). If you’re able to take several dogs at once that means you can earn significant amounts per day.Bid Dog and Little Dog

However, to start off with you need to be careful not to take on too many dogs for one walking slot. If you have not done this type of work before it might be best to start off with just one dog but you should be able to cope with about three or four dogs depending on their size, speed and levels of obedience early on.

Then, as you get to know their characters, you can organise them into groups that will get on well together. There are no current legal limits on how many dogs you can take out at once but local councils say the worst problems they have are with dog walkers who take out more animals than they can cope with at any one time.

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The main problems are:

  • Dogs running away and not coming back – dangerous and bad for business!
  • Not being able to clean up after them all – illegal and a health hazard.

National guidelines suggest that six is the maximum number of dogs that walkers should be able to cope with at one time. However, some local councils have introduced their own rules and in North Lincolnshire, for example, the maximum is four dogs at once. Make sure you are aware of, and abide by, the rules in your area or you could face a fine.  Your local council can answer any queries you may have so give them a call before you get started.

 

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Getting work as a dog walker

Firstly, you will have to decide whether you want to work for an agency or go at it alone. Both methods have their advantages. You’re more likely to get initial work if you’re registered with an agency but they may charge for taking you on their books and take a cut of your earnings.

Try typing ‘dog walking jobs’ and the name of your local area (say, ‘dog walking London’) into a search engine to see what is on offer or you could register with the national agency Animal Aunts.

A good reputation is often key to getting work so if you want to be professionally vetted then sign up with the National Association of Registered Petsitters. Be warned, however, that membership doesn’t come cheap so if you’re just looking for the odd job, I wouldn’t recommend it.manwalking dog If you choose to be self-employed, you’ll need to think about how you can promote your business.

Putting an advert in a pet shop, vet surgery or on Gumtree.com is a great first step, or why not do some trial dog-walking sessions for friends and ask them to spread the word.

If you’re feeling confident, speak to people walking their dogs in the park. Again, if you walk your own dog already they will trust you more.

Another good starting point is to get business cards printed, be sure to log on to Vistaprint where they offer a set of 100 for £4.99!

Having a good reputation is key for this type of job. You could consider registering with a national association or organisation for dog walkers.

For example, NarpsUK offers members a profile on their website, discounted pet insurance and clients can write reviews and give feedback about  your work. Membership, however, is £149.99 for the first year and £49.99 thereafter so this may be best for those wanting to set up a full-time business.

 

 

What will the dog walking business cost me?

money2Running this sort of business shouldn’t involve much in the way of set-up or running costs.

  • It helps to have a car to reach people, so petrol could be a factor.
  • Also, you should have a ready supply of pooper-scoopers and poops bags and perhaps extra collars or leashes in case the originals fray ( you could ask the owner whether they have a spare set before purchasing your own).
  • You might also like to get gloves and/or antibacterial gel for keeping your hands hygienic.
  • Apart from the that, the biggest expense will probably be insurance. You should speak first to the dog owner to find out what insurance they already have.

Consider Pet Business Insurance as they offer a total package; public liability – if the dog runs out into the road and causes a pile up, or bites someone.  Care, custody and control cover – looks after the pet itself, if it gets injured while under your care and Key replacement cover – if you lose your employers keys they’ll pay to change the locks. All three together will cost around £128.40 for one person starting out in their first year or £110.40 if you have been operating for over a year.

 

 

Offer an unbeatable deal

In tough economic times like these, you might have to sweeten the deal for clients to fight off the competition. Offering both dog walking and pet minding services together will make you very useful, increasing your level of custom.

It’s also a good way of making extra money on top of your dog walking activities. Additional services you might offer are pet feeding, washing pet clothes and bedding, and watering indoor and garden plants if your clients are away for a long weekend in the summer. Equally, vets are happy to see a patient who arrives with their pet sitter as long as payment is pre arranged with the owner.

Routine vet visits for annual vaccinations, flea and worming treatments means a pet can be seen by a vet during the week, which tend to be less busy and therefore less stressful for the pet concerned.

You could also offer a pet B&B to take a dog or small pet, such as a hamster, home with you for a few days, offering full-time company to a pining pooch, or moving in for short periods of time, especially with cats.  Best only to do this if you’re experienced at full time pet care. See how to set up a pet sitting operation in our article here.

 

 

Important: Laws that will affect you

dog fineUnder the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 if you lose control of a dog in your care it is your legal responsibility, not the responsibility of the owner.

Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 or the Animals Act 1971 a dog mustn’t worry livestock on agricultural land.

The person in charge of the dog at the time will be charged with the offence, not the owner. So be aware when walking on downs or farmland, especially in Spring around lambing time. If a dog fouls you have to clean it up by law and dispose of it properly.

Your local council may well give biodegradable poo bags away free, ask for the environmental health department. Check the rules of your local park, these are usually posted at the entrance. It is also useful to have the details of your nearest Dog Warden – contact your local council for details.

You may also want the vet details for each of your charges in case of illness or accidents. You don’t need any training for this work but you could consider a canine first-aid course. Look up local ones in the search engine.

FindExtraWork recommends signing an agreement with any new customers in order to protect yourself from liabilities.

The best idea is a dog walking consent form in which you can include clauses such as who is responsible for the cost of emergency treatment when the dog is in your care, and also an agreement by the owner that the dog will have an annual vaccination and regular worming in to stop the possible spread of disease to other dogs in your care.

You should speak to a solicitor for advice about drawing up a consent form and the conditions you should include.

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If you’re looking for work as a dog-walker, or you want someone to walk your lovely pooch, tell everyone about it by commenting below!

 

41 Responses to “Make £60 an hour while getting fit by dog walking”

  1. Sengq says:

    Hi,

    I am utterly disgusted with the comments on here, and so untrue, dog walking or dog boarding is a hard job, you don’t make £60 an hour if you do your lying and putting the dogs in your care at great risk, I do both of these job and run my own business, I walk 3 dogs each walk and pick them specifically by temperament, to join each walk, and I love my job, I spend 5 hours a day walking dogs in the rain, snow and gale force winds, I then have to dry them all and take them back home as they came out, it is not a job for young kids looking for extra money to buy I phones, as you have to keep the dogs under control when other dogs and animals pass you by, and should anything happen you are liable, not the owner unless you have drafted up a legal agreement, I would never let a child walk my dog or any other, what I suggest to the kids is contact a local dog walker and ask if you can join the walks with them and ask if you could possibly help out and hopefully you will see this is not easy money, get a paper round or wash cars or cut grass, in your summer holidays but anyone who loves there dog will not allow a child to walk their precious dog !!!! And to Deb you really are a disgusting human being, what kind of person calls there clients muppets, hope you be found out!!!!!

  2. If you need your dog walked and you are in Carlisle, Cumbria then please check out my website or find me on Facebook facebook.walkwoofwag

  3. amanda says:

    we love pets! me and my friend sylvia would like to join a agency we both love animals and would like to spend our free time taking care of them if we need to start a dog walki.g bussiness what would we need to do?

  4. Brooke Hurst says:

    i have two dogs which I walke twice a day. But still seem to have time on my hands which I could be spending wisely. I am 15 years of age and would love to be a dog walker, as I also have a strong love for dogs and are my favourite type of pets. I am a trustworthy person as I have babysat for neighbours and friends of a friends children. Even new borne which wasn’t a struggle as I have siblings younger than me which gained me skills on working and helping with younger children. Considering that I am 15 I personally think I am capable of dog walking as I have lots of experience when it comes to having a responsibility and looking after people and pets. I am also eager to get a job as a dog walker as it would be great to state I have had more work experience on my CV and goes towards my Duke of Edinburgh award I am participating in school. E- mail me if you’re interested brookehurst99@outlook.com

  5. Alexis says:

    I would love to walk dogs I never had any bribe with my dog before I pick up his waste and %100 good with dogs

    If you need a dog walker email me

  6. Deb says:

    I make £280 a day feeding cats for their owners who are out working for a living. It’s proper easy. I just pop in, feed it, stroke it and leave. I also feed rabbits and other animals. I charge £10 a visit and people are happy to pay that! Hahahaaaa I love it. Proper easy. I don’t live in London either so there are plenty of muppets out there willing to pay.

    • Wow – well done Deb! That’s amazing. We’d like to hear more about that.

    • Terry says:

      Wrong on so many levels. It doesn’t actually sound like your doing this for the love of animals, hope your clients don’t see your post. In fact thinking about it..Let’s hope they do!

    • Jules says:

      Your comments have reinforced my suspicions that money is way more important than the animals people have entrusted to you.
      All you folk out there, do not let your pets be visited by anyone called Deb.
      Very disappointing.

    • Sengq says:

      You really are a complete joke and you give people in this industry a bad name , shame on you

  7. Sandra says:

    As a dog walker I find the headline very misleading.
    People want their dogs walked during the middle of the day whilst they are out at work, therefore there are a limited amount of hours in the day to earn money from dog walking. Most people want a regular dog walker so this job is not suitable as holiday work for young people.
    Advertising walking multiple dogs at once is irresponsible. It would be extremely difficult to be in control of that many dogs, either on or off lead.

    The expenses that need to be costed in mean that this is a minimum wage job!

  8. Katy says:

    I’m 14 and I want to get into sign up with an agency, are there any agencies that take on people my age?

  9. marcelina says:

    I’m 13 years old and I would love to be a dog walker as I literally love dogs I’ve never had any problems with my dog. I pick up her waste and I’m 100% sure that I can be trustworthy.

    Please if you are looking for a dog walker email me
    Only in London.
    Malinamartyna@amorki.pl

  10. Caz says:

    Can you tell me how much it is to go in and feed the dog?

  11. Caz says:

    Can you tell me how much it is to go in and feed the dog?

  12. paige says:

    where would this dog walking be

  13. The Shoestring Investor says:

    I think £60 an hour is a little bit of an exaggeration, especially if you’re only an amateur getting into it. But it is a pretty easy field to break into, and once you build a few clients then it is a good, steady income source for work that is not necessarily easy, but often enjoyable. To prove the point (inspired by this article) I started up from scratch and now am making decent money from it and explain the process here: theshoestringinvestor

  14. Dogstay.co.uk says:

    This is a great article – it demonstrates how there are lots of people out there that are making decent money looking after dogs whether that is through dog boarding or dog walking. The issue normally is that in order to make that sort of money, you have to spend a lot of time flyering and generating business which eats into your time. Without plugging ourselves too much, we recommend signing up to our business Dogstay and creating a profile. We have lots of dog lovers looking for people offering these services, in particular dog boarders as an option rather than taking the dog to the kennel before a holiday!

  15. lolster says:

    hi im 11 neerly 12 and i want to try dog walking is it fun! lol.also i think it should be more than £60 poung because i want a iphone 5so is it good?

  16. Leslie says:

    Hi i don’t know about making £60 an hour but it possible to make good money. Yes it has to be treated like a business if you want it to work well, we found some great advice here

    dogwalkingriches.leslieandeliane.

    Leslie and Eliane

  17. shahin says:

    look what just i found… all in one :d

  18. Caitlin says:

    Hi,
    I am 13 and I don’t aggree with saying make £60 an hour, as it is irrsonsible to take 6 different dogs from 6 different homes out on a walk together, it would be acceptible if they are from the same house, with the same owner and very simular dogs.
    I am looking to start dog walking buisness so I can pay for my loan horse, my animals and save up to go to Unervisitity to become to Vet, I am extremily responsible and expericened with diffuilct dogs, but even then I wouln’t take more then 3 out at a time or even less.

  19. Kate says:

    OK everyone, calm down!

    A dog walking business is just that, a business. So I’d say a 13 year old wanting to do it in the summer holidays is going to have to be fairly industrious to make good money and have the common sense and entrepreneurial skills to make it work. And that’s probably not going to happen as anyone letting their dog go to a 13 year old is probably going to be known to them. So I don’t see the need to slate this site for the article as it’s others comments you’re disagreeing with.

    Alison is right, there are many hidden costs, as with all businesses and any responsible pet owner is going to know that, plus they know they’re paying for diligence, responsibility and care. Most councils restrict the number of dogs which can be walked by one person at any one time to cut down on the risk of losing control of them.

    As for walking dogs for £15 an hour I’d say that’s not unheard of, I live in West Sussex and would say that anything between £10 – £15 and hour would be about right. Dogs cost money, lots of money, and if you can’t afford it then get a cat. They cost about half that of a dog to keep. If you don’t believe me look at the latest Euromonitor report.

  20. alison says:

    I have been a dog walker for several years having worked with animals for previous 15.I would say its irresponsible to state that dog walking is as simple as it sounds…its not!
    Logistics generally mean that dogs are scattered around and those close together usually need walked at different times.
    There has been a big rise in inexprienced people wanting to make a quick buck…if you have worked with (and I dont mean your own!!) you should not take out more than 2 dogs together until you have gained some experience.Dogs operate differently in a pack situation.
    Advertising that we “make” £60 is also irresponsible…in the past I have have people shriek “£10 to walk a dog!!” what they fail to remember and articles like yours promote, are the hidden expenses!
    As I said dogs tend to be scattered about and even when close may have different walk times. This has lead me to spending around the same number of hours driving in a day as walking…this time is UNPAID!My van is also costing me in region of £10k a year to run due to high fuel costs,spares/repairs and depreicaiation of vechicle. So the £10 an hour does not I assure you just get pocketed!!
    In addition to make it a full time option a reasonable amount of cash neesds spent on advertising.
    There are other “unpaid” activities involved in running the business such as spending an hour on the phone on a sat night to a prospective client who then never uses you, visiting clients and pets for the first time and making up bills/keeping tax records.
    So again headlining your article as earning £60 is grossly inaccurate and serves to make prospective clients think we are on a racket!

    • John says:

      Alison, Well said. You only have to look at somke of the previous responses to this article to see the type of youngster this is attracting. I certsinly wouldn’t trust my precious dog to an inexperienced teenager. The operator of this website should be ashamed of themselves but understandably will probably delete this comment

      • Martin Bosh says:

        Exactly, being a dog photographer for six yers for me it is obvious. But for ocasional reader it may start a stupid thought: I should be a dog walker in christmas time, and earn some money with it. Irresponsible.

  21. John says:

    £60 per hour? You must be joking! It is irresponsible to promote such high returns especially to vulnerable teenagers. I live in a fairly affulent part of the country and the most you would be expected to pay would be £5 per hour! Tryng to persuade people to take out 3 or 4 dogs at a time is irresponsible. This article clearly not written by anyone who owns or cares about dogs.

    • I don’t know any dog-walkers who charge less than £10 an hour. In fact Gabby Logan told me she was quoted £25 an hour for her dog! I also know a lady in Winchester who runs a dog-walking company – she gave up her day job to do it – and her walkers charge upwards of £10 per hour, so no I disagree that it is irresponsible. These are amounts that we have heard from walkers in different parts of the country.

  22. Emelia says:

    Hii,
    I’m only 16 and I just want to take up dog walking for some extra cash for the holidays.
    Do I really need insurance if I’m just doing it for a few weeks/ months?

    • Moneymagpie says:

      Hi Emelia,

      Getting insurance is optional – it’s not required by law.

      Insurance usually covers two main things:

      1) Vet costs if a dog gets injured in your care
      2) Legal costs (in case your dog causes an accident/bites someone etc. and you get sued!)

      But if you:

      - Are only doing a bit of dog walking
      - Are experienced in handling dogs, and are familiar with the dogs you will be walking
      - Know the dog owners well

      …then you might feel that you don’t need insurance.

      Ultimately it’s up to you. (We’d advise checking with your parents to see what they think).

  23. lewis says:

    iam 14 and live in a in taunton somerset and do i advertise
    my age ???

  24. Kiraaa says:

    I have wanted an iPhone 4s for a while and i thought that this wold be a good idea, i need to raise £200 within about a month .. i am only 13 so i don’t have many options avalible to me. Advertising sounds easy, making a few posters to post around my estate? Maybe i should give this a go?

    • Elise says:

      I am in the same situation as you. I’m 12 (nearly 13) and I really want a new phone because the one I have at the moment is rubbish. Mt village is very small, however lots of people have dogs. So I’m thinking of dog walking to earn some money. Advertising is a great way to start off and it’s a good idea to put up posters on notice boards and in shop windows. Whatever you do though, make sure that you state you don’t want to walk dogs out of your area because you might get calls from people miles away!

  25. miaods says:

    cool article :))

  26. Kelly says:

    Narpsuk are fantastic and worth every penny for registration.
    Maralyn who owns/ runs it has been brilliant in helping me expand my pet sitting business.
    Its money well spent and customers tap in their post code and find you in their area.
    In my opinion its worth signing upto them.

  27. Simon Willmore says:

    HI ayi

    You do not need to register – there is no agency or licence required, you just have to start getting yourself out there!

    Speak to local residents, make some business cards, leave flyers. A CRB check will help but there is no fixed certificate you need!

    • amanda says:

      Hi me and my friend would like to walk dogs if we started a business how would we getting paid go? How we taxed? Would it be easier to join a agancy? Any advice be greatfull

  28. Janet says:

    Thanks for the great advice!

  29. Tony says:

    I’ve been cosidering doing this for some time now(as I lost my job a few months ago) but just haven’t managed to take the plunge because of this god forsaken recession. If anyone has anymore advice on this it would be well aprieciated.

  30. Sylvy says:

    Yes, Some good points. I’m just starting out too, I already contacted Pet Ins Business before I read this acticle and I spent more than a day’s worth of time talking to various brokers, insurance companies and getting online quotes. No one can match Pet Ins Bus cover and they do the direct debit option.

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