Start Your Own Dog Walking And Pet Sitting Business

Start Your Own Dog Walking And Pet Sitting Business

Do you want to start your own dog walking and pet sitting business?

Are you considering a career in the pet care business or just looking to gain a better understanding of the subject? Our dog walking and pet sitting professional course is a good place to start.

Looking after people’s pets is very rewarding but practicing it professionally is a whole new ball game and an exciting opportunity.

This online course has been especially designed for the aspiring professional dog walker who wants to get a thorough foundation in the fundamentals and to ensure you set yourself apart from the crowd.

In this post pandemic world, it’s even more important you have what it takes to survive and thrive.

Study at your own pace. Check your growing knowledge with our mini quizzes, and build for a brighter future.

Course Creator

Our course designer and leader is the irrepressible Kate Middleton. Kate started her own professional dog walking and pet sitting business in Coggeshall, Essex in April 2014.

She is a former Animal Science university lecturer, and also lectures at Writtle University College and The College of Animal Welfare, teaching City and Guild (C&G) Technical Competence Certificates in both Dog Walking and Pet Sitting.

Kate wrote and delivered the original weekend course in ‘How to start a Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Business (which has been running for 4 years now). She is also training as a Touch Practitioner.

​Kate has a Master’s degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, a BSc in Agricultural & Environmental Science (Honours in Animal Science), a PGCE and a Level 2 C&G Certificate in Dog Walking. She also holds certificates in Canine First Aid, Dog Law and Canine Massage. She regularly attends CPD events and conferences to keep her industry knowledge current.

Before becoming a lecturer, she worked for 13 years in the financial sector in London as a Senior Manager for a large European bank and invested cash for Hedge Funds.

So, there is a wealth of experience packed into our course.

Course curriculum, units, modules and what this course covers

Unit 1

Unit 1 is designed to take you step by step through what you need to do to set up a business, and covers everything from evaluating your businesses potential, making decisions, creating documents, insurance requirements and understanding relevant legislation. 

Unit 1 : Setting up a Dog Walking Business/Pet Sitting Business

Welcome to Unit 1 – Setting up a Dog Walking Business. In this course we will look at how you can set up a dog walking business. 

Unit 1 : The Roles and Responsibilities of a Dog Walker/Pet Sitter

Dog Walking and Pet Sitting have become a profession, standards are high and clients have large expectations of the people they allow to take care of their beloved pets. 

Unit 1 : Self Evaluation & Training

You’ve seen the responsibilities of a dog walker/pet sitter, now its time to evaluate whether the job is for you. Did you feel that you could fulfil all the responsibilities listed? Were there any that made you nervous? A good way to help with this is to complete a SWOT analysis.

Unit 1 : Evaluating Business Potential

In this lesson we are going to examine researching your market, creating a business plan and how to set your prices. First you need to decide if you are going to set your business up where you live or in another area. There are pros and cons to each…

Unit 1 : Creating your Business

So this is the exciting bit where you need to make decisions like, which services will I offer, what will the business be called, where will I offer them, how much will I charge?

Unit 1 : Terms and Conditions

For some services like home boarding, house sitting and daycare a contract is a must, but you may find people employing a dog walker or pet sitter are less inclined to sign one. If you can’t agree on a contract then at minimum they must sign that they have read and agreed to your T&C’s.

Unit 1 : Quiz

What have you learnt so far? Lets find out!

Unit 1 : Business Documents

It is part of the RSPCA/Dogs Trust Code of Practice and the LANTRA occupational standards that you keep records about your clients and their animals. These are vital to keep the animals safe and in some cases the client’s property, whilst keeping you within the law and your insurance company happy. 

Unit 1 : Accounts

As a small business owner you are responsible for keeping your own accounts or providing accurate information to a professional to keep them for you. This is largely so you can provide accurate figures to HMRC when you complete your annual tax return, but also so you can see how your business is growing and which income streams are the most profitable.

Unit 1 : Insurance

Every professional has insurance, you would be crazy to go into business and not be covered. Public liability alone could run into millions of pounds if a dog ran across a road and caused a pile up or knocked someone over and caused life changing injuries. If you are in charge of the dog then you are responsible and your house, bank balances and assets are all at risk.

Unit 1 : Marketing

Traditionally when people wanted to find a dog walker or pet sitter they asked friends, family, neighbours, vet receptionists, the bloke in the pub or anyone with a dog or cat! These days they might still do that but they will also ask for recommendations on social media or search the internet.

Unit 1 : Equipment

You will need some money to buy equipment for your business, some items are essential, some are nice to have.

Unit 1 : Quiz

This quiz will test what you have learnt about Business documents, insurance and equipment.

Unit 1 : Some Laws that apply to Dog Walkers

The laws relating to dogs can be very confusing and sometimes controversial, as a professional dog walker or pet carer you are liable under many pieces of legislation because you are deemed to be the temporary keeper of that animal.

Unit 1 : Important Laws for Small Businesses

Here we will touch on a few other pieces of legislation that you need to be aware of when running a business.

Unit 1 : Tax and National Insurance

For this section we are drawing on our own experiences, we are not licensed tax advisers, so you should speak directly to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or a tax adviser with any questions. You should have basic knowledge of what your responsibilities are as a small business with regards to paying tax and National Insurance.

Unit 1 : Quiz

How much legislation have you learnt? Let’s find out.

End of Unit & Summary (NEED CONTENT)

Need content

Unit 2

Unit 2 of this course will look at the practical day to day running of the business, including client enquiries, day to day procedures, meet and greets, behavioural assessments, mixing dogs from different households, when to let them off lead, your personal health and safety and that of the dogs.

Unit 2 : Running A Dog Walking/Pet Sitting Business

Welcome to Unit 2 – Running a Dog Walking / Pet Sitting business. 

Unit 2 : Initial enquiry and consultation

New clients can contact you by phone, text, email or through your website and social media. It is very important that you make a good, professional impression.

Unit 2 : Planning walks

This lesson will look at scheduling, first walks with a new dog, mixing dogs to form groups, letting off the lead and feeding back to the client.

Unit 2 : Managing group walks & Behaviour

Even if you are very experienced in walking your own dog or dogs it does not prepare you for walking a group that are from different households. There are lots of things to watch out for and manage but once you get it right you can form some bonds between dogs that can last for years. 

Unit 2 : Home, Dog and Personal security

You have a responsibility to make sure that you keep the client’s keys, house and dogs safe whilst they are in your care. 

Unit 2 : Keeping Yourself Safe and Healthy

In this lesson we will look at how you need to protect yourself from injury and illness. As a self employed person you need to be able to work to earn money to pay your bills and keep your business running.

Unit 2 : Quiz

A test of your knowledge so far…

Unit 2 : Species, breed, lifestage and age differences

Keeping animals safe and healthy is an enormous topic and we will cover the following in the next few lessons.

  1. Differences due to the age, species, breed and lifestage of the animals.
  2. Use of equipment, first aid and training.

Unit 2 : Use of equipment and first aid

There are lots of pieces of equipment that you might need to keep animals safe whilst in your care….

Unit 2 : Seasonal Hazards

You should be very aware that walking dogs in the British summer can be tricky and sometimes dangerous but are you also aware of the autumnal, spring and winter hazards?

Unit 2 : Minimising the spread of disease

Diseases are caused by pathogens like bacteria, viruses, giardia, fungus and parasites. Each pathogen has its own way of being transmitted from one animal to another, this could be in the air, on objects, in bodily fluids/faeces or close contact.

Unit 2 : Petting Sitting Visits

These are usually for cats, small mammals and fish whilst owners are away; or elderly dogs, puppies, sick or injured dogs that are unable to go on walks.

Unit 2 : Housesitting

Housesitting can be a fantastic source of income when you first start your business and is fairly well sought after in the UK. If you are a dog walker and pet sitter you must be careful that you can still continue to do these jobs whilst you are housesitting, so stay local.

Unit 2 : Quiz

Let’s test your knowledge of the second part of this course..

End of Unit & Summary

We hope that you have enjoyed the course, have learnt many things and now feel confident to start your own business!

Frequently Asked Questions

Please find a list of questions and answers below. If your question is not listed, feel free to chat to us by clicking the live chat button to the bottom left of your screen.

Is this course online?

Yes. This is an online, self paced course.

I see there are different options, how does that work?

We offer 3 different purchase options. You can either buy unit 1 or unit 2 indiviudally, or you can buy both of the courses together.

How long does this course take to complete?

We esitmate that this course will take, on average, about 20 hours to complete.

Do I have access to a my tutor?

Yes. The tutor will be able to provide some advice and guidance.

Starting from £349.90

Course Features

i

2 Units

Pay for units seperately, or all together

Total of 29 modules 

Specialist Course Creator – Kate Middleton

Completion Certificate