Tips for Becoming a Dog Walker in the Philadelphia Area!
Have a teen that has a little too much free time on their hands this summer? Or maybe you’re looking for a fun way to make a few extra bucks in between dropping the kids off at sports practice? Dog walking is a great option for people of all ages who want to make a little extra cash!
However, just because you want to become a dog walker doesn’t mean you’ll become one overnight. There are a few things you’ll need to do before you start walking dogs in the Philadelphia area.
Know the Best Places to Go
Walking around the neighborhood is for amateurs. If you really want to be successful as a dog walker, you have to know the best places in the city to take your clients’ four-legged friends.
Wag Walking recommends the Fairmount Park Historic Houses and the Laurel Hill Cemetery, “Franklin Square is one of the five public squares originally laid out by William Penn, and it has transformed into a gathering space for families.” They recommend taking the dogs for a walk on one of the many paths in the area.
Other options include:
- The Schuylkill River Trail
- The Constitutional Walking Tour
- The Columbus Square Dog Park
- The Mario Lanza Dog Park
Get Some Experience Working with Dogs
If you want to walk dogs for money, it’s important to instill confidence in your clients. They want to know you’ve had at least a little experience with dogs, so it’s a good idea to get some before you start offering to walk their pets.
There are many options out there for teens and adults who want to work with animals. Some of these options, like becoming a groomer or working at a pet store, can provide you with experience while paying you for your time.
However, if you can’t find a job, don’t fret! Offer to walk some dogs for free or volunteer at the local animal shelter and you can get all the experience you need.
Know What You Will and Won’t Do
It’s important to know your limits when you’re a dog walker. It all sounds like fun and games until you agree to walk an unruly Rottweiler and there’s an accident.
What breeds are you willing to walk? Will the dogs you walk need basic training before you agree to take them for a stroll? How many dogs are you willing to walk at one time?
These are important questions to answer before you take on your first client. That way, you don’t find yourself in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation where you or one of the dogs you’re walking becomes injured.
Know What It Means to Be Prepared
If you think all you need to walk dogs is a few leashes, you’re kidding yourself. A lot more than the basics goes into making sure you’ll be successful in your new business venture.
First, you have to know what it means to be prepared in regards to your furry clients. In addition to a leash, you should also bring:
- Water, just in case they get thirsty
- Waste bags, just in case they go potty
- Citronella spray, just in case you are faced with an aggressive dog
You have to be prepared too! That means finding the right walking shoes, wearing comfortable clothes, and exercising so you can control multiple dogs on a single walk.
Advertise Your Services
One of the most difficult parts of starting a business is advertising your services. Fortunately, dog walking is a bit easier than other endeavors.
The easiest way to get started is to ask friends and family if you can walk their canine companions. Chances are, they’ll tell their friends and coworkers about the services you offer and you’ll get more calls to walk more dogs.
Joining an agency is a popular way to get into the dog walking business. With apps, it’s easier than ever. Simply start a profile and wait until the clients start rolling in.
Traditional advertising methods can be effective as well. Create business cards, print flyers you can hang around the neighborhood, and ask to hang your information inside area businesses, like libraries and pet stores.
Making a little extra cash doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be something you dread doing either! With the tips on this list, you can get your very own dog walking business underway. After all, there’s no better way to make a little extra money if you’re an animal lover!