7 Essentials for Starting a Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Business

1. Have pet sitting forms and contracts, it is essential that you have the correct forms and contracts for your clients to complete and sign before leaving their dog with you. These include a booking form, veterinary release form, telephone reservation sheet, customer invoice, dog or cat information sheet, dog walking report, medication log, service agreement, pet accident and illness card.

2. Get Pet Sitters Insurance, we are lucky in the UK that you can get Petsitting insurance from as little as £6.00 per month depending on the service you offer. It is essential to purchase pet sitting insurance to cover unforeseen events.

3. Get a CRB check from a pet sitter, if you offer a dog walking service, pet sitter in the pet’s house or a pop-in service and you own keys, you should have a CRB check done to show customers that you do not have a criminal record.

4. Have a paperwork filing system preferably a Pet Sitters database, storing your clients and pets information is a must as they are very likely to come back to you time and time again so a good filing system is essential. contain information such as vet details, medication and notes on the pet’s behavior, service required, booking dates, charges, etc.

5. Write a business plan for a pet sitter. A business plan is a document that summarizes your business – its goals, strategies, market and financial forecasts. It will help you estimate exactly what services you will provide to pet owners. How much to charge and how well your business is doing. You need to make sure it’s short, clear, and well-presented, and review it regularly as your business progresses.

6. Run a marketing campaign, having a good flyer is key to bringing in new customers. These should be distributed to local veterinary practices, pet stores and grooming salons. Having a website and a Google AdWords campaign is a great idea and shows professionalism. Some recognized membership organizations provide pet owners with a zip code search that retrieves affiliate pet sitter information. This also gives you more work.

7. Join a pet sitting organization, if you are serious about running your own pet sitting business then you should join a membership organization that will give you help and advice when you need it but more importantly it will give your clients peace of mind as it gives your company credibility and professionalism.