How to Start a Dog Walking Service

Dog walking can be a fun business to run. Like any small business, it takes dedication, but if you're a dog-lover and game to get started, these tips can help!


  1. Image titled Start a Dog Walking Service Step 1
    Decide what you would like your business name to be. If you think you may want to expand in the future to add on other pet care services, don't end your name in "dog walking". Be sure to include your service in your name. For example, you can be Becky's Dog Walking for just dog walking services or Becky's Pet Care for all types of pet care you may want to add on to your business.
  2. Image titled Start a Dog Walking Service Step 2
    Legalize your business. Go to your state's business website and register your business. Dog walkers generally do not need a business license, but you still need to let your state know you are running a business. To find your local government office do a search for "running a business in [your state]"
  3. Image titled Start a Dog Walking Service Step 3
    Obtain insurance. This is very important. You never know if you will be bit or if the dog will bite someone else or you may even lose grip of the leash causing the dog to run into the street. Dog Walking insurance is cheap, running you $164 for the year. You can get this price through Pet Sitters Associates LLC. They cover both pet sitters and dog walkers.
  4. Image titled Start a Dog Walking Service Step 4
    Get your paperwork in order. You want to be sure you have a signed service agreement and a pet profile so that you know what the dog likes and does not like as well as how to care for it. To obtain professional paperwork, you can go to the Business Forms Store.
  5. Image titled Start a Dog Walking Service Step 5
    Work on getting clients. This will be the hardest and most time consuming part of starting your dog walking business. Here are some good pointers on what you can do.
    • Make a dog walking flyer and post it on bulletin boards all over.
    • Get some business cards and ask if you can leave a bunch at pet supply stores and vet offices.
    • Ask if a vet office can refer you
    • Most importantly get a website!.
  6. Image titled Start a Dog Walking Service Step 6
    Once you do all those steps, you should be up and running and ready to make a fantastic living!


  • Get a supply of poop bags since you will have to clean up after the dog.
  • Start off with a low price, and advance it as you continue working. Make sure to add small features though.
  • Before you invest in your business, be sure to be seen walking your own dog and interacting with other animals.
  • Get some good walking clothes and get your business name placed on them.
  • Get some really good walking shoes. This is a great investment since you will be walking a few hours a day. You don't want tired feet.
  • Get some good leashes just in case you don't like the client's leash.
  • Most importantly - have fun!
  • Carry some extra tools around like brushes, treats, leashes, and extra plastic bags.
  • Certain breeds are hard to walk. Make sure to include the breed in your flyers/business cards that you don't walk.


  • Make sure you know about dog behavior and breed behavior.
  • If you are going to walk multiple dogs at one time, be sure you know how to do compatibility testing. Also, make sure you're not allergic to any of the pets your walking. You don't want to be sneezing the whole walking time. So if you are, don't walk that dog or pet.

Article Info

Categories: Working with Dogs