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Starting a Dog Walking and / or Pet-Sitting business – everything you need to know before starting your own dog walking, pet sitting or pet service business.

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Starting a
Dog Walking and/or Pet Sitting Business

following applies to the UK but the general information should be useful to

If you love animals – deciding to become a pet-sitter gives you the
opportunity to run your own pet-sitting business and be your own boss in a
profession you’ll enjoy.

A pet sitting-business is easy to start and
inexpensive to run and only requires some planning before you begin.

Knowledgeable and dedicated pet-sitters are
always in demand. A pet-sitter is a contracted service provider who can
provide a variety of services usually including one or more from the
following list:

• Home Boarding

• Boarding in Client’s Home

• Dog Walking (A dog
walking business is one of the most common to set up)

• Pop in Services

• Small Animal Boarding

• Cat Sitting

• Doggie Day Care

• Pet Taxi Services

Pet owners seek out pet sitters who make
them feel confident that their pet will be cared for responsibly and that
their pet will receive the care and attention it needs while its owner is

dog with suitacaseGood pet sitters are respected and trusted
amongst their clients. In the same way that a registered child-minder
indicates a level of knowledge, experience, dependability and
professionalism, a registered pet sitter providing a professional service
will install confidence and peace of mind in your customers.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself before you begin:-

• Do I genuinely love animals?

• Do I have experience in caring for animals? ( your own or other

• Am I responsible enough to put the pet’s needs first? (dog walking –
rain or shine)

• If home boarding, is my home safe & secure?

• Do I have social skills (you need to communicate to the owners that
you are capable).

• Am I business minded? (Organisational skills and practicalities are

7 must do’s to
running a pet sitting business

    Do have Pet Sitting Forms and
Contracts in place.

2.     Do get Pet Sitters Insurance.

3.     Do get a Pet Sitter’s CRB check if you will be holding keys.

4.     Do have a paperwork storage system, ideally a Pet Sitters Database.

5.     Do write up a Pet Sitter’s Business Plan.

6.     Do run a Marketing Campaign and get flyers made up.

    Do join a pet sitting membership organisation that will help you with all
of this.

NarpsUK is a pet
sitter’s membership organisation who is there to help people start their
own pet sitting business or grow and existing one. They can provide you
with all of the above plus offer you help and advice when needed.

How to choose a pet sitter


If you intend to start a dog
home boarding business you may find a book called ‘Starting Your Own Dog
Home Boarding Business’
by Tamsin Stone both useful and interesting.

The book is all about setting up a business
including legal requirements, making sure your home is safe, choosing
insurance, marketing, accounts etc. (it’s aimed at UK boarders so the
information is all about UK legislation). 

The author tell me she
really wanted to help make sure that boarders that are starting out have all
the information to run a successful business and just as importantly keep
the dogs they are caring for safe. A lot of people start off with the best
of intentions but don’t do enough research – and sometimes it’s tough to
actually find the relevant information; that is where she hopes the book
will help.