Here’s How To Start A Dog Walking Business In Australia 

The annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (HILDA), which polls 17,000 Australians, shows that 72 percent of pet owners (a massive 48 percent of all people interviewed) own a dog. It is clear that, with so many owners of man's best friend and more people treating their pets more like their babies or children, dog walking can be lucrative. 

If you dream of working with animals and are looking for a fulfilling, well-paying career caring for them, you should perhaps consider starting a dog walking business or service. However, getting started is no walk in the park, so how can you get your foot in the door? Easy! "Paws" what you are doing and read our helpful tips on how to start a dog walking company in Australia.

 

Carry Out Your Research Into The Business

Before you start caring for your clients' furry friends, finding more information about the business is crucial.

Market research is all about collecting accurate and helpful information about the dog walking business and the potential customers who may require your services.

The goal of this research is to establish the facts on which you will base your business decisions. You could take time out to talk to other walkers in your area or people working in pet-related businesses about your concepts. You could also speak to a few dog owners to get a feel for the potential of your proposed business.

With proper planning and sound data, you will attract more customers.

Put Together A Business Plan for a Dog Walking Service

A successful business starts with understanding your local market, the financial requirements, and the potential for your business, then crystallising it into a plan of action. 

You should consider:

  • The services you should offer
  • Businesses that can refer to you
  • The number of clients you can handle each week

The other important part of your business plan is the financials section, which contains your costs, expenses and income projections to help you predict your profits. Using your competitor analysis and market research, you can easily find out how much other walkers charge for their services per dog in your area, so you can set your fees, accordingly.

Although undercutting the cheapest dog walker in your area is an option, you should not view it as your sole option. Use your research of the market to establish what your potential clients are looking for. You might find that offering shorter walks for a group of dogs is acceptable to your audience, or you might be in an affluent area with people willing to pay top dollar for longer, solo walks and added services like grooming.

Establishing the state of the market, your costs and your revenue projections will help you prepare a game plan for your dog walking business, set your budget and give you realistic expectations of what you can earn.

Once you are satisfied that a dog walking job is for you, you can register a business name and set up an ABN and open a bank account. The Australian Government Business portal is a great resource to help you get started.

 

Create An Operational Framework For Your Dog Walking Business

Your framework covers all the operatives of your business plan. It examines your customers' needs, what services you plan to provide, how you will sell your service and a way to bring these parts together to create a successful, profitable business.

Answering the following frequently asked questions from dog owners will give you a starting point:

  • How much experience do you have with dogs?
  • Can you provide first aid medical care if needed?
  • What happens if my dog needs treatment while in your care?
  • Do you have a qualification in animal care or behaviour?
  • Where will you walk my dog?
  • Can you train my dog?
  • My dog has a behavioural issue (eg, aggressive towards other dogs). When he/she is on the lead, can you handle him/her?
  • Can you walk and look after (eg, feed) my dog if I go on holiday?
  • Can you walk more than one dog at a time?
  • How and when will I pay you?
  • Can I have a receipt for your services?
  • Do you have police clearance?

Take particular note of the insurance that is required (including public liability).

 

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Promote And Grow Your Dog Walking Business

Every successful dog walker in Australia understands how essential marketing is to the success and longevity of their business. In any case, most people can walk their dogs, so your challenge is to find, maintain and grow your client base and convince them to sign up. Fortunately, there are effective online and offline local marketing strategies that are not only affordable but also highly effective:

  • Set up a website to show off your qualifications, experience and love for dogs
  • Create a Facebook/Instagram profile
  • Potential Referrals from other pet-related businesses
  • Networking opportunities, eg, www.piaa.net.au¬†
  • Encourage referrals eg, referral discounts
  • Offers for new clients
  • Loyalty Packages
  • Spread the word in your community by attending local events, markets
  • Flyers and mailbox drop
  • Local Facebook community groups
  • Gumtree
  • Social media advertising
  • Encourage existing clients to leave reviews on Google and Facebook

How Much Do Dog Walkers Earn?

The average hourly salary for dog walker jobs in Australia is $24.10. However, your rates could vary widely, depending on the number of dogs you get to walk at a go and your location. Other factors also come into play, including your competitor rates and how many hours per day you will work.

 

What Qualifications Do I Need To Be A Dog Walker?

As a business owner, you will need some skills in business administration and marketing to run your business. Clients are also more likely to be attracted to businesses that employ or have individuals who have completed formal training in the area of animal care so they know their pets are in the best hands.

You can get a nationally recognised ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies or ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies from Applied Vocational Training to give your clients the peace of mind that you have the knowledge to handle and care for their loved ones.   Contact us to learn more.

 

 

Need the Confidence to Volunteer or Work with Animals?

If you would like the confidence and skills to volunteer or work in the animal care industry, our courses are the perfect way to obtain foundation knowledge or upskill for your existing duties.

ACM20117 Cert 2 in Animal Studies - Animal Care & Welfare

An intensive course at the Cat Haven in Shenton Park (WA) and Greyhounds as Pets Kennel Facility in Southern River (WA), and AVT in Bentley (WA), with blended on-campus and online learning.

 Certificate 2

ACM30117 Certificate 3 in Animal Studies - RSPCA

A 6 month course providing you with weekly hands-on practical training at the RPSCA (WA) under the supervision of AVT educators, plus online learning from the comfort of your home.

 Certificate 3

Flexible Online Study Option

All of our courses are offered as an Online eLearning option. Learn the foundation theory online and participate in a work placement to gain practical skills and experience at an approved location that suits you.

 Online Options

About AVT

We have been training animal care, horse care and veterinary nursing students for over 20 years in Australia. Students who undertake AVT courses range from high school-aged students just starting their pre-vocational journey right through to mature-aged students seeking an alternative career path. Graduates are highly respected and sought after by industry professionals, businesses and organisations. If you want the background knowledge and skills to help you secure your career in the animal care industry, check out our nationally recognised qualifications here or sharpen your skills in one of our workshops.

Why choose AVT?

A recent NCVER VET student outcomes report for Applied Vocational Training graduates found:-

  • 89.5% were employed or enrolled in further study after training.
  • 93.6% were satisfied with the overall quality of their training.
  • 95.5% would recommend the training and 93.0% would recommend their training provider.
  • 89.4% achieved their main reason for doing the training.

 

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