Working with dogs

Careers for dog lovers

As an ancient Chinese philosopher once said 'Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life'. Therefore, it seems, for dog lovers a pet business or career with animals is the perfect path. There are many different doggy disciplines you could choose to pursue: from becoming a vet, to grooming to dog walking. If you love our canine friends, you will be able to find a career working with dogs that is both financially and emotionally rewarding.

How to become a dog walker (Watch the Working as a Dog Walker video here)
Dog walking is arguably one of the quickest and easiest pet businesses to get started. Firstly, there is no need for a large starting capital because no initial investment is needed in property or overheads. All work is conducted outside, with you most likely picking up your four legged clients from their owner's house, so business premises are not needed.

The only initial cost will be dog walking insurance to cover you should anything go wrong while the dog is in your care. No initial qualification is needed, however a DBS (formally known as a CRB check) is recommended if you are entering other people's property which will cost around £26. You may also decide to take a course in dog behaviour or similar to enhance your knowledge of breeds and behaviours.

Dog walking can be very physically demanding; you will likely have more than one pet client a day resulting in multiple walks, possibly with multiple dogs. Working outside means you will also need to be prepared for any weather. Come wind, rain, sleet or snow, your customers will expect you to keep delivering your service so we suggest investing into some sturdy boots and a very warm coat!

A bit of local advertising is always recommended when you first start up, but as soon as you start walking friends and families' dogs and offer an excellent service you will soon be walking friends of friends and friends of friends of friend's family pets! With the average price of a dog walk at £10 per hour and the possibility of walking a few dogs at a time (many insurers will limit this to a maximum of 6 together) you can see how this venture can soon become a profitable pet business.

How to become a dog groomer (Watch the Working as a Dog Groomer video here)
Dog grooming is another great start up business or career venture which involves working with dogs. This is a more skilled profession so some qualifications will be required to get started. Most animal care colleges will have a course which teaches the basics of the dog grooming trade. If you decide to go it alone and start your own dog grooming business, there will be a potentially large initial investment needed in business premises, equipment, overheads and other staff depending on how large or small the pet business will be.

It is also important to have insurance because dogs will be in your care and you will need to be fully covered should anything go wrong. If you employ staff you will also need employer's liability insurance which is now a legal requirement of any business employing one or more people.

Dog grooming can be very physically demanding with long hours to fit in with client's schedules and to keep customers, both human and canine, happy with excellent service. However, with the numbers of pet owners increasing and with those owners spending more and more on their pets, the demand is high making this a potentially profitable venture.

How to become a dog trainer (Watch the Working as a dog trainer video here)
As a dog trainer you will be working with dogs to help improve obedience and any behavioural issues to ensure the dog is as relaxed, confident and as well-mannered as possible. This is another skilled career route so a qualification is recommended however not compulsory. Having that qualification and partaking in a course however will improve your understanding of the different breeds and behavioural issues and tips and techniques for training the dogs.

Aside from the courses and insurance cover there is no large initial investment needed as most training will likely take place at the customer's home, outside or in a hall or similar. This diminishes the need for business premises and overheads, providing you take out public liability insurance to cover you when using any rented facilities say if you decide to put on classes.

This is also another physically demanding as well as mentally demanding job as it will involve spending large amounts of time with the dogs and their owners, discovering any issues and helping to resolve them. However, it is very emotionally rewarding taking an untrained puppy or dog to one who is happy and well behaved for its owners.

Enjoy a rewarding career with animals

Working with dogs whichever venture you decide to pursue can be very rewarding both emotionally and financially and therefore you can see why there is an increasing rise in those deciding to start their own pet business. If you do decide to take the plunge, ensure you are completely clued up on what your next career step entails so you are armed and prepared to make it as successful as possible.

Author: Protectivity Insurance

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