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Starting a Dog Walking Service

Forms and service agreements for a dog walking business

starting a dog walking service

When starting a dog walking service it is important to have certain forms and agreements in place.

A well constructed consent form or service agreement provides both the dog walker and pet owner with legal protection and peace of mind. The pet owner and the dog walker should both sign the agreement and each keep a copy. It should give you all the information you need to take proper care of the dog in your charge.

Having this sort of agreement in place when starting a dog walking service makes sure each party understands its rights and responsibilties and prevents problems arising between clients and the dog walker. A dog walker consent form or service agreement should include the following.

  • Medical treatment. A clause stating what should happen in the case of emergency medical treatment should be included. Aspects such as where the dog should be taken and reponsibility for the costs incurred must be detailed. The agreement should authorize the dog walker to seek any necessary medical care for the dog. If the regular veterinarian is unavailable an alternative should be named.
  • Contact numbers. Contact details for the owner must be written down. Get as many numbers as possible.
  • Vaccinations. The owner should agree to responsibility for deworming and vaccinating the dog as required.
  • Health of the dog. The agreement should include information about the dog's general health such as allergies, old injuries and medications.
  • Damage caused by the dog. Clearly state who is responsible for damage and injury caused by the dog when in the care of the dog walker. Outline responsibility for insurance claims and indemnity.
  • Collection times and days. It is best to state a time period rather than an exact time as some flexibility may be necessary. For example the dog will be collected and dropped off between 9.00 and 11.00am.
  • Security of the client's premises. The agreement should indicate responsibility for security of the client's premises if the dog walker has access to the home and has been given a key.
  • The right to walk other dogs at the same time. If you are going to be doing group walks the agreement should state that the dog walker reserves the right to walk other dogs at the same time up to a stated maximum number.
  • Supply of leashes, collars. Who is responsible for supplying dog leashes, harnesses, collars and any other accessories to be used during the dog walk?
  • Dog walking fees. State the fees agreed upon and when and how payment will be made.
When starting a dog walking service it is essential to have a service agreement or consent form in place so that both parties can rest assured that both their interests- and those of the dog - are protected. It is also advisable to purchase Dog Walking Insurance.

A useful form to use when starting a dog walking service is a dog information form which the dog walker asks the client to complete. Information includes:

  • the dog's age
  • if the dog is neutered/spayed
  • date of last rabies shot
  • the food the dog eats, when the dog eats and any special feeding instructions
  • current medication and if it needs to be administered by the dog walker
  • if the dog needs a special harness or choke collar for walks
  • where the dog likes to hide at home so you can find the dog when you arrive to collect him or her
  • if the dog is child friendly
  • if the dog is allowed treats
  • if the dog is prone to digging and chewing
  • if the dog is nervous of anything in particular
  • if the dog has any history of biting people or other dogs
  • if the dog has any behavioral issues you need to be aware of
A comprehensive dog walking contract can be found at Download a Dog Walking Contract.

Please note -this information does not constitute any legal advice and qualified legal advice should be sought when developing a formal dog walking consent form or agreement.

About a dog walking business
Starting your dog walking business
Marketing and advertising your dog walking service
Dog walking fees
Dog walking insurance and licenses
starting a dog walking service

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Why starting a dog walking service is a good home business idea

  • Fun, interesting and financially rewarding
  • Low start up costs
  • Little special education or experience required
  • Growing demand for this service
  • Once you have an established client base you will have a solid business
  • An established client base means you don't have to constantly look for new clients
  • Get exercise and stay healthy while making money
  • The more hours you work the greater the rewards

Dog walking is a rewarding way of making money from home

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