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The Australian pet care industry is worth a whopping $8bn, with around 29 million pets of all shapes and sizes being loved by owners across the country. Approximately 1 in 3 dogs need to be left at home for at least 3 hours per day due to owner work commitments in Australia - hence the reason why dog walking businesses have become so popular.

Also popular are pet sitters who offer bookings that provide peace of mind to dog owners that their doggy pal is properly cared for while they’re away. It’s well-paid work, too, either as a side hustle or as a main full-time career.

So, if you’re a pooch lover and you’d like to start your own dog-walking company, how do you go about it? In this article, we look at the steps involved.

Step #1 - Do Your Market Research

Before you do anything, the first step is to gauge the demand for professional dog-walking businesses in your local area. It’s high in most places in Australia, but not all, such as in rural or farming regions where population levels are much lower.

You also need to assess the level of competition in your area. A simple ‘dog walking’ or ‘doggy day care’ search on Google should give you an idea of how easy it is to pick up new clients.

Step #2 - Do Your Sums to Ensure It All Adds Up

Of course, the fact that people love dogs is a great reason to start dog-walking businesses, but your venture still needs to be financially viable and sustainable. The average rate of pay for professional dog walkers is just over $22 per hour, but you will have costs such as:

  • Petrol for driving to client locations

  • Doggy first aid kits & poop bags

  • Wear & tear on your vehicle

  • Public liability insurance

  • Business cards

  • Doggie leads

Each pet owner you work for will want you to take the very best care of their fur babies, and they’ll also expect you to have all of the above at the very least.

Step #3 - Work Out Your Procedures & Rules

Something else that pet care business owners of all kinds need to have a firm idea of is the exact kind of dog walking services they’re going to offer, as well as details like how much will be charged and how often.

In reality, you’ll need to have a good idea of things like:

  • When and how customers pay you (upfront, weekly, monthly)

  • How many dogs you’re able to walk simultaneously

  • Emergency procedures in case of pet injury, illness, etc.

  • Will you offer dog obedience services, pet sitting, etc?

What you have to do is imagine you’re a customer and think of the kind of frequently asked questions that come up.

Get Pet Care Qualifications Under Your Belt

If you want customers to choose you over other dog-walking businesses, it’s a good idea to have some qualifications under your belt. Until you have some customer testimonials to demonstrate your value, qualifications will help to fill that gap. It’s also not a bad idea to get some hands-on dog-walking experience by volunteering.

The good news is that obtaining industry-recognised qualifications is easy, thanks to options like our Veterinary Care & Animal Health Courses. Able to be taken at your own pace, online courses like these are also super-affordable, particularly as you can pay for them with a selection of easy payment choices.

Create Your Dog Walking Business Plan

Successful dog-walking businesses are invariably those that have a clear business plan to work towards. In fact, all businesses depend on having a documented strategy for how they’re launched, managed, and grown over time.

Other things you’ll need to add include:

  • Services offered, pricing, target market, and marketing strategies

  • Logos for online presence (website, social media)

  • Business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.)

  • Legal and Licensing Requirements

  • Insurance needed for pet care services

  • Choose & registering a business name

  • Business bank account setup

  • Marketing & advertising

  • Brand identity and values

  • Safety protocols

Every single aspect of dog walking businesses needs to be included in any prospective entrepreneur’s business plan. Should you be requiring financing, such as a business bank loan, you won’t be able to acquire it without a detailed document like this one.

Get Qualified to Start Dog Walking Businesses With OCA Online Learning

Running dog-walking businesses in Australia can be rewarding both emotionally and financially. What’s more, the easiest way to train is with OCA, CPD-endorsed, video-based short courses online that put your professional development firmly in the hands of the learner.

To get a closer look at the next-level experience, learners get with OCA, take a moment to watch our informative Student Study Demo. However, if you’d like to see our full range of industry-led courses that cover 20+ industries, visit us today at

Alternatively, to speak to our friendly team of advisors about how our leading online courses can help you, simply call 1300 611 404 or email [email protected], and we’ll reply as quickly as humanly possible.


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