How to Start a Dog Sitter Franchise

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dog sitting franchise

It is often said that you should try to turn you passions into profit. For dog lovers, this could mean a number of things. For those that love dishing out some TLC, a dog-grooming salon could be a good option. But for those that want to get as close to being paid to hang out pets all day as possible, setting up a dog sitter franchise is the only way to go.

A dog sitter franchise is great for people looking to set up a solo operation. Perhaps youve slogged away in an unrewarding corporate environment for years and are looking to spend your days outside? Dog sitting is a good way to change professions without having to spend a lot of money on training or gaining new qualifications.

Here is a quick and easy guide to starting a dog sitter franchise.

Become a dog sitter

As with all projects that are going to involve you putting a lot of your time and money on the table, you are going to need to start with some thorough research. Your research is going to need to cover a couple of areas.

Firstly, take some time to study how a dog sitting franchise would actually work on a day to day basis. You are going to need to know how you will be getting paid, what documentation you will need and what services you will actually be offering. Dog sitting in clients houses is very different from dog walking in terms of the levels of trust and risk involved.

Secondly, you also need to know a few things about the local area. Is there any local competition that got there before you? This is important because dog sitting functions on a foundation of trust and consistency. People are always likely to go with a familiar face over a new upstart in the area. That being said, there might be enough business for both of you. Head to the local parks to see how many dog owners there are, both during the day and at peak hours.

Thirdly, knowing what dog sitter franchises are actually available is important. Get in touch with a few that you like the look and sound of, and ask them what areas they are looking to establish themselves in. Some may be open to suggestions if you can make a good enough case. Depending on how confident you are with running your own business, different franchises will offer different levels of support and training. If you have never worked with animals before, this offer of a more hands-on approach could be really useful.

If everything aligns in the right way, your chosen dog sitter franchise will be eager to have you join the fold, and will do everything they can to help you make your new business a success.

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How to become a dog sitter

Becoming a professional dog sitter is not as simple as setting up your business and waiting for busy owners to come to you. There are a few things you should probably do in order to ensure that you can provide the most trustworthy service possible. You might be the most responsible person on the planet, but people are going to need a little more assurance if they are going to trust you with their family dog.

In particular, you should give serious consideration to the following:

Pet insurance

As the old adage goes: never work with animals or children. While that is a little melodramatic, it does highlight the fact even the domesticated dog is still an animal, and capable of acting unpredictably and causing damage or harm. Different kinds of insurance help protect you bearing the cost of any damage caused to you or your clients property.

Public liability will help you cover the costs if an animal in your care is injured or property is damaged. Many insurers offer specific pet care and dog walker insurance policies that are tailored to meet the needs of businesses like yours.

Courses and qualifications

While qualifications arent necessary to start a dog sitter franchise, taking on some extra-curricular education can only make you better. In particular, you can take courses on basic dog first aid and health. This knowledge could be the difference between the death of an animal in your care and getting it to a vets in time for it to make a full recovery.

There are also courses in dog behaviour and care that could be really beneficial. You may love dogs, but that doesnt mean you fully understand them, and these courses could help you defuse potentially dangerous situation safely and swiftly. You will also be able to signs of distress or illness much quicker.

Professional dog sitter

All that remains to do now is get all the documentation sorted, make your investment and set an opening date. Your days will be filled with games of fetch, tug of wars and leisurely strolls. You are still running a business though, and you need to make sure you stay on top of your administrative, legal and tax obligations, as well as your franchisee requirements as per your franchise agreement.

Here are some top tips to keep in mind:

Document everything

This is business 101, but it always bears repeating. You want to be able to prove everything, from work promised, services delivered, insurance policies, expenses and money made.

Keep your receipts

This is important for tax purposes. You dont want to get caught out and have to make sudden, unforeseen payments.

Know the law

In particular, the Control of Dogs Order 1992 and the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005 affect your daily activities. Make sure you know what is legal, what isnt and what the potential penalties are.

Expect peaks and troughs

The work of a dog sitter is likely to be highly seasonal, and you will be at your busiest during holiday seasons.

Be discreet

Its probably best not to pull up to a clients house everyday they are on holiday in a marked up van, as this could let unsavoury characters know that the building is empty.

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