Category Archives for Dog Pet Franchise

Pet Care Business Newsletter Basics

Dogs Love Running! - the blog for pet owners and pet professionals

Pet Care Business Newsletter Basics

In the pet care business?  Here's a tip on writing an email newsletter:

Don't lead with something to the effect of "sorry to bother you, but..."

I occasionally get a newsletter or promotional email with that phrase in the subject line or as the introductory line of the body copy.  In fact, I received one today.

My thought is this: if you're a pet care business and sending out a message to your customers (or potential customers), make it worth their while to be reading what you're sending.

If your message is so weak that you have to apologize about sending it, don't even bother.  I'd say that sending something like this is probably even detrimental to your business.  

If you've got something to say, say it loud and say it proud.  Don't hide behind an apology before your reader even knows what you're talking about.  

If you're sending an "appropriate amount" of email to your pet business customers and they've requested to be on your list (you're not spamming people that haven't personally signed up for your list are you?), then you should never have to say "sorry to bother you".  

If you're doing email correctly for your pet care business customers, they should want to hear from you!

As a pet care business owner, don't make this type of  mistake.  And avoid other mistakes in our free report:  The Top 12 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting a New Pet Business.  Download it now.

3 Simple Steps to Land a New Dog Walking Client Over the Phone

Dogs Love Running! - the blog for pet owners and pet professionals

3 Simple Steps To Land A New Dog Walking Client Over The Phone

This probably sounds really basic and obvious at first, right?  I mean, how hard is it to respond to a new dog walking or pet sitting customer when they contact you?

Well, in our opinion, it's not hard at all to respond.  What's hard though is how to respond well and in a way that leads to a sale.  That's the hard part.  So, here are a few easy steps on how to approach a new client so that they go from a "just looking around" prospect to a brand new, loyal, and happy customer.

  1. Welcome Them:  Have you ever called a business and the person who picked up the phone sounded like they hated their job, just wanted to go home, and/or made you feel like you were the biggest problem on the face of the earth?  Yeah, us too.  That's why the very first interaction you have with a prospective customer is to make them feel welcomed in calling you. 

Super-simple words and phrases such as "thanks for calling", "we appreciate you considering us", and "we love hearing from new people like you" can go a long way if they're said in sincerity right when you start talking with that new pet client.  And don't forget about email, either.  Without the tone of voice that goes with a phone conversation, sometimes it's hard to get emotion across in an email.  That's why you have to write out your appreciation in having a chance to email and communicate with them.

  1. Ask About The Hot Button:  Every buyer of every product on earth has a "hot button".  This is the item that's most important to that person at that exact moment.  Sometimes it's price.  Sometimes it's quality, reliability, or date availability.  Sometimes it's something you'd never ever guess.  That's why you have to ask about what it is.  This step is crucial because if you just start blabbering away about how cheap your rates are and you happen to be talking to someone who expects to pay top dollar for a high-quality service, you just blew it.  An easy way to get into this question is to ask at the beginning of the conversation "What exactly are you looking for right now?"  This super-easy question will likely bring out the "hot button" and it lets you know exactly what you need to talk about first. 
  2. Tell Them What Happens Next:  If they've never used your dog walking or pet sitting service before, they don't know what the process is to get started.  So, you have to tell them.  After you've completed the phone conversation and they've told you they don't have any other questions (and you believe them), tell them very specifically what the next step is.  Is it to meet in person?  Do they have to fill out any forms?  Do they need to put down a deposit?  Even if they don't commit to anything right then and there, still let them know exactly what needs to happen next for you to be able to help them.  

These are pretty basic, right?  Well, most of your competitors aren't doing all of them, if any.  So, focus on these 3 simple steps and you'll have a big advantage over the other services in town. 

Starting a Dog Business a How to Video for Dog Walking Pet Sitting and More

Dogs Love Running! - the blog for pet owners and pet professionals

Starting A Dog Business: A "How To" Video for Dog Walking, Pet Sitting, and More!

FYI: Use the form at the VERY BOTTOM of this page to download our most popular report to help you in starting your business:  "The Top 12 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Pet Business".  The form also allows you to ask us questions and request franchise information.  Contact us today!


Thinking of starting a dog business?  Then you're in the right place because this informative video will get you started!

I’m John, the founder of the Dogs Love Running! pet care service. We help your pets live longer and behave better through exercise.  We’ve been in business for many years and are experts in the dog exercise and pet sitting industry.  

The information here is applicable to anyone who wants to start any type of pet business, so send this video to everyone you know who may be interested in getting into this exciting industry.  

We’ve tried to keep this video short, but still include all the important groundwork you’d want to know to start your business.  But, in case all this still seems like just too much work, you can always join our team as a franchisee because we’ve already done all of this work for you.

After watching this, feel free contact us with any questions you have via the form on this page.

Our video a practical guide to give you a framework from a real business perspective.   This isn’t just some basic information on how to make business cards or where put up fliers.  You’re going to learn real information on how to develop and grow a real business that can make real money.   

With that in mind, let’s get started!

To begin with, a lot of people will tell you that you need a business plan before you start a business.  I come from a formal MBA education where business plans are thought of very highly.  But my experience has been that you don’t need an entire business plan right this second.

Instead, what you need is an answer to this one question:
What is your absolute end goal in starting your business?

Is it for:

  • more money
  • more happiness
  • more time for yourself
  • or another reason?

Many new business owners forget about this question when they begin.  But if you can answer this all-important question, you can then work backwards to figure out all the pieces of your business puzzle.  

With a very clear answer of what your end goal is, you can then figure out what direction you need to go in your business to get closer to this goal.  Every day when you wake up, you need a specific destination in mind so you know if you’re on the right road to get there or not.  

Here are some questions to ask to help you figure out your destination:

  • will you run the business yourself or hire people?
  • how big do you want the business to be?
  • how much money do you want or even need to make?
  • how many days a week and what hours during the day will you work?

Thinking about and answering these questions before you spend even one penny on your new business will give you an idea of what you need to do today to get to your end goal tomorrow.

So, let’s say that now you know what you want out of your business and you’re prepared to move forward.  What next?

Here’s where lots and lots of business owners go wrong.  They forget to think about what makes them special.  In other words, why would someone buy from you and not your competitor?

  • What’s your niche? 
  • What do you stand for? 
  • What do you give people that they can’t get anywhere else?

Generally speaking, you can make yourself special by doing one of three things:

  • You can be the cheapest, like walmart
  • You can have the most incredible customer service/selection, like amazon and zappos
  • You can be the most irreplaceable and have the the most unique, innovative, or valuable product/service that a customer can’t easily find somewhere else, like apple computer

Typically, you can only be one of the three.  Trying to be all 3 at once just doesn’t work.

Once you know how you’re going to position yourself against your competitors, it’s helpful to have:

  • A Mission (that reminds you what your daily goal is)
  • A Vision (that reminds you what you long-term big picture goal is)
  • Core Values (that remind you and your customers what you stand for and why you’re special)

So now you’ve carved out a little niche for yourself and understand WHY someone might buy from you.  Now we have to determine WHAT they’re going to buy.

Exactly, what products and/or services will you be offering?
If you’re a service business, will you do: dog walking, pet sitting, boarding, day care, pooper scooper, pet taxi, house sitting, overnight stays, or something else?

Think about what you like doing.  

If getting outside and exercising is up your alley, maybe a dog walking service is right for you.  Maybe if you just like cuddling up with pets and hanging out, perhaps specializing in overnight stays is a better option.  

Build your business around what you love doing because if you love your job, you’re far more likely to do a great job at it.  And your customers will notice that. 

Ok, now you know what to sell.  And we’re next faced with the thing most people struggle with:  Marketing! 

How will you let people know about your new business?

The good news is that, for the first time in history, you don’t need a lot of money to beat established competitors.  All you need is your brain and some effort.  All this is because of the internet.  Using the internet can bring you lots of success.   And here are the main components of your digital strategy:

  • You’ll need a good website.  You can start with a WordPress site 
  • You’ll want some basic pay-per-click advertising knowledge so you know how to use resources like the Google Adwords Program.  A great book to get started learning about pay-per-click ads is the Ultimate Guide To Google AdWords
  • And you’ll need an understanding of how people search the internet and why it’s important for your website to be able to be “found” just when people are looking for you.  Check out Marketing in the Age of Google to read about this subject.

Of course, you also want to meet people in person.  That means giving business cards to every dog related business in your area to spread the word.  You can’t be in this business without developing solid relationships with your customers, so you need to be out and about to meet them where they can see, hear, and interact with you.  

And here’s a tip.  forget everything you think you know about traditional advertising methods.  That means skip the newspapers, yellowpage ads, radio, and everything else where you pay a lot of money to be seen by people who are NOT actively looking for a service like yours.  It's generally not worth your time or money.

So now you know how people are going to hear of you, but what are you going to tell them once they contact you?

Well, there’s lots that people will ask you about, but the one thing everyone wants to know is your price, so let’s touch on that.  To determine how much to charge, the best thing to do is to research your competition. Find the highest and lowest prices from your competitors.  Once you do that, a lot of people will tell you to go right in the middle and charge the average.  But don’t do it.  Being in the middle is the kiss of death because it doesn’t give anyone a single reason to buy from you.  Instead, you should be at one end or the other.  You could be the cheapest because low cost is a good reason why some people may choose you.  Or, you could be at the high end, which implies to many people that you’re somehow the best.  And being the best is also a good reason why a certain type of person would pick you over your competitors.

You've got your pricing strategy in place and are prepared for people to buy from you. But, what happens if LOTS of people buy from you?  What are you going to do?

You’ll have either 2 options:

  • do everything by yourself
  • add people to your team.

Here are the major pros and cons of both:

If you operate it by yourself:  you control everything but your income is limited

If you operate your business with a team:  there’s potentially an unlimited income, but you’ll have management responsibilities

Think now about which you’d be interested in doing because if you’re even somewhat successful in your business, you’ll eventually come to a fork in the road where you have to make this choice of hiring people or not. 

Price is something that everyone knows to ask about.  But the thing all clients want to know but none think to ask is:  how do I get in contact with you and when are you available?  Generally speaking, the pet business can be a 24/7/365 business. And working every day of the year is a great way to burn out very very quickly.  So, think in advance of what days and hours you want to work.  Then, tell new clients right at the beginning of your relationship the times you are available  to answer their phone calls and emails.  If you don’t set boundaries up front, you’ll for sure be getting client requests for additions and cancellations with zero notice and they’ll expect you to be able to deliver.  Don’t dig your own hole by doing this. 

At this point, you’ve got a solid strategy in place for your new business.  Now what do you do?

Now you’ve got to get legal.  Starting a business can be tricky, but it’s not too hard if you know what needs to be done.

First, you need to decide on a business form.  You could be a sole proprietor, corporation, or partnership, among other possibilities.  

To get a good overview of the types of business structures you can choose from as well as to actually file the forms you need to submit to your local government agencies, you can check with a certified public accountant.  Many can probably be found in your local area.  You can also check out a service like Legal Zoom.  There’s lots of information at Legal Zoom on the business structures you can choose from and the pros and cons of each.  Plus, getting a business set up through them is relatively inexpensive.  It’s generally only a few hundred dollars.

Once the business is set up, you need to get insurance before you make ANY pet visits.  Don’t wait to get insurance until after you’ve got a few clients.  That’s like saying you’ll get home insurance only after you’ve lived there a few months and know you like it.  The problem with that is that if anything happens before you obtain the insurance, you can be in serious financial and legal trouble.  

Here are 3 places you can find insurance: 

You’ve now got a formal business set up, you’ve got insurance, and now you just need an agreement to give to customers for them to sign so that you’ve got proof of what they agreed to.  

There’s lots of legal mumbo jumbo you can put in this agreement, but basically what you need to start is :

  • who the agreement is between:  you and the customer
  • what you’re doing for the customer
  • how much you’re charging
  • business policies such as:  payment requirements, insurance informaiton, cancellation fees, etc

In addition to the service agreement, you’ll also need to document the pet’s health and what exactly the client is asking you to do during the visit.  You want to provide the best service possible and asking them very specifically what they want done make things crystal clear from the outset.  

Finally, you’ll want a veterinary release that gives you permission (or not) to get the pet some emergency medical attention in case you can’t get in immediate contact with the owner.

Finally, all your strategic plans are in place and you’re ready to really start your business.  The next steps for you are to:

  • Get your website up and running.  This is crucial because this is the key way in which people are going to learn about you.  
  • Make sure you’ve got a WORKING phone number and email for people to contact you.
  • Get some business cards or other materials to give to people and to local pet businesses that can refer customers to you.
  • Start doing some internet marketing with PPC ads
  • Go out and meet people.

I know there’s lots of information here.  In fact, the Dogs Love Running! franchise training program takes multiple days to cover all this information and more, so it’s really hard to cram it into such a short video. However, this really is the complete foundation for all you need to know to get in business for yourself.

If you’re looking to get started in any type of pet business, feel free to contact us.  We’d love to help.  And if you’re interested in a dog walking and running or pet sitting type opportunity, why don’t you consider joining up with us as a franchisee.  We’re pretty sure we can save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of work over trying to reinvent the wheel yourself.  But, of course, there’s absolutely no obligation to hear about our franchise opportunity.  We just love this business and we’re happy to help anyone get into this industry that wants to.  We hope to hear from you.

Thanks for watching and give us a call!

How to Name Your Dog Walking Company or Not

Dogs Love Running! - the blog for pet owners and pet professionals

How to name your dog walking company (or not)

You need a really great name for your dog walking company or other pet related business and you're stuck.  Or maybe you've already got a name for your company and want to change it ("rebranding" as the corporate-speak goes).  Here are some thoughts:dog walking company name ideas

First, you may not want to follow the lead of Comcast, a huge cable company that also provides related phone, internet, and other services.  They're keeping the "comcast" name as the corporate company name, but now calling all their services something else.  The new name is "Xfinity" .

As the owner of a pet business, let's look at some easy mistakes you can learn from this:

  1. Don't have two different names. Why confuse people?  (side note: literally, as I'm typing this, an "Xfinity" ad just came on the TV I have playing in the background.  "Xfinity" in big bold print in the middle of the screen with "comcast" in the lower right about 1/3 the size of the other name).  I'm asking myself, who is it that I'm dealing with?  Action for you: have one name on your website, business cards, invoices, and everything else that's printed.
  2. Don't have a name that makes no sense.  What the heck does "Xfinity" mean?  If I heard it by itself, it would give me no indication of who the company is or what it does.  Action for you: think of a name that actually means something.
  3. Don't have a name that people can't spell.  If I said "Xfinity" and you never saw it in writing, would you think "exfinity" or "xphinity" or something else?
  4. Worse - a name that can't be spelled is a name that won't be found on search engines.  If people don't know how to spell your name, how can they search for you on the internet?  If they can't search for you, they'll never find you.  And if they don't find you, they'll find someone else.  Action for you: ask people to spell your company name after you speak it and see if they get it right.
  5. Don't make your name boring.  OK, so maybe this is the one area where "Xfinity" might succeed.  At least I've never heard the word "Xfinity" before. Action for you: are you thinking about naming your pet company "Jane's Pet Sitting"?  You may want to think again.  (boring!)
  6. Don't make up a word as your company name. There is no listing for Xfinity.  Why might this be bad?  See points 2, 3, and 4.

Good luck in coming up with a great dog walking company name! 

5 Steps How to Write a Press Release for Your Dog Walking Company

Dogs Love Running! - the blog for pet owners and pet professionals

5 Steps: How To Write a Press Release For Your Dog Walking Company

First of all, what exactly is a press release and why would you want to write one for your dog walking or pet sitting service?  Well, a press release is basically a semi-news story that aims to get information out about you and/or your product/service.  The goal is to get your name out onto the internet to be seen by readers as well as, hopefully, get picked up by reporters and journalists who will want to contact you to do a story of their own for their respective news outlet (like a newspaper, radio station, etc).  The more your story spreads, the more people hear about you and the more people that take action (they contact you, buy from you, learn about an issue, etc).

Entire books have been written on writing press releases and doing publicity, but let's break it down into 5 simple steps that you can do right now:

  1. Every press release for your dog walking business needs to have a STORY component.  That means that, instead of writing about your brand new lower prices (boring!!!), tie your new pricing into a story that makes it interesting to read about.  For example, you could relate the current struggling US economy to why you're lowering your prices.  Make it a story about how you're helping the American family by making your service even more affordable than ever before.  Creating a story behind your announcement makes it much more interesting to the reader.
  2. Create an appealing headline.  Your goal here is not to drive traffic to your site or sell something.  It's to interest someone in reading the story.  Hopefully one of those readers will be a journalist who will find your information to be appealing enough to write about for his/her own audience.  Keep your headline short, to the point, and interesting.  Here's an example of a bad headline: Jeff's Fancy Pet Sitting, Inc. Introduces New Lower Prices.  This is too flat.  There's no appeal - nothing to make you want to read more.  To give it a little more pizazz, let's change this around and say "Expert Pet Sitter Saves Americans Big Money" or "Pet Sitter Rescues Both Dogs And American Wallets".  There are a gazillion ways to go about writing a headline.  Just remember to make the reader curious to read more.  
  3. The beginning of your pet sitting press release needs to start with a bang:  WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, AND HOW.  These are the essential components of your story.  The reader needs to know the answers to these 6 questions.  It tells them the basics of what the story is going to talk about all in just 1 or 2 sentences.  The rest of the release should be roughly 500 words (give or take a hundred or two).  It should support the who/what/when/where/why/how with additional interesting details.  Keep in mind to write in the third person (don't use "I" or "we") and don't make it sound like an advertisement.  It's a "news" story, so write it as if a newscaster was going to read your release word for word on a TV news show.  If possible, use quotations, too.  Bottom line: keep it factual, entertaining, and informative.
  4. The end of the story should contain a couple sentences about you.  Again, keep it factual and not a sales pitch.  For example: "Jeff's Fancy Pet Sitting was founded in 2002 to help vacationers with an affordable and reliable solution for their pet care needs while they're away.  Jeff can be contacted at [fill in contact information]."
  5. Publish your release to internet press release services.  There are 10-bazillion out there, both free and paid.  The free ones are generally worthless.  If your release is done correctly, the paid ones will often get you lots of internet listings for your story and bring eyeballs and journalists to your front door.  Of course, also send it out (via email, fax, etc) to journalists that you've identified as having a possible interest in what you're writing about.  You can find these journalists by looking in your local newspaper, contacting local TV and radio outlets, and searching for local blogs and other local internet news and entertainment sites.  

There are lots of minor details we're skipping in this article (like proper formatting procedures, etc), but you can find all that easily in an internet search.  The 5 steps above though are the essentials you need to create an appealing press release that gets read. 

How Much To Charge For Dog Walking

Dogs Love Running! - the blog for pet owners and pet professionals

How Much To Charge For Dog Walking?

Posted by john reh on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 @ 18:04 PM


We've updated this information.  Click here to read our new article on how much you should charge for your dog walking and pet sititng services.  PLUS we even give you a concrete number to start with.  

In addition, you can now download our free Ultimate Pricing Strategy Workbook to help you figure out exactly how much you should be charging for your local area.  Get it all here.  


Our original article begins below, but you should really read our updated version here.  

So you're thinking about starting a dog walking business.  One of the first things you're going to consider is:

  • how much to charge for dog walking?
  • how much to charge for pet sitting?
  • how much to charge for any related services?

Think about this before you get too far into your business because if you can't charge enough, you won't make enough.  And if you don't make enough to make ends meet (or make you happy), then there's no point to the business, is there?

Different dog walking services charge in different ways.  The two main ways are to:

  • charge by time
  • charge by the service

If you're charging by time, then you might just have one flat rate for everything.  As an example, you decide to charge $10 for 15 minutes of your time.

So, let's say you're going to visit a dog for 15 minutes.  And the client wants you to take the dog out for walk around the block, bring in the mail, and feed Fido a bit of food before you leave.  And the next day, the client wants you just to take Fido out for a walk and that's it.  In the 15 minutes, you have enough time to take 3 spins around the block, not just the one you did yesterday.  

In both of these cases, you spend just 15 minutes with Fido.  Regardless of what you did within those 15 minutes, it was still the same amount of time both days. So, each day is $10 because it was just 15 minutes of your time.

Another way to charge is by the service you perform.  In this situation, you're adding fees for each thing you accomplish.

Going back to Fido, let's say you tell the client that it's now $10 for a dog walk (not for 15 minutes).  Maybe they ask a few questions about what the walk entails so you have to clarify about how long it lasts and when you'll arrive.  Now let's say on one particular day they need you to give Fido a pill.  So, you say it's $2 more to give medication.  You're charging the client to perform this service (regardless of how long it takes you).  Similarly, you'll bring in the mail for $1 extra if they want.  Get the idea?

Ok, so you've figured out how you're going to charge.  Now, figure out how much to charge.  

The best place to start is by researching your competition.  Check their websites and/or call them up.

Do you see any patterns in what people are charging?  Are they all charging the same amount?  Are there drastic differences between services?  How many charge by time?  How many by the service?  How many upcharge for evening/weekend visits or other non-standard times?  What else do you find interesting about these competitors?

Take all that knowledge and figure out how you can compete in the market to see if you can be a market leader, stay right within the average, or try to offer the cheapest prices.  See our first post on how to start a dog walking business for ideas on how you might be able to be "special" in your local market so that you can get customers.

By now you're probably wondering "ok, but how MUCH do I charge for dog walking?"

The bad news is that there is no one single answer.  If I told you $10 for 15 minutes, that might be a terrible answer based on your local market and the service you provide.  Or, I could possibly tell you $30 for 15 minutes and it might be a great answer.  

The good news is that we've outlined some basic steps on what to ask yourself so that you can figure out what's best for exactly the type of business you'd like to run.  Still have questions, why don't you contact us and see how we do it?

Eco Friendly Pet Product Guide To Raising a Happy Healthy Dog

Dogs Love Running! - the blog for pet owners and pet professionals

Are you interested in learning about eco-friendly products and tips for your dog?

In this free 77-page report, you'll learn all you ever wanted to know about:

  • Organic, holistic, and raw dog food
  • Dental care for dogs
  • Green dog care products
  • Natural lawn care
  • Natural remedies for your pet
  • Natural pest control
  • Eco-friendly dog toys
  • Green cleaning tips

Download Your Eco-Friendly Product Guide To Raising A Happy, Healthy Dog Here.

This guide was put together by our friends at  If you're in the Montgomery County Pennsylvania area, they're a great pet food/product delivery service

The Biggest Mistake You Can Make When Buying A Dog Walking Franchise

Dogs Love Running! - the blog for pet owners and pet professionals

The Biggest Mistake You Can Make When Buying A Dog Walking Franchise

As a dog walking franchise, we get lots of calls and emails from people inquiring about joining our team as franchisees.  Part of our job is to help guide and educate them about what this business is all about so that they know if it's really what they're looking for or not.  From that experience, we can tell you that the #1 mistake that people make in buying a dog walking franchise (or in trying to start a dog walking or pet sitting company up on their own) is:

  • They want to play with dogs all day and that's it

Now, don't get us wrong.  With our franchise, you definitely get to play with dogs for a living.  And it's a heck of a lot of fun.  But, it's also still a business.  And there are a lot of "un-fun" things that go along with being the owner of any type of business.  When you talk to us, we tell you what those "un-fun" things are so that you know what you're getting into.

If you're considering buying a dog walking franchise partly because you love dogs, that's great.  In fact, if you don't have a love for our four-legged friends, I'm not sure we'd even want to talk to you. 

But if 100% of the reason you want to start this kind of company is soley just because you're a dog fanatic, owning a business may not be for you.  You'll find out very quickly that marketing, scheduling, accounting, and hiring have nothing at all to do with dogs. 

Some people hate those things.

If that's you, we'd suggest thinking very carefully about if this is the right type of opportunity or not. 

What we look for are these types of traits, in no particular order (if you don't have all of them, that's fine, but this should give you an idea of the "right" type of person for this job):

  • You're a dog lover (and animal-lover in general)
  • You have a passion for animal welfare
  • You like working with people (it's the people, not the dogs, that are hiring you!)
  • You enjoy the outdoors
  • Living a healthy lifestyle is important to you
  • You are organized and at least somewhat detail-minded (scheduling staff to make client visits is a part of this job)
  • You understand that this is a business and that marketing, accounting, and hiring (and other related tasks) will be a part of your weekly routine

Note that we didn't exactly specify that we're looking for runners (our company name is Dogs Love Running!, afterall).  That's because your staff will be the runners/walkers/sitters, not you.  What we're just hoping to find are people that enjoy and live a healthy lifestyle.  This can come in many forms. 

Being a dog walking franchise owner can be the best job ever, as long as you know what you're getting into.  We try to be as informative as possible when talking to prospective franchisees because the worst thing that could happen to both of us is that you join our team and then realize that this isn't really for you.  We'd rather just tell you straight up what this business is all about before you commit to being a franchisee.  If it turns out you're a match, that's great.  If not, that's fine too.  Maybe we can point you in a better direction once we know what it is that you're really seeking.

If you're thinking about buying a dog walking or pet sitting franchise and want to know more about what it takes to make it, just ask us.  You can contact us about the Dogs Love Running! franchise here.

Pet Sitting vs Dog Walking Franchise Which Is Best

Dogs Love Running! - the blog for pet owners and pet professionals

Pet Sitting vs. Dog Walking Franchise: Which Is Best?

Are you investigating the pet franchise industry and wondering how a pet sitting franchise might compare to a dog walking franchise?  Are you wondering which might be best for you?

Here's a quick and easy overview on how to compare the two so you can determine which may be the best choice for your particular situation.

First of all, it's important to note that many consumers use the terms "pet sitting" and "dog walking" interchangeably.  However, from a business owner's perspective, these are actually two different types of services and often have different objectives.  Let's take a look at both of them.

Pet Sitting:

"Pet Sitting" would typically be defined as providing a service where you'd visit a client's pet(s) at the client's home while they're away.  It does not entail the client bringing their pet to you (this would be more of a "pet boarding" service).  How many times you vist the pet would depend on how long the owner is away.  If they were gone for a 24-hour period, dogs typically would receive 3 or 4 individual visits.  Cats, fish, and other similar household pets might only need 1 visit during that same amount of time.

Dog Walking:

"Dog Walking" is also a service where you'll visit the client's home.  Owners are typically away at work, school, or another place during the day that makes it difficult for them to get back home easily and quickly to tend to their dog.  So, they'll have you come and take the dog out instead.  You'll usually visit just 1 time during the day and it will probably be somewhere around the lunch hour.

So, Of The Two, Which Is The Best Type of Business?

The "best" opportunity is largely dependent on what you're looking for in a business.  Here are some things to keep in mind when determining which might work for you:

  • There are generally more internet searches going on for "pet sitting" related terms than for "dog walking".  So, there are many sitting clients to be had out there.
  • Sitting clients typically only need you 1, 2, or 3 times a year since they're not often away from their home for more than a day.  This means that you're only working for them a couple times during an entire year.
  • There are lots of peaks and valleys in pet sitting demand.  You'll be very busy a few times a year, like for holidays, but not very busy at all during other parts of the year.
  • When providing a sitting service, your activities will typically be related to pet care, such as feeding, medication, bathroom breaks, and ensuring the general safety of the pet.
  • Dog Walking clients will generally use your services all year long because whenever they're at work (or wherever they are during the day), they'll need your help.
  • Walking clients might use you 2, 3, 4, or even 5 days a week.
  • Because walking clients use you multiple times per week all year long, walking services generally provide a more stable and predictable revenue stream.  This also makes scheduling for you (and your staff) easier because you know far in advance of what visits need to be made.
  • Walking visits are typically less focused on feeding and care and more focused on letting the dog stretch their legs, providing some exercise, and breaking up an otherwise boring day with some love and attention. 
  • Some walking clients might be especially interested in the exercise aspect of things and may even prefer a dog running service.

There really is no "best" way to go because both types of businesses have their pros and cons.  For our dog walking franchise opportunity, we focus more on the walking/running service because it fits our particular business model best.  As long as you know what you're getting into and why, either can work for you.

How Much Does A Pet Franchise Cost Franchise Fee

When considering how much buying a pet or dog walking franchise will cost you, the biggest part of that expense is usually the Franchise Fee.

So, what exactly is the Franchise Fee?

In short, it's your investment in helping ensure you don't go out of business.

More specifically, any great franchisor will have years of experience in developing their systems and processes to make sure they work before they offer their business as a franchise.  Because they've already made mistakes and now know how to avoid them, they can help ensure you don't make the same ones. 

And that's what the franchise fee buys you: it's the experience of someone else who can help you succeed as quickly as possible. 

Of course, there are lots of things included in that "experience", such as

  • proven systems and processes
  • discounts or "buying power" for equipment
  • software/technology
  • manuals, forms, documentation
  • support (phone, in-person, classroom, field training, etc)
  • marketing materials (trademarked logo, print, web, etc)
  • guidance to help you avoid mistakes

For some dog walking and pet franchises, you may also get an "exclusive territory" as part of your franchise fee.  The concept of an exlusive territory is an article for another day, but basically that just means that you "own" an area and no other franchisees around you can take customers who live in the territory that belongs to you. 

So how much is the franchise fee?

This is going to vary widly depending on the industry, competition, territory size, and other factors.  For the pet franchise industry though, a typical franchise fee will be in the range of about $6,000 to $35,000. 

For the Dogs Love Running! franchise, our franchise fee is $12,000.  And you do get an exclusive territory of 250,000 people (that's really big!). 

When looking at a franchise, especially a pet-related one, check out what you're getting first.  Ask the franchisor what it is that they'll be doing for you.  Once you know that, the value of what you're paying as a franchise fee will become much clearer.

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