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So next month my husband will be getting a work truck which means I FINALLY (after 4 years) will have my own set of wheels which opens up a lot of new and exciting possibilities for me. One of them a long dream of having my own dog related business. As I start researching things around my area a couple of questions started to pop up.

Is your business "legit"? In the sense you invoice your customers and tax them... write things off? Etc

How much does a website help with your business?

Have you had a veterinarian show you the proper way to administer medication if that is something you offer?

How long do you visit homes of dogs for quick potty breaks if this is something you offer?

Do you end up training their dogs regardless of them specifically asking for it? For instance you have a super strong puller--do you work on LLW with the dog just to make YOUR life easier?

If you offer poop nd scoop in yards.... how do you dispose of the turds?
 

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Raider, how exciting, it would be wonderful to work with dogs on a daily basis like that. :)

I know in Vancouver a real plus (and something people look for) is for a walker to be trained in animal first aid. The SPCA puts on yearly classes here - probably something similar there. I'd probably only choose a walker who has training like that, myself.
 

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Is your business "legit"? In the sense you invoice your customers and tax them... write things off? Etc.
I don't know about Canada... But here in the US we have a business license. We're also licensed and insured through a major organization. Our clients pay weekly, usually via check. Clients don't pay us taxes. We can deduct business expenses (gas, mileage, etc.) on our own taxes.

How much does a website help with your business?
Fairly well. It's good to have a catchy yet professional website. I don't bother with paper advertising anymore. It's a huge waste of resources. The only paper I'd bother with is business cards, and even then there are phone apps for digital business cards now. The biggest advertising is word of mouth.

Have you had a veterinarian show you the proper way to administer medication if that is something you offer?
For things like pills or other oral medication, even though I'm familiar with that, the owner usually demonstrates it during the meet and greet anyway. Otherwise I've taken a pet CPR and first aid class that goes over that sort of thing. Personally, I'm very anxious around needles, so I'm not the sitter who does injections. My mother does those.

How long do you visit homes of dogs for quick potty breaks if this is something you offer?
We don't offer potty breaks. Our shortest walk time is 20 minutes. A typical potty break for various companies can range from "job done as soon as dog potties" to 15 minutes or so.

Do you end up training their dogs regardless of them specifically asking for it? For instance you have a super strong puller--do you work on LLW with the dog just to make YOUR life easier?
That's sort of case-by-case with me. If it's something easy like leash manners then I'll work with the dog as long as the owner says it's okay. I don't do anything without consent. I'm a dog WALKER, not a dog TRAINER. I do, however, plan on getting my bachelors in animal sciences (focusing on canine psychology and behavior) and becoming a legitimate trainer in the future.

If you offer poop nd scoop in yards.... how do you dispose of the turds?
I don't do yards. However I do pick up poop during the walk, as legally required. Disposal depends on the owner. Some want the bag in front of their door. Others in the trash can. For large quantities, you could bring it to a dumpster or something... but considering most of my food comes from dumpster diving, it's not pleasant to have to sift through that kind of thing for dinner... So I have a sort of different respect when it comes to disposal of poo... You COULD say that poop scooping days can only be scheduled the day before garbage pickup so thei trash can is already waiting outside to be dumped.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Raider, how exciting, it would be wonderful to work with dogs on a daily basis like that.


I know in Vancouver a real plus (and something people look for) is for a walker to be trained in animal first aid. The SPCA puts on yearly classes here - probably something similar there. I'd probably only choose a walker who has training like that, myself.
Right? I've just picked up an over night job at the local coffee shop. It works for the family and i really enjoy having that social interaction (especially with regulars :), after living at home for 4 years, but it just drives home the fact that I truly prefer working with animals one on one. It sets my soul on fire lol.

How I didn't think if first aid is beyond me! Thank you for pointing out the obvious!

@Larkspur we have small business licenses but I was wondering if some people just did it for cash as well? I'm not looking to make a living off of it... something to supplement my income doing something that I enjoy that's in line with my own goals while in the meantime my family matures. Thank you for all of your input! It's very helpful :)
 

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I dog sit/walk when I need some extra money, I get paid in cash and that's basically it lol! I typically stay about half an hour per visit. I don't have a website, I get my business from word of mouth, happy customers tell others and then I get a phone call. Have fun :)
 

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From the other point of view (dog owner), I don't want someone I hired to walk my dog to train my dog without my permission. If I want a dog trainer, I want one who has some training credentials and experience training dogs professionally. JMHO. I also want a dog walker to have insurance.
 

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@Grabby what kind of insurance would a dog walker have? It's something I might have to dig around a bit to see if there's something similar here that would cover me but it would be something I'd get if I'm going to make this a legit business. I guess that would end up factoring into prices which would make me more expensive as its something I pay into to cover my bum to make me a better business. Perhaps I will email some semi-local dog walkers to see what they have going on behind the scenes a bit to.
 

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^Most likely some kind of liability (in the event of injury or bite) and I would imagine loss (in case of ...well... loss) and you might want to pay into some kind of WCB insurance in the event you get hurt and can't work at either jobs (you know, because tripping over a yorkie and breaking your leg is a possibility).

You might look into if you are going to be required to charge PST/GST (you guys in Ontario aren't harmonized right?) as well. Also you would be required to show proof of receipt so any way of invoicing (computer program) or even a simple receipt book would work for taxes.
 

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Ha. Turns out there is pet care business insurance here in Canada. Will need to look further into that... because yah. That's a bunch of things I haven't even considered! Seriously, keep the suggestions coming guys. Really opening up doors and exploring this option has me excited. It's a little more involved than I originally thought which is a bit daunting (i picked up my night shift to kill my credit debt so that i can start going into debt for my dog training courses lmao).I've already got my business name picked out, will need to come up with a logo and then some business cards as I'm going paper first due to some technical issues (aka...no internet just data on my phone) and then start to get the ball rolling by getting small business + insurance. It may be a little longer in the making than I originally thought but I'm ALSO on a spiritual journey to embrace and develop morw paitence :). This is a good exercise for me. Lol
 
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