People & Planet
This business makes a positive difference by...
- Giving them the opportunity to go on holiday with their family, knowing their pets will be well looked after.
- Walking and caring for their animals if they are elderly or unable to do it themselves.
- Making someone feel good because they know that they are helping you develop your business skills.
- Moving one step closer to being a great business person who will have the potential to help even more people in the future.
- Ensuring that the animals in your care are well looked after and happy.
- Picking up any poop with a plastic bag when you walk people's dogs.
Before You Start
Do Some Market Research
Conduct a quick survey among your neighbours and friends asking them:
- Do they have any pets? If so, how many?
- Which of these services might you use? :
- Grooming / Cleaning
- How much are they willing to pay for the services?
This would give you a clear idea on how your business will perform and whether anyone would need your services!
Things You'll Need
- Keep a Notebook Diary
- Always write down the time and date of all your feeding and walking commitments
- Keep a good record of the hours you have worked.
- Keep a Brief Summary of each animal you walk or care for. This will help you to know what to expect and if anything is wrong. The owners are sure to marvel at your genius if you remember everything about their beloved pet for next time!
- Keep Track of Money with a Receipt / Invoice book
- Record all money you collect and are owed.
- Record the hours that you work.
- Have an agreement which you and your client sign. This should include: The dates you will feed / walk their pet, how much money they will pay you, and when they will pay you, a place for both of you to sign
- Start with your neighbours and friends - You have the advantage that they already trust you (hopefully!).
- Have a Special Offer - e.g. every tenth dog walk free.
- Have a creative and convincing flyer explaining what your business is.
- Get some testimonials from other clients once you've pet-sat a few times (…. But if their pet was mysteriously lost when they returned maybe don't ask that person!).
- Once you're more experienced you may want to: place an ad in your school or a local school newsletter, place an ad in your community newspaper, pin flyers on community notice boards (make sure you're allowed to do this first)
Pricing: If you're unsure what to charge, look in the local paper or ring up places in the Yellow Pages offering pet-minding services to see what they charge.
- Always make sure you feel comfortable around the animals you are looking after. Make sure you get to know them first.
- Always have an adult with you when you're visiting the homes of people you don't know well.
- When you're walking animals make sure you feel safe and do it in daylight hours.
Get on with it
How Do I Care for Pets?
Make sure you get all the information you need from the owner before they leave to go away - Each pet is different, but before you know it you'll be an expert at looking after all kinds of animals!
You will need to:
- Get a key off your client.
- Get the owner's contact details in case of an emergency.
- Get the contact details of the pets vet - just in case!
- Spend some time with the animal before the owners leave, to get to know it.
- Decide where the pet's food will be kept, and what quantity they should be given per day.
- Find out if the pet needs any sort of medication. If it does make sure you always give the correct dose.
Besides feeding and walking pets, you can offer other services to travellers. Home security is important to travellers.
For example, while they're away people might pay you to:
- Collect their mail,
- Open and shut their curtains,
- Water the plants
- Mow the lawn