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How does this sound ... earn money and improve your health at the same time! Too good to be true you might think but no, it's actually quite easy - start your own dog walking business.
Could this be the perfect job for animal lovers? You get to meet new canine and human friends plus get paid to keep fit. If you walk dogs for people in the Peak District or the surrounding counties you can have a really great time - out in the fresh air surrounded by magnificent scenery. There are woodlands like Macclesfield Forest in Cheshire, Gritstone Edges with their magnificent views such as Curbar, Froggatt and Stanage in the Dark Peak, along the rivers like the Wye and the Lathkill, or across farmland in the white Peak. There are also the various trails such as the High Peak, Tissington and Manifold Way. It is possible also to walk dogs along the Limestone way. But be under no illusion, it is not the most well paid job in the world with rates starting at around £5 for a half hour walk. But it's not all about money is it?
But where would your customers come from? Why should anyone have a dog and want you to walk it for them? There are numerous reasons for this:
- They cannot take their dog to work amd may not be able to get home during the day to walk their animal
- They may not have the time to take their dog for a long walk when they are at home
- The owner may be injured - broken leg, dislocated shoulder or similar
- The owner may have a long term illness such as ME
- Elderly people living alone may have a dog for company but may not be able to walk the dog
- Icy weather (again more likely to be an elderly person who is a little unsteady on their legs)
- Business trip for a few days
The more astute dog walkers will arrange to take several dogs from different owners in a neighbourhood at the same time, thus increasing the hourly income significantly. This is termed group dog walking and you would tend to charge a little less per owner, but that is up to you really. You might think that owners might be miffed at such an impersonal service. You may be right but it is quite likely that they will appreciate it. A well balanced family pet needs to socialise with other dogs, however for an owner, that is not always possible to achieve e.g. they might just be out in the local park with the family and the dog is with them, if the dog starts socialising, that can be a source of stress to an owner. So giving their dog a chance to socialise in a controlled situation with other dogs will appeal to some.
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Here is a link to some dog walking tips - it's on about.com and is a bit American but the principles are the same.
My personal favourite dogwalking routes is probably Kinder Scout. Probably
not a route for you if you want to make money though as it is a half
or so; it is more a route for walking your own dog, especially if he
or she needs
car park, head
street, past the pub and take the unmetalled track on the left a few dozen
yards later. This descends into a small wooded valley, a bridge takes
a paved track then takes you over a field. Bear right, up the obvious path
on to the top of Kinder Scout. From there, there are various options, navigate
the cloughs on compass bearings, follow the path round the rim either to
the left or right and so on. If you have plenty of daylight, you could attempt
the high level Kinder Scout circumnavigation. Use your map to follow the
path that circles the plateau. The distance is around the top is about 18
miles, plus another mile or so to reach it from Edale. I like to go anticlockwise
from here as that saves the best
bits until the end!
Disclaimer - please make sure that you have the necessary skills, equipment and fitness and insurance before setting off with someone else's dog. The responsibility lies with you to find out about any legal and common sense requirements before setting up as a dog walker. This information about dogwalking is for entertainment only it is not intended as a guide to setting up your own dog walking business.