Dog Walking: Additional services

Dog Walking: Additional services

Once you’ve filled your dog walking availability you may want to look at adding services to your portfolio in order to generate more income.

Two commonly added services that don’t require a licence or any further outlay in terms of training or equipment are cat sitting and overnight dog sitting in their own home.

Cat Sitting

Cat sitting is when an owner is away from their home, usually on holiday, and instead of taking their cats to a cattery they will leave them at home but have someone come in usually once or twice a day.

You’ll be asked to clean out litter trays, feed, change the water and give the cat some company whilst they’re away. The cat may or may not be allowed outside during this time.

You may want to adjust your forms and contracts or add an additional cat form asking the following;

  • Is there a cat flap, will it be open/closed?
  • Where should you dispose of the soiled litter? (some people have a separate bin)
  • Would you like any plants watered?
  • Would you like the wheelie bins put out and on which day?
  • If twice daily visits, would you like the curtains opening and closing?
  • Should I keep the key or post it through the letterbox on the final visit?

A benefit which you can sell alongside your cat visits is that it’s added security for their homes, especially if they have twice daily visits enabling you to close curtains and pop lights on.


Visits can be done outside core walking hours although morning and evening visits extend your working day more than just walking.

Cat visits are quick and relatively easy to do. Some cats you may not even see, others might plant themselves on your lap for half an hour but on average you should expect each to take 15 to 20 minutes, not including travel time.


Cat owners tend to be more high maintenance than dog owners in terms of them leaving you specific instructions and needing reassurance about their cats whilst they’re away, so be prepared for far more contact with them than you have with your dog clients. I once had to hold a cat up to their wifi cameras and ‘wave’ at the owner to prove tiddles was ok.

You will be working 7 days a week whilst owners are on holiday.

House Sitting

House sitting or dog sitting is where you stay in the owner’s home whilst they’re away and take care of their dogs and other pets.

Dog boarding (when they come to your home) is highly regulated and needs a licence from your local council along with possible adaptations to your home and tax implications so should be researched thoroughly before adding this to your services. Boarding dogs without a licence in your home is an offence that has an unlimited fine and up to 6 months in prison.

Staying in their home does not need a licence but take time to consider the pros and cons of offering this service as it can have a large impact on your family life.

You’ll be asked to maintain the dog’s home routine whilst the owner is away in terms of feeding and walking schedules. It’s easier if the dog is already your walking client as they can come on their usual group walks but if that’s not the case you may need to find time to add an extra walk for them.

When booking, be very clear with the owner as to how your day will be when staying there and how long the dog will be left alone.

Some clients are looking for someone to stay with their dog all the time, perhaps due to a medical condition or separation anxiety. Others may only expect you to be there from the evening and overnight and provide a lunchtime walk.


No licence is needed to provide overnight care at someone else’s home so no additional costs are involved.

High rates can be asked for overnight stays, commonly higher than boarding rates, which themselves are higher than kennelling rates. Research these for your own areas but remember you’re offering individualised care for their dog in their home, it’s a luxury service that is better than boarding or kennelling for the dog.


Other people sometimes live in a way that may not align with your own personal standards in terms of cleanliness or repair, so make sure you’re comfortable staying in the home before taking the booking and never confirm until you’ve visited them.

Not only will you be out working all day but you’ll be going straight to your client’s home afterwards so you may be away from your family for the length of the booking.

Wedding chaperone

Lots of couples incorporate their dogs into their wedding day celebrations and require someone reliable and capable to take care of their dogs during the day.


• Dogs can provide emotional support and companionship to stressed-out wedding couples.

• Dogs can act as greeters and provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere for guests.

• Dogs make wonderful photo props, providing a fun and creative way to capture memorable wedding moments.

• Wedding chaperone can be a lucrative sideline


• Dogs may be disruptive or cause distractions during the ceremony.

• Not all dogs are suitable for a wedding environment and may not have the right temperament.

• Dog owners may be liable for any injuries or damages caused by their pet.

• Attending a wedding requires you to be appropriately dressed for the occasion


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