It is a well-known fact that teens and pets go hand in hand. Most teens like pets of any kind. Some teens even like exotic pets such as snakes and ferrets. However, when it comes to the perfect pet for a teen looking for extra income, a dog is truly a teen’s best friend.
Parents today, for the most part, find themselves a two-income family, which means many things to today’s families. One of these is the need for someone to care for family pets when that family is on vacation. Moreover, some families need someone to walk their pet on a weekly or even daily basis.
Teens and Pets: A Perfect Work Match
How to Get Started
Really, the best way for a teen to get started in the dog-walking business is by word of mouth and by advertising. Of course, you do not want your teen taking out a full-page ad anywhere, but with their technology savvy and a little leg work, he or she can be in business in no time.
A great idea, also, is to have a happy pet owner write up a referral or a positive comment and a contact email so that potential pet owners can inquire as to reliability and references.
Volunteering at a pet shelter will make a pet owner even more comfortable to hire your teen, as your son or daughter will demonstrate prior experience. Volunteering not only shows experience, it also shows a genuine love for animals.
Start out by seeking the advice of others who have been dog walkers before and ask them how much they charged. Another great idea is to call an ad for a dog walker in your local paper and ask them how much they would charge for one dog, two dogs, etc. This is also a great way to find out what is expected of your teen. By making a few phone calls to ads for dog walkers, your son or daughter can gather a host of information.
If you are setting your own rates, it is a good idea to put that information up front and personal on your flyer, email, or post. This way there is no cause for confusion later on down the road. Decide whether it is per hour, per day, and what is included in your services.
Responsibility and Reliability
Walking, cleaning up, feeding, and playing with a pet owner’s dog are all things that are vital to the health and wellbeing of their beloved pet. Let a potential client know up front that you will have their pet’s best interest at heart. After all, they are entrusting you with one of their family members.
Once your teen shows responsibility and reliability, he or she will get more repeat business from a very satisfied pet owner. Who knows, another referral may also come along the way.