In our guide "Becoming a dog sitter: Requirements for dog handlers", we have already described which requirements a dog sitter should have - also for the hobby or part-time job as a dog sitter. But if it should go further and you want to take the whole thing in your hand, there is a lot more to it.
A professional dog sitter needs seed capital
Now the hobby becomes a real business for four paws. You need one thing above all:seed money! After all, in addition to premises with a run, you also need the right equipment and transport options for your four-legged friends and dog playground. Any employees, insurance and legal advice also cost money. In the beginning, you also have to expect advertising expenditure and a thin order situation.
The necessary training as a dog sitter
Dog sitting is not an education with an official qualification. However, education and experience are essential and the more the better. If you want to become a dog sitter and make a living from it, prior employment as a dog walker or training as a zookeeper would be ideal. In addition, you may already have valuable contacts as potential customers.
Ideally, you should complete some dog training courses in advance and know how to put what you have learned into practice. Keep in mind that such training is also very expensive. It is particularly important that you can interpret the dog language, otherwise there will certainly be communication problems with the four-legged friends in the future.
Authorities for prospective dog sitters
Once all educational issues have been resolved, things can get down to business:
- ● Permission according to animal protection law § 11: Fines can be severe without this permission. Contact your responsible veterinary office and inquire whether your case requires approval. To do this, describe the extent to which you want to look after dogs. It also matters how many dogs you want to house at the same time. If necessary, you have to submit an application for the authorization according to § 11 and provide evidence of expertise. If there is no proof, the veterinary office can also request an aptitude test from you. It is often decided on a case-by-case basis.
- ● Register business: You do this at the trade office.
- ● Tax office: You also need a tax number for your business, so you have to register with the tax office.
- ● Commercial premises: If dog care is to take place in your own home, a change in use must be requested from the building authority. Newly rented premises must be approved by the veterinary office so that you can obtain a business license.
- ● Insurance: Every self-employed person should have professional liability insurance and think about daily sickness benefits insurance in the event of illness due to loss of earnings.
You can find out everything you need to know about the Animal Welfare Act on the homepage of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.
Dog training with Clicker: how it works!
Dog training with Clicker differs from many other training methods, because only ...
Right premises for dog sitting
Simply renting a room without first checking what it has to bring can have costly consequences and ruin your plans. Rooms used commercially for dog care may only be used as such. Therefore, in the case of private rooms, the application for a change of use must also be submitted to the building authority. If the rooms are rented separately, they must be approved by the responsible veterinary office to ensure that they are kept in an animal-friendly manner. For this to succeed, the size and incidence of light must be optimal.
When searching, consider the needs of the four-legged friends. Your care accommodation must be absolutely dog-friendly and easy to clean, preferably fully tiled. The future landlord must of course also know what you are going to do in his rental property. With the right setup, everything is washable and wipeable. The rooms must not have any sources of danger. Ideally there is a fenced outside area, then the four-legged friends will feel at home with you. Quarantine rooms for sick dogs are often required.
Professional dog sitter: What else needs to be considered
As a professional dog sitter, you should always have legal protection in the context of care contracts. In this way you can always refer to the concluded contract in the event of a disagreement with the dog parents. The prices must be set within the scope of care: is it just about picking up and going for a walk? Is it all-day or even vacation care? Is the cared animal a very active breed or a Chihuahua, for example, who is satisfied with a short walk?
All of these questions need to be asked beforehand. Also calculate travel directions for pickups and consider a small surcharge on Sundays and public holidays. All agreements regarding each four-legged friend must be made in advance. The personal conversation and a meeting with the four-legged friend always show whether it fits between humans and animals.
But all the work is worth it! Here you get a great insight into the life of a dog walker, the dog sitting is limited to the training and the mental and physical load of the dog: