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Book Review: How to Start a Home-Based Pet-Sitting and Dog-Walking Business

by Therese on April 27, 2011

in Book Reviews, Dog walking, Pet Sitting, The Pet Care Biz

It used to be that there were only a small handful of books worth reading on how to start a pet sitting business. As the industry grows though, I’m glad to see that’s changing. More and more owners of successful pet sitting & dog walking businesses are stepping up to offer great advice for people who want to start their own pet care business. How to Start a Home-Based Pet-Sitting and Dog-Walking Business (aff) is one of these books. It’s an excellent resource for anyone thinking about getting into the pet sitting and dog walking business, or even those wanting to take their business to the next level.

How to Start a Home-Based Pet-Sitting and Dog-Walking Business was written by Cathy Vaughan, founder of Cathy’s Critter Care in Schertz, Texas. She started her business in 1998 and has grown it to a profitable, successful, business with an office manager and sixteen employees. In her book, she draws on her 13 years of experience in the business, so her readers will get insight from a real (successful!) veteran.

It’s a fact that many pet sitting and dog walking businesses don’t last long at all. I’ve known of many that close their doors just months after opening them. Part of the problem is they go into it thinking it’s going to be all snuggles and hugs from the pets. (Sorry if this bursts anybody’s bubble, but there’s way more to it than that!) A lot of people either disregard the business aspect or simply don’t think about it before they launch. This is where Cathy’s book can be a huge help. She takes the idea of owning and operating a pet sitting or dog walking business and goes through the steps to make it a reality. Here are just a few of the topics covered:

  • How much money will you make?
  • Business structure (sole proprietor, LLC, partnership, Inc.)
  • How to select a name and how to make sure you can use it
  • Writing a business plan
  • Website design
  • Insurance
  • Money (what to charge, how to manage, invoicing)
  • Marketing & advertising
  • Avoiding burnout

At the end of each chapter there are two sections: “The Least You Need to Know” and “Action Steps.” The information in each of these sections is short and to the point, but serve as very specific ways to ensure you’re on the right track. If you’re looking for an easy to understand, easy to follow, how-to book to help you get your pet sitting or dog walking business off the ground, or just want to learn new ways to improve your existing business, get a copy of How to Start a Home-Based Pet-Sitting and Dog-Walking Business. It’ll be helpful to newbies as well as people who have been in the business for a while.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Vicki Holt April 28, 2011 at 11:43 am

Finally! I have bought every book I could find on how to create a profitable pet sitting business to refer to my students. I teach a course on this subject in Seattle at several local community colleges and have owned a pet sitting business with up to 14 independent contractors for almost ten years. I have found some information useful in all of them, but none that I felt was comprehensive enough to be worth recommending. I can’t wait to pick up Cathy’s book. Thanks for reviewing it Therese, and for giving us the low-down on what is good about it. It sounds like we finally have a manual that people can really use to start their business.


Therese April 28, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I’d love to hear what you think of it after you read it.


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