The Costs for Starting a Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Business in 2023

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Common Start-up Costs for Professional Pet-Sitting Business

You adore animals and have decided that starting a pet-care business is your new career goal; however, how much will it cost to get started? It's a question that all pet-loving entrepreneurs should think about carefully before launching their businesses.

For starters, you can start pet-sitting within your neighborhood with just a bit of money on you, just invest on some good supplies for your pet-sitting venture and you're good to go!

While professional pet sitting has fewer start-up expenses than many other business endeavors, launching a pet-sitting firm is more complicated than just offering your services online and collecting fees to care for dogs and cats. To be a genuine professional, you must first create your business, then invest in education and precautions (such as liability insurance and bonding) to protect yourself, your company, and your clients.

Starting a new pet-sitting or dog-walking company is an exciting time! You've chosen to convert your passion for pet care into a job, but it's easy to get caught up in the idea of being your own boss, building your business, and having the financial independence you've always desired. While all of that is doable, it is critical to take things one step at a time. And one of the first things you should think about when beginning a pet-sitting or dog-walking company is how much it will cost. While this varies greatly from state to state and even city to city — we've put up a general guide.

This guide will assist you in determining what it will take to get your firm off the ground. Fortunately, beginning a pet care company is less expensive than starting any other small business - there is no need to rent shop space or purchase heavy and expensive equipment to start your business!

Starting a pet-sitting business now is a fantastic idea because it is one of the few industries that may bring immediate success. Start a pet-sitting business from the comfort of your humble home if you can't currently afford to rent a facility or place. And depending on how you will tackle your business growth, and how creative you can be, you can potentially attract a lot of clients and customers and start earning money in as little as a month! This puts you in a unique situation where you can start earning while starting up and, quite frankly, there are not many businesses that allow this kind of success early on.

The following are some fundamentals that any pet care provider will require. The rest is up to you after that. You can start a dog-walking or pet-sitting company with little more than a mobile phone, computer, printer, and some poop bags!

How much profit can a pet-sitting business make?

Those who work for larger pet-sitting companies estimate earning between $30,000 and $45,000 per year. Independent pet-sitting company owners with no staff claim to earn up to $57,000 per year. And that is just scratching the surface of possible growth as long as you keep yourself focused on your goals!

Know the Costs Before You Start

It's exhilarating to start a new business. Especially if it is a passion-based business. There is no doubt about it, but success requires more than just desire; it is also critical to have a clear handle on your money. One of the greatest methods to achieve this is to figure out how much it will cost to start your firm. While the costs of beginning a pet care business will vary depending on your company, services, and region, the following is a broad list of common charges.

What services will your pet-sitting company provide? Will you also look after exotic animals? These are some of the questions you should consider before starting your own pet-sitting service.

To begin, you must register your firm with your local government, and the fees may vary by state. The Small Business Administration can assist you in determining which licenses are required in your location. You will need an Employer Identification Number to apply for a business license (EIN). To obtain an EIN, simply visit the IRS website and follow the steps.

Also, one of the first steps to starting a business is deciding on a legal structure. One of the most common structures is a DBA (doing business as a sole proprietor or partnership) or an LLC. The fees will vary based on the structure you choose and the state in which you live. Do some research to see which choice is best for you. An LLC is more costly, but it offers greater security.


Creating a website for your pet-sitting or dog-walking business is vital. Clients search for pet-sitting services online and expect to be able to check your website before selecting your services. If you are more tech-savvy, you can get a domain name for roughly $10 and use WordPress to develop a free pet-sitting website, paying just for hosting (around $5/month). If you need additional assistance, there are several wonderful tools available, such as Wix and Squarespace, that range in price from $5 to $50 each month. They are a little more expensive, but they are incredibly user-friendly, with drag-and-drop website builders.

Marketing Materials

One of the easiest ways to market your new business is with business cards. You can hand them out to friends and family and give a few to new clients to share with their neighbors. Canva is very well known and has lots of templates to use if you want to try some for free, and you can absolutely check out your local printing businesses if there are any establishments that offer these kinds of services in your place, not only it will help your local businesses too, you can actually earn some word of mouth advertising through your local market!  

Pet First Aid Class

A Pet First Aid Class is a great option for a new pet care business owner. Not only will you gain a lot of useful information, but your new clients will be grateful that you are Pet First Aid and CPR certified. This accreditation will demonstrate your commitment to your career and your ability to give the finest possible care for their cherished pet. It will also provide you with the confidence to deal with any scenario that may come. This involves learning how to appropriately administer medication if necessary, as well as recognizing any potential health issues. It is also critical to understand typical behavioral disorders and how to handle them. By being prepared for anything, you can provide a calm and safe environment for the pet you're looking after.

Pet-Sitting Supplies

Following that, supplies. It's usually a good idea to carry poop bags, a backup leash, a collapsible water dish, and maybe some dog treats on hand. All of these items are available at your local pet store. When you're just starting off, you don't need to go overboard on materials. You will quickly discover what additional items you require after spending some time outdoors! You'll also learn which ones may be left at home.

Pet Sitting Software

While you may not require pet-sitting software just when you are starting your business— getting up and running with a strong system early may most certainly assist. Not only does it wow your clients, but it makes managing your expanding firm much easier. Plus, it's usually preferable to start with software than to try to transition after your company has grown. Scout offers a lot of tools to help you flourish in the pet-sitting industry. With Scout, booking, managing, receiving payments, and more are automated to help your mind be at ease and help you grow as well.

Educational and training programs

Set aside money to spend on education if you want to give the finest possible care for your pets. Complete a pet first aid course and consider doing any of the online classes. These courses will educate you with the information and abilities needed to care for your pet in an emergency situation, as well as assist you to get more customers, because these accreditations will give you an advantage when competing for clients!

Business License

Operating a legally-compliant business is a must—not a maybe—so check to see if your city, county, and/or state have any business license requirements for pet-care businesses and factor in those costs. Depending on where you live, you may also need a home occupation permit before a local government issues you a business license for a home-based business.

Name Registration

Before settling on a business name, do your research to make sure the name is not already in use and trademarked by another business. You don’t want to learn later—after you have already started building brand awareness—that you will have to change your name.

Once you settle on a business name and determine its availability, be sure to register it with your local and state government, if applicable. It’s also a good idea to pursue a federal trademark. An attorney can help you with these steps. Read this post with tips for selecting and protecting your pet-sitting business name.

Attorney fees

An attorney can help you with some of the important tasks of setting up your business, such as registering your business name, setting up your business's legal structure, and developing and/or reviewing your business forms.

Accountant fees

Unless you’re already an accountant or bookkeeper, you will probably want to hire one to help with your record-keeping. An accountant can help you set up your books, do your payroll, and apply for the necessary identification numbers.

Be sure to choose an accountant with small-business experience, and inquire about fees, which can vary greatly. Ask other small-business owners in your community for recommendations before selecting an accountant.


One of the most critical measures you will take for your business is to obtain pet-sitter liability insurance. Professional pet sitting, like any other business, has hazards, and accidents can occur, ranging from pet injuries to property damage. Check to make sure you're protected. Consider any additional coverage you may require, such as disability income insurance, coverage for your business, car, and worker's compensation.

Pet Sitting Insurance is required for every new company. It protects not just you, but also your consumers. Many customers may want to know if you have insurance because it will not only put your mind at ease in case something happens, but it will also assure the clients that you are committed to giving the utmost quality of service!

Several providers offer Pet Sitting Insurance in the United States, but the major providers are:

Pet Sitters Associates — providing coverage since 1998. Pet Sitters Associates provides lots of options, including a Business Listing service.

Kennel Pro — Offering three different packages.

Pet Care Insurance — Offers products to many different pet care professionals.

You can also check out your local community if there are any establishments offering the same perks as these major companies.

Dishonesty bond

You know you're honest (and you hope your workers are as well), but your potential clients don't. Bonding offers protection from dishonest behavior by you or an employee, such as theft (and with some policies, Independent Contractors as well). Bonding is comparatively cheap, provides your customer with peace of mind, and makes you stand out from the competition. By bonding your company, you are essentially taking out an insurance policy that protects your customers from any losses or damages that may occur as a result of your business practices. This not only makes them feel more secure in doing business with you but also sets a precedent of trust and transparency that will continue to pay dividends long into the future. By being open and honest about your business dealings, you not only build trust with your current and potential customers but also create an environment of mutual respect.

Background check

Background checks not only give potential clients peace of mind, but they have also become industry standard. Additionally, you should make sure you have documentation of each sitter's lack of any criminal background if you want to hire or contract with any other sitters after opening your business. This will make your potential consumers feel comfortable entrusting you with their business.

Pet-sitting service contract

When you have new clients, you'll need to do more than just describe your services and take notes on their dogs. You'll need a pet-sitting service contract, also known as a service agreement, that describes the services you'll give, any limits, and information about the client's dogs and houses.

Because this is a legal document, do not write one yourself or use a free one from the internet. Invest in having it reviewed by an attorney to avoid discrepancies.

Bank charges for a business account

What bank will you choose to manage your company account, and how much will you have to pay in fees? Ask other small-business owners who they trust with their finances and who offers the finest small-business programs and pricing. Consider additional considerations such as convenience, operating hours, and so forth.

It's also a great idea to have a separate bank account for your business. Not only will it look professional when you're handing out your invoice, but opening a separate bank account for your business ensures that all the funds flowing within your business will be well documented and it will also help ensure that you can't accidentally use the funds for non-business-related expenses.

Separate business phone lines

It is a good idea to set up a distinct business line for your firm, whether it be a landline or a cell phone. It will not only improve the professionalism of your company, but it will also prevent consumers and potential customers from calling your personal number at all hours of the night. This will give you more time to relax and enjoy your personal life, without having to worry about work at all hours. In addition, it will give potential customers the impression that you are a professional company, which can only help to increase your sales.

Internet connection fee

Similarly, you may need to install an internet connection in your house or company office. In today's web-driven world, you'll most likely want to extensively market your business online via a business website and social media sites. High-speed internet is an excellent investment for your company. And the internet is essential to your business because you can reach a larger audience and potential customer base than you would if you were only relying on brick-and-mortar sales. In addition, social media sites are a great way to connect with potential and current customers.

Business supplies

Make a list of the numerous business supplies you will require to run your company, such as a computer, file cabinets, basic office supplies, and software (e.g. payment processing apps, scheduling software, etc.)

Advertising expenses

You may be ready to provide the greatest services in town, but how can potential customers find out about you? Consider the promotion tactics you intend to utilize for your new firm and the associated costs. Website design and hosting; business cards; printed promotional materials; paid newspaper, magazine, or radio adverts; sponsored social media postings; and so on are all examples of advertising expenditures.

Miscellaneous expenses

You may wish to include extra costs in your total startup costs. For example, as a pet sitter, you will most likely be driving more, so add automotive tune-ups to your list. You may need to buy more comfy shoes to wear while walking dogs.


Please keep in mind that this is only a rough estimate of the cost of beginning a professional pet-sitting service. Start-up requirements and expenses may differ. The good news is that professional pet sitters have a lot of earning potential! You simply need to calculate the initial costs and recognize that developing a client base in your service area may take some time. You will need to factor in the cost of advertising and marketing to attract customers in your area. It is important to be patient and understand that it may take some time to build up a loyal customer base. But at the end of the day, Pet-Sitting can be started as easily as walking your dog in a park if you want to. Pet-sitting can be started within your local neighborhood with just a minimal cost, and with a little courage here, with a dash of perseverance, and a bit of luck, you can start and grow your own pet-sitting company!

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