Make extra income with Dog Boarding - Live Work Travel USA|Live Work Travel USA

Make extra income with Dog Boarding

You may have seen these photos of dog walkers steering 5 dogs down the sidewalk. In today’s world this is not just a side gig for college students anymore. What you may have NOT seen yet, is people who care for dogs in their own home: It’s called dog boarding. This can be a serious income stream for you, if you are comfortable being around and caring for other people’s beloved pets and have the environment to do so. The best part: You make your own hours and decide what to charge. It allows you to save up for something on the side or put more money into the family spending account.

Rover_ad_300During the COVID-19 pandemic a lot of people adopted a dog to have some emotional support while being locked down and stuck at home throughout the United States. Many businesses started to let their employees work from home during that time and some are still allowing it past COVID. But what happens when the workforce is getting called back into the office slowly but surely. It may just be one day a week or several days, but it creates a situation for the new pet owners that they may not have been fully aware of when they committed to their furry family addition in the first place. Cats are usually just fine while their owner is gone all day and know how to use the litter box, but dogs need to pee and usually can’t wait 8-10 hours until their owner comes back. Can you hear opportunity calling? Who are THEY gonna call? You just need to raise your hand and offer either dog walking or dog boarding to give their pup a chance to do its business. How? With dog walking marketplaces like Rover, Wag Walking, etc. I bet you have tons of dog owners in your neighborhood.

Great for stay-at-home expat spouses

Since this is an expat blog primarily, I see this as a great opportunity for trailing spouses. Often times, when the “honeymoon phase” of being in a new country subsides, trailing spouses are finding themselves stuck at home all day with their partners tied up at work. Most spouses can’t really practice their own profession in the US, because they don’t have the US equivalent certifications or degrees that are required in the American job market. Language can be a big hurdle at first, too. It can become frustrating very fast and even lead to desperation of not being able to contribute financially to this adventure abroad.

Walking or boarding dogs doesn’t require a license and you don’t even have to speak English that well as long as you are comfortable around animals. Sometimes I only meet the owners once for a first introduction and all the other visits is just me and the dogs.

Holiday Season is big business for the Pet Care Industry

IMG_5066That’s right, and you can make a good chunk of money by helping out. People are going on vacation all year long, but peak times is of course around holidays. Pet owners in the US are spending thousands on their vacation every year and they are spending even more because they need to find a good place for their pets while they’re gone. There’s always the dog kennels, but every pet owner has an awkward guilty feeling when they are about to have the fun of their life and their dog sits in a crate at some strange place with a bunch of other stressed out animals. Pet owners are always looking for a better option – a host family to take good care of their pup to keep the stress level to a minimum for everybody involved. Most of the time they even save money when they board their pets with you compared to dog boarding kennels. The rates you can charge per night for dog boarding is around $30-60, depending on your area and the amount of competition. During holidays you can charge even more and some of your competition might not want to “work” during that time. Common rates for dog walking is between $15-25 dollars for a 30 minute walk. Again, rates in dense metropolitan areas like New York City are much higher, so you need to adjust your own rates to current market prices. If you already have a dog yourself that you’re going to walk 1-2 times a day, you can easily hold another leash with a dog that is making you actual dollars.

How to get started

When I started dipping my toes into the dog walking business I first looked through my photos to see if I already had a few good shots that showed me with our dog or a friends dog. You want a good and friendly profile picture on dog walking marketplaces like Rover, that shows yourself and preferably a pet. That and a good self description in your profile goes a long way. Reviews will come as soon as you start, but there is also a way to get some reviews before you got your first client. Read more about that in my how-to post.

In general pet owners are looking for someone trustworthy to care for their beloved furry family member. That is big! They will first search by price, then compare profile pictures and if you made the cut, they are going to read your profile bio to see if you are a good fit to A) care for their pet and B) can be trusted to have access to their home. It takes very little effort to get started.

Build long-lasting relationships

Once you are established in the dog walking world you will get more and more repeat clients. By then, pet owners know you take good care of their fur baby and it soothes them that their four-legged companion is having a blast while they are at work. Your clients will tell their friends with pets and they are also very likely to come back to you for every future pet they’ll have.

This business is crisis proof

With a country slipping into recession, rising inflation and everything else that’s going on in the world, it’s a good idea to create income streams that don’t take a big hit in times like these. Pet owners might cut back on spending, but they won’t abandon their dogs to save money. Well, that’s at least how it should be. Unfortunately animal shelters also keep filling up because some people change their minds about having a pet or didn’t think it through. Generally, the demand for dog walkers and pet boarding will be pretty steady even in an economic downturn.

Would that be something you could see yourself doing? I put together a little how-to post to get you started.



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  1. How to Burglar Proof Your Home | Live Work Travel USA - [...] deterrent, especially if you’re not home. You don’t want to get a dog? Maybe consider dog boarding. You’ll earn…

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