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Pet Sitting & Dog Walking Business 101

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Course Description

This is a guide to the ins and outs of starting and maintaining a successful pet sitting and pet walking service.  Pet sitting and pet walking businesses were almost unheard of a generation ago, but today they are in every major city and most towns.  Today's pet owners treat their pets like members of the family and want them to be comfortable, happy and well-exercised.  Unfortunately, our busy lifestyles make it difficult for many of us to be able to give our pets everything they need, particularly with demanding work schedules keeping us from being available during the day like we would like.
Pet walkers and pet sitters give pet owners the ideal solution by providing professional care and companionship for their pets during the hours they can't be there.  If you're an animal lover, you may have considered this rewarding career path, but it isn't for everyone.  You'll also have to have a good head for business, organization skills, dedication and the ability to handle crisis situations with calm and professionalism.  There is a great deal to know about running your own business as well – it's not just about your interaction with the animals.  It's about working with your human clients, managing a budget and understanding marketing and a business plan. 
This course will give you the bones of what to expect and point you in the direction of the resources you'll need to set up your fledgling pet sitting and/or pet walking business.  If you read this and know that it's the right job for you, you'll soon be on the way to a career you love!
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  • Self-Paced
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  • 6 Months to Complete
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  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

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Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating: (1322 votes)
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"Extraordinarily Helpful"
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Lesson 1. Is a Pet Care Business Right for You?

Evaluating your motivation and talents thoroughly before moving forward on a pet sitting or dog walking business can save you lots of headaches. Headaches in addition to a great deal of time and money invested in what might not be the right business for y 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Pet Sitting Basics; Learn About Pet Sitting
  • Take Poll: Hurdles to Overcome
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2. Preparation and Training

You need to be fully prepared and have the proper training before you even think about putting together a business such as a pet sitter or dog walker. 31 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Review 4 Articles: Taking Care of Business; Understanding Pet Health; Frugal Mom: Starting a Pet Sitting Business from Home; CPR for Cats and Dogs
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3. Business Plans and Protecting Yourself

A business plan is a roadmap leading from where you are now to where you want to be with your business. It is essential to have a business plan if you will need to borrow money from a lender for your business; and even if you do not borrow money. 41 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Learn from the Experts; Business Basics from the SBA
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4. Professional Organization

Set up a formalized fee schedule and organize your schedule so that there are no mix-ups. You also do not run late, leaving clients in a bind, these are all part of being professional and reliable. 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Review Article: What do petsitter's charge?
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5. Forms Every Pet Sitter and Dog Walker Should Have

There are numerous forms that you should design on your computer or have made at a print shop so that they look professional and are easy to read and use. 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review Article: Paperwork Paperwork
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6. Equipping Yourself and Your Vehicle

This lesson will review how to properly outfit yourself and your car and have the proper gear for any pet care assignment. 23 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Pet Equipment; Pet Safety and Travel
  • Review Video: CPR video for dogs and cats
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7. Marketing Your Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Service

Marketing your business effectively is crucial to your success. 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Promoting your Business; Learn How to Market your Business
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8. Meeting Your Clients

As a dog walker or pet sitter, you will have two very different types of clients to impress; the individuals who are hiring you and also their cherished pets. The initial meeting between you and your potential client is crucial. 28 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Dealing with Clients; Checklist for a Cat Sitter
  • Take Poll: Skills, Skills and More Skills
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9. Success Tips for Dog Walkers and Pet Sitters

This lesson provides you with some tried and true rules to keep in mind to simplify things for you. 23 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Review Article: Aromatherapy Products for Pets
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10. Keeping it Personal

You can develop personal relationships with all your clients while still being a professional. 38 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Dealing with Loss; No Time for Stress
  • Take Poll: Dealing with Stress
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11. Handling Difficult Clients

You will inevitably run into a difficult client. Whether it is over a billing dispute or something serious such as how you handled an emergency situation, you must know how to deal with an irate or dissatisfied customer appropriately 28 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Review Article: Failure to Pay
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12. When You are Ready to Grow!

Expansion requires a great deal of commitment and planning. It is crucial to plan carefully and handle the process properly for successful growth. 589 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Manage your Business; How to Hire Employees
  • Take Poll: Your Opinion Matters: Course Rating
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Exam
  • Complete: The Final Exam: How to Start a Pet Sitting/Walking Business
Total Course Points

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
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  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Pet Sitting & Dog Walking Business 101
Course Number: 7550131
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: How To
CEU Value: 0.8 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Cathleen Chouinard
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $65.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $90.00

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Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Identify whether a pet care business is right for you.
  • Describe preparation and training.
  • Know business plans and methods for protecting yourself.
  • Know the forms every pet sitter and dog walker should have.
  • Describe equipping yourself and your vehicle.
  • Describe marketing your pet sitting/dog walking service.
  • Know how to find new clients and keep existing ones by keeping it personal.
  • Describe handling difficult clients, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Student Testimonials

  • "I found this whole course helpful in many ways and really enjoyed doing this." -- Emily K.
  • "I enjoyed taking the course and found it very informative." -- Pamela P.
  • "I found the CONCEPT of each lesson most helpful. In each case I was surprised to find there were so many things I had not known about - or perhaps would not have thought of in starting out as a pet sitter. People would say to me, "How much is there to know?" and I would answer, "Have you thought of THIS or THAT?" - and in each case the person would have to answer, "Yes, I had not thought of this or that." I found the form samples most helpful and I certainly learned a lot in the marketing section. Thanks for a great fun course." -- Marion S.
  • "All of the lessons explained things in detail." -- Sharon E.
  • "It was straight to the point. The key information was there. It was perfect for my needs. Course was brilliant, so perfect it was scary!" -- Brandy N.
  • "I found the billing and how to handle different types of animals and about their needs most helpful." -- Mary B.
  • "It was all very helpful for me to obtain the knowledge I need to start a dog walking business." -- Arthur B.

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