no certificate
- OR -
with CEU Certificate*
Start Right Now!
Taking multiple courses? Save with our platinum program.

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!

Course Requirements

There are no requirements for this course other than a high school reading level.

Course Goals



  1. Is a Pet Care Business Right for You?


  1. Training and Preparation
    1. Talk to someone in the business
    2. Emergency Experience & Certifications
  1. Creating a Business Plan
    1. Know your target market
    2. Determining goals
  1. Protecting Yourself
    1. Insurance & Bonding
    2. Proper licensing
  1. Being a Professional         
    1. Accounts & Finances
    2. Fees & Schedules
    3. The Proper Forms
  1. Equipping Yourself and Your Vehicle
    1. Pet Safety     
    2. Planning for the Unexpected
  1. Knowing the Laws and Ordinances
  1. Understanding Canine Behavior
    1. Asserting your authority
    2. Coping with pet anxiety or fear
  1. Dog Walking Tips and Tricks
  1.  Pet Sitting Tips and Tricks
  1.  Optional Extras & Setting the Rules
  1.  Marketing your Pet Sitting/Pet Walking Service
    1. Traditional methods
    2. New approaches

Course Materials

All course material will be provided in this course.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz along with an assignment. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

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.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
An Introduction5
Lesson 1 Assignment20
Lesson 1 Exam8
Lesson 2 Assignment20
Lesson 2 Exam11
Lesson 3 Assignment30
Lesson 3 Exam11
Lesson 4 Assignment10
Lesson 4 Exam10
Lesson 5 Assignment10
Lesson 5 Exam10
Lesson 6 Assignment15
Lesson 6 Exam8
Lesson 7 Assignment25
Lesson 7 Exam10
Lesson 8 Assignment20
Lesson 8 Exam8
Lesson 9 Assignment15
Lesson 9 Exam8
Lesson 10 Assignment30
Lesson 10 Exam8
Lesson 11 Assignment20
Lesson 11 Exam8
Lesson 12 Assignment10
Lesson 12 Exam9
The Final Exam: How to Start a Pet Sitting/Walking Business570
Total Points:909

Related Articles