Sometimes walking our beloved pooches can seem like a chore, but more often than not, we love it! Regular dog walks have many fantastic health and well-being benefits for humans and our pups. Stretching our legs with our furry best friend by our side decreases stress and makes us feel better within our bodies.
So, how can we get more of that serotonin boost? More walks and more dogs! Loving dog walks leads to many of us walking them more often and even offering to walk the pooches of our friends and neighbours. For some, this passion can even become a full-on career. But before you get too excited, there are some important things you need to know about walking multiple dogs at once, including how many dogs are a safe number to walk at once and what you need to become a licensed dog walker.
If you’re just looking for tips for walking your own dogs, you may find our guide on walking two dogs at once more suitable. This relatable online guide gives you the information you need to walk your pup’s together for safe and happy walkies.
How Many Dogs Can You Legally Walk at Once?
You must remember that not every pooch is the same when walking dogs. Walking dogs cannot simply be a plural term, as each dog has their own unique characteristics, personality and abilities. This means each dog needs a respectable amount of attention that is in tune with their needs to ensure a successful and happy walking experience.
So, to ensure each dog on your walk is kept safe and considered, there is a guideline on how many dogs you should walk at once. This is set out by the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which recommends that no more than four dogs be walked simultaneously. However, professional dog walkers can operate under the parameters of their insurance policy, which may state a higher or lower number of dogs they can legally walk at once.
3 Dangers of Walking Too Many Dogs at Once
Walking multiple dogs takes education and experience. It means identifying signs of stress and being intuitive with every dog you are responsible for. While we may love dogs, that is not enough of a qualification to warrant us walking as many as we can. For any dog walker, both experienced and not, several dangers arise when we attempt to walk multiple pups.
If one of your dogs begins to react to another you are walking, or even a dog they pass on the street, it can be hard to control this disruptive behaviour. Attempting to calm one dog down when you are responsible for many is extremely difficult and can even set off the other pups in your pack, resulting in a reactive change that can be uncontrollable.
Illness & Infections:
When one dog picks up an illness, bug or infection, passing this to other dogs they come into contact with is extremely easy. From drooling, sneezing and licking, germs spread like wildfire among animals. So, walking one dog who may be unwell with others is a recipe for disaster that will almost certainly result in the entire group becoming unwell. As someone who walks dogs from different households, you must ensure each dog is regularly wormed, checked for fleas, and updated on all their vaccinations.
Walking a group of dogs can be difficult, and this is made even trickier if the dogs are of varying ages and sizes. For example, a small breed will not need as long of a walk as a larger dog. Similarly, an older dog will walk slower than a young puppy. This means when you plan on walking multiple dogs, you must consider their walking abilities and lifestyles. You should only take out dogs of similar sizes, breeds and ages to ensure everyone has a fun and safe walk that suits their needs and requirements.
How to Become a Professional Dog Walker
If you’re passionate about dogs, you’ve most likely considered how you can make a career out of your passion. Being a dog walker is a very viable career path for many people, especially with the lifestyle changes of the general public, which mean many of us want the best for our dogs even if we don’t have the time.
Here are five steps you can take if you’re seriously considering setting up a dog walking business:
- Research your market. This means identifying your area in need of a dog walking service. There is no point in targeting your services in a zone with plenty of dog-walking business options, as you will find it more difficult to become established.
- Calculate costs to start up. Like any new business, you should create a basic business plan that includes the start-up costs you must consider. For example, what equipment do you need to invest in? You must also set aside money for advertising, insurance and more legal responsibilities.
- Gain experience and trust. As you get started, you might consider offering your clients free trial sessions or discounted first walks. This allows you to gain experience in the field and even build trust among potential customers.
- Choose reliable transport. If you plan on walking your dogs further afield or in more adventurous locations and routes, you must find safe and reliable transportation. This could mean investing in a van and decking it out accordingly with safe and comfortable crates for each pup to have its own spot for the journey.
- Decide your pricing. Rates for dog walking will vary depending on the location, length of walk and how many dogs you walk at once. In the UK, an hour’s walk costs between £10 and £20. You need to do market research for your area to decide on a reasonable price for your clients, especially as you get started and want to entice business.
Dog Walking Essentials
Have you found the information you need to get out and about to walk as many dogs as you can safely and comfortably handle? Whether helping our family or making dog walking your new profession, we hope you and your pups have many safe and happy adventures!
Whether it’s business or leisure, you must ensure you have the equipment suitable for your walking adventures. At Poppy + Ted, we are passionate about walkies, so we are proud to offer a high-quality collection of dog leads, collars and harnesses suitable for any dog breed and size.
You can also explore our collection of split leads available online now that make walking multiple dogs of the same size simple and easy! We’ve taken the stress out of lead entanglements to make your next dog walk fun for everyone. You’re welcome!