Do I need a dog walking contract?

13 September 2020
Caroline Foreman
dog walking contract

Thinking about starting a dog walking business? You probably have lots of questions. For example, do I really need to bother with a contract?

Dog walking and pet sitting contracts are not a legal requirement for running a pet business in the UK. So are they worth the hassle?

Do I need a dog walking contract?

The short answer is “Yes” but here are 5 reasons why:

  • You (and your customers) are protected from unforeseen events.
  • They remove any assumptions your customer makes about the service they will receive.
  • Your insurance will require a contract.
  • You will look more professional.
  • You will protect yourself from getting sued.

Where to start?

There are lots of free dog walking contracts online. Just Google: dog walking contract uk or pet sitting contract uk.

There is also a free template here.

Start by reading through a few templates and pick out any which match the type of service you want to provide.

Once you have put together your contract get it checked by a legal adviser. Although this will cost you money it is a great investment in your business. 

Things to include

A good contract will clearly state the service you will provide, your policies, your procedures and any obligations on the customer’s side.

A typical contract will include the following sections:

  • A description of the service. Be as specific as possible. e.g. visiting hours, the number of dogs, location etc.
  • The price and payment terms.
  • Your cancellation policy.
  • Your limits of liability. e.g. pets who run away.

Don’t forget to leave somewhere for your customer to sign!

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