Becoming a professional dog walker has been lauded as one of the UK’s fastest growing careers. A study in 2015 suggesting that walkers could earn up to £64,000 a year certainly provides enough temptation to take up the profession.
Of Protectivity’s customers, two-thirds said they became a commercial dog walker due to their love of canines or had previously worked with dogs. Another 25% were attracted to the prospect of a more flexible lifestyle the job afforded.
And if you’re thinking of taking up the profession there’s still room for manoeuvre, despite growing market competition.
According to Google there are 14,800 searches a month for “dog walker” in the UK, while the phrase “local dog walker” attracted 590 hits a month.
But where is there most demand for dog walkers in the UK?
Nearly 2,500 of searches came from the Greater London region – more than treble of Greater Manchester in second place.
However, with a population of over 8.5 million, seeing the capital on top-spot is hardly surprising. When taking the size of population into account it is actually the county of Hampshire that tops the pile.
Google suggests that there are around 550 searches for “dog walker” from Hampshire a month and with a relatively small population (comparatively) of 1.64 million, there’s plenty of room for more walkers.
Breaking it down even more we are able to reveal the UK’s top five towns and cities looking for a dog walker.
With a high search volume persisting, starting a dog walking business in the UK still has it’s merits. But should you reside in Harrogate, Peterborough or another location in our top 10, there’s even more of an incentive.
We’ve also taken a look at the potential competition. Using Yell listings we’ve given each town a ‘competitiveness rating’ out of 5, based on the number of other walkers in the area – five being the most competitive.
Here’s where there is the most demand for people to walk the dog…
The research found that one of the best places for would-be dog walkers was Stroud in Gloucestershire. Despite a relatively small population of 13,000, the townspeople perform 90 Google searches for dog walkers a month. That translates as a higher percentage-per-person than any other town in the UK.*
Walkers will have competition for those canine clients though, with a relatively high number of fellow dog lovers already enjoying the profession according to Yell listings.
Conversely, those in Peterborough and Folkestone both have a large search volume per person, with very little competition. According to Yell.com there are just 15 dog walking businesses within 10 miles of Folkestone, while Peterborough – a town of 78,000 people – can boast just 23.
Other high scorers in our search research were the towns of Harrogate in North Yorkshire and Falkirk in Scotland. The former was only beaten by Stroud when it came to searches-per-person with 320 queries from those looking for walkers each month.
If you do take the plunge and become a full-time dog walker, remember to ensure you are fully covered. Our dog walking insurance protects you and the dogs you walk. Get a quote today to take advantage of our instant cover!
*Ranking based on Google’s estimated search volume for “dog walkers [town]” in relation to the population of that town. Only towns with 50 or more average monthly searches were included.