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Discussion Starter #1
Or even usa I kinda am confused. I have a vet tech degree. Don't like the life of a vet tech at all. I would really like to do something else. I have looked after 2 vet boarding kennels with cats and dogs. Also for past 3 years have taken care of many exotic pets.

I have 2 vet references who would give me good word from the great job i did for them plus a licensed dog behaviorist who knows me and had me look after his dogs while he was away. But i have always done this stuff on the side. Id really like to go further though.

Any idea on finding clients? Is there a canadian app we can use on our iphones for ontario area that might help? I know about kjiji and craiglist. So far i made flyers that you can cut off my info to take home. But in Brampton no places to really put them up! I do have one client i see twice a week seems to be going well so far. But really unsure how most get started in this. Any ideas?

Thanks.
 

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Flyers in vet clinics and grooming shops. Contact the local kennel clubs and see if they will let you advertise in their news letter or in their club. Also check Canuckdogs and see what shows are coming up locally and find out if you can place a small ad in the catalogue.
 

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First you need to figure out how much you need to make etc. etc.
Next, either rental or own, there are zoning by-laws regarding home run businesses. Then there are by-laws about the amount of "dogs" Incl. companion animals you are allowed at one time at one residence.
For example, Toronto, you are allowed 6 pets...MAX combo between cats dogs and other is 3 dogs ONLY, including your own.
In Mississauga (Brampton is considered Peel Region) the MAX pets is 4 @ 3 DOGS, max. including own pets/dogs.
SO if you own 2 dogs, you can only have 1 client on your property.
If you are dog walking...3 max per tour.
 

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A former student of mine made a website for her dog walking/pet visiting service. The local Global Pet Foods has a rack of business cards on the counter for pet-related businesses. PetSmart may have a bulletin board, haven't been there in a while. Word of mouth will be really valuable as you go along.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Pet sitting more for exotics and cats not dogs. Not worth the risk with the dogs i have already. It would be a dream to board dogs as i worked at a vets boarding kennel. But it just does not seem smart with the type of dogs i have in my house. I have an old cat here. BUt i have 4 bedroom house. One is converted to a cat room and is empty. With a post, bran new litter box toys etc.. The main thing is for the boarded pet not to come into contact with any other animals. If something went wrong and a cat did escape the dogs wouldn't go after it at least it would be safe. I use to foster rescue cats that were semi feral and tame and re adopt them. Over the years we have had so many exotics and cats.

More dog walking. But should i have made cards, have my logo all that stuff done prior before even getting clients> ? Because I am not totally sure how saturated the market is with dog walkers. Or small animal pet setters as in if I can even do it. So i was trying it out. Its going great right now but I just have one client I see twice a week. I was planning on doing cards logo (have a name) all that after if i actually managed to get clients. I was hoping to get clients based on experience, references and area of study.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Right now i am looking after well walking a large 150 pound newfie lab mix who is tearing apart the house and fightnig with another dog. I walk him with some kind of mixed breed they say is a english bulldog mix. Long legs. Lots of trouble at home with the dogs out of control ripping stuff up and fighting with each other. SO i take them out tire them out and bring them back. Really strong dogs the owners have a really hard time controlling them because they pull and drag the owners hurt their hands. Another thing is they jump up on people. With me they are good though. But once they are home again with the owners they turn into monsters smashing things and ripping stuff apart. I gave them all the advice i could based on what i have learned from past dogs like that. But i dont think they have time to actually participate with busy jobs they have.
 

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First decide what services you wish to provide and what fees you will charge. Give your business a name. Have business cards made. Ask your previous clients, if they will be references. Create a website. There are so many forms of social media available - utilize them.

Start with people you know, who have been happy with your services. If they have businesses, ask if they will recommend you and allow you to leave some business cards. As Quinnsmom said, "Word of mouth is best."

Do you have a community association? My community has a FB group and a newsletter. Post or submit your services to the group. I cannot tell you how many times people have posted asking, "Can anyone recommend a dog walker?" or "Can anyone recommend a pet sitter?" I see the same few names recommended every time. Get a few clients and it takes care of itself.

Are you willing to care for all exotics, or specific ones? Contact rescues that handle 'those' exotics. For example, I own rabbits. I am a member of 'House Rabbit Society.' Members often look for someone to care for their rabbits, when they go on vacation. I'm sure it is the same with many exotics. People aren't comfortable leaving their exotic pets in the hands of inexperienced people.

My 20 something year olds house/pet sit on the side. They make decent money doing it. They haven't advertised in years. If people don't book them early, it is too late come the height of vacation season.

Best of luck, in your new endeavor.
 
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