How to Properly Setup Your Dog Walking Contracts for Clients
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Dog walking contract templates can be fully customized to meet your specific needs. However, every contract should have some basic information to protect you personally as well as your business reputation.
What You Will Find Here:
- Basics of a Dog Walking Contract
- Additional Considerations for Dog Walking Business Owners
- Planning for Emergencies
- Helpful Resources
Basics of a Dog Walking Contract
No matter what type of business you are running, you need to have some basic information before you enter into an arrangement with a client. A fully customizable dog walking contract template will provide you with everything you need for a basic contract including:
- Name of client
- Your name and business name
- Date agreement becomes effective
- Status of dog walker (independent contractor status)
- Responsibilities of walker
- Responsibilities of owner
- Term of contract
- Payment dollar amount
- Terms of payment (and whether a retainer is required)
- Termination clause (reasons why contract may be terminated and by whom)
- Termination penalties (if applicable)
- Rules governing access to client’s home
- Time of walks (e.g. once a day for 30 minutes, etc.)
- Governing law
- What happens in emergencies (dog walker sick, etc.)
- Indemnification clause
- Modification of agreement (how and who)
Additional Considerations for Dog Walking Business Owners
Taking on the responsibility of caring for another person’s pet is one of great responsibility. There are also some issues which you may not have considered which could be important to the pet’s owner. Some of these include:
- Photographs of pet — are you likely to post on social media when you are dog walking? Make sure the owner is amicable to your doing this. Some owners may be fine with this while others may not wish to have you sharing photos of their dog on social media sites.
- Dog parks — as part of your dog walking contract template, you can customize a section which discusses socialization of the dog. You want to make sure you have authorization from the owner regarding whether it is acceptable to take the dog to a dog park. Make sure you know if the dog has any habits or issues which could cause problems.
- Leashes/harnesses — make it clear the owner is responsible for providing you with leashes, harnesses or other equipment including coats in cold weather for the dog you are caring for.
These additional considerations can help you avoid problems later on especially if you have a long-term contract with a client. Make sure if you are walking more than one dog at a time you are aware of any specific issues a dog may have with other breeds or dog size issues.
Planning for Emergencies
Even if you are merely picking the dog up and walking them and returning them home accidents and incidents can occur.
- Owner's Information sheet — contact information for the pet parent including home, work, cell numbers and an emergency contact in the event they are unable to be reached.
- Pet Information sheet(s) — this sheet should contain the dog’s name, breed, sex, neuter status, food preferences, allergies, and other pertinent information. This can be an invaluable tool for a dog walker. The dog walker should also find out if the dog has displayed any aggressive behavior in the past as well as vaccination status.
- Veterinary Release Form — in the event a dog in your care is injured you will need the owner’s authorization to have the dog treated. Even if you never need this it is a must-have document.
These three documents should be added to your standard dog walking contract template as addendums or as exhibits. Make sure you have all the information filled out correctly as accuracy will be imperative in the event of an emergency.
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The Final Step: Legalizing Your Dog Walking Contract
Once you have a complete contract in place, the final step is getting the document signed by both you and your client. Nitro makes it simple to collect signatures. Simply customize the dog walking contract template to meet your specific needs and send it to your client. eSigning removes workflow barriers to get your signed contract returned. Start your free trial of Nitro today.