When asked, many on the forums said that when they were only walking 2-3 dogs at a time, a car provided sufficient space. The installation of caging in smaller vans (such as the Peugeot Partner) provides enough space for up to 4 dogs.
If you are a mobile groomer then you will need to install a number of fixtures in the back of your van, so this is worth thinking about when you start to look for your business vehicle. Some even offer temperature controls to ensure that your dogs aren’t uncomfortable should it be too hot or too cold outside.
These controls include things like motorized or air-powered vents which are installed to maximize airflow. It’s also sensible to get storage compartments fitted, so you have ample space for things like leads, towels, poop scoopers and treats to ensure that you’re always prepared.
It’s also important to make sure that you get the bottom of your van protected from the sort of accidents that can occur with an animal. The interior should be easy to clean (hose down) so it’s hygienic the next time you take your pawed clients on an outing.
Many conversion companies will also recommend you include some technology which enables you to see your important passengers in their cages via a rearview camera system, therefore reassuring yourself that they are all happy when on their way to or from the park. You will also need to ensure that you have temperature controls so that on hot summer days or freezing winter evenings you and your animal customers are comfortable.
You’ll also need a bench with restraints for clipping nails and trimming/styling fur, as well as a dog hair dryer. As your parlor is on four wheels rather than in a single static location it’s also important that you have storage for accessories such as scissors, brushes, clippers and towels.
Obviously, a fully-fitted pet grooming van isn’t something you’re going to find on the forecourt of your local dealership, but luckily there are some great companies across the UK that offer this service. In 2015, The Telegraph conducted an employment survey that revealed dog walkers could earn 20% more than the average UK salary (more if they were located in London) depending on the fees they charged, the number of hours they worked and how many clients they had on their books.
We’ve put together a shortlist of the best, most suitable vans for dog walkers and groomers based on what we know about how they are used and what modifications need to be made before they are fit for purpose. In 2019 the Ford Transit Connect won Honest John’s Small Van of the Year due to its great safety features and comfortable drive.
With side and rear access to make loading even easier, it’s a flexible vehicle ideal for transporting man’s best friend. It’s small enough to park easily, which makes it an incredibly attractive prospect for those dog walkers who have clients in busy cities.
If you are thinking about vehicles with more flexible interior space, the Renault Kan goo can double as the family car, which makes it a practical choice if you’re just starting out with the dog walking business. In the back, there is plenty of space for crates or to install grooming equipment (though this is a little more of a stretch).
Though the core model is already incredibly dog -friendly, an upgrade available as ‘after-sales’ called the Paw Pack makes this vehicle even more focused on your four-legged friend. When this pooch-friendly pack was initially announced there were rumors of a dog shower and built-in hairdryers, but that didn’t happen.
However, what you do end up with is something that ensures your dog travels in the lap of luxury, comfortable, safe and warm in the back of the family car. If you’ve set up a pet grooming business and are planning on going mobile then it’s not necessarily a case of ‘the bigger the better’, however, having good headroom and space to move, especially with benches and baths is not a bad idea.
With side and rear loading doors you have even more flexibility when it comes to the design of your mobile parlor. If you are thinking about starting a dog walking or grooming business there are many resources online that can help you with find out about the qualifications, certification or training you need.
I'm looking for something that can accommodate up to five or more dogs for short trips around town, but nothing as huge as a van. Melissa: Most dog walkers and play group professionals recommended a hatchback.
There were two things that I quickly discovered were issues with this particular Jeep model and I mention this as a cautionary tale. Second: The hatchback feature opened UP, allowing for an opportunity for some smaller dogs to zip out before you have them secured.
Melissa: Gas mileage was important to Jordan of Neighborhood Paws in Somerville, MA. She loved her 2007 Nissan Versa because it was zippy, easy to park, great for walking dogs in a city environment.
She mentioned it was roomy, and was the only car she could find in her search that was “larger than a hatchback” and also “not an SUV.” It’s not a hybrid, but it is small enough that she gets better gas mileage than some of the bigger SUVs that other dog walkers recommended. Dr. Sip: And while these are all great suggestions, most of these cars will need some modifications in order to be safe for dogs, as well as comfortable.
A couple of our dog walker friends did mention putting up a barrier between the front and the back to protect human snacks from getting eaten as well as preventing dogs from distracting the driver. Either it’s cost prohibitive to invest in a half-dozen $600 crates, or they would need a Greyhound bus to seat-belt and move these dogs.
But Louise did mention she didn’t want a van, so without resorting to the tried-and-true Romney method, how does one move a herd of puppies? Dr. Sip: Well, another dog walker friend, Katherine, stated that once the dogs know each other, they all huddle in a tight group.
People are not allowed to have more than three dogs in parks at a time for safety reasons. Plus, they need to navigate in and out of tight parking spaces to pick up and drop off.
As a result, the vehicles they select would serve a different function than someone in Dr. Sip’s neck of the woods. They aren’t in fenced dog parks so much as up in the walking trails of the hills of Berkeley and Oakland.
(Independence Police Department) If you have a question for Dr. Sip and Melissa, write them at Car Talk Plaza. More about Melissa (who wrote ‘Considerations for the City Dog ’) and Dr. Sip (who is a practicing veterinarian in Berkeley, CA) can be found here.
Nicole Ellis, a certified-professional dog trainer with Rover, calls this her “every day, go-to leash,” because it can be worn “a multitude of ways,” due to its two clips and several attachment points. If you and your dog love to go to the beach or on hikes together, Ellis recommends this waterproof leash from Stunt Puppy, which she uses on outings with her pup.
For puppies that are still learning or dogs that just can’t kick the habit, Grossman likes the durable and aptly named Virchow Indestructible leash. If your dog needs to have something in their mouth, and you’d prefer it weren’t the leash, this model, which is designed to allow soft toys to be attached, comes recommended by senior trainer Shelby Semen, the founder of Shelby Semen Dog Training.
While not technically a leash, “for dogs that pull, this Gentle Leader head collar is a great, humane training device,” says veterinarian Dr. Rachel Barrack, the founder of New York City–based practice Animal Acupuncture. The padded nose loop and collar only apply pressure to the back of your pup’s neck, instead of its throat, which prevents choking when it tries to pull, jump, or lunge.
Dog walker Pamela Berth said she “made a terrible mistake” leaving him and seven other dogs unattended. A San Francisco dog walker accused of leaving eight dogs in a van for almost two hours while she was in a mall acknowledged Monday that she made a mistake and is racked by remorse over the situation.
A tearful Pamela Berth, 67, said in an interview that she “made a terrible mistake” when she left the pets in the van at the Stones town Galleria shopping center near Lake Merced Park. She said she was going to buy a pair of running shoes before driving home across town, but came down with a migraine headache.
Concerned citizens, who were outside, heard barking coming from the van and called city animal control officers. Officers arrived at the scene just before 1 p.m. and noticed the barking, but didn’t think the dogs were in immediate danger.
Berth opened the van and the dogs emerged unharmed, despite the 92-degree temperatures inside the vehicle, which an officer at the scene measured, Katz said. Fines for the violation can carry up to a $100 penalty per animal, according to the California penal code.
Over the past few days, Berth said she has been getting death threats after the story ran on television Friday. One of Berth’s clients, Claire Carrie, whose Boston Terrier named Bogie was in the van during the incident, has watched the scrutiny unfold.