Dog Walking Van

By Ronnie Lawson-jones
09-01-2020
From a 2018 report by the Pet Food Manufacturers, it’s clear that pet ownership in the UK is on the rise and it’s estimated that 26 of households have a dog. 

With this in mind, it’s clear that dog walkers and groomers will be in higher demand to cater for those who are unable to walk their dog during the day while they’re at work or elsewhere. This has led to a rise in queries for a dog walking van online

Dog walkers and mobile dog groomers are one of our most popular customers as a van is essential for them to carry several dogs safely in crates from the client’s home to the local park for their work.

Not all vans will do the job, so in this article, we’re going to explore what are the best vans for dog walkers and what kind of features are desirable to do the job.

Do I need a van as a dog walker?

According to a jobprices.co.uk survey, 55% of dog walkers charge in the area of £7.50-£12.50 per walk, which typically lasts for an hour. For a dog walker to earn a decent salary they would need to walk several dogs per time or several dogs per day.

It would not make economic sense to do too many individual trips with single dogs so it’s fair to say they would probably need to walk 2-4 dogs per walk. 

This means that they need a vehicle which can carry potentially 2-3 large dogs on a trip and there are no vehicles out there other than vans that can do this. 

Moreover, you simply can’t transport other people’s dogs with them loose in a van potentially distracting you and hurting themselves so you’ll need to be able to put them in a decent sized crate while in transport.

Therefore, All Van Leasing would argue that a good van is essential to have a successful dog walking business in the UK. We offer a wide variety of dog vans for sale via contract hire.

What size van do I need for dog walking?

The size of the van for dogs you’ll need really does depend on how you managed your workload. If you’re hoping to offer several slots in a day with a maximum of 4 dogs then a medium van is probably all you need.

If you want to maximise every single walk then you can opt for a large van with a long wheelbase or a Luton type van which has a box at the back. These are the largest types of vans and with the right configuration, you could fit 8-10 crates in the back.

Bear in mind that the more dogs you transport the more likely you are to need staff to help you which also takes space in the front.

What equipment will I need in the dog walker van?

Let’s be clear, All Car Leasing are not dog walking experts so take our advice with a spade of salt. We simply curate advice all around the web to help with advertising and finding the best price for your company. However, from the feedback we’ve received from our dog walking customers these are the most common additions:

Dog Crates

Every single dog walker we’ve asked adds dog crates to the back of the van, ones which are able to safely stack on top of each other, with a removable floor for cleaning, which can be safely secured to the sides and bottom of the van.

Although you can buy regular dog crates made for households and use them, some adjustments will need to be made to make them secure so they are safe for dogs to ride in. We’d recommend adding some kind of washable upholstery such as dog beds and blankets so that their ride is as comfortable as possible.

If you're looking for the best dog crates then head over to Jug Dog and check out their top list.

Extra air vents

We recommend adding air circulation vents to the van to recirculate air in and out of the van. This is particularly useful during hot summer weather when the air can become thick and warm.

You can even go further and add thermoregulation to the van which acts like a car’s climate control to keep the temperature consistent at all times.

Storage box

A built-in storage box is handy to keep dog treats, dog leads, dog bowls and some bottled water and anything else you may need to effectively walk your dog. You could upgrade this to make it safe to keep your client’s keys in there during use but of course to empty overnight in case of a break-in.

CCTV

For larger vans, it could be a good idea to install CCTV with a monitor for the passenger to keep an eye out on the ongoings in the back. CCTV can help you understand what’s going on if you hear any commotion but don’t want to stop.

Running costs 

There are a few running costs for a van to consider on top of the monthly rental. Although van engines have come a long way in terms of fuel economy, they are still not free, throw in the extra weight of the equipment and dogs and the engine has to work a lot harder.

Dog walkers will need different insurance which covers themselves as well as any damage to the dogs during transit.

Lastly, dog walking vans will probably need to be liveried up to advertise your business as you go about your day. Your van should also be cleaned inside and out on a regular basis to keep up appearances and ensure the dogs are transporter in clean and tidy conditions. Accidents can and will happen.

Best vans for dog walkers

Here is a rundown of some vans available to lease with All Van Leasing which would be ideal for potential and current dog walkers

Ford Transit/Transit Connect

Some say that the Transit is the backbone of Britain as it provides exceptional engines and robust and customisable storage areas. For dog walkers there’s a Transit for everyone - the Transit Connect is ideal for inner-city dog walkers for 2-3 dogs in the back and the larger transit for 4-6 dogs.

Ford offers a wide range of options to their vans which will allow you to add the crates, storage boxes and air vents no problem. Because of strong residual values, the Transit is available relatively cheaply.

Citroen Berlingo

The Berlingo is one of the most popular vans in the UK and ideal for those transporting 2-3 dogs per go. The Berlingo is notable for being one of the most affordable vans on the market with very economical petrol and diesel engines.

Vauxhall Combo

The Vauxhall Combo is a similar van to the Transit Connect and the Berlingo and offers a perfect solution for those with a smaller number of dogs and short trips. 

It’s very customisable with excellent economical engines to keep your running costs down.

Vauxhall vans are known to have strong residuals which means a lower monthly rental.

What next?

If this article has been helpful and you're ready to take the next step to lease a van then give us a call on 01565 880 880.

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