If you think pet businesses can’t get any cuter, you are wrong. There’s a semi-new dog service taking over the pet business industry and our hearts, i.e., a mobile dog gym. Mobile dog gyms bring effective (and adorable) dog fitness sessions straight to a client’s doorstep, using little more than a van and dog treadmill. If you’re a dog trainer or dog walker, this could be the next big step in launching your business.
Want to know more? Perfect!
Keep reading. We tell you everything you need to know about mobile dog gyms and provide tips for starting your own dog treadmill business.
What’s a Mobile Dog Gym?
Dogs need to stay active. But clients get busy, and sometimes the weather’s too extreme to take them on a walk. That’s where mobile dog gyms come in. Mobile dog gyms provide on-the-go fitness sessions and training for dogs. These businesses go to a client’s home or work and “run the dog,” as they call it. In a quick 30-minute session, dogs get a full day’s worth of exercise.
The “gym” is actually a climate-controlled van equipped with a dog treadmill (or multiple). The dog treadmills are self-propelled, i.e., they have no motors so the dog can control their own pace. They’re fitted with a harness attachment to keep the dogs safe. It takes time for the dog to get used to the treadmill, but eventually, they run on their own like a pro.
What Are The Benefits of a Mobile Dog Gym?
A dog treadmill business can be easier to manage than other pet businesses because they’re less physically demanding. Of course, you’ll always be at the dog’s side to ensure they stay balanced and offer treats or toys as an incentive. But you won’t have to run around a park, find places to walk, or teach the dogs any special techniques (other than running on the treadmill).
And, because these businesses are so new, you’re not expected to have any special training or certification to get started. But it’s better to have some professional experience with dogs.
Also, mobile dog gyms solve lots of problems for your clients. A walk isn’t always on the table with intense heat or heavy snow and rain. And dog parks can be overcrowded, or their dogs may be reactive. This alternative gives their dog much-needed exercise in a safe and controlled environment.
Most importantly, mobile dog gyms improve a dog’s physical and mental health. Mobile dog gym sessions can:
- Build confidence, strength, and endurance
- Reduce the dog’s anxiety or aggression and increase focus.
- Help dogs lose weight or keep their weight under control.
- Help fearful, shy dogs become more confident and trusting.
- Help restless dogs relax (and give pet owners more time to relax).
How Do You Start a Dog Treadmill Business?
A few years ago, dog treadmill businesses were unheard of. Today, they’re spreading quickly across the U.S. and going viral on TikTok! Who knows? There could still be time to be the first in your city. Here’s how to start a successful dog treadmill business.
#1 Choose a Business Model
You can start a dog treadmill business from the ground up or join an existing mobile dog gym franchise. A few popular dog treadmill businesses have franchise opportunities. You’ll use their branding, client list, and reputation to get the ball rolling on your own doggy business. It’s still an emerging service industry, so it’s nice to get some help right off the bat.
The owners of Run Dawg estimate that new dog treadmill businesses need about $100,000 in capital to get started, whether you join a franchise or not.
Even if you don’t start a mobile dog gym, a dog treadmill is an excellent addition to your existing dog training business. The owner of Run Buddy Mobile started his career as a dog trainer. He used dog treadmills to exercise his clients for years before taking them on the road.
#2 Find The Right Equipment
Now it’s time to put the “mobile” in mobile dog gym. You must find the perfect van to carry your equipment and protect the dogs. Ideally, it should fit 2-4 dog treadmills. But, if you have to start smaller. That’s okay.
Some businesses sell fully equipped vans for pet businesses. They’re usually meant for dog grooming business, but you can customize them to your needs. You get insulation, water pumps, air conditioning units, and other equipment needed to run your business. These vans run you anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.
And remember to factor in the cost of modifications. For example, you may customize the outside of the van with your branding or add insulated floors for cold weather. Avoid flooring that’s hard to clean, like artificial turf, because the dogs will poop and urinate … a lot.
Then you have to find sturdy and reliable dog treadmills. Going for cheaper equipment at first might seem like a good idea, but the maintenance costs will outweigh any savings. Choose wisely!
#3 Attract Clients
Now that you’re all set up, it’s time to find clients!
Exposure is crucial to marketing your dog treadmill business at this stage. You constantly have to explain your business concept and why it matters. Some clients hire a dog treadmill business to avoid harsh weather, while others like that they don’t have to leave the comfort of their homes. Your job is to show them how your service solves each of their problems.
And remember to push your dog treadmill business on social media. It’s the perfect time to be a mobile dog gym owner on Tiktok or Instagram. Mobile dog gyms have a built-in cuteness factor. And you can use novelty around these businesses to lure in a following.
Also, you can form partnerships with other trainers, shelters, or dog boarding services to get referrals.
How Much Money Can a Mobile Dog Gym Make?
Mobile dog gyms charge anywhere from $50 to 70 per dog for a half-hour session. So, you can expect to make around $100 per hour. And you can charge more for on-demand runs. Run Dawg claims that a single van usually makes $90000 in revenue annually.
Remember: A mobile dog gym’s startup and maintenance costs can be higher than other pet businesses. You have to pay off the van, which can rack up miles quickly if business is good. Also, you must replace your treadmills over time. Still, building the business of your dreams might be worth it.
Are You Ready to Run Dogs?
Mobile dog gyms are the pet industry’s latest obsession. And it’s no secret as to why. They’re safe for dogs, convenient for clients, and highly profitable for dog business owners. If you want to start a dog treadmill business, you need to decide on a business model, find reliable equipment and market your business to clients.
PocketSuite can handle the rest.
PocketSuite is an all-in-one app to run your pet business. Our intuitive features make it easy to onboard new clients, schedule appointments, and receive payments. We have all the tools to get your mobile gym running smoothly.