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Have you ever considered starting a dog poop removal service? Do you realize how many people are willing to pay someone else to pick up their dog’s wastes?
I know it sounds gross but it can be quite lucrative once you build up your clientele. Check out how easy it really is to start this business.
You could start making money almost immediately. Let’s dive in and learn everything you’ll need to know about this business.
What Exactly Does a Dog Poop Removal Service Do?
It does exactly what it says it does. A dog poop clean-up service goes to the customer’s home and picks up their dog’s wastes from the yard.
They clean up what your dog leaves behind.
What Happens If You Don’t Pick Up Dog Poop?
People often believe dog poop to be a natural fertilizer and think they are doing their lawn good when they leave the dog poop to decompose. This simply isn’t true.
Dog poop is very toxic and releases a number of toxins, bacteria, and parasites into the ground when it isn’t picked up.
Two of the most common bacterias found in dog waste are E. coli and Salmonella.
These bacterias and parasites can easily be spread to other dogs and even humans when not disposed of properly.
This can result in a number of infections, illnesses, and even death in worst-case scenarios.
How Often Should You Pick Up Dog Poop in Your Yard?
Picking up dog poop weekly or twice per week should be sufficient depending on the number of dogs and how often they are going “number 2”.
You may have customers that request your services more than twice a week. Even though this is a rare occasion, it happens. If people are willing to pay, just be sure to charge accordingly to properly compensate for your time.
What Do You Do With Dog Poop After Picking It Up?
Most companies will opt to double bag the dog poop as should you.
First, it will be placed in a small disposable garbage bag that will be wrapped and hooked around the poop scoop. This will not only keep the poop scooper clean but also make for the easiest handling of the dog waste for you and your employees.
Secondly, you’d simply unhook and unwarp the disposable garbage bag, tie it up, and place it in the larger trash can in the back of your truck.
This makes it super easy for you to take the dog wastes to the city dump. Simply pull the bag out of the trash bin and replace it with a fresh one.
If you love dogs and you love money, check out, Rover Dog Sitters: How To Become One And Immediately Start Making Money.
Do Customers Need to Be Home for You to Service Their Yard?
People usually have to work through the day. They usually utilize a service like this because they don’t have any free time to do it themselves.
As long as the customer has a way for you to access the yard and has the dogs locked up where they aren’t in the area needing to be serviced, you will be in the clear to get the job done.
A good practice is to always shoot the homeowner a text letting them know when you’re about 15-20 minutes away. If they are home, this allows them enough time to either let their dogs out to go to the bathroom or let them back inside before you arrive.
How Much Will It Cost to Start a Pick Up Dog Poop Service?
There will be a number of costs you will need to consider when starting this business but the startup costs are going to be considerably lower than a lot of other startup companies.
Costs you should expect to incur:
- business license and insurance
- company vehicle (pickup truck would be best)
- disposal fee
In all, these fees are minimal, especially if you already own a truck. If you plan on purchasing one, there are a few different options to consider.
Cost of a Work Truck?
This cost can vary considerably depending on what you’re looking to get. The cheapest option would obviously be utilizing a pickup truck you already own.
Buying a brand new truck can range from $20k-$25k for your basic features.
You could also look into the option of buying a used truck or possibly leasing one. These could be significantly cheaper options if you’re just starting your business.
Your credit is going to play a big role in the overall cost as well. The lower the interest rate, the less you’ll pay overall.
Also, be sure to check with an accountant to find out all the costs that can be written off in regards to your new work truck. Maybe one of these options is better than another. This I don’t know but the accountant will.
What Equipment Will I Need to Start This Service?
The beauty of this business is that there is very little equipment needed to get the job done.
What you will need is:
If you have multiple employees, you will need each of these items for each work truck.
This is a must-have if you plan on getting into this business.
The poop scooper I highly recommend is the best because it has hooks on each side of the bin to allow a bag to be properly secured inside.
This will allow for a mess-free job. Simply place the bag inside the poop scooper, pick up all of the dog poop, unhook the bag when finished, tie it up and toss it in the trash can.
This will keep your equipment clean at all times and will keep you from needing to clean the poop scooper between every job.
Trash Bags for Poop Scooper
Trash bags keep the inside of your poop scooper clean at all times so you don’t even have to wash the scooper.
The bags I suggest not only are compatible with the poop scooper I suggested but they are scented to help eliminate odors.
Trash Bin aka Diaper Pail
The very best idea for a trash can for the back of the truck would have to be a diaper pail. It’s a genius idea.
They are designed to lock odors in and keep them from getting out. If you use a traditional trash bin, the odors will be released every time you lift the lid to put another waste bag in it. That’s definitely not something you want to smell after every job.
This particular pail I recommend is made of steel so it isn’t porous like most plastic diaper pails allowing odors to seep out.
It also doesn’t require a specific trash bag which is nice. This will allow you to use what works best for you.
Diaper Pail Trash Bags
Even though I said you have the flexibility for the trash bags used with the diaper pail, these are the ones I would recommend for the diaper pail.
They are heavy-duty and also come with 4 bamboo odor eliminators which help neutralize any odors.
Even though these could be optional, I would highly suggest you use them.
I understand that you aren’t working directly with the dog poop but you never know what could happen. Don’t allow yourself to be in a situation where you could possibly come in contact with the dog poop.
Keep your hands protected at all times. I’d suggest disposable gloves that you can throw away after every job.
Looking for more ways to make money? Check out more 'making money' articles and see how you can increase your income!
How much Should I Charge for Picking Up Dog Poop?
There is a number of ways to charge for this service so let’s go a little more in-depth to get a better understanding of what you should be charging and how much money you can make.
Your fees should be structured based on a couple of different factors:
- quantity of dogs
- how often you service a home
- one-time gigs
Quantity of Dogs
Surely what you charge to remove the waste of 1 dog is going to be different from what you will charge for 2 or 3 dogs.
Just be sure to factor in the time it takes to do double or triple the work. You can earn good money on homes with multiple dogs.
Keep in mind, the customer clearly doesn’t want to pick it up so they obviously find you and your service valuable.
How Often You Service a Home
Most companies offer the option of either once or twice a week. Obviously, you will charge more if you are going to a home more than once a week.
Seldomly, you will have a customer who wants you to come more often than twice a week. If and when that request arises, you can determine what that price will be for each individual situation.
You will need to figure out how to structure a fee for one-time gigs.
This service is typically more popular when people are planning to have a huge gathering such as a holiday party or a wedding reception.
They tend to have a million things they are trying to prep for and get done and picking up dog poop is the last thing they want to worry about. This is usually when you’ll be hired for a one-time gig.
You will need to determine a baseline for this type of pricing and then adjust accordingly. Your time is money so keep that in mind. This is a great way to earn additional income.
I’d even suggest charging more for a one-time gig because you aren’t creating a residual income with that type of customer.
Considering all the factors listed above, here is a rough estimate of what you should charge for these services on a monthly basis to earn good money.
One dog – Doing 1 visit/week could make you $65/month. Servicing a yard 2 visits/week could make you $125/month.
Two dogs – Doing 1 visit/week could make you $75/month. Servicing a yard 2 visits/week could make you $140/month.
Three dogs – Doing 1 visit/week could make you $85/month. Servicing a yard 2 visits/week could make you $160/month.
One-time gigs can vary greatly. I would assess the area being requested to be serviced. When deciding on a price ask yourself a few things:
- How big is the area needing your service?
- How much accumulation is there?
- Realistically, how long will it take you to get the job done?
You need to make it worth your time without ripping off the customer. What would you be willing to pay if you were requesting this service?
First Time Assessment Fee
Most dog poop removal services charge an initial fee when you sign up for their monthly service.
When I signed up for this service my fee was simply a higher first-month fee. I paid $110 for my first month and then was reduced to the normal 2-dog monthly fee thereafter.
This is because there is usually a great deal of dog poop accumulation and they spend much more time cleaning up the yard on their very first visit.
This fee may be something you “waive” when trying to build your clientele. Simply letting them know that you usually charge a first-time service fee but you are currently running a special if they pay 3 months in advance.
This is just one idea but a great way to get your foot in the door when you’re up against the already established competition in the area.
How to Find Your Competition
The easiest way to determine how much competition there is in your area is by checking Google. Try using phrases such as ‘dog poop removal near me’, ‘dog poop yard cleaning near me’, or ‘dog poop pick up services near me’ to learn if anyone is currently running a similar business.
Do you think you can compete with the already established businesses? That’s something for you to consider.
As gross as a dog poop removal service may sound, there is potential to make a great deal of money. Besides that, the perks are amazing.
How many jobs afford you the opportunity to have so much flexibility, the chance to not be stuck in an office all day, allow you to have holidays off, and have endless income possibilities?
If dog poop doesn’t gross you out and you love being outdoors, it’s definitely a job to consider. It could even be a part-time business that you only do on the weekends to earn extra cash.
This could allow you to have the security of your regular job and afford you the opportunity to scale this business to supplement your income if you choose to.
Good luck and happy poop scooping!
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