Top vans for dog walkers and groomers
Mans best friend, the dog is a loyal and loving companion adored by the Nation. Our pampered pooches have their own team of humans to see to their needs when mum and dad are busy at work. Dog walking and grooming is a popular career choice for animal lovers. So there’s no surprise that this is a booming business. Website Tailster.com, which was created in 2014 has 2,500 dog-carers on its books.
The life of a dog walker or dog groomer sounds like heaven to me! I’m an animal lover and dogs make me as happy as a kid in a playground. But it does have its drawbacks, like any job I suppose.
In this article, we’ll go through the day to day activities of a dog walker and dog groomer to gather some insight into the must-have features of vans for dog walkers and groomers. We’ll then research the market and develop our list of the top vans for dog walkers and groomers.
Why do dog walkers and groomers need a van?
Charging between £10-20 to walk a dog for an hour means that most dog walkers need to take more than one dog out at a time to make a good wage from this career choice. So, our dog walker will need to be able to collect the dogs from their homes, load them in the van and drive them to a public park (doggy haven) for walkies. The van is vital for this.
The same goes for mobile dog groomers. Setting up the back of the van with all of the equipment needed for bath time, a good brush and a trim. The van becomes their mobile salon, fitted with a bath, hairdryer and bench to get the job done. Afterall, pampered pooches must look their best!
What size vans do dog walkers and groomers need?
After looking at some forums it seems that most dog walkers need the capacity to collect 8-10 dogs with two walkers in the van. Most of the dog walkers on the forum said that when they only had 2-3 dogs at a time the car was sufficient. Upgrading to a van was the obvious choice to grow their business and that SUV’s were not suitable. Once the caging had been installed the smaller vans only had enough space for up to 4 or 5 dogs. Therefore, when we compile our list we need to put a couple of bigger vans in there.
Again, a roomier van will offer our dog groomer more space when trying to clip and preen a big old Chow Chow. There’s a fair bit of equipment needed to be installed into the van to make it a legitimate dog grooming van, so on our list we’ll stick to mid-size or large vans as our recommendation for these.
What modifications need to be made to the van? – Walkers
For our dog walkers, there’s a series of useful modifications designed to keep the dogs safe and make life easier for the walkers. The most common modification is to add cages to the back of the van. These vary in size and price depending on requirements and budget. Some even offer a thermo-regulated environment for the dog to stay comfortable in extreme heat or cold weather. Things like motorised and air powered vents are installed to maximise air flow and storage compartments for things like leads, towels, poop scoopers and treats are handy to ensure you’re always prepared. Not only that, you can add some handy technology to your van which allows the dog walker to keep an eye on their poochy passengers with a rear view camera system.
What modifications need to be made to the van? – Groomers
Dog groomers require a separate set of modifications. The inside of the van must be made waterproof and offer solutions for comfortable working temperature for both dog and groomer. It’s no fun grooming in the heat of summer sun in the back of a van. Then for easy cleaning, a water proof sealed floor and waterproof plug sockets for safety. A bath with shower over and water supply for bathing plus a doggy hair dryer and bench with restraints for clipping. Storage for accessories and lighting are also a must. Obviously, you can’t buy a van kitted out like this straight from the manufacturer but there are some great companies who offer this service.
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The low down on running costs
The average dog walker can easily earn £26,000 a year and while this is a decent salary, the cost is still going to be an important factor. Running costs must be kept low and the more economical the van is the more profit our walkers and groomers get to keep for themselves. Dog groomers can earn a similar wage. Even though they charge more, they are only able to groom one dog at a time, opposed to walkers who can take multiple dogs at once.
So what are the Top vans for dog walkers and groomers?
Based on what we know about how the vans are used and what modifications they need we’ve selected these vans for our shortlist.
Ford Transit Connect
Roomy enough to happily install crates for up to 8 dogs and carry a passenger plus driver. The Connect offers great safety features as standard and a comfortable drive. It has side and rear access for easy loading too. It’s small enough to park more easily than some of the bigger rivals. Making it excellent for inner city dog walkers. Did you know? London have the most highly concentrated number of professional dog walkers in the UK?
The Renault Kangoo achieves fuel economy of up to 65.7mpg helping you to minimise fuel costs, or opt for the fully electric version to reduce running costs even more! The great thing about the Kangoo is that it maximises on space with folding rear seats. If you need more load space, simply fold the seats down. If you need to carry more passengers, fold the seats out.
Citroën Berlingo has a wide range of shapes to meet the requirements of your dog walking or grooming business. There’s plenty of room for crates or installing grooming equipment. Plus, it’s an economical choice 44-67 mpg combined. Side sliding doors are available too.
Another economical choice the Vauxhall Combo boasts 55.4mpg combined. The suspension on the Combo is a core feature allowing for a smoother ride for your precious cargo. There’s convenient loading and unloading on offer from the Combo, plus enough space in the rear for everything our puppy pros need. The standout feature are the rear parking sensors making for easy parking in inner-city areas.
Nissan X Trail
We couldn’t compile this pooch focussed article without mentioning the Nissan X-Trail. A play on the popular X Trail by Nissan. This dog focused domestic SUV is a dog lovers dream! Featuring rear cameras to spy on your beloved pooches living the life of luxury in the back seat. Plus two-way microphones so you can even talk to them! Not only that, if they’ve had a mucky walk the retractable shower will have them sparking before they get into their carriage. Once in their bed boot, the built in hair dryers will naturally dry your dog leaving them fresh as a daisy when they get home.
Faye is an experienced blogger with a keen eye for finding excellent information about the subjects she writes about. Giving OSV blog readers the most accurate knowledge.
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