For busy pet owners out there, having someone to come by and take the dogs for a walk for them is a blessing. But how much can you make from dog walking? This question curious many pet owners and dog-walker wannabes. Let’s together figure out how much money you need to pay for a professional experience, shall we?
In this article:
What Is A Dog Walker?
As urban lifestyles become busier, not every pet owner has the time to give their furry friend a high level of care. When a dog parent is unable to provide for them, a professional dog walker takes up the role of providing care and daily exercise for the animal. Since pet owners are becoming more aware of the value of regular exercise for their canines, this profession has grown in popularity.
Dog walkers normally visit clients’ homes on a set schedule, walking dogs to provide them with the mental and physical exercise they require. These people frequently offer companionship in addition to physical exercise, which strengthens the attachment between them and their animal clientele.
Still, this profession is not simply just walking someone’s dog. To guarantee the well-being of the animals under their supervision, these specialists need to be informed on canine breeds, behavior, potential behavioral issues, and health problems. Other provided services may include pet sitting, basic training reinforcement, and feeding.
How Much Do Dog Walkers Get Paid?
According to ZipRecruiter, as of January 21st, 2024, the typical price for hiring a daily walker is about $35,770 a year or $17 per hour. Such big checks for a seemingly easy job, aren’t they? That being said, we say professional walkers deserve that price structure, considering the effort they put into the work of taking care of and accompanying your furry friends.
Take a look at this summary table (January 21st, 2024):
|Payment Per Week
|Payment Per Month
Here is a detailed breakdown of a dog walker’s salary.
- Per hour: Dog walkers normally charge between $14 and $22 per hour, though they usually only take their dogs for 20- or 30-minute walks instead of an hour. Still, you may frequently find inexperienced walkers ready to walk your pups for a minimum wage of about $10 to receive good ratings and make money on the Rover app.
- Per week: The dog walker’s average salary per week is about $687. The checks can be higher, up to $894, when these professionals have a certification from NAPPS (National Association of Professional Pet Sitters)
- Per month: A walker may earn $2,980 per month on average. This is a fair pay cheque for a decent-quality pup walker.
- Per year: The best rate is $46,500. With this money, walking dogs is a main source of income for many people. Still, in some rare cases, a 5-star dog walker can earn up to $53,500 a year. Insane, right?
Factors Affect The Price Range Of Hiring A Dog Walker
How much a dog walker makes relies heavily on their base location. Based on what we see, the big cities are most likely to have the best base wage. Let’s take a good guess: what city do you think will pay the highest?
If you say the dog walker salary in NYC is the best, guess again. In New York, one of the most expensive cities in the world, the paycheque is $30,000. Not bad, right? But if you check out the table below (according to Zip Recruiter, as of January 21st, 2024), you will be shocked about the places and the amount of money residents are willing to pay for a dog walking service with expensive experience levels.
|Payment Per Week
|Payment Per Month
|Salary Per Year
|Menlo Park, CA
Number Of Pets
The number of pets a walker has to take care of also affects the money they charge you. When you have multiple dogs, the walker may require you to pay an extra $2-4, or even 50% more the fee for your second pup, depending on their standard and additional service.
If you are lucky, you may find someone who doesn’t charge you more, but only a few walkers willing to do that. More dogs equals more responsibility, so it makes sense when they ask for extra fees.
Time Of Walking
The walk duration and number of times a professional has to take your dog out will influence the dog walker’s pay rate. How long do you want a walk to last? 10, 20, 30 minutes? And how often a day does the specialist have to come to your house? How many walks per day: one, two, or three? The longer the walking time and the more frequently the drop-in visit is, the more money you will spend.
The good news is that most providers will offer you a discount or package deal if you regularly engage in their services. This means they can reduce the average package pricing by up to 10% when you hire their walkers five days per week, from Monday to Friday. Not too bad of a deal, isn’t it?
Some pet owners might not know this, but professional service providers have every right to charge you that extra travel fee when your place is far from theirs. Most of the time, you should budget an additional $1 to $2 each mile for travel expenses if you live more than 9-10 miles away from the provider. So, it is a smart move to pick a place that is nearer to your home.
Most walking services are done in groups, usually in four. Suppose you have a furball of an aggressive breed, and it can’t get along with other dogs; some companies will let it go on private walks. Or when it is a major holiday, but your pup still needs to have a walk.
This kind of extra service is far more costly and occasionally doubles the price level of standard dog walking services. These additional charges will depend on the specific situation.
How About Starting A Dog Walking Business? Is It Challenging To Build A Low-Cost Startup Business?
After reading the above section, you might think to yourself: “That’s such good money; I want to try making income this way, too.” Hold your horses. The payment indeed sounds a bit too good to be true, but you know what they say: earning money is never a simple task.
So, if you think this pet care service path is all hearts and roses, you might need to think again. Here are just some of the reasons why opening a walking and pet-sitting business is way harder than you think.
Let’s face it: the beginning of your startup journey will be the most difficult. When you first start, finding a customer is hard, let alone having a consistent group of loyal client base. This translates to you will have inconsistent income due to this unstable client situation.
Plus, not every owner can afford your service all year long. Sometimes they can, sometimes they don’t; you must deal with it.
Might Need A Side Job To Support Yourself
With irregular revenue and piles of bills to pay, what are you going to do now? This is when having a side job is a must. We know you have passion and want to stick with your pet care business, but you still must find a way to support yourself.
In the ideal scenario, you can walk the dogs, grow your special service, and do another job in your free time. This way, you will expand your income and not have to rely entirely on your dog walking business, losing weight financially and mentally.
Extra Expenses And Bills
Running a pet-walking business is not just about walking the dogs. You have tons of bills to worry about. Gas money, bike maintenance, dog treats, poop bags, etc., they all cost money.
Plus, if you decide to have a physical shop, not just an online one, you will have even more business expenses, such as electric bills, business premise rent, marketing fees, and so on.
See more: What does a dog sitter do
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It OK Not To Walk Your Dog Every Day?
Yes. Although dogs adore this activity and are always looking forward to outdoor time, they don’t necessarily need to take a walk daily. Like humans, having off days and resting at home is great for the dogs’ health. These off days will help let the dogs’ muscles rest, restoring their energy and resetting their body to prepare for the following outdoor activities.
Are 30 Minutes Enough For A Dog Walk?
For healthy and energetic pets, yes. A 20- to 30-minute walk is enough for most dogs. Suppose your dog is a bit weaker; you can walk them for about 10 minutes. This will do the trick, bringing all the benefits while not overly exhausting your furry friend.
Do Dogs Slow Down As They Age?
Yes. Similar to the human body, the dog’s body will change from time to time as a sign of aging. It won’t be as energetic as it used to be. Their walking speed will also slow down, requiring you or the walker to be more patient with the old pal.
The Bottom Line
With your newfound knowledge of the salary of dog walkers, you can now expect how much you need to pay to have trustworthy dog walkers in your neighborhood. Besides, knowing their pay rate can even be a motivation for you to start a pet-walking service yourself. Hope this post helps!