How much do dog walkers make in the US while walking other people’s pets? Is it a dependable career? These are some of the questions people ask when they see dog walkers. For some dog owners, dog walker jobs are lifesavers. It is sometimes a struggle or nearly impossible for busy dog owners to walk their dogs.
There are numerous reasons why a person has picked dog walking as their career. Sometimes people miss their dogs that they left in their hometown or are avid dog lovers. Others have only stumbled upon it and found out that it pays well. If you’re curious about it, read on to know more about the US dog walker income.
How Much Do Dog Walkers Make on Average in the US?
Some may think that walking a dog pays poorly. However, the statistics can contest that kind of notion. According to Statista, approximately 63.4 million households in the US own at least one dog. Although there are many dog owners in the country, not all of them walk their dogs.
In an article, Stanley Coren gathered several studies and surveys about dog walking. He found out that 41% of dog owners do not regularly walk their dogs. Thus, this fact led to the creation of a whole new career, a dog walker. However, how much is a dog walker earning? The hourly rate of dog walkers differs from cities or towns. For example, a dog walker in NYC can earn $15.78 an hour, a dollar higher than those in Chicago. On that note, New York belongs to the top three high paying cities for dog walkers. The other two are San Francisco and Santa Rosa.
On average, the monthly dog walker salary across the United States is $2,493. It is roughly around $14.38 an hour or a weekly payout of $575.20 per week. Now, these payouts are real if you’ll walk dogs for eight hours for five days and only one dog. You can earn more if you can walk dogs in batches. Assuming you can walk two dogs every hour for a 5-hour daily schedule for six days. You can make about $3,738.80 monthly or $44,865.60 annually.
What Factors Do Dog Walkers' Earnings Depend On?
Some people can get a lot of money by walking other people’s canine companions. Others would be tempted to quit their day jobs and start walking other people’s dogs. Although it’s quite tempting to jump ship, income is affected by the following factors.
Most business people say that it’s always about the location, and they’re right. The city or the town you’re in affects your earning as a dog walker. If there are only a handful of dog owners in your town, you might not make as much. For example, a dog walker pay rate in New York is much higher than those in Idaho or Texas.
The local economy of the city is the major contributor to the income of a dog walker. If you see people walking their dogs or a shortage of dog owners, dog walking is not an option. You cannot start a dog walking service or business if you don’t have customers. However, you can ask a local pet store or grooming business if they see high demand for dog walkers.
If there’s a need for dog walkers in your location, you need to check how much other dog walkers charge. You can look at websites like Nextdoor or Craigslist, or call local dog walking businesses to know their rate.
Additionally, local weather can affect how easy or hard it is to walk dogs. In winter, walkers may need to clean up the dogs after they played in muddy waters for example. This adds to the cost.
All jobs require some experience before you can get hired. This rule also applies to dog walkers. Although newcomers are welcome to enter the dog walking career, some dog owners choose those with more experience.
Moreover, it helps if you’re a dog lover and if dogs like you. Also, reconsider being a dog walker if you have any allergy to dogs. It’s very ironic if you get a dog walker job, and you’re not a canine fan or allergic to them. Some people are comfortable with dogs, and dogs love them. Be it as it may, potential dog walkers need to know how to maintain control over the dogs.
Training can be a proper one (certified training course) or informal (volunteering at a local dog shelter) is recommended. You can easily search on the Internet phrases like “how to become a dog walker,” and see certifications and training needed.
It only takes an average of about thirty to sixty minutes to walk a dog. You’ll have less time if you’re exclusively catering to a small neighborhood. Determine if you want to work full-time or only make dog walking as a side gig and work on weekends. Consider the hours you want to do it and how many dogs per walk you intend to have. Naturally, if you will punch in more hours and days, you will earn more.
Mode of Service
Think of how you’ll play the dog walking business through. Are you an independent dog walker, associated with a local organization, or a dog walking service app? To better help you choose, here is a description of each of the options:
Independent Dog Walker
You’ll work for yourself, but this also means that you’ll find your customers all by yourself. Although it’s hard to find customers, you can keep 100% of your income if you do. Moreover, if you’re a pro, you can have regulars and referrals.
Some local dog organizations form groups that focus on walking their member’s dogs. Some of the organizations put rates for this service, and some don’t. Also, this option may have a lot of dog walkers, thus a lower pay rate.
App for Dog Walking Services
Using applications entails a 20-40% commission fee. Below are the different pay dog walking service apps:
- Rover – it is the most popular app today due to its broader reach, operating all the fifty states.
- Wag – dog walking has become more comfortable with this app, thus dubbing it as the “Uber for dogs.”
Is Dog Walking Right for You?
Before entering the world of walking other people’s dogs, you need to think about it. Ask yourself if the benefits and the career itself make sense to you. Also, weigh in the pros and cons of the job. For example, if you work independently, you’ll have a hard time building a client base.
Moreover, dog walking is a very physical job. Dogs may sprint to another dog or a squirrel and may pull you, too. You also need to consider the number and variety of dogs you’ll encounter. It would be best if you were comfortable walking big dogs and dogs that might not be as friendly.
There are also some helpful guidelines that you need to know when walking a dog. These rules will help you create a professional look and let you work efficiently. If you’re not nitpicky and do not know how to follow the guidelines, then this career may not be suitable for you.
Dog Walker Salary – FAQ
Walking a dog is a fun way of getting an income. Almost anyone and everyone can start walking other people’s dogs with pay. However, you need to remember that you need to be in a good, healthy condition to become a dog walker to be able to cope up with the dogs’ high level of energy. Here are some more questions and answers to guide you in learning about the income of dog walkers nowadays.
There is not a definitive answer. A Rover or Wag walker costs set owners back by $20 for a 30-minute walk or $30 per hour. However, the two apps differ from the commission fees. Rover gets 20% from each transaction, while Wag doubles that percentage. It makes Rover a more suitable and profitable app for dog walkers.
Remember that there will always be pros and cons in any field of work. As for dog walking, the severity of the job depends on specific points. It includes weather, income, and types of clients. For example, if you opt for an all-weather walk, you can’t say no to a client merely because the weather is terrible.
Anyone can start walking other people’s dogs with pay. The good news is there is no age limit in this line of work. You can become a dog walker even if you’re in your retirement years. However, most dog walking service apps need people to be eighteen years old to become a dog walker, as long as you’re healthy.
You can be just a dog walker on Rover, but you can also work with the Wag dog walking service application or any other available app for that matter. Using the two apps alternately can give you more opportunities and make you earn more. However, when it comes to income, dog walkers in Rover will have more than those in Wag.
It depends on how you will be able to manage your time. If you’re doing it on the side, you can work at a minimum of three hours a day. But then again, a full-time dog walker can maximize the day by doing the job for eight hours or ten every day.
With a promising dog walkers’ income and a fun extra or full-time job, it is becoming one of the most favored employment choices. The flexible schedule and the chance to earn by walking dogs make it an ideal income generation for any dog lover.