Written by Greer Grenley, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.
Whether you’re looking for a side gig or a full-time job, you can earn a decent amount of cash with dog walking.
Because cities are becoming more dog friendly (both Seattle and San Francisco have more dogs than children, and 42% of families in the U.S. have more than one dog) and people aren’t gaining time, demand for dog walkers will continue to increase. Pooches need their exercise, even if they’re allowed to go to the office with you.
Whether you’re starting your own dog walking business or dog sitting through Rover.com, making money by spending time with dogs is financially beneficial.
Do Your Research
First off, you want your business to be competitive, but you don’t want to turn potential clients off by charging too little or too much. Research what other walkers charge. You don’t want to be the most expensive in the area, but you also don’t want to aim too low because you don’t want to appear to be lower quality. You should start in the middle while you gain a client base and then eventually increase what you charge. I’ve seen dog services that range anywhere between $15 to $40 dollars an hour for all-day dog sitting and $10 to $20 for each 30 minute walk.
Dog walking provides a business model of very low startup costs. All you really need to do is advertise via website or flyers and provide transportation (Rover takes care of the advertising part for you, so in that case, you just need transportation.) Even if you decide to pay for advertising through pay-for-click on social media, investing only a few dollars can go a long way.
Flexibility at Your Fingertips
You can also choose your own hours so that you can have the stability of a full-time job and make extra funds on the side. Some dog walkers only run their business a few hours a week and only take on a few clients while others commit to it full time. It’s great to start small and walk dogs you already know and then let your business spread through word-of-mouth.
Remember that dog walking is not easy and may not be for everyone. Even dog lovers can get overwhelmed dealing with multiple dogs at once, and it’s stressful knowing somebody else’s pet’s safety is in your hands. However, if you decide this gig is for you, there are many ways to make a solid income doing what you love: playing with furry friends.