Dog Lifestyle, Pets and Family

How Much Dog Walkers Make?

Dog walking is a dream job for many what could be better than being outside with furry pals, with a flexible schedule to add.   But, how much do dog walkers really make? Does how much a dog walker make change depending on whether you work for someone else or yourself or any other factors? The answer is yes, read on to learn more.

Woman dog walker with three dogs outside in the sunshine.

How Much Do Top Dog Walkers Make?

It is difficult to determine an exact figure of the highest-paid dog walker because there are many variables involved, including location, the size of the business, and the range of services offered. Some high-end dog walking services in major cities like New York or Los Angeles may charge upwards of $100 per hour for specialized services, such as overnight care or adventure walks. Owners of these businesses may earn six-figure incomes or more, like this dog walker, featured in Hustle who makes over $100,000 per year, a figure that all dog walkers can aspire to. 

Despite the data from Payscale, which indicates that the average hourly rate for a dog walker in the United States is around $14 and can range from around $9 to $25 per hour depending on many factors. It’s important to note that these are only averages, and individual rates may vary significantly depending on the local market and the unique circumstances of each dog walking business.

As established dog walkers know building a successful dog walking business takes time, effort, and a significant investment in marketing, networking, and developing a reputation for providing quality service.

Dog walkers can earn more money if they walk more dogs

What Factors Determine How Much Dog Walkers Make?

As mentioned, there are various factors that determine how much dog walkers make which are typical to other professions, these include

  1. Geographic location: Dog walkers in larger, urban areas typically charge higher rates than those in smaller, rural areas.
  2. Level of experience: More experienced dog walkers may be able to charge higher rates.
  3. Number of dogs: Dog walkers may charge more for walking multiple dogs at once.
  4. Length of walks: Dog walkers may charge more for longer walks or for specialized services such as overnight care and, most importantly,
  5. Offering add on services.

Do dog walkers make more on apps like wag?

As a dog walker you may be thinking that apps like Wag can support your efforts and help you make more, however, dog walkers who work for apps like Wag typically earn a lower hourly rate compared to those who work independently or for a traditional dog walking company. 

According to data from Indeed, the average hourly pay for a dog walker working for Wag is around $16 per hour, which is slightly higher than the national average for all dog walkers, but lower than what experienced and independent dog walkers can make.

One reason for this is that apps like Wag take a percentage of the fee charged for each walk, which can range from 20% to 40%, depending on the specific app and the local market. This means that the dog walker may only receive a portion of the total fee charged for the walk.

Another factor is that apps like Wag may have a larger pool of available dog walkers, which can drive down the rates that walkers are able to charge. Additionally, these apps may prioritize convenience and quick turnaround times over personalized service, which can make it harder for dog walkers to build relationships with clients and earn repeat business.

Working with dog walking apps like Wag and Rover have pros and cons

However, working for apps like Wag can offer benefits such as a flexible schedule and access to a large pool of potential clients. Ultimately, the earnings potential for a dog walker working for an app like Wag will depend on factors such as their location, level of experience, and the specific app they are working for.

In the end, there is plenty of opportunities for dog walkers to make a great living and be close to dogs (and at least it is not a pet food taster!) but ultimately how much any dog walker can make depends on service offerings, location, competition and the hustle.  

Find more dog advice and fun stories in our popular book called Motherpuppin’ Adorable: What to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s the perfect companion for navigating the best life with your dog. Learn more about this loved book.

Learn more about how certain people are turning their love of dogs into a living in our Amazing Dog Series:

The Important Job of Cadaver Dogs learn how Cadaver dogs help us and where they come from.

Conservation Dogs: Bee Detection Dogs read about a biologist combining her love of dogs and research.