How Much Do Dog Walkers Make?

 

How much do dog walkers make? You hear the glamorous stories of famous dog walkers making upwards of $100K a year, but is that normal? Those folks are definitely unusual, but how much dog walkers make depends on a lot of factors.

Region

Dog walkers in big cities can make a lot of money catering to the rich and famous. Then again, these folks often have personal staff that take care of their dogs and do not need dog walkers. Really to know how much dog walkers make you need to look at the normal areas, not the extremely rich in the big cities. It is true that the cost of living is higher in larger cities and thus dog walkers make more. In areas where there is a lower cost of living, how much dog walkers make will be lower.

Experience

A Professional Dog Walking Company will charge more and thus pay their dog walkers more than a neighbor’s kid. Plus employees of a dog walking company should be covered by insurance, get time off and other perks. As a client, with a professional dog walking company you gain experience, animal expertise, a back up plan for emergencies and a generally higher level of professionalism. You pay more, but it is typically worth it.

Group of dog walkers

Group vs Individual Dog Walk

You see a lot of pictures of one person walking a group of 15 dogs. While this does happen, the normal case is much less glamorous. Most dog walkers only walks dog together from the same household, so only 1-2 at a time. Individual walks tend to be from 15 minutes to 1 hour in length, so through the course of an afternoon a dog walker could work with up to 8 household, depending on the time and length of the walks. Many people want mid-day dog walks, which limits the amount of visits a dog walker can take on.

For group walks, there is a lot of time invested in the pick up and drop off of the dogs. The walks tend to be longer so the dog walker may only take out one group per day. In both individual and group dog walks, how much the dog walker makes will depend on the number of walks and dogs in the group.

Overall

So really, how much do dog walkers make? This can vary greatly but generally falls in the range of $10-25 an hour. If you are curious how much our dog walkers make, you can read up on our Hiring Guide. There are many ways to structure being a dog walker but in most cases it will be a fun job that you can enjoy, pay is ok and you can get out and enjoy the sunshine!

Make the Perfect Dog Walk Schedule!

 

If you are hiring a dog walker then one of your biggest questions may be: What Should My Dog Walk Schedule Be? Good question! It all depends on the needs of your dog and your schedule. We have example schedules so you can get some ideas for what might work for you. If you have never had a dog walker before, check out What is a Dog Walk Service?

When Do I Need a Dog Walker?

These are ton of times when a dog walker can be very helpful in your life. Read up on 8 Times When You Need a Dog Walker. Whether you work all day, have a busy home schedule or just need a bit of extra help, a good Professional Dog Walker can make a huge difference in the life of you and your dog.

What to Consider When Making a Dog Walk Schedule

There are many factor when picking the perfect dog walk schedule. You need to find a schedule, and thus a dog walker, that can match the schedule you need.

Factors to consider:

  • How long are you gone during the day? If you are gone for 8 hours maybe your pup is ok with one walk during the middle of the day, but if you are gone for 12 hours then you could increase that to 2 dog walks.
  • Are your dog walks dependent on a specific time, like breakfast, dinner or halfway through the day, or just to get your dog some extra exercise?
  • How old is your pup? Puppies need potty breaks a lot more often than adult dogs. A good rule of thumb is puppies can only last an hour per every month of age (2 hours for a 2 month old, 3 hours for a 3 month old, etc). This can vary greatly depending on the breed, history and personality of each puppy, but it is a good starting place. Lean more about the Benefits of Dog Walk for Puppies.
  • How much energy does your dog have? A mellow Cocker Spaniel is going to have very different exercise needs from a high strung Border Collie.
  • How often does your dog need to go outside? Some dogs can last long periods of time, but others need a potty break every few hours due to age or medical reasons.
  • What time of day is best for her to be out on a walk? If it is really hot or cold during the day then you will want to take that into account. Some dogs are also more active during specific times of day, so it you are trying to burn off energy, then you are best off
  • Will she need to be fed during this visit? If so, then you will need to arrange the visits at a normal feeding time and allow time in the visit.
  • Do you want visits regularly or just occasionally? If you only need an occasional visit then you can customize each day as it comes up. If you believe you will need a regular schedule, then consider setting up a dog walk schedule that will work all of the time, and tweak it if some days are different than others.

woman walking dog on leash, dog walk schedule

Dog Walk Schedule #1

1 Hour Dog Walk

A one hour dog walk allows for a long walk. This can be good if you dog needs a break during the middle of your work day or just needs a fair bit of exercise. One hour walks are popular with people who are working long shifts or who have high energy dogs. Your dog can also be fed during this time, or at least given a snack. Your dog walker can clean out water bowls and make sure you pup is set until you get home.

 

Dog Walk Schedule #2

Two 30 Minute Dog Walks

If you are gone for a long shift, or have a dog that needs to go out every few hours, consider doing two shorter visits. This will allow your dog to get a couple times and stay active. If you are home but busy, you can time these visits at meal time and your dog walker can also feed your dog breakfast and dinner.

 

Dog Walk Schedule #3

Two 15 Minute Dog Walks

If your dog just needs quick potty breaks but not a lot of exercise, then you may be able to do two 15 minute dog walks. 15 minute walks are short, so they are really not intended to burn off a lot of energy, just give a break during the day.

 

Dog Walk Schedule #4

30 Minute Dog Walk

A 30 minute dog walk is a very typical dog walk schedule. For an adult dog that likes to get out, but does not have a ton of energy, this is a good length of walk. It also works for a high energy dog, if you exercise him at other times of the day.

 

Dog Walk Schedule #5

15 Minute Dog Walk

A quick 15 minute dog walk is used for dogs that just need a fast potty break and not much exercise.

dog running with ball for dog walk schedule

Some Real Life Examples

  1. When I am away for a day trip I have a dog walker come exercise my pup. He is high energy and is used to having someone at home, so I always schedule a 1 hour dog walk. This way he is not bouncing off the walls when I get back. Often the dog walker will both walk him and play with him in the yard, since he loves fetch. I pick a time around midway of the times I am going to be gone. If I am gone through dinner I will try to set a dog walk around that time so he can be fed as well, although I need to account for that because he cannot eat right after hard play, so he needs a break to cool off.
  2. A diabetic pug needed visits during the day. Because of her medication, she had to go out every 4 hours. She likes short walks, but also cuddle time, so she got 30 minute dog walk visits every 3-4 hours when her parent’s were not home. Some of that is a walk, but the rest is enjoying the nice grass and getting lots of cuddles. She also loves her carrots as an afternoon snack.
  3. A woman works as a nurse from 9am-9pm. Her two dogs like a long walk and need to be fed dinner, so she scheduled a 1 hour dinner dog walk around 4-6pm. The dog walker feeds the dogs dinner then takes them for a walk for the remaining time. They are nice and tired by the end!
  4. A woman is traveling for work and her husband cannot make it home during the day to let out their young Lab mix. When she is gone she schedules a daily 30 minute dog walk visits over lunchtime. The dog loves to play in the yard, so the dog walker plays fetch with the ball and frisbee and refills her water. When she is exhausted, the dog likes to lay in the dog walker’s lap for a few minutes before getting her afternoon snack.
  5. A nice couple have 2 young kids. The dogs are not getting out as much as they used to, so they schedule a 30 minute dog walk every night around dinner. The sitter comes and gets the dogs just during the busy dinner time, takes them for a nice walk and feeds them when she gets back. The couple gets to focus on the kids, while knowing the dogs are cared for and will be tired for the evening.
  6. An elderly woman has been moved to an assisted living facility. She is having trouble with her mobility, but the facility lets her bring her sweet Golden Retriever. The dog needs exercise and can be overwhelmed during physical therapy, so a dog walker comes during that time and takes him for a 45 minute walk. He gets some exercise and the woman gets her physical therapy without a stressed dog in the room.

Every situation is unique and all visits can be tailored to match the needs of your house. In all of these cases the dog walker was able to match the time, length of visit and tasks to the house in a way that benefited both the people and the dogs. A good dog walker is invaluable to your team!

 

Time to Customize!

These gave you some ideas for a dog walk schedule, but now you actually have to decide on the details.

  • How many dog walks do you want?
  • What time should they be at?
  • How long are they? (feel free to mix and match)
  • What happens during each dog walk?

Now you are ready to schedule your dog walks!

 

Still have questions or need ideas? Contact us to talk about your dog and we will walk you through the decision making process.