If you are thinking about a new career in dog walking, one of the first things that you are likely to wonder about is how much it pays. The average rate for dog walkers in the United States is about $31,000 per year, but it can vary significantly due to several factors. Keep reading as we look into the things that can affect how much dog walkers make and what a dog walker does in general.
How Much Does a Dog Walker Make an Hour?
The 2023 average hourly rate for dog walkers is $14.85 per hour, which is about $30,893 yearly. Low-end jobs will pay as little as $9.80 per hour for a yearly amount of $20,384, while high-end jobs will pay as much as $21.15 per hour for an annual salary of $44,000.
Dog Walking Salary
|Rate||Hourly Rate||Yearly Salary|
What Factors Affect How Much Dog Walkers Make?
As you might expect, the amount of experience that you have walking dogs will greatly impact your rates. When you are a beginner, customers will likely worry that you won’t be able to control their dogs on a walk, so your rates will probably be at the low end. Customers will be more confident in someone with many years of experience and more willing to pay them more. As a result, entry-level walkers tend to make a salary closer to $26,000 per year, while someone with experience will often make $34,000 per year or more.
Location is one of the biggest factors that affect how much money you can make as a dog walker. For example, certain places, like the District of Columbia, Oregon, and California, pay their walkers particularly well. In contrast, the average in states like Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Ohio is much lower.
|State||Hourly Rate||Yearly Salary|
|District of Columbia||$18.24||$37,929|
Dog walkers in the city tend to make more money than those in rural areas because there is more demand for their services. In fact, cities like Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, California, pay some of the highest rates in the country. Other great cities for dog walking include Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Denver.
|City||Hourly Rate||Yearly Salary|
|San Francisco, California||$18.20||$37,850|
Working for an established company like Care can be a great way to make a good salary as a dog walker, and you won’t need to find customers, which will enable you to get started immediately. However, you will lose the benefit of being your own boss.
What Do Dog Walkers Do?
As the name suggests, a dog walker’s primary responsibility is to take the dog for a walk, usually for a specific distance or time. However, they might also need to perform other small tasks, like playing with the dog at home, checking to ensure that they have food and water, and even sending a video of the dog to their owners.
Tips for Increasing Your Salary
The average dog walker makes about $14.85 per hour and $30,893 annually, but this can vary significantly based on location and experience, with more experience bringing higher wages. Some places, like the District of Columbia and Oregon, pay especially well, while others, like Tennessee and Ohio, don’t pay as much. Working for an established company, like Care, can make it easier to get started and often pays well. Adding extra services, like dog sitting, can help improve wages. Adding to your skill set by learning dog grooming, training, and more can help you provide more services and thus, acquire more customers.
Featured Image Credit: Photo Spirit, Shutterstock