Dog walkers are perhaps more needed now than ever since many people are becoming immune-compromised, among other reasons.
Just like any other service, with dog walking services or dog walking business, prices are a key factor. Offering a fair rate or pet sitting rates for you and your customers can make or break your business. It can also mean the difference between a potential customer and an actual customer, so a straight-forward pricing system is optimal for a successful dog walking service.
But what do you factor in? Living area? Walk length (30 minutes, 1 hour, or more)? Experience? It can be a lot to figure out on your own, which is where we swoop in to tell you How much should I charge for being a dog walker.
How Much Do Dog Walkers Charge per Hour?
Dog walkers charge anything between $20 to $40 per hour on average, and various factors dictate the exact price you should expect, and we’ll get to that shortly.
But before we do, let’s go over some stats that you’d probably want to know. The national average cost for a dog walk is $20, the minimum being $10, the maximum is $60, and the average is $15 to $25.
What Are the Price Deciding Factors a Dog Walker Should Consider?
Many things that matter when it comes to your pricing structure, as we’re about to demonstrate.
Add-ons include any additional services you may offer besides dog walking that entitle you to a higher fee. These add-on services will provide you with an added client base of senior citizens, employees who work late hours, and other people who can’t dedicate their time to pet care, doggy daycare or aren’t able to but want to make sure their pets are healthy, happy, and well-taken care of.
Plus, there are numerous pet-related services: feeding, treating, pet sitting, grooming, administrating medication, playing with a pet, and providing extra TLC. Many dog walkers even take multiple dogs for their routine vet appointment or offer report cards on how they’re doing while the dog owner is away.
To put this into perspective, Annie’s Walk & Talk company offers medication administration services for $20. In contrast, Paw Prince Pet Care company cleans and removes pet waste from backyards for $15-20 depending on if the professional dog walker is already at the client’s house or they’re going there for that specific reason.
Other add-ons include updates about your dog’s walk. Clients provide you with their email address or phone number, and you’d document these walks through photos and videos and send them to clients for a better rate.
Not to mention, some services even have nothing to do with the business, like bringing a client’s mail or watering their plants. Those cost an additional $0.51 to $1 per minute for these services combined.
Tip: If you want higher dog walking rates, expand beyond your dog walking service to an all-inclusive pet service company.
If you have to travel a long distance from home to get to your client’s area (farther than 10 miles), that entails travel costs, so it’d be fair to charge $1 to $2 per mile.
Also, if the client requests that you walk their dog at a specific recreation area, an off-leash park, or a large dog park, you may charge more as well. For these pickups and drop-offs, you can charge $45 per hour.
Furthermore, location is indicative of the cost of living, so if your home is in a more affordable city, your fees should be equally affordable. For example, a 30-minute walk in St. Louis should cost $15 to $20, whereas if the living costs are quite expensive, so should your services be, which explains why the same walk would cost $20 to $25 in Washington DC.
Tip: If you’re unsure what the average cost for dog walking is in your area, this calculator tool can be of great help.
Number of Dogs
If your client wants you to walk more than one dog, you should charge more because it requires better handling and navigation skills to walk more than one pet.
By no means should you double your rates for every additional dog. Instead, we’d suggest an extra $2 to $4 or, otherwise, 50% of the base rates for single dogs.
Moreover, you might walk several dogs for different clients together. Of course, that has to be your client’s wish; it saves them money and saves you time. In that case, take $5 to $10 off the cost for joint dog walks.
If you’re a bonded and insured member of the National Associations of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), that’s a perk that enables you to charge higher for dog walks. This at-home study course covers pet care, animal behavior, first aid skills, business dealings, and more. Another certificate that covers more or less similar content is Pet Sitters International (PSI).
Both certifications ensure that you’re an overall more competent dog walker and, so, deserving of a higher rate.
We’ve talked quite a bit about price ranges, and we’ve concluded that mainly what places a professional walker towards the higher end is experience, in case someone decides to run a background check on you.
If you’re well-established as a dog walker or professional pet sitter and can back it up with positive referrals from customers, that paves the way for a relatively higher fee or additional fee in your benefit. “A dog is man’s best friend”, and consequently, pet owners would pay a premium to feel assured of their dog’s security and comfort.
Nevertheless, if you’re only just starting your service, don’t be discouraged. Make sure your potential clients see how trustworthy and competent you are as a dog walker or pet sitter, and in most cases, they’ll be willing to hire you to walk their dogs.
Whether your customer requested a morning walk or a midday walk or so is very relevant. For instance, for later hours, a dog walker typically charges an extra $5. Later hours for dog walkers usually mean past their service, which ends at 7 or 8 PM.
Another thing that could get extra money is if a pet owner hires a walker for their pet last minute (anything less than 24 hours), in which case they’re charged an added amount of $15 for the short notice.
Number of Walks
You should also factor in the number of walks per day, as some dogs need to go on two or three 30 minute or 15 minute walks a day.
The number of walks paid for is crucial, too, because many of your walker competitors provide discounts if a client pays for 3 to 10 walks upfront. These discounts range from 10% to %30, and if you want to compete, you should offer discounted prices too.
As a dog walker, you probably offer anything from a 15-minute potty break and a 30-minute walk to a 1-hour walk and even a 2-hour walk or more. And undoubtedly, the length of the walk plays into how much you should charge.
How Much Does Wag Charge for a 20 Minute Walk?
Wag charges pet owners $14 for a 20 minute walk, and it gives dog walkers 60% of its rates.
Do Dog Walkers Make a Lot of Money?
This business might earn you up to $150,000 every year. Since we’re talking numbers, dog walkers can make $125 per day by walking five dogs for $25 each. With a 35-hour workweek, this can amount to $45,625 annually. Add a dog or a puppy per day for an extra $9050 per year, and you’ll find that dog walkers can make more money than a lot of people.
How Much Should I Charge for Dog Walking Company in Australia?
Dog walkers in Australia usually charge $30 to $40 per hour, with cut-price dog walking ranging from $20 per hour to $30 per hour.
Generally, the national average cost for a dog walk is $20, and dog walking prices typically range between $15 and $25.
Nonetheless, the question of how much should I charge to watch a second dog in terms of an exact price leads you to several other questions about all the contributing factors to these care services: locations, add-ons, certifications, and more things to consider.
As we’ve mentioned, there’s probably no better time to start dog walking services than the present. Pick up some pet dogs for 30 minute walks a day, and you might see how dog walking services and pet sitting service are very profiting when it comes to prices and rates if you’re willing to expand to pet sitting in the first place along with other add-ons and break out of your comfort zone.
We sincerely hope that you’ve found this article informative. If you did, don’t hesitate to share it. Also, we’d love to know where you stand on this. Are dog walking rates appropriate, high, or way too low, walkers?