How Much Money Can You Make as a Rover Dog Walker?
So, you’ve been thinking about becoming a Rover dog walker.
But you’re probably wondering: How much money can you make?
After all, a lot of these gig-based services promise significant earnings when, in reality, you end up taking home measly amounts of cash instead.
Therefore, it only makes sense that you’d want to get the scoop before you dive headfirst into a career as a dog walker.
Well, we’ve got all the information you need right here.
This guide will help you determine whether or not walking (or sitting) pets for Rover is a good fit for you.
We’ll touch on everything from how much Rover pays, what percentage they take from each job, and how current and former walkers feel about the service.
We’ll even give you some tips for making the most money possible on Rover.
Sound good? Let’s take a look.
Last year, Rover’s operations director Kristen Forecki gave an interview in which she stated that part-time walkers earned an average of $1,000 per month.
While that’s certainly not enough money for most of us to live on, it’s not terrible for a part-time gig. Walking dogs, after all, isn’t exactly the most challenging job in the world.
In the United States, the average part-time retail worker making the national average of $11 per hour makes roughly the same amount each month.
When you’re walking dogs through Rover, however, you don’t have to deal with the downsides of retail, like angry customers, heavy-handed managers, etc.
Plus, Rover walkers are paid by the half hour. So, depending on your rate, you may be able to earn $1,000 a week working fewer than 20 hours total.
It gets even better.
In the article, Forecki specifies that the $1,000/month average applies to folks who walk two to three dogs for two weeks a month.
So in reality, a part-time dog walker would earn roughly $2,000 each month if they worked every week instead of just every other week.
And full-time dog walkers, who work five days a week all month long, earn an average of $3,300 per month.
Of course, there is always the problem of taxes.
After all, when you make your living as a gig worker, you have to stay on top of your taxes. So, you can expect Uncle Sam to take 25%-30% of your income, which is over $1,000 a month if you make the full-time average.
But as a gig worker, you’re probably already used to the hustle.
Rover has a similar business model to that of other gig-based platforms like Uber, GrubHub, and Upwork.
In exchange for letting you use their service to connect with clients, the company takes a certain percentage of every transaction for themselves.
Essentially, this is how the company keeps things afloat.
But what is their cut? How much do they take?
It used to be just 15%, but the company increased their contractor fee a few years back.
This relatively high fee has driven some walkers to switch to other platforms like Sitting for a Cause. But, Rover has the nation’s largest network of pet owners in the world, so it’s unlikely that you’ll get as much work elsewhere.
In other words, if your goal is to earn cash as a dog walker, it might be your best bet to take the hit and fork over the 20% fee.
Luckily, the platform allows you to set your rate. This means that you can increase your price to cover their service fee.
For example, if you set your rate at $30 per half-hour walk, they’ll take $6 from your total income for each half-hour. For each hour you work, Rover will keep $12, and so on…
But, if you increase your rate to $40 per half-hour walk, you can make up for the fee and still earn $30 every 30 minutes.
Of course, you’ll have to find someone who is willing to pay the extra $10. But once you find those customers, you’ll be rolling in the dough in no time.
At the end of the day, how much money you make on Rover depends on your rate and the number of hours you put in.
So, if you want to make a killing on this app, there are two things you have to do:
At the moment, Rover allows you to set your price however you’d like. But, most people set their rate between $20 and $50 for a 30-minute walk.
Occasionally, you’ll find someone who charges more than $50 — some even charge close to $150! However, these individuals tend to get less business than their more moderately-priced competition.
Take a close look at the differences in these two Rover profiles:
If you look, you’ll see that these two walkers have very similar credentials. Both live and work in the same area. They both walk and sit dogs.
They’ve both even undergone an intensive background check (signaled by the orange checkmark in the blue circle.)
But, one of them charges significantly more money for a walk than the other.
And, as a result, they have much less repeat business.
The person who charges less money, on the other hand, has 18 repeat clients. This, ultimately means that they get more work on a regular basis.
Now, we’re not saying that you should charge the minimum rate to get repeat business. You have to make sure that you’re adequately compensated for your time, of course.
And you definitely shouldn’t charge the minimum if you have to drive to get to a customer’s home since you’ll have to factor in gas and other expenses.
But, the more reasonable your rate, the more business you’re likely to get.
After all, everyone wants a deal. If they feel that you’re charging too much for your services, they’re likely to look elsewhere.
One of the best things about this company is that they let you keep all of your tips. Any time a customer hands you some cash on your way out the door, it’s all yours!
Right now, the only way for a customer to tip you is with cash. Unfortunately, the Rover app doesn’t feature a tip option.
But, many walkers cite tips as their most significant revenue stream.
In Rover’s community forum, a walker said they received a $100 tip from a first-time client!
Of course, not every client is that generous. Many walkers say that customers often forego tipping altogether.
While it sounds like you should never expect a tip from any customer, you might get them often.
On average, it seems like most customers abide by standard tipping rules — the same ones that apply to restaurant servers (10%-20% of the bill.) This isn’t bad, considering that it makes up for most of the company’s contracting fee.
Of course, if a customer does leave you a generous tip, we recommend that you work your hardest to get them to hire you again in the future!
Who’s leading the pack on this dog walking service? Who’s making so much money that they prove Rover is a viable way to make a living?
Well, here’s who:
Just recently, CNBC’s Make It profiled a woman named Jen Tserng who earns more than $100k annually as a Rover contractor.
Between walking dogs, pet sitting, and house sitting (all through Rover), Tserng has been able to stash away a sizable amount of cash.
Of course, it hasn’t come without hard work. To save so much money, she had to forego renting an apartment of her own. Instead, she books back-to-back house sitting gigs that give her a place to stay. During the day, she walks dogs.
While this may not be the ideal way for most of us to live, it demonstrates that the hustle can pay off.
Becoming a Rover walker or sitter is super easy. The application process only takes a few minutes.
Here’s how you do it:
Head over to their website and click the “Become a Sitter” button (top of the homepage).
Click “Get Started.”
Fill out your profile, set your rate, and consent to the background check.
Then, you’ll have to wait for the company to complete your background check. According to the company, the whole process should take less than five days.
While you’re waiting, you should make sure to download the app if you haven’t already. Once you start walking, you’ll use it each time you walk or sit a pet.
Once your application is accepted, you’re good to go. Those dogs are going to be so excited when you show up for their daily walk!
We’ve established that you can make a decent amount of money on Rover if you work hard.
But, how do you set yourself apart from the heavy competition?
How do you show clients that you’re the best dog walker or pet sitter in the entire region?
What can you do to make even more cash?
Well, we’ve got answers. Below, we’ve provided some tips that may help you to earn more cash.
Limit Your Expenses
Some of the most successful people on Rover aren’t the ones who work the most–they’re the ones who work the smartest.
Jen Tserng, for example, gave up a stable living situation to make more money.
But, you don’t have to live a migrant lifestyle to make some excellent money.
What you can do, though, is take a note from Tserng and try to cut costs wherever possible.
Gas, to name one example, gets expensive. If you have to drive far to get to a client’s house, it may not be worth it. If you can walk to all of your appointments, that’s even better.
Cut Down on Travel
Limiting your travel time is important, too. When you spend an hour traveling from appointment to appointment, you’re cutting into time that you could be making money.
So, if you’re able to book clients who live close to one another, you’ll make a lot more cash.
This could mean that you have to cut out clients who live far away, but it’s ultimately better for your revenue stream.
Double Up on Pets (If Possible)
Of course, if you can double up on jobs by either dog walking or dog sitting multiple pets at once, you should do it. That way, you’re making twice the amount of money during each working hour.
One thing to note here, however, is that not all clients are comfortable with you walking multiple animals at the same time.
If you plan on doing that, you should check with the dog owners first to make sure it’s okay.
Bottom line: Make sure you’re providing the best pet care possible. If walking multiple dogs at once causes an issue, it’s ultimately your responsibility.
Send Pet Pictures to Your Clients
One final tip: Pet owners love to receive updates on their furry friends. Sending photo updates of the dog you’re walking or sitting to the owner can go a long way.
Pet owners are likely to book you again if they trust you and can see that their pet is safe and happy.
Rover is an excellent way to make extra cash on your own schedule, especially if you’re a dog lover.
Whether you are looking for a full-time job or a part-time job, becoming a dog walker or dog sitter is an excellent option to explore.
Over time, you’ll learn how to use your time in the most efficient possible way. If you can work strategically, you can make a fair amount of money as a Rover walker.
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