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Dog Walking

Projected Income Around $15-$30 per walk
Costs to Start $50-$150
Time to Start 1-2 weeks
Category Caring for Pets

Our Side Hustles Breakdown

We definitely recommend dog walking! It’s a heartwarming hustle that keeps you active and surrounded by furry friends. Key concern: Safety first – ensuring you can handle multiple dogs and being prepared for unexpected situations is crucial.

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cons-icon Cons

  • Weather Dependent: Walking in extreme weather conditions can be challenging.
  • Potential Hazards: Possible encounters with aggressive animals or mishaps.
  • Physical Demands: Requires stamina, especially if walking multiple dogs.

pros-icon Pros

  • Stay Active: An excellent way to get regular exercise.
  • High Demand: Many pet owners need assistance, especially during work hours.
  • Bonding Experience: Build strong relationships with pets and their owners.
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Do you love dogs and don’t mind cleaning up after them? Dog walking can be a great side hustle. Not only will you bond with the pups, but also keep them healthy and happy.

We’ll review this side hustle to help you understand how much you can make and what it would cost you. We’ll also highlight the benefits and problems to expect when you venture into this business. 

An Overview of Dog Walking: A Primer

Dog walking is a side hustle that lets you make extra cash by walking other people’s dogs for 30 minutes to an hour or more. Becoming a dog walker is easy; you’ll need some training and the right equipment. 

As a dog walker, you’ll be responsible for the dogs’ safety. This means you have to be vigilant about potential hazards like traffic and other dogs. You’ll also have to clean up after the pups, carry poop bags, and dispose of the waste responsibly. 

You may need a license or permit to offer pet-sitting services in your town. If you’re working as a freelancer, you may have to set up a limited liability company (LLC) or sole proprietorship to be on the safe side during tax season.

How Much Can Dog Walking Earn You?

On average, you can earn $15 to $35 an hour as a freelance dog walker and up to $40,000 per year or more. The exact cost varies depending on how many dogs you can handle in one walk, the breed type, and the cost of living in your neighborhood. 

You may charge more for bigger or more aggressive dogs because they need a lot more attention in public spaces than more subtle breeds. And if you service high-end neighborhoods, your prices should match its value. 

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Dog Walking Side Hustle?

Expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $2,000 to start your dog-walking side hustle. The exact cost depends on your education, experience, licenses, insurance, and supplies, among other requirements.

If you’re new to the business, you may need a class on pet care to learn how to handle different dog breeds in public. This may cost you about $50 to $200, depending on how much experience you have. Licensing and permits may cost you $50 – $500 based on your municipality and its business requirements.

Pet-sitting insurance will protect you, your clients, and their beloved dogs against any liabilities or property damage. Most dog owners also ask for proof of insurance coverage, which will cost you $200 or more, depending on your provider. 

And before you start taking clients, you need equipment and supplies like treats, leashes, and poop bags, costing about $100.

Where Can You Find Gigs Walking Dogs?

You can work independently or join other dog walkers in gig economy companies, linking you to clients. Each option has benefits and limitations, but your choice will depend on your preferences and circumstances. 

Where to Independently Find Gigs Walking Dogs

When you decide to work alone, you become your own boss. This means you may decide your schedule and build your client base and reputation. It also makes you responsible for business expenses, like liability insurance and marketing. 

You can easily get dog walking jobs through word of mouth. Tell your friends, family, and neighbors about your services and post flyers around your home to inform potential clients. You can also ask pet stores, dog groomers, and vets to connect you with customers looking for your expertise.

Social media is another useful tool when advertising your skills. Post about your dog walking services on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and join relevant community forums to find clients. You may try Craigslist for local gigs, but ensure you meet potential clients in public. 

Gig Economy Companies That Offer Gigs Walking Dogs

A gig economy company like Rover will connect you to clients quickly and handle the marketing and advertising. It’ll also deal with background checks and payments to protect you from difficult clients and delays.

Rover is the largest site for pet sitters and dog walkers available all over the U.S. The platform isn’t limited to dog walking alone as you can work other jobs like dog sitting. You also book various gigs and get paid through the app, making the process a whole lot easier.

You may also consider Wag—a dog-walking service for pet care. This app connects you to many clients in need of a dog walk, be it a one-time or recurring service.  

If you need more options, there are hundreds of platforms available, like PetSitter.com, Care App, PetBacker, and Barkly Pets.

Why You Should Consider Dog Walking As a Side Hustle

Running a dog-walking side hustle can be a rewarding venture. Consider the following reasons for walking dogs:

  • Spend Time With Dogs: If you love dogs, then the dog walking business is a great way to make lots of furry friends. You’ll walk and play with the pups all day, creating bonds that last a lifetime.
  • Flexible Working Hours: You get to set your working hours, especially when freelancing. This way, you can fit in your job around your social life. 
  • Get Paid to Exercise: Not only will you burn calories walking dogs, but you also get paid for the exercise. It’s a win-win!

Problems With Walking Dogs for Money

The dog walking business isn’t always tips and treats. Take a look at the challenges in detail: 

  • Accidental Injuries: Pets are unpredictable. They can run into oncoming traffic, trip you with their leash, or injure a random stranger, resulting in expensive lawsuits. 
  • Unpredictable Weather: The weather can be tricky depending on the season. You may have to deal with the winter cold, heavy rain, and scorching heat that make your job difficult and hazardous. 
  • Demanding Clients: Dealing with difficult dog owners can be exhausting. They may call you at unconventional hours to complain or cancel your services, often at the very last minute.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Important Is Dog Walking?

Keeping dogs active is crucial for their well-being, especially when they live in smaller spaces. Walking dogs for as little as 30 minutes daily stimulates their minds and prevents nasty behaviors like digging or random barking. It’ll also give them enough exercise to stay healthy and to avoid loneliness.

Is Dog Walking a Skill?

Yes, you need a lot of experience with animals to know how to deal with different dog personalities and behaviors. You also need to be in good shape because you’ll walk long distances and handle aggressive dogs that pull often.

Ask a Question About Dog Walking?

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11 Sep 2023
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Dog walking has been a breath of fresh air in my life. Not only do I earn decent money, but I also get my daily dose of exercise and puppy love. Sure, rain can be a downer, but the furry smiles make it all worth it!

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