7 Ways to Make Money Walking Dogs

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If you are a dog lover, you might be wondering if you can make money by spending time with pups. The answer is yes. 

People will pay money for someone to walk their dog. Dog walkers take a pup out for a quick stroll through the city or some playtime in a nearby park while the owner is at work. 

Busy professionals are often willing to pay for this service since they have limited time. It can be a good side hustle, especially for students looking to make a few dollars.

But how can you find dog walking opportunities? We will share everything you need to know to make money walking dogs.

What Is a Dog Walking App?

Using an app is a great way to earn money walking dogs because it helps connect dog walkers with pet owners who are willing to pay for the service. 

You’ll have to provide some information such as your name, a photo and background about yourself. It’s best if you have experience with dogs to increase your odds of getting paying customers. 

Dog walking can be a great way to supplement your income, but don’t expect to support yourself. You can anticipate making college student money rather than enough money to pay your rent. 

If you want to turn this into a full-time gig, consider starting your own business and offering other services such as pet sitting. 

Apps to Earn Money Walking Dogs

Are you ready to start earning money by walking dogs? Here are the most commonly-used apps that connect dog walkers with pet owners organized by Trustpilot score. 

1. Rover

Rover is the nation’s largest network of dog walkers. It connects dog and cat owners with pet sitters and dog walkers in the United States as well as Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe.

As a dog walker on Rover, you control your rates and your schedule via the app or the company’s website. Rover handles dog walking requests, bookings and payments for you. 

Creating a profile is free, but Rover keeps 20 percent of your earnings. You will receive payment automatically two days after completing a dog walk. 

To become a dog walker, you must be at least 18 years of age and pass a general background check. 

Once you fill out your dog walker profile, the company will review it within a few business days and let you know if you’re approved. 

After you are approved, your profile will be published on the Rover website and app. Then, you can start receiving requests for dog walking services. 

Pros: Available nationwide and outside the U.S., brand recognition

Cons: 20 percent service fee on every booking

Trustpilot score: 4.6 out of 5

Read review of Rover

2. Wag!

Another great app for finding dog walking clients is Wag! The technology platform connects pup parents with dog walkers in all 50 states. 

The Wag! app has a built-in GPS that tracks the walker’s coordinates and shows the owner where their pooch is going for a walk. 

Once the walk is completed, the app prompts the walker to fill out a report with information about the walk distance, time and more.

Dog walkers can make their own schedules, set their own rates and snag last-minute appointments via the app. The app does charge fees for every walk booked through the platform.

Wag! also offers live chat with clients, instant pay and dedicated customer support. 

Pros: Easy-to-use interface, nationwide availability

Cons: High fees taken out of earnings

Trustpilot score: 4.0 out of 5

3. PetBacker

PetBacker connects dog walkers with pet owners. To get started, you need to create a profile with photos and a brief bio about yourself, your skills and your knowledge about caring for animals.

You’ll have the flexibility to pick your own schedule, the type of services you offer and how much you charge. 

PetBacker will allow you to connect with pet owners looking for your services, send photos of their pets directly from your phone’s camera and offer a real-time dog walk report. 

The app handles all customer payments and online marketing for dog walkers. They also offer customer support if you have questions, along with training and certification. 

PetBacker does not charge upfront fees. Instead, it deducts a set percentage from any payments you receive for your services. 

Pros: Dedicated customer support, nationwide availability

Cons: Deduct fees out of earnings

Trustpilot score: 2.8 out of 5

4. Holidog

Holidog is a service for pet owners who are going on vacation. However, an additional service they offer is dog walking for people who want someone to take their pups out to stretch their legs. 

The service is available in more than 30 major U.S. metropolitan areas. Just like with other services, you can create your own schedule. 

You’ll need to fill out a profile with your availability, a brief bio and rates. Once approved, your profile will be displayed on the platform. This usually happens within 24 hours. 

Dog walkers pick up the pooch from the owner’s home and take them for a walk nearby for 30 minutes to an hour. 

Holidog is free for dog walkers since they don’t take any commissions from your earnings. 

Pros: Commission-free earnings, flexible schedule

Cons: Only available in major metro areas

Trustpilot score: 1.3 out of 5

5. Care.com

If you have children, you may have heard of Care.com as a place to hire a babysitter. They have expanded their services to include pets, including dog walking and pet sitting online and through their app, Care@Work. 

To get started, you’ll need to fill out an application with information about yourself, your schedule, experience and rates. Photos are not necessary, but including them makes it more likely that you will get jobs. 

You can create your own schedule and work when you’re available. 

Care.com is available in 15 countries, including the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. Pay depends on location and experience. 

Pros: U.S. and international availability, brand recognition

Cons: Job availability can be spotty

Trustpilot score: 1.1 out of 5

6. Barkly Pets

Barkly Pets is an app that connects pet owners with dog walkers. To get started, you need to create a profile outlining your dog care experience and credentials. You may also be required to pass a background check. 

There is a one-time administrative fee of $10 to begin using the site.

As a dog walker, you create a profile to showcase your services. You also get access to certifications to improve your pet care credentials. Scheduling is flexible and based on your availability.

Barkly Pets is free to use until you make $100 per month. After that, you pay a membership fee of $8.50 to continue using the service. 

A dynamic pricing function on the website helps you determine the average fees for dog walking in your area. This can help you decide how to price your services.

The site is available in more than 35 metropolitan areas throughout the United States.

Pros: Available in 35 metro areas, additional certification options

Cons: Monthly fee after earning more than $100 each month

Trustpilot score: N/A

7. Petsitter.com

Petsitter.com aims to connect dog walkers and pet sitters with families searching for pet care. To get started, you need to create a profile that includes relevant experience, job qualifications and availability. 

Pet owners can browse profiles and get in touch with you to hire you for a job. They can also create a profile with information about their pets and the type of care they need. 

Petsitter.com even allows you to contact owners to see if you’re a good fit based on their job posting.

If you want to pick up dog walking jobs on Petsitter.com, you’ll need to sign up for a monthly membership, which is nonrefundable. 

Some users reported not being able to find jobs via the site even after paying for a membership.

Pros: Dog walkers can apply for jobs directly

Cons: Monthly membership fee

Trustpilot score: N/A

FAQs

Before you try an app to make money walking dogs, here are some frequently asked questions to consider.

How much can I earn walking dogs?

According to ZipRecruiter, dog walkers make $14 an hour on average. This works out to $29,921 per year if you work full-time. 

However, your earnings will depend on several factors, such as your geographic location, if you’re in a large metropolitan area and your experience. 

Since your location can influence pay, the company compiled a list of the top 10 cities where dog walker earnings were higher than the national average. Sunnyvale, CA and Santa Rosa, CA topped the list. 

Does it cost money to use dog walking apps?

Most dog walking apps let you create a profile for free, but they take a chunk out of your earnings. How much you pay depends on the app you use, but it can range from 20 to 40 percent. 

Some apps charge a flat fee after you reach an earnings threshold. 

Because of this variation in pricing structures, it’s important to do your research, read reviews and understand how much you’ll take home at the end of the day if you decide to become a dog walker. 

Do I need any supplies to walk dogs?

Yes, but you don’t need many supplies to become a dog walker. A high-quality leash is good to have on hand, along with a bag to carry supplies and your own belongings. 

Disposable poop bags are also necessary. 

Other supplies such as dog treats, a bowl and water, an umbrella and dog toys are nice to have. As you gain more experience, you will figure out what are must-have supplies for you and which ones are optional. 

Summary

Dog walking can be a great side hustle if you love animals and need to make extra money on the side. It’s easy to get started and requires only a few supplies. 

Becoming a dog walker offers flexibility since you can make your own schedule. You can even expand to provide additional services such as pet sitting and overnight stays to earn more money.

Ultimately, this can be a great way to supplement your income and help you save more money or have a little extra spending cash.