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How Much Does a Dog Walker Make? (2023 Update)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

a person walking several dogs outdoors

Whether you’re starting your own business or looking into a career change with a new company, you’ll want to know just how much you can make as a professional dog walker. It seems like a dream come true, spending time with dogs all day, but just how much does a dog walker make in 2023, and what factors affect that annual salary? The national average hourly rate for a dog walker in 2023 is $17.60 an hour. When you translate this to a 40-hour work week for 52 weeks a year, that’s just over $36,000 annually.

We’ll break it all down for you here, and we’ll even give you a few tips to take your dog walking business to the next level!

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How Much Does a Dog Walker Make in 2023?

There are a few things you’ll want to consider if you’re looking to become a dog walker and are expecting these types of returns. First, this is the annual salary when working. Unless you can line up clients from 9 AM to 5 PM, you’re unlikely to make the full annual salary.

Because of the struggle it can take to completely fill your schedule and the deadtime between clients, turning dog walking into a full-time job can be a bit of a challenge in many areas, and it’s why so many people choose to supplement their dog walking salary with other aspects of the pet care industry.

Dog Walker
Image Credit: Freepics4you, Pixabay

Factors that Affect How Much a Dog Walker Makes

If you look at how much money a dog walker makes, you’re going to see a range of salaries. But what affects where you’re going to fall in that range? There are a few different factors that go into it, and we’ve highlighted three of the most important for you here:


Like everything else in life, how much you make as a dog walker all comes down to location. Not only do people in some states make more money than dog walkers, but if you live in a city, you’re more likely to succeed as a dog walker.

Cities have higher costs of living which drive up a dog walker’s salary, but fewer yards and more people make it easier to find clients and make more money.


You can’t go into any career and expect to make top dollar right away. Once you have some experience and references, you’ll be able to up your hourly rate, which significantly affects how much you can make as a dog walker.


The more people that know about your business the more money you’ll make. Marketing is the hidden golden ticket in the dog walking business, and the more you know how to use it to your advantage, the more successful you’ll be.

Young happy students e-learning over laptop while sitting in a hallway with their dog insurance
Image Credit: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

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How to Make More as a Dog Walker

While you might be content with your current salary as a dog walker, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to bring in more money. If that sounds like you, there are a few things you can do to help grow your business and make more money.

Expand Services

Can you do more than just walk dogs? If so, you might want to expand your dog walking business into other aspects of animal care. Boarding, obedience training, and more are all common services that dog walkers will complete too.

You can also consider expanding the area you serve, although you’ll need to factor in transportation costs if this is what you plan on doing.

Scale Up

Bring in more clients and you can bring in more money! If your clients will let you walk more than one dog at once, this can help, but you also might want to consider expanding your business by adding a few employees.

This is an excellent idea if you’re getting more clients than you can handle and don’t want to turn anyone away.

Walking the pack of dogs on city sidewalk
Image Credit: a katz, Shutterstock

Increase Marketing

If you’re struggling to fill your schedule, then what you might need to do to make more money is let more people know about your services. Facebook, a web page, and even word of mouth are all great marketing tools when you’re trying to drum up more business as a dog walker.

The more people you can get to hear about you, the better, so do what you need to do to get the word out!

Change Pricing Options

If you find that you have so many clients that you can’t keep up, increasing your prices might be the way to make a little bit more. Just be careful when raising prices. While it can be an effective way to bring in more money, it can also drive away existing clients and have the opposite effect.

Another way to bring in more business could be to lower your prices if customers pay for enough walks upfront. This means you’re getting a little less per walk, but you’re guaranteeing more business in the future.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to become a dog walker, you need to go into the career with eyes wide open, and hopefully after reading this guide, you know just what to expect. If you’re looking to start your own dog walking business, it’s going to take a bit of time and work, but it’s certainly possible!

  • https://www.salary.com/research/salary/posting/dog-walker-salary/pa#:~:text=The%20average%20Dog%20Walker%20salary,falls%20between%20%2426%2C663%20and%20%2440%2C739.
  • https://www.thimble.com/blog/how-much-do-dog-walkers-make
  • https://www.indeed.com/career/dog-walker/salaries

Featured Image Credit: Blue Bird, Pexels

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