People can’t help but smile when they see a professional dog walker out in public, commanding their adorable army of pups and hounds, leashes tangled together in a clenched fist or clipped to carabiners on belt loops. Dog walkers certainly have one of the enviable jobs around, but how much does this profession actually pay? According to our survey of 1,000 small business owners, dog walkers make between $25,000 to $50,000.

Average Dog Walker Salary1


In this guide, we take a look at the average salary for dog walkers and discuss factors that can help you maximize your earnings as the owner of a Fido-approved dog walking business.

How much do dog walkers make per day?

There are over 15,000 dog walkers in the United States.2 The average pay for the job is $15.11 per hour, which translates to $31,428 per year.3

However, dog walkers can earn more or less depending on where they work in the U.S., additional services they offer, and whether they work for an employer or for themselves. For example, self-employed dog walkers can earn $17.00 per hour (about 12.5% more than those who work for other businesses). The top 25% of self-employed dog walkers earn $24.00 per hour, translating to $49,920 per year.4

Where do dog walkers make the most money?

There is a considerable difference in the salaries of dog walkers who live in different areas. Here are the states where dog walkers can net some of the highest hourly rates in 2022:

  • California ($17.00 per hour)
  • Washington ($15.25 per hour)
  • New York ($15.00 per hour) net some of the highest hourly rates in 2022.5

And those in urban areas can make even more, because they live in a densely populated environment with more potential clients:

  • Dog walkers in San Francisco earn 39% more than the national average
  • Those in Los Angeles earn nearly 16% more.6

How much revenue can dog walkers make?

The vast majority of dog walkers we surveyed reported up to $50,000 in average gross revenue in 2022. (One even reported up to $100,000.) While most expect their annual gross revenue to stay steady year over year, one-third told us they expect it to increase between 10% to 50% in 2022.

Given the growing levels of dog ownership in the U.S., dog walking is in high demand. The industry experienced a slump in 2020 due to the pandemic. However, it’s back stronger than ever and is expected to grow 5.5% in 2022 alone.7 As you might expect from stats like these, all of the dog walkers we surveyed said they were optimistic about their company’s success in 2022.

What do dog walkers do?

Dog walkers walk dogs for a living, but taking Fluffy for a stroll around the block is just one aspect of running a dog walking business. In addition to walking dogs, dog walkers may play with dogs at home, check on their food and water, and send video or photo updates to their owners. Dog walkers have a knack for getting along with dogs and earning their trust, and can confidently keep them under control while they’re out exploring the neighborhood together.

Dog walking is a physical business where you’re on your feet all day. Once the walks are done, the work doesn’t stop. Dog walkers spend time on their computers or phones, managing billing, scheduling appointments, sending photos to clients and posting social media updates. It’s a job that offers flexibility, variety and puppy love.

Many dog walkers love working with animals and they thrive on being their own boss. One told us, “I enjoy working from home and doing what I want to do,” while several told us they were happy to be free of the “corporate BS.”

How to increase your salary as a dog walker

Wag your tail, because there are many ways to boost your earnings as a dog walker. Try these techniques.

  • Reevaluate your pricing: Do some research before setting your rates. Evaluate how other dog walkers in your area price themselves. You may also consider bundling your services to boost client loyalty. For example, you can offer clients a 10% discount if they pay for ten walks upfront.
  • Expand your services: Many dog walkers opt to do more than dog walking. Can you offer basic obedience training? What about pet-sitting? Pet-sitting can be a great way to earn extra income as a dog walker.
  • Ramp up your marketing: Savvy dog walkers know how to hustle. Create a referral program for your clients, where they get a discount for every dog they refer your way. Check out our blog for more advertising ideas, including business flyers, swag and events.
  • Scale your business: Roughly half of the dog walkers we surveyed have employees who work for them, expanding the number of clientele they can serve. You can still also multiply your earnings by walking more than one dog at a time (if your clients are okay with it).

How much does it cost to run a dog walking business?

Dog walking includes several startup costs, such as:

  • Business equipment: Many clients will have their own leashes, collars, treats, and poop bags for you to use, but it doesn’t hurt to have some extra supplies on hand. You’ll also want to invest in the right apparel for the job, including supportive shoes and a waterproof jacket.
  • Marketing: From website hosting to business cards, magnets, and branded swag, there’s always something you can invest in to get your name out there and bring more clients in.
  • Transportation: How will you get to your client’s homes? Work out a reliable mode of transportation and budget for it accordingly.
  • Insurance and licensing: You may need a dog walking license depending on where you live. And no matter where you work, you’ll want to purchase business insurance to protect you from liability if something goes wrong.

It’s a dog (walker’s) life

Running a dog walking business can be rewarding and profitable, depending on how you price and market your services. Protect your earnings and your business with Dog Walker Insurance from Thimble.

Thimble’s General Liability and Professional Liability insurance for dog walkers helps protect you from claims of third-party bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury. You can secure coverage by the job, month, or year — pay for insurance only when you’re working, and never when you’re not. Click “Get a Quote,” answer a few questions, and get covered in minutes. Ruff ruff!


  1. Payscale. Average Dog Walker Hourly Pay.
  2. Zippia. Dog Walker Demographics and Statistics in the US.
  3. Payscale. Average Dog Walker Hourly Pay.
  4. Payscale. Average Dog Walker Hourly Pay at Self-Employed.
  5. How much do dog walkers make? All the factors to consider.
  6. Payscale. Average Dog Walker Hourly Pay.
  7. IBISWorld. Dog Walking Services in the US – Market Size 2005 – 2027.