Dog Walking Business Income: How much do dog walkers really make?

Man walking dog in the park

So you plan to turn your love of dogs into a full-time income, great, but how much can you earn from walking dogs? And what income could your dog walking business make?

We’ll break down all the numbers right here!

The average price for a one-hour group dog walk will vary hugely depending on where you live, typically varying from £8/hour to £20/hour.

A 2015 survey by the Directline group showed on average a dog walker’s salary is £26,496 per year, which they achieve by walking 196 dogs per month. 

Infographic showing dog walkers earn on average £26,496 per year and £11.50 per hour by making 196 walks per month.

But if you’re setting up your own business is important to remember the travel in-between pick-ups, meet and greets with potential new clients and evenings spent catching up on admin. All-time where you won’t be directly earning.

Deciding how much to charge

When you’re starting out, it’s especially important to have a good understanding of what your local dog walking prices.

The best way to get a baseline price is to find out what other dog walkers in your area are charging and work out an average.

I’d recommend researching 10 – 15 dog walkers in your area, either look at their website or contact them to get a price for each of their services.

Once you’ve got this information, make a long list and calculate the average hourly rate for each service within your local market. Make sure you’re comparing like-for-like as solo-walks will most likely be more expensive than group walks. 

Calculating your rate in this way is a great way to start as it ensures you’re not under or overcharging.

Once you’re more established and your calendar is full you can up your rates with confidence.

Don’t undervalue your dog walking services. Price fairly from the start and offer great value for money. Trying to undercut your competition when you launch will only lead to problems down the line.

Calculating your dog walking business income

If you’re still in the early stages of starting a dog walking business it’s important to do some very basic sums to work out your typical monthly costs and calculate your potential income.

This will give you a really quick idea of how many dogs you’ll need to walk each week to hit your monthly income goal.

Before we can do this you need to consider roughly how many dogs you can walk per day and what services you might offer.

When you’re starting out it can be tempting to accept clients huge distances apart, but I can assure you, for your business to work the time spent in-between dog walks needs to be efficient.

Obviously, if you’re in a rural location, you’ll likely have higher travel times between jobs than someone in a central city location. But the key is to pick your service area in a relatively densely populated residential area where transport infrastructure is good.

Typically speaking, let’s assume you do two group walks with 4 dogs each and two solo walks in a day. 

If you’re charging £12 for a group walk and £15 for a solo walk this brings your daily total sales to £126 per day and £2,520 per month (assuming it’s a 4 week month and you walk Monday-Friday).

From here you’ll have to deduct your monthly and annual expenses, the most common will include:

  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Pet supplies
  • Fuel
  • Marketing
  • Website

To make this process really simple for you, I’m sharing my very own income and expenditure spreadsheet. Simply drop your name and email below and I’ll send you a link to my spreadsheet including all my expenses and startup costs.

Got questions? Drop a comment below.

And, if you’re just starting your doggy business make sure you check out my ultimate guide on how to start a dog walking business.

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