Whether you want to start a dog walking business or hire a walker for your dog, you need to know the cost. These dog walking rates are what I pay for my two dogs in Vancouver – and they may tempt you to start a dog walking business!
Are you thinking about starting your own dog walking service? Read Six-Figure Pet Sitting: Catapult Your Pet Sitting Business to Unlimited Success by Kristin Morrison. It takes you beyond dog walking services to pet sitting, which can be very lucrative.
I’ve hired both licensed, bonded dog walking businesses and casual, unlicensed dog walkers. I haven’t found a difference in the quality of the walks (yes, you can give a dog a “bad” walk) – but the rates the different types of dog walkers charge are quite different.
I live in Vancouver, so these dog walking rates are in Canadian dollars. I’d love to know what you pay dog walkers in your area – I’ve hired several dog walkers in Vancouver, but don’t have information about other dog walking businesses in other parts of Canada or the US.
Dog Walking Rates in Vancouver
The short story is that I’m paying a dog walker $15 for a 30 minute walk for my two dogs. This is an unusually low dog walking rate, and here’s why…
But first, if you’ve ever thought about starting a dog walking business, this article may give you the nudge you need. Working as a dog walker in Vancouver is one of my 10 High Paying Jobs for College Students. Dog walking rates are surprisingly high, especially if you hire the dog walker every day.
Licensed, bonded dog walking rates are higher than informal dog walkers. I was paying $23 for a dog walking service to take my dog (when I had only one dog) one a two or three hour hike in the forest. Sometimes they went for four hours, but not often. Because the dog walking business was licensed, the walker had to charge me tax on every walk.
Dog walking businesses charge more when driving is involved. My old dog walker had to drive to my house, drive to the forest hike, and drive my dog back home. When you’re paying a dog walker to drive your dog around, you’re also paying for gas, car insurance, and wear and tear on the vehicle (dogs have been known to pee, poop, and puke in moving vehicles).
More dogs cost more money. I was shocked that my dog walker wanted me to pay $45 for two dogs. I thought an extra dog wouldn’t cost much more money, because she has to drive here anyway, collect the dogs, take them on the walk, and drive them back home. Taking the leashes and harnesses off two dogs didn’t seem much more time-consuming than one. She had a great dog walking business – though she did forget to come get my dog once – but I didn’t keep her as my dog walker after I got a second dog. Luckily, my husband lost his job right when we got our second dog Tiffy, so we didn’t need to pay a dog walker.
Less time costs less money. My dogs only need a 30 minute walk in the middle of the day because I take them on a hour-long walk in the morning (and I sorta like walking from 6 to 7 am, even when it’s dark!). And as soon as I get home from work, I take them on another hour-long walk. I’d be happy to pay higher dog walking rates if my dogs needed a two or three hour romp in the forest, like my old dog walker used to do.
The reason my dog walking rates are so low is because the walker I hired has a slight developmental delay. I don’t know what her condition is because I couldn’t find the right way to ask. She’s in her mid-20s, lives with her parents, and has started her own dog walking business. My husband met her on the paths in our neighborhood, and she told him that she walks dogs to earn money. When I asked how much she charges for a 30 minute walk, she said she’s not good with numbers or money, and will ask her parents. I asked her to come over for an introduction to our house and the dogs, and she showed up exactly on time. She said her parents told her that $15 is what she should charge for the walks. Works for me!
If you hire a dog walking service, ask for the same walker every time. One of the dog walker businesses I called said he’d send out whichever dog walker happened to be in my area of Vancouver that day. I did not like that one bit! I want the same dog walker every time – the consistency is better for my dogs. And for me.
Whenever I hire a walker for my dog, I leave frozen dog treats for her to give them when she brings them home
How much would you (or do you) pay a dog walker? I welcome your thoughts below – I’d love to hear how much dog walking services charge in different areas of the country! Woof.