Dog Walking Fees
What to charge for your dog walking service
Knowing what dog walking fees to charge can be a challenge when starting a dog walking service.
How you price your service will
depend on a number of factors - how much experience you have in pet care and dog walking, where you live and your target market. Rates will vary greatly from area
to area. Here are some good guidelines to follow.
- Research dog walking fees in your area. Find out what other dog walkers are charging in your area.You can do this
by going into local online directories advertising dog walking services or by looking at advertisements in local newspapers and on bulletin boards. Ask local vets, dog grooming services,
pet supply stores for guidance. Your dog walking price should be competitive and comparable.
- Don't under-charge or over-charge. Under-charging will create the perception that you are
an amatuer with a poor quality service. Avoid benchmarking your dog walking rates against schoolkids who offer to walk dogs. Your service is worth more and
your promotional material should stress why. Your dog walking fees should be a fair and reasonable amount for the professional and reliable service you are offering.
- Determine fees for different services. You will want to charge different amounts for solo walks and group walks. Set a fee for a 30 minute walk
and for an hour walk. Your dog walking fees will depend on your area - in some cities dog walkers can charge up to $40 a half hour and in other areas $15 is considered
a reasonable rate for a half hour walk. The national average for dog walking appears to be between $15 and $20 for a half hour walk. You may want to offer a certain fee for a specific number of walks per week, for example for 5 half hour walks a week. Dog owners like to have different
options to choose from.
- Work out the numbers. Calculate how many dogs will need to be walked weekly in order to make enough money to
run your dog walking business.You will make more money doing group walks but you can charge a premium for solo dog walks. Initially it may be better to
concentrate on one dog at a time while you gain experience and build your confidence. After a while move onto group walks which
are more lucrative and maximize your earning potential. An advantage for clients of group walks is that they provide an opportunity for their dogs to be socialized. However keep the number of dogs in the group to a controlled
pack or the quality of your service will suffer.
- How many visits are possible per day? Estimate what you can make per month by calculating the number of visits you can realistically
make in one day. Consider the time it takes you to collect the dogs, how many dogs in the group and any other commitments you have for the day. On average a dog walker
can probably handle 8 half hour visits a day.
- Work out your costs and expenses. These may include leashes, pooper scoopers, muzzles. Also include any advertising costs, travel expenses and insurance.
You want to make enough money to cover your expenses and make a reasonable profit.
- Offer additional pet services. You can always increase you dog walking fees by offering additional services such
as dog washing and brushing, buying pet supplies and feeding pets while their owners are away.
- Make your service more valuable. Come up with ways of making your dog walking service better than the
alternatives. Added value translates into better dog walking fees. Consider options like basic obedience training with positive reinforcement of good behavior with dog treats, replenishing
water and food where needed. Upskill yourself - learn pet First Aid and CPR or how to do obedience training.
For practical advice on starting a dog walking business use these free guides:
What you should know about a Dog Walking Business
Starting a Dog Walking Business
Dog Walking Jobs
Starting a Dog Walking Service - Agreements and Forms
Dog Walking Insurance and Licenses
Pet Sitting Business
Dog Business Names
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