How Much Do Professional Dog Walkers Charge?
A look at dog walking prices in the UK
Dog walking is an established business model in the UK and up to one in three owners use a dog walker at least once a week. A professional dog walker can earn a very good wage if they live in the right area and put in full-time hours.
Back in 2015, the Evening Standard newspaper first reported that dog walkers could earn up to £10k more than the national average wage. Since then, the number of dog walkers offering services has increased by 25%, and now there are even franchises for those wanting to swap the rat race for the muddy field.
But how much does it cost to get a dog walker to fetch your dog and take it for a walk?
What is the average walk duration?
What should you look out for when considering who to trust with your pet?
Where can you find good trustworthy dog walkers?
In 2021 we conducted research into dog ownership costs and expenses in an effort to discover how much it really costs to own a dog for its entire life.
As part of our research, we surveyed 82 dog walkers from various locations around the UK.
We asked each of them:
- For prices to walk a dog for 30mins.
- A second price for a 60min walk.
- A price for a second dog from the same home.
- A price for a home visit/feeding.
- A price for a 1-2-1 walk.
- For information about insurance and how long they’ve been in business.
Below you’ll find everything you need to know about dog walking prices.
In the table below, you can see the average dog walking cost in the UK by region.
The 30-minute walk is suitable for puppies and older dogs, while most other dogs will need a 60-minute walk.
|Location:||30min Walk:||60min Walk:||1-2-1 60min Walk||Extra dog from the same home:|
Dog sitting is also a popular service and was offered by many of the dog walkers we contacted; it’s suitable for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety, are older or just need feeding during the day.
A typical dog sitting service consists of one or two visits a day, lasting between 15 and 30 minutes each. The provider can let your dog out into the garden, top-up water bowls, feed your dog and play games with your pet too.
Dog daycare is a service offered by a few of the walkers we got in touch with. Our dog could stay at the walkers home for a set fee and go out with them for up to 2 hours of walks with other friendly dogs.
An “emergency visit” for those that have lost their keys was also a service listed on many of the websites we visited and the price was certainly lower than getting a locksmith out.
Below you can see the average cost of all these services:
|Location:||15min Dog Sitting||30min Dog Sitting:||Dog Day Care:||Emergency Key Visit:|
21% of the Dog Walkers We Contacted Couldn’t Provide Insurance Details
Of the 82 dog walkers we contacted, 21% either told us that they weren’t insured, couldn’t provide us with details of a policy or just ignored us.
Some that offered daycare were insured for walks and transit but not for sitting or daycare.
This is despite a basic insurance policy with limited cover costing only £13 a month and a policy with higher payouts for dog injuries, deaths and theft costing around £20 per month.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, dog thefts have skyrocketed, and dog walkers are often seen as easy targets as one theft can yield up to four dogs.
6% Stated That They Were Fully Booked and Not Taking on New Clients
Despite just coming out of the 2021 Covid-19 lockdown, a surprising 6% of the dog walkers we contacted told us that they were too busy to take on any extra clients.
The Average Experience Was 3.5 Years
We asked all of the dog walkers how long they have been doing this job, and the average was 3.5 years.
All Offered Group Walks and the Average Number of Dogs Was 4
All of the dog walkers offered group walks, and most stated that the group size was between 3 and 5 dogs, with the average being 4.
It’s worth noting that some councils do not allow professional dog walkers to have more than 4 dogs with them at a time, and most insurance policies will limit the number to 4 as well.
10 Questions To Ask Your Dog Walker Before You Get a Price
Given that the average cost of a puppy in the UK is now £1900 and that theft, death or even an injury would cause more heartache than financial loss, here are ten questions to ask your dog walker:
- Can you provide insurance that includes dog thefts from walks and transit?
- Where do you walk the dogs?
- How long have you been doing this work?
- Do you ask to see proof of vaccinations?
- What training courses have you been on?
- Will you follow the guidance in the RSPCA endorsed Dog Walker’s Guidelines? (PDF here)
- How do you group the dogs you walk?
- What do you do when the weather is bad?
- If you cannot walk the dog due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances, do you have a backup plan? Perhaps another stand-in walker? Are they insured?
- Can I see references from other local dog owners?
Where to Get a Custom Price From a Dog Walker
There isn’t a nationwide database for reliable dog walkers, but there are several sites online that publish details about dog walkers, including how long they have been on the site, their insurance and reviews from past customers. None of these sites offer a full vetting service that includes criminal records checks, but they are a good place to start.
An alternative way to find a reliable dog walker would be via a local recommendation, perhaps from a neighbour or someone on a local Facebook group.
Their answers to the 10 questions we’ve suggested should tell you whether you can trust them with your pet.
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Dog Walking Prices FAQs
When Was This Guide to Dog Walking Prices Published?
This page about professional dog walkers was published in April 2021.
When Was The Data Sourced?
We sourced prices in April 2021, immediately after the 2021 Covid-19 lockdown.
How Much Do Dog Walkers Earn a Year?
Established dog walkers can earn well above the national average wage, even after taking into account expenses but newcomers may struggle to find clients in a saturated market. The average salary is around £20,000 but for established walkers, expect their earnings to be much higher.