If like me, you own a dog and also have a full-time job, you probably know that awful feeling of leaving your beloved pet alone at home all day.
Dog walking is a booming industry in the UK with many dedicated businesses offering their services.
There’s also stay at home parents and self-employed home workers who are keen to boost their earnings by looking after local pets.
But how much does dog walking cost and where can you find someone trustworthy enough to look after your beloved pet while they’re out for a trot?
This page is part of our cost guide for pet owners, we’ve already looked at how much it costs to own a dog for its entire life, and we’ve listed average dog kennelling costs here, and you’ll also find a researched puppy vaccination price here.
This page is all about dog walking costs and as a bonus; we’ve listed ten questions you must ask your walker before you hand over your pet.
Can You Answer This Question?
We like to ask our website’s visitors how much they think specific services will cost.
The poll below is entirely optional; you can skip it if you wish:
Is It True That Dog Walkers Can Earn Over £26,000 Per Year?
Yes, it’s true.
In 2015 the Directline Insurance Group researched how much the average dog walker earns.
The results were an eyeopener – the average salary was £26,500 – well above the national average wage at the time.
In London, dog walkers can expect to earn even more.
But how much do dog walkers charge per hour or per walk?
How Much Does a Dog Walker Charge Per Walk?
In 2019 and again in 2021, we asked 35 dog walkers how much they charge for a walk between 45 and 60 minutes.
We requested prices from both businesses and individuals and there weren’t price increases between 2019 and 2021.
The table below shows an average of the prices given to us:
|Average Dog Walking Price (45mins to 60mins)||£12.50|
How to Use Our Dog Walking Price Guide
Our price guide isn’t an offer of a dog walking service; it’s just an insight into the current going rate.
Do consider the following:
- The most expensive place to hire a dog walker – Our data suggests London was by far the most expensive region, one of the quotes we received was for over £22 per hour.
- Regions where wages are lower than the national average will be cheaper.
- Individuals have fewer overheads than larger businesses, so will typically charge less than dedicated companies.
- Many of the dog walkers we contacted offered sizable discounts for a second dog from the same home.
- Weekend dog walkers (handy if you work shifts) sometimes cost more.
10 Question You Must Ask Your Dog Walker
To protect yourself and your pet, we think you should ask the following questions:
- Ask about what insurance they have in place, a basic policy costs around £65 per year and for around £150 per year they can offer more protection should something go wrong. Dog walking insurance isn’t expensive and with the number of dog thefts skyrocketing during the pandemic, there’s no valid reason why even a small business or individual would not take out a policy.
- Request references from other clients, a good dog walker shouldn’t have any problems getting these, just make sure you follow them up with a phone call.
- Check to see if they have contingency plans in place should they be unable to look after your pet, perhaps due to illness or other unforeseen events. Do they have employees or someone on standby who can take over the duties for the day?
- Ask them to arrange a meeting with your pet before any agreement is made, note how they interact with your animal and how your pet responds to them.
- Ask how long they have been dog walking and if you have a large or energetic dog. Verify what experience they have with this type of dog.
- Check how many other dogs they walk at any given time and what types of dogs they are.
- If they don’t ask you whether your dog is vaccinated or not, chances are they won’t ask any of the other owners either.
- Ask where they walk the dogs and how long for. A field isn’t stimulating enough for some dogs, but a hilly area can be too much for some smaller or older pets.
- Will they wash your dog if it’s filthy after a walk, or will they just let the dog into your home covered in mud?
- If they transport your dog in a vehicle, what type of vehicle is it? Is it suitable?
Where is The Best Place to Find Someone Trustworthy?
When it comes to services offered by local businesses, references from friends, work colleagues, neighbours and other dog owners in your area are the best way to find someone trustworthy. Check out local online groups and forums for your area.
Facebook is a great place to ask your friends and work colleagues if they know of any trustworthy dog walkers.
Nearly every area in the UK will have an online group, often on Facebook but it could be on a similar site. These are perfect places for asking neighbours and those who live nearby about local dog walkers.
There are plenty of websites popping up that can put in touch with dog walkers and sitters, some of them are even franchises. We suggest you always explore independent and impartial reviews online before considering such a service.
Update 2021: Don’t forget that you can always fit a dog tracker so you can see where your dog is at any given time.