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It’s a Ruff Job, But Someone Has to Do It! Pay Your Tuition as a Dog Walker 

Written by CB Community

Ideally, we all would get a free ride to college, but most of us have to work and pay our tuition at the same time.

For this reason, you may consider becoming a dog walker!

If you love animals, becoming a dog walker could be a worthwhile career choice depending on where you live.

How Much do Dog Walkers Make?

While most dog owners would prefer to walk their own dogs, a sudden lifestyle change can make that impossible.

Responsible pet owners will hire dog walkers to take their companions on a daily stroll. That’s why you can walk dogs and earn an hourly income that pays for your tuition.

According to April 2022 statistics, dog walkers make an average of $11.25-$17.00 an hour. That may not sound like a lot, but if you walk 6 dogs at a time, you’ll net $67.50-$102.00 an hour.

If you walk dogs for two hours a day, 5 days a week, your gross wage could be $675-$1,020 a week.

Why Should College Students Walk Dogs?

Besides the high earning potential, dog walkers benefit from flexibility, exercise, and fresh air. Dog walking is also a passive job, meaning you don’t have to do a whole lot.

You’re doing your job as long as you’re paying attention to your dogs and keeping them safe and hydrated.

Dogs often bond quickly with the people who walk or play with them. Your clients are unlikely to replace you if you show up on time and their dog loves you. That makes you irreplaceable, even when you increase your rates.

Plus, what better than getting paid to play with cuddly dogs?

How do you Become a Dog Walker?

While some clients will want you to be certified, you typically only need to pass a background check, be 18 years old, and understand the basics of pet care.

Sites like Rover connect you with clients and customers, while job sites may set you up with vet clinics or private employers.

The responsibilities of a dog walker are minimal unless you’re also participating in dog training, pet sitting, and pet care.

As a dog walker, you’ll walk multiple dogs at once, pick up waste, feed or hydrate your dogs, take them to pet parks, consult with clients, and market your business.

Can you Support Yourself Right Away?

The benefit of getting a traditional part-time job is guaranteed pay. However, you may not make a lot of money as a dog walker when you start.

To top it off, your pay may not be consistent, and your clients may stop using your services or move away without giving you adequate notice.

There are also startup costs you need to think about.

Do you have poop bags, treats, waterproof clothing, and dog-walking insurance? Will you have the funds to continue paying for these items?

While you will start slow, you can quickly earn a living if you have a great marketing strategy.

How Can You Expand Your Dog Walking Business?

Since most of your clients use Rover, start there. Create a profile on their app and ask your friends and family to leave a review.

If you can get 10 people to say something nice about you, you’ll already be considered a “top dog walker” in your area. This will give you a bit of a boost.

From there, start looking at low-cost advertising initiatives, like partnerships, social media, flyers, a website, and referral discounts.

Ask your college newspaper or people around campus if they need a dog walker. Post an ad on your college’s community board with tear-off phone strips.

How Can You Work and Study at the Same Time?

Working while going to school isn’t easy, but if you have a flexible career like dog walking, you shouldn’t have a problem working your studies around your schedule.

Since most of your clients need a dog walker in the mornings, evenings, and weekends, you’ll be able to make time.

Staying organized is essential. Plan your study session ahead of time and keep sections of your schedule open in case you need to spend extra time on a project.

Discuss with your clients if you can have another walker stand in for you if you’re sick or something unexpected happens.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.