How Much Can You Earn with a Dog Walking Gig?

What do professional dog walkers really take home after taxes and fees?
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Stay informed to save you time, money and headaches
If you have some spare time on your hands and a love for animals, you might be thinking about offering your services through a pet care app like Rover or Wag. It's important to know how much you'll actually take home before putting in the effort to join one of these companies for a part-time or full-time gig.
Your Rate and Wages
How much is a dog walk worth? It varies by location, but according to the CEO of Wag!, a walker makes about $17.50 on average for a half-hour walk. That can go up to $30 for an hour-long walk.

With Wag!, there are other variables to consider, too. You'll get a $5 bonus if the owner wants you to take additional dogs too. You can reasonably expect a tip of between $2 and $5. Transportation can be a significant hidden cost though, and can eat up a lot of your time and money getting to the actual gig location, so needs to be factored in as well.

Other apps like Rover offer a wider range of pet services from dog walking to pet boarding. You'll set your own rate and hopefully build a loyal customer base. Because Rover takes an even 20% of the rate you charge your clients, it'll take months of effort to build up to a full-time income.

What You'll Pay the IRS
If you're working full-time on these apps or earning double digits throughout the year, you'll have to file a tax return for your income.

Remember, these sites will regard you as an independent contractor, so you'll owe taxes in April instead of having it deducted out of your paycheck (no refund for you, unfortunately). As you earn, remember to save 15-20% of your income, which you'll probably have to pay in federal and/or state taxes.
Figure Out Your Next Step
Know that while they may seem appealing, pet care apps won't be an easy full-time job. It will take some time to establish yourself, and you might not have the income you want until you do. It's useful to remember that using an app like Rover or Wag! can help supplement another job while you grow your network, or it could even start you off to a full-fledged pet care career.