The Least Ruff Job Out There

Manhattan, New York
United States

(Disclaimer: I work for Rover, so that’s what my dog walking company knowledge will be based on. However, there are multiple dog walking companies to choose from.)

“Wait. You get paid to walk dogs?” A common response I hear when I tell people about my job. Yes, people pay me to walk their cute furry friends and it’s quite amazing. But believe it or not, there is a price to pay for having such a great job. This week, I’ll be discussing the truth about dog walking. Dun dun dun.

Pro: Getting to manage my own schedule.

I cannot stress enough how convenient it is that I am able to accept as many or as few dog walk requests as I want every day. If I’m swamped with work from classes and I decide that I’m not able to, Rover has an “away” function that will keep me from showing up when customers are looking for a walker.  That being said, there have been days that I’ve walked three dogs because I have spare time and am able to work.

With Rover, there are three types of walks that can be scheduled:

  • Potty Break (20 min.); Money Received - $8. If owners don’t want a full walk for their dog, this is perfect. It’s just a quick time for them to go outside and do their business.
  • 30-Minute Walk: Money Received - $12. This is the most common request, for dogs to be able to stretch their legs for a full 30 minutes and go outside to do their business.
  • 60-Minute Walk: Money Received - $18. A very extended walk for the dog to walk around , do their business, and potentially take a trip to the dog park.

All of the prices listed above are what walkers receive after taxes. Another cool feature is that owners can tip you if they  choose to.

Pro: Being a people-person comes in handy.

Even though I’m working with dogs 100% of the time, there’s a lot of communication that is necessary between myself and the owners. Even if they never respond, they’re more likely to trust you if you introduce yourself the minute you accept the walk, update them when you start the walk and take plenty of pictures of and/or with the dog while you're taking care of it. The pictures are necessary for the Rover Card, which is a review of the walk that allows the owner to see the walk route, how many times the dog peed and pooped, if they drank water or ate food, and lastly pictures of their furry friend enjoying the walk. At the end of the review, I have to write a personalized post-walk message about how the walk went

Con: Distance.

There are times that a request is .2 miles away, and there are 5.7 miles away walks. They differ drastically and if you actually want to make a lot of money from this job, you might have to bite the bullet and buy a weekly unlimited MetroCard. However, I don't recommend doing that if you’re not 100% sure you can walk dogs every week due to scheduling purposes. Speaking from experience, it’s a horrible feeling spending $32 on a MetroCard thinking you’ll walk dogs, and then losing money instead of gaining it because of a change of plans.

Con: Getting a workout when you weren’t looking for one.

I’m going to say this once: if the owner says their dog pulls on walks, they mean it. You might think you’re about to take a nice stroll and you’re the one who ends up getting walked. To prevent something like this, be sure to check the weight of the dog and decide if you’ll be able to handle the walk.

When all is said and done, walking dogs is the best job I could ever ask for. With a flexible schedule, good pay, great support from the company, and of course getting to see dogs all the time, it makes all the cons worth it. If you’re a busy person with a difficult schedule that doesn’t work well with that of a traditional part-time job, I highly recommend dog walking. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be asked the question: “Wait. You get paid to walk dogs?” and get to proudly say yes.

It’s most certainly not a ruff job! (I had to.)